Then & Now - October 2020

Then & Now - October 2020


Operators, including Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Inc., which operate existing Canadian oil sands projects report having a number of projects under development or on the drawing board worth an estimated $51 billion (CAD). These projects are expected to extend oil sands production from about 600,000 b/d to an expected 1.9 million b/d within a decade.

Last month’s attack on the WTC is not forecast to significantly impact hydrocarbon demand, as economic growth is expected to be sluggish.

Military demand, on the other hand, is expected to spike significantly.

Light, sweet crude: $22.47/bbl

Natural gas: $2.00/MMbtu

U.S. active rig count: 1,140


Does this analyst report sound vaguely familiar..? "With numerous wells expected to be shut in and capacity coming online, 2009 is shaping up to be an ugly year in North America.”

Reliance Industries Ltd., Mumbai, and Niko Resources Ltd., Calgary, begin a new chapter in India’s hydrocarbon production with the startup of the MA oil field in the Bay of Bengal. The MA oil field, India’s first deepwater hydrocarbon producing area, has become one of the world’s fastest greenfield deepwater developments.

Light, sweet crude: $67.80/bbl

Natural gas: $6.75/MMbtu


Fears of the impending collapse of the authoritarian regime of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro serve as a reminder of his coalitions with Cuba (military and security support), Russia (heavy oil development), and China (loans), and the puppet status of the Venezuelan leader.

Cenovus Energy Inc., Calgary, agrees to sell its Palliser crude oil and natural gas assets in southeastern Alberta to a joint venture between privately held Torxen Energy and Schlumberger Ltd. for $1.3 billion (CAD) in cash. Calgary-based Torxen, which will be the operator, is led by President and Chief Executive Officer John Brannan, the former long-time chief operating officer of Cenovus.

Light, sweet crude: $51.71/bbl

Natural gas: $2.91/MMbtu

U.S. active rig count: 913


This month... Will McCarthy become the subject of a great Texas novel, or just fade away?

Probably the best-known female novelist of mid-twentieth century America was Edna Ferber. She was a creature of effete New York literary salons, a witty, headstrong member of the Algonquin Round Table, and a lesbian, all of which made her an improbable chronicler of muscular, nouveau riche Texas. She had been famous since the mid-1920’s, when one of her early novels, “So Big,” won the Pulitzer Prize. Ferber had been mulling a novel about Texas since at least 1939, when she first toured the state. At that time, she found Texas too foreign, too outlandish, too big to easily grasp. There was a great American novel there, she decried, but not hers. “Let Michener write it,” she told a friend.

All during the 1940’s, however, Texas called to her. Though Ferber was always vague about details, her decision to actually tackle a Texas novel coincided with the 1948-49 boom in stories about its new millionaires. “Texas,” she once explained, “was leaping out at one from the pages of books, plays, magazines, newspapers. The rest of the United States regarded it with a sort of fond consternation. It was the overgrown spoiled brat, it was Peck’s Bad Boy of today. This Texas represented a convulsion of nature, strange, dramatic, stupefying.” She was especially curious about Glenn McCarthy. During one of her several visits to Texas, the two were introduced. Neither ever spoke meaningfully about their meeting.

There was no mistaking, however, that McCarthy would become the model for the tempestuous wildcatter Jett Rink, who sprang from the pages of the book Ferber decided to call “Giant.” “Giant” is the story of an oil and ranching family clearly modeled on the Kleberg clan, who ran the vast King Ranch. The Rink/McCarthy protagonist brings all the main characters together in the book’s early scenes for the massive opening of his “Conquistador Hotel” in the sprawling city of “Hermoso.” The book was released to immense sales in 1952, and four years later it was turned into a motion picture starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and a young actor named James Dean.

Next month... What’s next for McCarthy and the Shamrock?


What operator, in the news of late, was in 2008 the second-largest independent and the third-largest overall gas producer in the US?

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 English-born scientist who studied under Sir Humphrey Davy, became a pioneer in electromagnetism, discovered the compound benzene, and discovered how to synthesize ethyl alcohol from ethylene was Michael Faraday.

There were no history quiz winners to announce this month.