Then & Now - February 2019

Then & Now - February 2019


No significant effects on propane supply are forecast for the Southeast following the January explosion of 16 railroad tank cars (480,000 gallons) of the product at Laurel, Mississippi.

Shell’s Rocky Mountain division completes a computer study of 200 rod- pumping configurations for deep, high- volume oil pumping conditions and concludes that the optimum efficiency is obtained from pumps smaller than 1.75 inches, stroke lengths less than 120 inches and surface equipment with unconventional geometries.

US active rig count: 1,118


New EPA underground storage tank requirements instituted following a 20,000-gallon leak from a South Dakota tank in 1986 may force the closure of 26,500 service stations, while requiring tank owners to have at least $1 million in tank leak liability insurance.

Turkey and Iran agree to a trade pact valued at $2 billion, with Iran receiving construction aid for rehabilitating petroleum facilities damaged in the war with Iraq, and Turkey agreeing to buy 37 million bbl of Iranian oil. (Hidden agendas abound!)

WTI crude: $18.03/bbl

US active rig count: 746


A major Barnett player reports substantial oil, natural gas and natural gas liquid reserves northwest of the Barnett core area in Montague and Clay counties, Texas. (More good news, George!)

The Haynesville in North Louisiana continues to impress, with Petrohawk reporting eight wells on production 60 days or more averaging 13.2 MMcfd in those first 60 days.

Light sweet crude: $40.50/bbl;

Natural gas: $4.62/MMbtu;

US rig count: 1,399


This month, we continue our look back at the rise and fall of wildcatter Glenn McCarthy, as opening day for his Shamrock Hotel finally arrives.

By dusk, a crowd of 3,000 had surrounded the hotel. Floodlights crisscrossed the early night sky, just as McCarthy had dreamed. At seven, shrieks rose from the crowd as limousines began to arrive and celebrities stepped out onto the green carpet. McCarthy’s new pal, Errol Flynn, waved. Lou Costello waddled in. Close behind came the rest: Ginger Rogers, Van Johnson, Edgar Bergen, Van Heflin, Sonja Henie and Eddie Rickenbacker. The Texans came pouring in as well, including the governor and a string of politicians, oilmen, bankers and Amon Carter with a delegation from Fort Worth. Fellow wildcatter Sid Richardson ambled in with his niece and only Howard Hughes failed to appear. All the men wore tuxedos, while the women wore backless dresses and mink after mink after mink, diamonds dripping from every neck. The evening was a coming-out party not just for McCarthy, but for Texas oil itself.

Inside, everyone crowded into the lobby for champagne. A cowboy actor, Don “Red” Barry, sipped his champagne from the slipper of Beaumont oil heiress Ann Justice. By 7:30, the public areas were so jam-packed that people couldn’t move. Waiters gave up trying to wade into the crowd. Off in the corners, McCarthy’s security men exchanged nervous glances. There were too many people. Two thousand had been invited, and three thousand managed to make it inside. McCarthy, dressed in a white dinner jacket, did his best to navigate the throng, which was growing louder as the champagne began to deplete. He had contracted the National Broadcasting Company to air Pat O’Brien’s opening remarks to a nationwide radio audience at 8 o’clock, live from the Emerald Room. The plan was to announce O’Brien’s appearance at 7:45 over the hotel’s public-address system, at which point the crowd would file in to their tables in the ballrooms.

Next month, McCarthy’s meticulous opening night plans evolve into near- chaos.


What former industry executive was selected as the inaugural winner of the award for “Global Vision in Energy” from the New York Mercantile Exchange?

If you would like to participate in this month’s quiz, e-mail your answer to by noon February 15. The winner, who will be chosen randomly from all correct answers, will receive a $50 gift card to a nice restaurant (courtesy of the ProTechnics Division of Core Lab). 


A.A. Perkins, in California, is considered the father of the modern oilwell cementing process.