Then & Now - May 2020

Then & Now - May 2020

MAY 2002

Rotary steerable, directional- drilling systems increased the rate of penetration and, in the process, saved 100 days of rig time when used to drill complex 3D well paths in the 12.25- in. and 8.5-in. hole sections of North Sea Jotan field wells, compared to conventional directional-drilled wells.

The Nile Delta and Mediterranean deepwater trend along the northern coastline of Egypt is proving to be an emerging giant gas province with an estimated 36 trillion cubic feet of gas, and ideally situated for markets in the Mediterranean region. (This is a very “noble” development.)

MAY 2009

Operators are actively involved in testing new biocides to determine the best chemical for controlling bacteria introduced in Barnett shale frac source waters, including rivers, lakes, oilfield wastewater, and recycled frac water. Fracked Barnett wells have been plagued by biogenic sulfide plugging and corrosion failures of downhole equipment, separators and storage tanks resulting from bacterial contamination.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, in an attempt to bolster his socialist spending programs, has now nationalized nearly 40 domestic and international oil service companies operating in his country, with another 20 under threat.

MAY 2016

It's reported that just 12 billion BOE of estimated recoverable reserves were discovered from conventional wells outside of North America in 2015, representing the lowest level since 1952.

Alaska’s congressional delegation calls on US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to keep three federal offshore oil and gas lease sales in waters off the state’s coast in the 2017-22 US Outer Continental Shelf program currently being prepared.


This month, can McCarthy beat the oil importers at their own game?

Rumors that McCarthy was mounting some kind of mysterious Middle Eastern excursion were already swirling when he abruptly disappeared from Houston in early November 1951. “McCarthy on Mystery Oil Junket,” read the Houston Post’s front-page story, which speculated that McCarthy might be heading to Egypt to hire the famous belly dancer Samia Gamal, who had just married a Texas playboy named Sheppard King III.

A few days later, reporters trailed McCarthy to Paris, where he was staying at the Hotel George V with Howard Hughes' one-time PR man Johnny Meyer. Each morning, a new round of speculation erupted in Houston: Where was McCarthy going – and what was he up to? The answer came when a wire-service reporter spotted him in Cairo and McCarthy admitted that he was there to look at the prospect of obtaining an oil concession in the Middle East, though he wouldn’t say where. “You can rule out Iran and Saudi Arabia,” his PR man whispered. A week later, McCarthy resurfaced, again in Cairo, grumping about an Egyptian law mandating that at least 51 percent of any Egyptian oil company be owned by Egyptians.

All that winter he engaged in a frenzy of would-be-deal-making, a plan to build a string of Shamrocks across America, a hotel in Guatemala and another in Venezuela. To top it all off – and to have any hope of financing his fanciful schemes, not one of which ever saw the light of day – McCarthy announced he was starting a new oil  company and intended to sell its shares to the public on the New York Stock Exchange.  

Next month, has McCarthy outlived his usefulness?

No History Quiz this month, as no entries were received as of the editorial date for either the March or April quizzes.