Then & Now - March 2021

Then & Now - March 2021

MARCH 2001

Last year, the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) sent a team out to the Permian Basin of West Texas to film our oil industry, and the film was included as part of a 30-minute documentary on the oil industry.

This documentary showed several experts testifying that world oil production will peak in the next 10 to 20 years before the world eventually runs short on oil. The King Hubbert Institute at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden also predicts world oil production will peak in the next 10 to 12 years. They cite statistics like 80% of the oil produced today flows from fields that were found before 1973, and the discovery of oil in the world peaked in 1962 at 40 billion bbl of oil. By 1991, it was already down to 7 billion bbl of oil.

Chevron Corp. and Texaco Inc. have appointed several senior executives to lead their newly formed company, ChevronTexaco Corp., once the merger closes. Current Chevron Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dave O'Reilly will retain the same position for ChevronTexaco.

Richard Matzke, Chevron vice- chairman, and Glenn Tilton, Texaco chairman and CEO, will each hold vice-chairman positions for the merged company. These three executive positions will make up the newly formed office of the chairman. O'Reilly said that the new company is looking to gain $1.2 billion in synergies through the executive restructuring.

MARCH 2006

Oil and gas companies are working to address climate change concerns while developing strategies to extract value from the management of carbon dioxide emissions. They are preparing for a world of increasing carbon constraints imposed in response to forecasts of rising emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), such as a projection from the US government that world CO2 emissions will reach 38.8 billion tons/year in 2025. One method for slowing the growth of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration is to capture and bury emissions. Because of rising interest in so- called sequestration, scientists are monitoring existing CO2 storage sites while lawmakers consider what storage regulations may be needed.

Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Dallas, is expanding activity in the Cretaceous Edwards limestone gas trend south and east of San Antonio with a $115 million capital budget in the South Texas resource play in 2006. Without disclosing details, the company said it recently drilled two successful wells in the trend that tested prospects analogous to Pioneer’s Pawnee field in Bee and Live Oak counties. Initial potential was 2.5 MMcfd for both before stimulation. The company also reported a recent Wilcox discovery in the Pawnee field. The Pawnee field, discovered in 1961, is producing 50 MMcfd of dry gas (14 MMcfd net to Pioneer). Cumulative production is 184 bcf, and estimated ultimate recovery is 310 bcf, up 8% from 2004.

Light sweet crude: $60.89/bbl

Natural gas: $6.62/MMbtu

MARCH 2011

Oil facilities in eastern Libya come under heavy air attack, while the country's leader Moammar Gadhafi taunts western powers over their reported plans to establish a no-fly zone over the North African country. "If they take such a decision it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and to steal their oil," said Gadhafi. "Then the Libyan people will take up arms against them." He added that the rebels wanted to pave the way for a new colonial era that would allow the US, UK, and France to divide up the country and control its oil wealth.

The White House confirmed that it is considering the release of crude oil stored in the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve. "But there are a number of factors that go into it, and it is not price-based alone," Presidential Press Sec. Jay Carney said. "We're very cognizant of the fact that Americans are experiencing a sharp rise in prices at the gas pump, and that affects them and their family budgets. And we are monitoring that very closely."

According to White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, "The withdrawal is something that only has been done on very rare occasions. There's a bunch of factors that have to be looked at, and it's not just the price…. I think there's no one who doubts that the uncertainty in the Middle East right now has caused this tremendous price increase in the last couple of weeks."

Light sweet crude: $74.87/bbl

Natural gas: $3.83/MMbtu


This month we begin a lookback at the era of “The Texans,” the rising stars of the Texas establishment whose power and influence extended far beyond the borders of America’s nation-within-a-nation, through the lens of a south Texas barbecue.

An old-fashioned barbecue was fitting. It recalled another era of prosperity, and touched a chord of memory, one of childhood promise and belief in greatness, that grand vague term that is so Texan. The President of the United States would be at Picosa, John Connally’s ranch, no extraordinary event for the bankers and oilmen, the insurance executives, contractors, real estate moguls, the entrepreneurs of electronics and data processing, and a hundred other endeavors at the forefront of the economic frontier.

It was to be not only the party of the year, but also the harbinger of the 70’s – an inaugural of Texas’s restored power at the highest level. That the White House could move to Floresville was not an idle dream to many of the guests, who had seen it move to an even unlikelier spot in Texas once before, though they would only speak of that privately and with discretion.

San Antonio lurked off to the west, devoid of the skyscrapers that graced the favored citadels of Houston and Dallas. The guests might all own spreads with registered herds, weekend ranches or citrus groves, and certainly a share of a club with a golf course expansive enough to suggest pastoral exclusion. The view did not inspire men of vision, but the imminent conversations, negotiations, and prognostications did.

Next month, the helicopter, private planes, and limousines begin to arrive.


I was an officer in the armed forces, spent a few years in the lumber business in Michigan, and three years mining salt in Louisiana before becoming a noted wildcatter. Who am I?

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


Oscar Wyatt, Jr. mortgaged his 1949 Ford to bankroll his first oil company (the Hardly Able Oil Company) and later founded one of the most diversified energy companies of its day (Coastal Corp.), after becoming a “distinguished student” graduate of Texas A&M and a fighter pilot in World War II.

Congratulations to January’s winner – Jim Powers with Chevron Technical Center