Then & Now - October 2019

Then & Now - October 2019


The loosely formed Federation of Arab Emirates will take another stab at consolidating Bahrain, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al-Khaimah, Ajman, Umm al-Qaiwain and Fujairah into a united governmental entity with a capital, president and percentage representation of each state in its government.

U.S. drilling continues to ride its best surge in 10 years, thanks largely to new activity in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Kansas.

U.S. active rig count: 1,220


Exxon files claims against the US Coast Guard to recover costs of the Exxon Valdez tanker spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, claiming Coast Guard negligence was partly to blame.

Mining Kuwait’s oil fields, Saddam Hussein takes the first step towards implementation of his threat to destroy oil production facilities in the Persian Gulf if his forces in Kuwait are attacked.

WTI crude: $36.83/bbl

U.S. active rig count: 1,056


Argentina’s secretary of energy approves the first contract to Apache Corp under an incentive program to encourage development of unconventional natural gas reservoirs.

ExxonMobil announces its first entry into Ghana by reaching an agreement to buy a stake in the Jubilee offshore oil field from Kosmos Energy in a transaction reportedly worth $4 billion.

Light sweet crude: $75.74/bbl

Natural gas: $4.63/MMbtu

U.S. active rig count: 1,040


This month, we continue our look back at the rise and fall of wildcatter Glenn McCarthy, as he seeks relief from mounting financial pressures in bottles of bourbon.

McCarthy had a two-step solution for his financial woes, namely: 1) bourbon, and 2) night after night of drunken revelry. And when McCarthy drank, he fought. A Houston radio announcer sued him for $87,000 for punching him at a party. McCarthy engaged a 26-year- old Hollywood producer in a wild early-morning melee inside the Cork Club. The producer was in the club on McCarthy’s invitation and was thus surprised when McCarthy accused him of insulting behavior and punched him. When McCarthy found himself on the losing end of the melee, four burly Shamrock waiters came to his rescue and managed to chase the producer out of the club.

One of the strangest fracases occurred when McCarthy wagered $1,500 on a Texas A&M football game, but there was a mix-up, as the bookie thought McCarthy had bet on the loser rather than the winner. Upon summoning the bookie, the resulting discussion soon led to incriminatory accusations, at which point the new King of Texas launched himself onto his adversary and the fists began to fly. The incident led to a set of nasty headlines and another lawsuit, this time with claims that McCarthy held the bookie hostage at the hotel for two days.

Through it all, McCarthy’s finances continued to deteriorate. When questioned about his loan defaults and declining investments, McCarthy laughed off the questions, but signs of his distress were evident. In short order, he sold the Shell building, closed the chemical plant and the Detroit steel plant. He tried to sell the New Ulm field to Howard Hughes but couldn’t.  

Next month, McCarthy seeks financial relief at the highest levels.


What Bakken field was the site of the play’s first horizontal well?

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


The UT grad whose meteoric rise in Texas state politics came crashing down when he was unjustly associated with the Houston scandal known as “Sharpstown” was Ben Barnes.


Nathan Meehan with Gaffney, Cline & Associates.