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Tuff Girl

Posted by john.sequeira Advocate Dec 24, 2015

Sometimes we question our individual ability to make a difference.  This story should remind you of what is possible.  If you haven't heard the story of 10 year old Peyton Watson from Katy, here is the link to her story.  As we all head into 2016, I hope it gives everyone inspiration as to what each person can do to make a difference if we just have the will to make it happen!

Together We Make Football -

Looking for something to do during the holidays?  Curl up and watch a great documentary.


I know, I'm a bit of a geek spending my time watching movies about our industry, but for many of you who've asked for some of the history, this is an interesting flick.  Paula Waggoner-Aguilar - you will love this. I'm curious too what some of the guys in our community think about it.  David Skinner, Jun Ma, Ian Charman Joel Moxley


I did a fair amount of speaking in 2015.  As a part of that research, I stumbled upon a Houston, We Have a Problem.  This documentary was released in 2009, pre shale revolution/pre-Macondo days by New Angle Media. The movie looks at the controversial sides of oil: supply and demand, prices, OPEC, the politics, and how America has played/hasn't played enough of a role in it.  It profiles presidents in the 70s, 80s up to the current Obama administration.  Industry leaders like former Shell Oil President, John Hofmeister, Paul Taylor, former VP of Anadarko, John Schiller, CEO of Energy XXI...and politicians, Harry Reid of the US Senate and the Sierra Club activists are all interviewed to get perspective. 


It's about 85 minutes.  I've probably watched it 2X now in full.  I really got a lot out of it.  I've embedded it below and listed in on the main page of The Newsroom


I'd be curious what you think about it.


"Conservation isn't the answer.  America must get to work producing more energy." - Ronald Reagan



December 20, 2015 | 6:59 PM | By Times News Service


Muscat: GE Oil & Gas has won two contracts from Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) for the supply, testing, installation and commissioning of a fleet of electric motor driven centrifugal compressors.


The compressors will be deployed as part of PDO’s Saih Nihayda Depletion Compression Phase II, Kawther Depletion Compression Phase II, Yibal Khuff Depletion, Burhaan West and Fahud Gaslift Compression projects.


The contract also covers aftermarket services for these new compressors, as well as the existing GE compressor fleet.


The contracts were signed at the Business Opportunities Forum held in Muscat, under the auspices of His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, and organised by the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) to promote the efforts and programmes of the private sector in the field of In-Country Value (ICV) creation.


In addition, GE Oil & Gas signed an agreement with PDO to extend training and development support for Omani nationals over the next 10 years, underlining its commitment to localisation and the development of human capital in Oman.


Commenting on the contracts, PDO managing director Raoul Restucci said, “We are making significant investments in strengthening our infrastructure that will enhance our productivity and help create new jobs for Omani nationals. In addition, we are focusing on strengthening local supply chain and maintenance capabilities that support Omani talent development. The contracts with GE Oil & Gas, a long-term partner of PDO, will add significant value to the national economy.”


Meanwhile, Rami Qasem, president and chief executive officer, GE Oil & Gas Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said, “Oman is one of the strategic growth hubs for GE Oil & Gas in the Middle East, where we have achieved over 90 percent Omanisation. The new contracts build on our commitment to deliver cutting-edge technology, support localised innovation and promote talent development in Oman – a key element of how GE does business in the region.”


As Oman focuses on projects to enhance oil and gas production, GE Oil & Gas is investing in its partnership with PDO by offering advanced technology and local service capabilities within Oman.


GE Oil & Gas developed the widest range of advanced technology centrifugal compressors, providing over 30,000 HP, as well as re-injection compressors catering to the harshest and most corrosive gas services, with delivery pressures as high as 10,000 psi (700 bar).


With an active presence since 1975, GE’s focus in Oman has always been to support the country in fulfilling its vision. GE has its country office in Muscat and an Electric Submersible Pumps (ESP) Field Service and Repair Center in Nimr. Serving as an energy technology partner of the Sultanate, over 300 advanced pieces of GE equipment are deployed in the country’s oil and gas sector.


GE Oil & Gas has also rolled out dedicated training programmes for Omani nationals at the Florence Oil & Gas University, a proof-point of ongoing support of Omanisation and human capital development. Further, GE has acquired land in Nizwa to develop a workshop for local repairs and services to strengthen its local capabilities.


GE is the world’s digital industrial company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive.


Times of Oman


Copyright © 2015 Muscat Media Group.

for-and-against-crude-oil-export-ban-inside.jpgJust short of midnight, Congress voted on fiscal policies that would avoid a government shutdown and will lift the ban on oil exports in the United States.  With WTI and Brent crude a very volatile $30-ish and the Fed's decision due out today on interest rates, its going to be an interesting few days, weeks, and months ahead.


Does this mean jobs will come back?  Hold your breath.  A report out today says crude could be back to $100 in the next year. One day OPEC says they'll continue to pump and when the price falls a few bucks we see reports that OPEC expects prices to rise.



Does this mean the US will begin exporting crude tomorrow and it will solve our over-supply problem?  No.


I think we all need to hunker down and take 2016 for what its worth: it's going to be a hard year, really hard. In the past 2 weeks I've seen some of the most talented people shed -- really good people with plenty of runway ahead of them (30-40 somethings), are now on the job market. Grads aren't getting jobs and many students are backing off from petroleum degrees or extending time in school. Cuts are going deeper than I've ever seen.


I have no economic crystal ball but what I do know is that our world needs energy. Powering the modern world requires fossil fuels. And the industry needs good people.  It needs us.  And while truck sales will continue to soar and Americans enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of cheap oil, at some point prices will rise.  What I find strange is that we're worried about climate change (a la Paris) but that cheap crude could actually be creating more emissions.  (I guess cheap energy and the climate discussion can exist in the same breath?!)


But what I think ought to be different about this downturn is how we rebound and run our businesses after the recovery. Plain and simple. I believe our industry gets bloated, real fast.  We often spend more than what we need when we could approach the value chain with more efficiency. This culture of spending and excess needs to stop. I'm tired of the rubber band...seeing spending soar and then dramatic drops.  We have to find a comfortable balance.  As a project manager I used to have to detail my spending and show the return on investment.  And after several of my early career years of working in the downstream, I came to appreciate small margins. We just didn't have room to spend. My time most recently spent in Upstream was completely different. We spent too much often throwing resources and money at things we probably should have evaluated with more scrutiny.  Why aren't we providing more scrutiny to everything we do, despite commodity prices?  It's just the right thing to do and it makes good business sense.


I'm optimistic. Despite all the economic and political woes, these are indeed interesting times and we have even more interesting times ahead.  But there's no better business than energy. 


What do you think about the lift on the ban?  Are you seeing more layoffs? Unemployed or in school right now - are you planning to stick it out? How do you think we can change the cost conversation and culture in our industry?


I'd love to hear your views.

By David Benoit and Ryan Dezember

Published: Dec 14, 2015 7:49 a.m. ET

Shake-up comes four months after Carl Icahn took a big stake in the company

Getty Images

Charif Souki, CEO of Cheniere Energy


Cheniere Energy Inc.’s board has voted to replace Chief Executive Charif Souki, as the company prepares to become the first to export natural gas from the mainland U.S.

The shake-up comes four months after activist investor Carl Icahn took a big stake in the company and won two board seats.

Souki couldn’t be reached for comment.

The decision occurred at a weekend board meeting, where directors looked to clamp down on Souki’s goal of building the company beyond its core plan of exporting liquefied natural gas, or LNG, according to people familiar with the matter.

Souki has proposed the company build a second facility in Texas before its first, in Louisiana, is up and running. He has also suggested the company, which hasn’t turned a profit in its 19 years in business, could expand into other parts of the energy industry.

Cheniere’s LNG, -2.13%  directors felt the company needed a more experienced operator as it nears completion of its Louisiana export facility, the people said. Neal A. Shear, a director, will take over as chief executive on an interim basis while Cheniere hunts for a new leader. Director Andrea Botta will serve as the company’s chairman.

Copyright ©2015 MarketWatch, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Crude History of Mabel’s Eyelashes

When a young New York chemist distills paraffin from booming Pennsylvania oilfields into petroleum jelly – Vaseline – his invention will lead to a popular mascara and Maybelline cosmetics.

vaseline maybelline

Robert Chesebrough will find a way to purify the waxy paraffin-like substance that clogged oil wells in early Pennsylvania petroleum fields. Photo courtesy Unilever.


Robert Chesebrough consumed a spoonful of Vaseline each day and lived to be 96. Photo courtesy the Drake Well Museum, Titusville, Pennsylvania.

Few associate 1860s oil wells with women’s smiling faces, but they are fashionably related.

This is the story of how goop that accumulated around the sucker rods of America’s earliest  oil wells made its way to the eyelashes of American women.

In 1865, a 22-year-old chemist left the prolific oil fields of Titusville, Pennsylvania, to return to his Brooklyn, New York, laboratory and experiment with a waxy substance that clogged well heads.

Even before America’s first commercial oil well was drilled in Titusville, Pennsylvania, in 1859, young Chesebrough had dabbled in the “coal oil” business. His expertise was distilling cannel coal into kerosene – an illuminant in high demand among consumers.

Chesebrough knew of the process for refining oil into kerosene, so when Edwin L. Drake’s historic oil discovery launched the U.S. petroleum industry, he was one of many who rushed to the Titusville oilfields to make his fortune.

Scientific American reported, “Now commenced a scene of excitement beyond description. The Drake well was immediately thronged with visitors arriving from the surrounding country, and within two or three weeks thousands began to pour in from the neighboring States.”

Robert Chesebrough’s fortune was out there somewhere; he just had to find it.

Purified Sucker Rod Wax

In the midst of the Venango County oilfield chaos, the young chemist noted that drilling was often confounded by a waxy paraffin-like substance that clogged the wellhead and drew the curses of riggers who had to stop drilling to scrape away the stuff.

The only virtue of this goopy oil field “sucker rod wax” was as an immediately available first aid for the abrasions, burns, and other wounds routinely afflicting the crews.

Chesebrough eventually abandoned his notion of drilling a gusher and returned to New York, where he worked in his laboratory to purify the troublesome sucker-rod wax, which he dubbed “petroleum jelly.”

By August of 1865, he had filed the first of several patents “for purifying petroleum or coal oils by filtration.”

Chesebrough experimented with the purported analgesic effect of his extract by inflicting minor cuts and burns on himself, then applying his purified petroleum jelly.

He gave it to Brooklyn construction workers to treat their minor scratches and abrasions.

On June 4, 1872, Chesebrough patented a new product that would endure to this day – “Vaseline.”  His patent extolled Vaseline’s virtues as a leather treatment, lubricator, pomade, and balm for chapped hands.

Chesebrough soon had a dozen wagons distributing the product around New York.Customers used the “wonder jelly” creatively: treating cuts and bruises, removing stains from furniture, polishing wood surfaces, restoring leather, and preventing rust.


Chesebrough experimented by inflicting minor cuts and burns on himself, then applying his purified petroleum jelly.

Within 10 years, Americans were buying it at the rate of a jar a minute.

An 1886 issue of Manufacture and Builder even reported, “French bakers are making large use of vaseline in cake and other pastry.

Its advantage over lard or butter lies in the fact that, however stale the pastry may be, it will not become rancid.”

Flavor notwithstanding, Chesebrough himself consumed a spoonful of Vaseline each day. He lived to be 96 years old.

Mabel’s Eyelashes

It was not long before thrifty young ladies found another use for Vaseline.


Chesebrough’s female customers used toothpicks to mix Vaseline with lamp black and make mascara. By 1917, Tom Williams was selling premixed “Lash-Brow-Ine” by mail-order. Photo courtesy Sharrie Williams.


Women were using Vaseline to make mascara by 1915. Cosmetic industry giant Maybelline traces its roots to the petroleum product. “What a Difference Maybelline Does Make” magazine ad from 1937.

As early as 1834, the popular book Toilette of Health, Beauty, and Fashion had suggested alternatives to the practice of darkening eyelashes with elderberry juice or a mixture of frankincense, resin, and mastic.

“By holding a saucer over the flame of a lamp or candle, enough ‘lamp black’ can be collected for applying to the lashes with a camel-hair brush,” the book advised.

Chesebrough’s female customers found that mixing lamp black with Vaseline using a toothpick made an impromptu mascara.

The story goes that in 1913, Miss Mabel Williams employed just such a concoction preparing for a date. Williams was dating Chet Hewes.

Perhaps using coal dust or some other readily available darkening agent, she applied the mixture to her eyelashes for a date.  Her brother, Thomas Lyle Williams, was intrigued by her method and decided to add Vaseline in the mixture, notes a Maybelline company history.

Another version of the story, written by his grandniece Sharrie Williams, has Mabel demonstrating  “a secret of the harem” for her brother.

“In 1915, when a kitchen stove fire singed his sister Mabel’s lashes and brows, Tom Lyle Williams watched in fascination as she performed what she called ‘a secret of the harem’ – mixing petroleum jelly with coal dust and ash from a burnt cork and applying it to her lashes and brows,” Sharrie Williams writes in her 2007 book, The Maybelline Story.

“Mabel’s simple beauty trick ignited Tom’s imagination and he started what would become a billion-dollar business,” concludes Williams. Inspired by his sister’s example, he began selling the mixture by mail-order catalog, calling it “Lash-Brow-Ine” (an apparent concession to the mascara’s Vaseline content). Women loved it.


Silent screen stars like Theda Bara, right, helped glamorize Maybelline mascara, which by the 1930s was available at five-and-dime store for 10 cents a cake.

It soon became clear that his “Lash-Brow-Ine” had potential, despite the product’s less than memorable name. In honor of his sister Mabel (she married Chet Hewes in 1926), Chesebrough renamed the mascara “Maybelline.”

An unlikely petroleum product.

Whatever its petroleum product beginnings, Hollywood helped expand the Williams family cosmetics empire. The 1920s silent screen had brought new definitions to glamour. Theda Bara – an anagram for “Arab Death” – and Pola Negri, each with daring eye makeup, smoldered in packed theaters across the country.

Maybelline trumpeted its mail-order mascara in movie and confession magazines as well as Sunday newspaper supplements. Sales continued to climb. By the 1930s, Maybelline mascara was available at the local five-and-dime store for 10 cents a cake.vaseline

Today, both Vaseline, now part of Unilever, and Maybelline, a subsidiary of L’Oréal, continue with highly successful products, distantly removed from northwestern Pennsylvania’s antique derricks and oil wells. Unilever’s Park Avenue public relations agency, M Booth & Associates of New York, proclaims:

“From Vaseline Petroleum Jelly – the ‘Wonder Jelly’ introduced in 1870, to Vaseline Intensive Care Lotion…Vaseline products have helped deliver healthy, moisturized skin for 135 years.”

Source:  American Oil and Gas Historical Society

BAKU (Reuters) - Thirty-two workers have died after an offshore oil platform operated by Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR caught fire in the Caspian Sea, the head of an independent committee said on Saturday.


SOCAR declined repeated requests for comment from Reuters.


"According to our information, 32 workers died, while 42 workers were rescued last night. ... The fire on the platform was finally extinguished," said Mirvari Gakhramanly, head of Azerbaijan's Oil Workers' Rights Protection Committee.


SOCAR said on Friday that the fire on a platform in Azerbaijan's Guneshli oil field had started after a gas pipeline on the platform was damaged in heavy wind. It said rescue attempts were being complicated by a severe storm.


One worker called a Reuters correspondent from the platform and said there were 84 people trapped there. The worker did not want to be named. It was not clear whether his statement was now out of date.








SOCAR said on its Facebook page on Saturday that 26 workers had been rescued from the platform. It did not give details on whether there had been deaths or how many people were initially on the platform.


Around 60 percent of SOCAR's oil production passes via the platform where the fire broke out, meaning the company's output will be temporarily hit.


The bulk of Azerbaijan's oil is produced elsewhere, however, including on fields operated by British oil major BP (BP.L).


BP Azerbaijan was not available for comment on Saturday on whether adverse weather in the Caspian or the fire on SOCAR's platform had affected its production.


In a separate incident, SOCAR said on Friday that three workers were missing from another of its offshore oil platforms in the Caspian after an accident during the storm. The workers were still missing as of Saturday.


Fourteen workers were killed in accidents on SOCAR's oil and gas platforms in 2014.


(Reporting by Nailia Bagirova; Writing by Margarita Antidze; Editing by Alexander Winning and Stephen Powell)




32 workers die after fire on Azeri oil platform: committee head| Reuters