Then & Now - November 2021

Then & Now - November 2021


The country boasting the second largest city in South America reports a three-well drilling program spurred by a discovery well that is currently producing 2,000 b/d of heavy crude. PetroTal, based in Calgary and Houston, will be the operator. Without Googling, how many of you can name the second largest city in South America? The answer will be hidden somewhere in the text that follows.

The IEA forecasts oil supply outstripping demand throughout 2019, with US production increasing by 2.1 MMbbl in 2018 and an additional 1.3 MMbbl in 2019, but nevertheless, oil prices should not fall precipitously during this period.

The Ichthys project’s production is forecasted to elevate Australia to top LNG exporter, and its annual production should overtake that of Qatar within a year.


The UK government has imposed a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing due to the threat of induced earthquakes, and in the process, it’s retreating from its avowed support of natural gas and shale development.

Encana, once a Calgary-based oil and gas industry anchor, is changing its name to Ovintiv, adopting a headquarter-less model, and moving south to the US.

Not a bad quarter for the majors, as Shell reports Q3 earnings of $4.8 billion, ExxonMobil $3.2 billion and Chevron $2.6 billion.


The Northern Endurance Partnership between BP, Eni, Equinor, National Grid PLC, Royal Dutch Shell and Total is formed to develop CO2 transportation and storage infrastructure for the UK Lima North Sea.

Calcasieu Pass receives the first two liquification trains at its 10-million-tpy LNG plant in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

The Trump administration is asking companies to nominate tracts for an upcoming oil and gas lease sale on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) that should prepare the way for a lease sale in January.


This month, we meet some of the oilfield contingent and the empire builders.

There were many famous in oil, hard-bitten wildcatters unaccustomed to sartorial elegance, survivors of the chaotic oil boom like Jake Hamon and Monty Moncrief who had no illusions about politicians; second-generation oilmen were smoother. Amon Carter, Jr., displayed a lack of enthusiasm for his father’s legacy, whether it was the oil wells or the publishing empire of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, but he enjoyed the gathering. Likewise, was Corbin Robertson, son- in-law of one of the wealthiest oilmen, Hugh Roy Cullen, and Paul Haas, the host’s friend and oil operator from Corpus Christi.

Perry Bass, nephew of perhaps the most famous wildcatter of all, Sid Richardson, was also present. Richardson had been Connally’s financial mentor, and Bass had been Connally’s partner in settling the Richardson estate, which netted Connally close to a million dollars while he was governor.

The stocky czar of the Houston insurance empire, Gus Wortham, moved through the ceremony with characteristic abruptness. He had built up American General Insurance from scratch, and still ran it and other enterprises with an iron hand. Johnson had often visited Wortham’s cattle auctions at the 9-Bar Ranch while he was President, slipping secretly away from Washington in Air Force One. They frequently talked by telephone in those years. Once, Johnson asked to speak to Wortham’s black chauffeur, Lester. “Do you know who this is?” Johnson asked, and when Lester said he did not, Johnson told him it was the President. Then Johnson prompted, “Lester, what does it feel like to be talking to the President of the United States?”

The courtly, gaunt H. B. Zachry represented most of the political money in San Antonio. He backed Connally in 1961, helping him carry South Texas. Zachry’s construction firm did millions of dollars’ worth of business in Texas annually. His name was well known, but not his face nor his opinions. “A dictatorship is the best form of government,” he would say in a later interview, musing about politics. “That is, if you have a real good dictator. But the system always falls apart after the first one.”

Next month, we meet the developers, including the man that reportedly lost more money on paper in the stock market than any other American in history.


Where did the first major gas discoveries occur in the Alberta province of Canada?

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


California’s first well drilled over water from an island structure was located off Seal Beach.


Congratulations to October’s winner, Walt Laflin with Advanced Engineering Solutions.