Then & Now - January 2022

Then & Now - January 2022


Saudi Arabia’s position in the global petrochemical market is predicted to grow substantially during the next five years due to an ongoing and significant growth wave that will add substantial petrochemical capacity.

There have been nine “deepwater” (greater than 1,000 feet) oil and natural gas discoveries announced by operators in the Gulf of Mexico through November 2005, the US Minerals Management Service reported. (That’s nothing compared to today’s 3,000-meter deepwater international wells).

The US Senate kept Congress true to form Dec. 21 when it rejected the latest effort to authorize oil and gas leasing of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Coastal Plain.


China reportedly has large volumes of low-permeability natural gas resources with unique characteristics that could be exploited with appropriate technologies. At present, however, lack of development and management technologies have hindered effective exploitation of these resources. (Hello shale plays!)

US drilling fell for the fifth consecutive week, down by 26 rotary rigs to 1,764 still working during the week ended Dec. 19, compared with a rig count of 1,809 in the same period last year.

Forecasters predict that 2009 will be characterized by uncertainty, lower oil and gas prices, a hostile Congress, demand shrinkage and major investment pullbacks by the global oil and gas industry.


The American Petroleum Institute urges the 114th Congress to make their first energy policy priority – after approving the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline – repealing the ban on US crude oil exports. It acknowledges, however, that reaching this goal won't be easy.

Mexico's energy reform has launched an ambitious process to end the long-standing state oil monopoly, holding the promise to increase oil production and bolster the overall economy (If only they would stick with it!). 

The US Energy Information Administration reported it expects global oil inventories to continue to build in 2015, keeping downward pressure on oil prices. The EIA forecasts Brent crude oil prices will average $58/bbl in 2015, $11/bbl lower than projected last month, and $75/bbl in 2016. The annual average for West Texas Intermediate is expected to be $3-4/bbl below Brent. 


This month we meet the lawyers and the bright satellites of leadership in attendance at “The Barbecue.”

The bankers present were in many cases also lawyers, including James A. Elkins, Jr., son of the late Judge James Elkins, founder of the First City National Bank of Houston. Judge Elkins had been a member of the powerful, unofficial 8F Crowd, with cronies including Herman and George Brown, Gus Wortham, and others, who met regularly in a suite in Houston’s Lamar Hotel and exerted great influence on city and state politics. Before his death, Judge Elkins founded the law firm that became known as Vinson, Elkins, Searls, Connally, & Smith.

Three of Houston’s law firms at the time were among the largest half-dozen in America, and their influence and interests ranged widely across the country. Vinson, Elkins, Searls, Connally & Smith maintained stocks of stationery with Connally’s name missing from the letterhead to facilitate his forays into government.

The bright satellites of leadership passed quickly through the receiving line: Anne Armstrong, Nixon’s adviser from Texas and a favorite on the national Republican luncheon circuit; Erik Jonsson, Dallas’s mayor and the political force behind what turned out to be the world’s largest airport; Ima Hogg, aging daughter of the notorious Texas governor Jim Hogg; and A. A. McAllister, the former mayor of San Antonio and an old Connally ally.  

Next month, we consider the politicrats who were in attendance at “The Barbecue” and a significant someone who wasn’t.


What was the name of the famous mustang, so the story goes, that could only be ridden by one legendary oil- country cowboy? 

If you would like to participate in this month’s quiz, e-mail your answer to by noon, January 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 Laboratories).


The explosion of a tank car of casinghead gas at Ardmore, Oklahoma, which killed 47 people, injured more than 500, and wiped out the middle of the town in 1915, signaled the end of efforts to commercialize that volatile product.


Congratulations to November’s winner, Judy Snelling with Murphy Oil.