Then & Now - September 2020

Then & Now - September 2020


Expandable-tubular technology advances as the industry extends its application from the drilling environment, where carbon-steel expandable tubulars reduce the telescopic effects of well construction, to corrosion-resistant alloy (CRA) production liners with gas-tight connections.

Industry officials praise the key findings of a draft report by the US Environmental Protection Agency that found hydraulic fracturing of coalbed methane wells does not contaminate underground drinking water sources.

Light, sweet crude: $28.66/bbl

Natural gas: $3.23/MMbtu


Shell installs the world’s deepest production spar at Perdido in 8,000 feet of water and about eight miles north of the international maritime border with Mexico. It's to be used for gathering, processing and exporting production from three fields, namely, Great White, Tobago and Silvertip.

BP will reportedly pay $1.9 billion for a 25 percent interest in Chesapeake’s Fayetteville shale assets covering 540,000 net acres, which the companies believe could support the drilling of as many as 6,700 future horizontal wells.

Light, sweet crude: $115.63/bbl

Natural gas: $8.01/MMbtu

US active rig count: 2,031


Republican senators from North Dakota and South Dakota promoting the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline are blockaded by Democratic senators from California and Rhode Island, thus delaying progress on implementation.

A comprehensive study of Plains Exploration & Production Co.'s Inglewood oil field in southern California's Los Angeles basin (often referred to as the Hollywood oil field), found no adverse environmental effects from two hydraulically fractured test wells.

Light, sweet crude: $108.90/bbl

Natural gas: $3.64/MMbtu

US active rig count: 1,766


This month: Has McCarthy outlived his usefulness?

Out of frustration, Warner Mendel wrote the Equitable board that McCarthy had outlived his usefulness. He was doing more harm than good at the hotel, and Mendel couldn’t see anyone buying McCarthy’s oil properties, which appeared to be the only way Equitable could ever recoup its investment. Mendel wanted to foreclose, but before doing so, he made McCarthy one final offer. In exchange for signing over all his stock, and a promise to refrain from interfering in the Shamrock’s operations, McCarthy could keep a suite at the hotel and spend “a limited amount of money” on business entertainment. McCarthy would retain only “redemption rights,” that is, the rights to regain ownership in the unlikely event that his debt was ever repaid, which at the Shamrock’s then- rate of profitability, Mendel estimated, might occur as early as 1977.

McCarthy signed. He had no choice. Everyone issued upbeat statements to the press, while the Houston newspapers, backing McCarthy to the end, ran stories emphasizing his tenuous chance at regaining ownership.

Still, everyone knew it was over. A scant three years after its celebrated opening, the Shamrock was no longer Glen McCarthy’s. For McCarthy, the only good news was that the national publications that celebrated his rise generally failed to notice his fall. In those last few months, in fact, there had been just one eastern writer snooping around the hotel. McCarthy had met her once or twice and forgotten about it. She said she was writing a book. Her name was Edna Ferber.

Next month: Will McCarthy become the subject of a great Texas novel or just fade away? 


Born near London in the 18th century,

I studied under Sir Humphrey Davy. I became a pioneer in electromagnetism. I discovered the compound benzene.

I became a pseudo “moonshiner” by discovering how to synthesize ethyl alcohol from ethylene. Who am I?

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

There were no history quiz winners to announce this month.