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1.  Agreements to cut oil output still in limbo.


As oil prices still hover around the $50 mark, OPEC and non-OPEC countries continue the struggle to find a common solution for oil output cuts.  Recent talks were aimed at agreeing upon a coordinated action to address the global oil supply glut but they ended with a resolution only to continue discussions the next scheduled meeting in November.  This internal disagreement has obstructed efforts to secure cuts from non-OPEC members including Russia and Brazil.  Additionally, both Iran and Iraq are still both seeking exemptions from the agreement, with Iran increasing its output after sanctions were lifted and Iraq arguing it needs the continued revenues to fund the fight against Isis.


2.  GE inks deal with Baker Hughes


General Electric Co. and Baker Hughes inked a deal to combine their oil-and-gas business.  Estimated to be a roughly $30 billion deal it would give GE a cost-effective way to take advantage any recovery in the industry.


The deal would entail GE contributing its oil-and-gas business and some cash to the new entity, which would have publicly traded shares and be majority-owned and controlled by GE. 

This agreement would be the latest large scale merger to be announced in recent days, after AT&T Inc. agreed to buy Time Warner Inc. for $85 billion and Qualcomm Inc. agreed to buy NXP Semiconductors NV for $39 billion.  However, there is no guarantee of a GE-Baker Hughes deal. The last merger Baker Hughes attempted with Halliburton Co. was rejected by anti-trust regulators.


3.  Energy slumps still effecting large oil producers.


Looking at the world’s largest publicly-traded oil producers, their third-quarter earnings fell well below year-earlier levels, providing further evidence that their businesses face a long road to financial recovery.  Even though many companies and analysts are taking an optimistic position in regard to the recent oil price crash, with crude still trading around $50 a barrel, we are far from out of the woods.


Exxon Mobil Corp. Chevron Corp., Statoil ASA and others are generally reporting profits lower than a year ago, and for the last 12 months, earnings for these industry giants is the lowest in more than 15 years.  Exxon, the world's largest publicly-traded oil producer, reported a 38% decline in quarterly profit and Chevron said its quarterly profit fell 35% from a year earlier to $1.3 billion. Each is looking ahead to 2017 for more opportunity with a modest recovery.  

The battle between renewable and nonrenewable energy is one that could go on forever. Some people believe renewable energy will save the future and others believe fossil fuel is still going strong.

Some people believe renewable energy is cost effective and efficient enough to replace all fossil fuels in the future. According to a study by researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, approximately 80% of the electricity in US would be generated from renewable energy sources by the end of 2050. While it is possible for renewable energy to generate over a third of electricity in the future; getting to that level will be a long and challenging road. Solar, wind, and other renewables have always been predicted to increase in use over time. However, there are still many barriers for renewables in replacing oil, coal, and natural gas to be the primary sources of energy. It is one thing to supplement energy production and another to replace the production of fossil fuel all together.

Fossil fuels and uranium have collectively dominated the nation’s electricity supply. In 2007 they accounted for just over 91 percent of the electricity generated in the U.S. At the same time, hydroelectric power supplied only 5.8 percent and other renewables supplied 2.5 percent. With fossil fuel still supplying a majority of the energy in the U.S. it is unreasonable to believe renewable energy could completely take over especially at the rate it currently grows. Also to even be considered competitive against fossil fuel technologies; renewables would have to overcome huge barriers in commercialization, maintenance and the initial investments needed to build infrastructure in order for production to grow. These are barriers fossil fuel energy has had years to work through and create technology to overcome.

A more realistic approach to this energy battle is for renewable energy and fossil fuels working together as sources of electricity generation. Renewable energy is the healthier option for the environment, no one will argue otherwise. Someday renewable energy might be able to replace fossil fuels, but a lot would have to go bad for fossil fuels, and renewable energy would need a miracle in growth and efficiency. Finding a balance between the two is more important than stopping cold turkey on the most used form of energy, and expecting one that’s still working out its kinks to take over.

Peak Oil is an idea that eventually the world will run out of oil production. While it is true U.S. oil production declined between 1970 and 2000, globally it has increased at a consistent rate from 1964 to 2015.


In 1956 geologist and physicist M. King Hubbert said, “The end of the oil age is in sight, if present trends continue production will peak in 1995 -- the deadline for alternative forms of energy that must replace petroleum in the sharp drop-off that follows.”  When Hubbert made this prediction it was based on the idea that there were only 628 oil reserves and failed to include the idea of using other fossil fuel sources such as shale and tar sands. Since Hubbert didn’t take into account multiple fuel sources and advancement in extraction technology, his theory has become largely outdated.


 Now, due to a rapid increase of advanced technology in drilling and exploration tactics production shows very little sign of running out. According to the latest data from Energy Intelligence Group, oil production is firmly above 90 million barrels per day.


While Hubbert’s reasoning might be outdated, it doesn’t mean he was entirely wrong about having a “drop off.” The reality of the situation is much different from oil simply running out.


A more plausible likelihood than the world simply running out of oil, is that low wages and lack of debt availability will keep production from rising. This effect would slow extraction for oil producers; costing them more time, money and ultimately giving them no reason to continue investing in technology to keep up production. If there’s a threat to oil production it’s less likely to be from running out of resources, and more likely to be from the negative effects of economic disruption.


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Community News

by  Valerie Jones - Rigzone Staff

Jenny Philip, senior manager, economic research for the Greater Houston Partnership, discussed the future of Houston’s energy workforce at WorkforceNEXT's Fall Summit Oct. 20. Houston has lost 24,700 mining and logging jobs since the beginning of the industry downturn (December 2014).

“Houston is the energy capital of the world,” said Philip. “We love to boast about that in $100 oil, but we also have to own that in $26 oil or our current $52 oil.”

We’re on the verge of approaching $54 per barrel oil, which Philip said is when many energy analysts believe we will start seeing more exploration and production activity and hiring.

In a September meeting, OPEC agreed to cut oil production, but Philip said market fundamentals are holding back a surge in oil prices.

“If you look at supply and demand, you have to take into account not only the production that is already occurring, but the amount of surplus capacity that has been built up throughout the course of the downturn,” she said. “Right now, we’re at about three billion [barrels] and we’re not able to draw down on these inventories in a significant way until next year.”

Those aren’t great market fundamentals to support a huge oil price increase, but there is movement toward a $55-$60 oil price environment, she added.

Assuming the price trough of $26 oil in Feb. 2016 is the lowest the industry will see this downturn, Philip said typically it will take two or three quarters to see drilling pick back up, which is happening now. Two or three quarters after that, we’ll see an uptick in hiring.

“We’re not going to see a huge hiring binge. As the industry recovers, significant hiring is still being held off,” Philip said. “The concern with energy industry hiring is that a lot of the technological advances that were employed during the downturn actually cannibalized human capital. The projects that were hiring were the ones looking at technologies to take people out of the workforce.”

Similar to adjusted expectations to the rig count and oil price, the industry has to adjust its expectation of the head count post-downturn.

Moving into 2017 and 2018, Houston isn’t expecting to see a recovery like it did coming out of the Great Recession in 2009, said Philip.

“What took us into the Great Recession was a financial crisis,” she said. “What took us into this downturn was specifically about energy. Houston’s employment continued to grow, even with the volatility of oil prices.”     

Katya Golubkova & Shadia Nasralla

VIENNA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Energy ministers from Russia and Qatar along with OPEC's secretary general discussed possible joint action to stabilise the oil market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said ahead of OPEC's meeting next month aiming to cement a deal agreed in Algiers.

Russia is the world's largest oil producer but not a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its budget has been hit by low oil prices, the same as for many OPEC nations.

Novak, in Vienna after visiting Saudi Arabia over the weekend for talks with Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih, said sharp falls in the price of crude threatened to trigger an oil deficit and unpredictable volatility in prices.

"That's why ... (an oil output) freeze or even a cut for a certain period of time is a right decision for global energy ... Being a short-term measure, an oil output cap may help to lower volatility in the market and make it more stable," Novak said.

Last month in Algiers, OPEC agreed modest output cuts that are due to be set in stone in the coming weeks. The goal is to trim production to a range of 32.50-33.0 million barrels per day (bpd).

"We have in detail discussed ... current situation (on oil market) and different mechanisms and options of joint actions," Novak told a briefing after talks with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed al-Sada and OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo.

Russia is ramping up its oil output amid weak oil prices, as weak rouble and investments made in previous years are helping its oil sector. In September, Russian oil output hit another post-Soviet high of 11.1 million barrels per day (bpd).

On Monday, Novak repeated that an oil output freeze is "an effective tool Russia is ready for (in a move) to balance the market". Yet he said that Moscow was considering "different options," but declined to provide details.

Read the full article


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Catalyst’s Exclusive Findings Reveal the Toll of Exclusionary Work Climates on the Well-Being of Black Professionals

Feeling like they have to outwork and outperform others is the norm for many Black professionals. As a result, both Black women and Black men may experience a psychological burden related to navigating work climates in which they may not feel valued for their unique contributions. In its new report, Emotional Tax: How Black Women and Men Pay More at Work and How Leaders Can Take Action (Emotional Tax), Catalyst shares new data—prepared exclusively for ESSENCE magazine—revealing an “emotional tax” that Black professionals can feel and, most critically, acknowledging the heightened experiences of being different from peers at work because of their gender and/or race/ethnicity and the associated detrimental effects on their health, well-being, and the ability to thrive at work.

The study shares observations from nearly 650 Black women and Black men in the United States including non-management professionals, first-level managers, middle managers, senior executives, and CEO/entrepreneurs whose occupations span various business sectors. Respondents’ comments about their experiences at work paint a clear picture about aspects of emotional tax in action—feeling they have to be “on guard,” disrupting their sleep patterns, and reducing their sense of psychological safety—which resulted in some participants feeling like they must simply accept things as “just the way they are” and “suck it up.”
Among the report’s key findings:  

  • Black Women and Black Men Want Similar Things Out of Life: Influence, Power, and Purpose—Eighty-seven percent of Black women and 85 percent of Black men want to be influential leaders, 81 percent of Black women and 82 percent of Black men want to obtain a high-ranking position and 89 percent of both Black women and Black men want to engage in challenging and intellectually stimulating work.
  • Black Women and Men Feel Set Apart from Co-Workers and That They Must Be “On Guard”—Fifty-four percent of survey respondents who said they felt different because of their gender and race/ethnicity believed they had to be “on guard” when at work, compared with only 34 percent of those who did not feel different from their colleagues on either.
  • Emotional Tax Is Also Linked to Sleep Problems for Black Women and Black Men—Forty-five percent of Black professionals who felt different from their colleagues on gender and race/ethnicity said they had sleep troubles compared with only 25 percent of those who did not feel different on either.
  • Psychological Safety May Relieve the Emotional Tax Paid by Black Professionals—Among those surveyed, 54 percent of those who didn’t feel different on either gender or race/ethnicity felt psychologically safe (or feel like their team members “have your back”), compared to 34 percent of those who felt different on either gender, race/ethnicity, or both.

“Partnering with ESSENCE presented Catalyst with an opportunity to explore the unique experiences of Black professionals at work, specifically identifying what happens to our minds, bodies, and spirits when we feel set apart, undervalued, and not heard in the workplace, despite our hard work and organizational best efforts to foster inclusion,” said Dnika J. Travis, PhD, Vice President, Women of Color Research & Center Leader, Catalyst Research Center for Corporate Practice. “We believe everyone—whether working in the C-suite, on the front-lines, as entrepreneurs, managers or in junior positions—has a role to play in lessening emotional tax and its effects on the careers of Black women and men.”
Findings from Emotional Tax are featured prominently in ESSENCE’s November 2016 issue in the article titled “Black Women and the Burden of Success: How to Get Around 'Black Tax' and Protect Your Emotional Health at Work.”
ESSENCE partnered with Catalyst on this research because we believe the better our audience is informed about the challenges and opportunities they have to rise in their careers, the more empowered we will be,” said Vanessa De Luca, Editor-in-Chief, ESSENCE magazine. “It is admirable that Catalyst has taken the initiative to dig deeper and find the reasons why women of color get stuck on their career journey. Identifying the obstacles can help us to make career decisions that change the success narrative.”
Emotional Tax is part of Catalyst’s Gender, Race, and Ethnicity in the Workplace Research Initiative, which focuses on developing knowledge and strategies to help leaders and organizations create inclusive organizations where all can thrive and succeed. Forthcoming research will examine emotional tax across communities of color, including Asian, Black and Latino professionals.

Learn more about Emotional Tax: How Black Women and Men Pay More at Work and How Leaders Can Take Action


New York, New York - October 11, 2016

Why Women in STEM?

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) skills have been identified as necessary to remain economically competitive as a country, and many have pointed out that all of society benefits when diverse teams tackle technological and scientific problems. Yet, women are persistently underrepresented in many STEM fields, where the disparity begins in college classrooms.  And, it has a historical basis.


Women’s underrepresentation in STEM fields is not a recent phenomenon. Historically, women’s formal educational opportunities limited access to the hard sciences and technology fields. Many women who were able to acquire formal education were subsequently denied employment or full employment in these areas. Generations of women struggled to achieve success in what were viewed as male domains.


LIFE Photo Collection

Little girl peering through microscope-type instrument, eyeballing N. Amer. Exhibit attraction (no caps), at Field Museum of Natural History



Ethiopian Mineral, Petroleum and Biofuel Corp. is discussing a partnership with a unit of China Poly Group, the first of a series of deals with foreign investors it’s planning to exploit natural-resource deposits in the country.


State-owned EMPBC, established earlier this year, plans to take minority stakes in extractive operations as one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies strives to become globally competitive in the resource industry, Chief Executive Officer Mulugeta Seid said. Poly-GCL Petroleum Group, part owned by China Poly, plans to spend $4 billion developing gas deposits in the east of the country, according to the company.


“We’ll invite international companies to work with us,” Mulugeta said in an interview Oct. 19 in Addis Ababa, the capital. “We will be the commercial partner of the international companies on behalf of the government.”

Ethiopia exported $2.6 billion of minerals during a five-year growth plan that ended July 7, less than the $2.8 billion targeted in the final year of the program, as global commodity prices plunged. Tullow Oil Plc suspended exploration in the south in 2014, while Israel Chemicals Ltd. exited a $1-billion potash project this month, blaming a dispute with Ethiopia’s tax authority. The government wants to increase foreign-exchange earnings from sales of minerals, oil and gas to $2 billion a year by 2020 from $344 million last year.


Gas Fields

Poly-GCL is developing the Calub and Hilala gas fields, which may contain 4.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the government. The concessions in Ethiopia’s Somali region were previously operated by Petronas Bhd of Malaysia and then PetroTrans, a Hong Kong-based company that lost an international arbitration case in January over the cancellation of its licenses. After the agreements were revoked in 2012, the government established the Petroleum Development Enterprise, which has been incorporated into EMPBC.


The corporation has 4 billion birr ($180 million) of cash and assets, with authorization to increase that amount to 15 billion birr. It will pursue a carried interest of as much as 15 percent in projects, which will be paid for from revenue, Mulugeta said. The corporation is targeting sales of $500 million a year by 2025.

Planned investments include industrial-mineral and biofuels processing, a tantalum mine and building a drilling rig, as it aims to rival entities like Brazil’s Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Mulugeta said.

Calls to the mobile phones of three China Poly representatives in Ethiopia weren’t answered or didn’t connect when Bloomberg sought comment.



Banner image:   Ethiopia Simien Mountains National Park -

1. Russia and Saudi Arabia sign memorandum of cooperation concerning oil and gas sectors.


Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday for meetings regarding the oil, gas, and electricity sectors of the two countries.  After discussions, Saudi Minister Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalin bin Abdel Aziz al-Falih stated that the viewpoints of the two countries is getting closer and they have already begun implementation of a number of joint projects, including the exchange of experience and technologies in the oil and gas sectors.


This news comes prior to the November 30th OPEC meeting where it is anticipated they will determine which members will reduce their output and by how much.


2. Surprising inventory decline spurs an oil and energy ETF rally.


Global excess has continued to weigh down oil prices and the energy markets, but with the news from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that U.S. crude storage levels declined for yet another week (bigger-than-expected 5.2 million barrels in the week ended October 14), the market seemed to react favorably. 


In the equities market, oil services-related ETF’s (exchange traded funds) led gains last week.


VanEck Vectors Oil Service ETF (NYSEArca: OIH) was up 3.6%


SPDR Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEArca: XES) was up 3.7%


iShares Dow Jones U.S. Oil Equipment Index ETF’s (NYSEArca: IEZ) was up 3.6%


And the broader Energy Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLE), the largest equity-based energy ETF, was up 2.1%


3. Caelus Energy announced last week it made one of the largest U.S. oil finds in recent history.


On Alaska's North Slope, Caelus Energy discovered nearly 6B barrels of light oil in the shallow waters of Smith Bay.  Although it may not be able to supply oil to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline until approximately 2022, the independent driller is hoping that a discovery this large and production on that scale could help turn the tide for an energy-dependent state whose oil output has been in decline for three decades.


However, there are some challenges ahead for both Caelus and the state of Alaska to work out a deal.  The two-year oil price downturn forced Alaska to pare down their tax incentives that were implemented to attract fossil fuel explorers like Caelus Energy in the first place.  And concurrently, the Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has stated she will seek to eliminate $60 billion in federal tax benefits and loopholes for the energy industry, and push for policies aimed at building more renewable fuel sources and reducing U.S. oil consumption.


Yet even with these obstacles, the state of Alaska and Caelus Energy are confident they can arrange a beneficial agreement for both parties concerning the new discovery.

| Politics | Dallas News     
Profile image for Tom Benning Tom Benning, Washington Bureau



For John Dudley, wind power in Texas is a “win-win.”

The 72-year-old rancher in Comanche County, two hours southwest of Dallas, hails the large wind farm that sits partly on his land as a boon to the local tax base. He appreciates the nice business sideline to his cattle operation. He even likes how the massive turbines look.


But as the world awaits the legal fate of the Clean Power Plan — the sweeping climate change proposal that, among other things, would boost the wind industry — Dudley also admits that he doesn’t “much favor” the federal government telling “states what they should and shouldn’t do.”


“I’m a big believer in states’ rights,” said Dudley, who declined to comment specifically on the plan.

That kind of conflict underscores Texas’ complicated role in the ongoing debate over President Barack Obama’s signature proposal to cut power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions.


Texas is better positioned than many states to meet the plans’ markers, thanks to market forces that have elevated natural gas, wind and solar. But the state, a hotbed of opposition to what some call a costly overreach, also has certain features that could prove challenging.


With both sides digging in, Texas could help answer a key question raised recently in oral arguments before a federal appeals court: Just how transformational is the Clean Power Plan?


“The devil is in the details, but they are both right,” said Kenneth Medlock, senior director of Rice University's Center for Energy Studies.



If Obama's climate change plan is upheld in court, what would it mean for Texas? | Politics | Dallas News                

The Environmental Protection Agency last year issued the plan, which seeks by 2030 to cut power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions by a third from 2005 levels. The proposal was critical to the White House joining other nations in a global agreement to combat climate change.


Under the plan, EPA would task each state with an emissions goal. By 2030, Texas would have to cut 51 million tons from its annual average of 241 million tons in 2012. The regulations would target coal-fired electric plants and, thus, would hit coal states like West Virginia the hardest.


But the states would also be given some flexibility.

“We’re not going to dictate to you exactly how you do it,” Obama said recently. “But if you don’t start reducing them, you’re going to have problems.”


Still, Texas and 27 states last year sued the EPA. The U.S. Supreme Court paused the plan in February. A federal appeals court heard the case last month, with a ruling expected in the next several weeks. It’s likely that the Supreme Court will again weigh in on the plan.


And adding to the drama is the 2016 presidential campaign, which could decide the proposal's fate once and for all.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has cheered Obama's climate push, vowing to press ahead with his agenda in the U.S. and abroad. But GOP nominee Donald Trump, who's said climate change is a hoax, has pledged to repeal the regulations and others like it.


“This is a huge case,” appellate judge Brett Kavanaugh said last month. “It has huge economic and political consequences.”


<p>At a recent White House event with President Barack Obama, Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe touted Texas' wind power: "Here's the cool thing about Texas. Did you know that already Texas is getting 10 percent of its electricity from wind?" (Al Drago/The New York Times)</p><p><br></p>

At a recent White House event with President Barack Obama, Texas Tech climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe touted Texas' wind power: "Here's the cool thing about Texas. Did you know that already Texas is getting 10 percent of its electricity from wind?" (Al Drago/The New York Times)



So what would it mean for the Lone Star State?


Texas is the biggest carbon emitter in the U.S. It’s the heart and soul of the oil business. It’s a growing state with a large industrial base. But it’s also the epicenter of the natural gas boom. It’s by far the country’s top wind energy producer. It has significant solar potential.


And all sides agree that Texas has made strides toward a “cleaner” energy mix.


“Texas knows energy,” Texas Tech University’s Katharine Hayhoe said at a recent White House event. “And here’s the cool thing about Texas. Did you know that already Texas is getting 10 percent of its electricity from wind?”


In 1994, Texas’ electric power generation by source was 41 percent coal, 47 percent natural gas, 9 percent nuclear and 0 percent wind, according to the Energy Information Administration. By 2014, it was 34 percent coal, 47 percent natural gas, 9 percent nuclear and 9 percent wind.


Experts point to the low price of natural gas as key to driving the market. There’s also been the increased buy-in on wind power from Texans such as Dudley, the rancher who said the turbines are “ultimately a good thing.”

And Clean Power Plan boosters such as John Hall of the Environmental Defense Fund tout the EPA’s proposal as an incremental, yet significant step.


Though Hall said the regulations are needed to force other states into emissions reductions, he argued that Texas is sitting pretty. His group recently updated its analysis to show that Texas would actually exceed the plan’s goals under “business-as-usual conditions.”


“Because of the competitive market, Texas isn’t going to have to do anything else,” he said.



That argument doesn’t cut it for the plan’s detractors.


“It’s one thing for a market, which reacts to commodity prices, to change the fuel mix for electricity,” said Scott Segal, a Dallas-bred attorney who represents energy companies in Washington. “It’s quite another for the government to require it by mandate.”


But opponents don’t just object philosophically to what they see as an unlawful power grab. They also reject the notion that there won’t be an impact on cost and reliability in Texas.

One data point has come from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which operates the state’s main power grid. Its study said the climate plan could increase Texans’ energy bills by 16 percent by 2030, though critics point to other stats in disputing that. 


"It's not an exaggeration to say that the consequences of the EPA's alarming actions will fall particularly hard on hardworking Texans," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said last month.




Either way, Texas’ not-insubstantial fleet of coal-fired plants remains a key factor.

Though many of those plants are heading toward the end of their functional life span, the Clean Power Plan could accelerate their demise. And some predict that would have an outsize impact on rural electric cooperatives, such as San Miguel Electric Cooperative in South Texas.


In an affidavit filed in the legal battle, San Miguel’s general manager said its coal-fired plant isn’t expected to retire until 2037. The climate plan would effectively force an early closure, he said. To do that while meeting its financial obligations, customers would see higher bills.


And more broadly, experts said, the treatment of Texas’ coal-fired plants could be central to answering just how far along the state would be in meeting the Clean Power Plan’s goals.

“Is Texas a long way towards? Yes,” said Medlock, the Rice expert. “The fundamental issue is what you do with the coal-fired generation in the state. ... If you start closing that stuff down, how do you make up the lost capacity?”

Banner Image:
Jim Polson and David Wethe, Bloomberg



Long is the new deep. Just ask SM Energy Co., which on Tuesday spent $1.6 billion to expand its acreage in America's most prodigious oil patch, the Permian Basin.


The unique geologic makeup of the Permian, consisting of multiple layers of oil- and gas-trapping shale that span hundreds of miles, is well-suited for a technique that's allowing producers to pull more crude out of fewer wells. Explorers there are drilling longer and longer wells, running thousands of feet sideways to tap as much of the crude-bearing rock as possible.

The technique means owning drilling rights across 1,000 acres in the Permian may actually be just as valuable as holding ones for 5,000 because you're having to bore fewer wells. It's a strategy more and more companies are taking advantage of to cope in an era of historically low oil and natural gas prices.


This ability to bore longer so-called laterals "adds enormous value to each well that we drill," Herbert Vogel, SM Energy's executive vice president for operations, said during a call Tuesday on its purchase of 35,700 acres in the Permian from QStar LLC. "I can't understate how much of a difference contiguous acreage makes."



The average length of laterals has increased by hundreds of feet in both oil- and gas-bearing rock this year, with an unofficial record 18,544 feet, about 3.5 miles, claimed by a well in Ohio. 


Denver-based SM said it expects to drill 10,000-foot laterals over most of its Texas property in the Permian. And it's not alone.


"It'll get more and more common," said Scott Sheffield, chief executive officer of Pioneer Natural Resources Co., among the largest producers in the Permian Basin. Sheffield said he's already entertaining trading leases with rivals to expand holdings and take advantage of lateral drilling.


Doubling laterals from 5,000 feet, combined with other techniques, could make a well about 4 1/2 times more valuable, Vogel said. SM acquired a 10,000-foot lateral well as part of an Oct. 5 acquisition of Rock Oil Holdings and plans six more in the Permian, spokesman Jeremy Kline said by phone Wednesday.


"It only takes another two or three days to drill that extra 5,000 feet," Sheffield said. "We're only spending 10 percent more and we're getting a 25 percent net increase in productivity."



Cash-strapped Chesapeake Energy Corp. has pushed out its laterals 31 percent to average about 8,000 feet this year in Texas's Eagle Ford shale and is targeting 10,000 feet in the Haynesville shale centered in Louisiana, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.


Still, the unofficial record set by Eclipse Resources Corp.'s Purple Hayes well in Ohio may stand for a while. At 18,544 feet, the super lateral, as Eclipse calls it, has exceeded expectations even at current oil prices, chief executive officer Ben Hulburt said by phone.


"We fracked it cheaper and faster than we thought we would," Hulburt said. "You're getting about 2 1/2 wells for the cost of about 1 and 1/2."


Eclipse plans two, 19,000-foot laterals in the Utica shale of the eastern U.S., but it won't drill them unless oil prices top $50 a barrel, Hulburt said.


"Eclipse clearly showed the industry that they can actually lower their cost per foot," said Tony Angelle, U.S. Northeast vice president of oil services provider Halliburton Co. "Their peers are looking at this."


Image:  World Oil

| Energy | Dallas News


The problem with Oklahoma earthquakes is what scientists don't know, the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey told a roomful of geoscientists in Dallas.

Jeremy Boak was one of the key presenters at a special session of the annual conference of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists meeting at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. Others in the program offered new ways to predict significant human-induced quakes that make people nervous and new ways to analyze tiny micro-tremors that could help the oil and gas industry figure out where to drill next.

Boak's talk depended a lot less on advanced math than most of the others in that session.
"This will be a little more newsy and a bit less theoretical," he said.

Mostly, Boak offered a quick tour about what's known regarding induced quakes in Oklahoma.
They're closely related to deep injection wells that dispose of salty, toxic water that comes out of gas and oil wells. The quakes affect about 18 percent of the state. The rate of quakes has dropped significantly from the peak last June.
Only 5 percent of the injected water is backflow from fracks; Oklahoma has lots of oil and gas fields that produce much more wastewater than petro-products. (Although many of the newer wells that produce a high volume of water would never have been drilled except for fracking's success.)

Most of Oklahoma's quakes are small and centered in identified zones near the injection wells and particularly vulnerable faults far below the surface of the earth. But the biggest quakes that have hit the state, including the Oklahoma-record temblor last month, have been at the far edges of the zone of highest concern, Boak said. And that gives him pause. Somehow, the pressure created by the injection wells is pushing faults that are relatively far away.
"Where is the fault we've not seen that's not yet been hit by this pressure pulse?" he said.

The September quake, measured at 5.8, triggered a rapid state and federal response, shutting down specific injection wells temporarily. But as researchers studied the data, they realized they'd been focused in the wrong place, Boak said. It looks like the September quake was caused by a fault in a place they'd not known about.



"It's an interesting testament to the fact that you can get into trouble by responding too quickly, as well as by responding too slowly," he said.


Carson Dinske from Freie Universitat Berlin was one of the other presenters. He offered a new way that mashes together elements from other models to predict quakes caused by injection. He said it works well taking old data and predicting quakes that happened in various parts of the world. But only recently has it been applied to a couple of areas in Germany to predict future events in real time. So far, he said, it's doing well.


Azra Tutuncu, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines who organized and chaired the session, was skeptical about how good the predictions would be. That's because she's seen the limited success of predictive models new and old.



"Everyone has lots of assumptions," she said.


This week's conference is the 86th annual meeting of the society. More than 5,500 attendees plus vendors from about 250 companies are spending four days discussing hundreds of highly technical aspects of the search for oil, gas and precious minerals and metals.


This is the third year Tutuncu has organized an "injection induced seismicity" session at the annual conference.

"It's somewhat of a new topic for most geophysicists," she said.

And while the science is still reaching for precision in its ability to predict how human activity will create earthquakes, it's moving in the right direction, she said.


"I think we are doing better," she said.


Image:  National Ground Water Assoc


by Pollie Massey - CEO of OMS Consulting, Inc


The road to a diverse organization that has an inclusive environment can vary greatly among organizations. What is constant, however, is that the journey of increasing diversity and developing an inclusive culture requires the input of each generation within the workforce: baby boomers, Generation X, millennials and, coming soon, Generation Z, also known as digital natives.


With the exception of the majority of technology startups, many organizations have baby boomers and members of Generation X at the helm, which leaves millennials to fill out the entry level and mid-level staff positions. As a recent PEW Research Center study showed, one in three American workers today are millennials (born between 1980-2004). Furthermore, millennials will make up an estimated 50% of the workforce by 2020.

Millennials have been widely criticized for getting participation trophies, not staying at jobs long enough, and being overly dependent on technology — yet they have continued to change the world by creating new products, solving problems, and connecting more people every day. The communication tool of choice for them is social media. Yes, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube keep millennials tethered to their devices, but this has also given millennials something else: It has given them multiple platforms on which they can learn to build a community with a distinct mission, creed and culture.

In my D&I consultancy, I see millennials show up open-minded, practical, solution-oriented, self-reliant and resourceful. Having the opportunity to work directly with these future world changers firsthand (and parenting a millennial) has taught me many valuable lessons as a leader who trains leaders. Most importantly, it is not working to force millennials into behaving a certain way. For those who want to find common ground with this generation, try to understand “their way” and perhaps include their positive practices.

Here are three ways millennials can help guide your team and buildleadership influence that serves your marketplace across generations.

Leadership: I have no doubt that the millennials will change the world — and neither should you. Authors of Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation William Strauss and Neil Howe are widely credited with naming the millennials. They predicted the attributes of teamwork and optimism would poise these future leaders for greatness. Organizations cannot afford to not coach, sponsor, mentor and champion the millennials, as they will become the new leaders with or without our blessing. The generation after millennials will likewise gain from their reciprocal leadership style. For the Millennial Generation, leadership is more than facts; it is relationships.

Innovation: Millenials can be impatient. Many great leaders’ intolerance for stagnation becomes fuel for innovation. As a leader, our consciousness and ability to be present can balance the urgency to get things done against the reality of time. The penchant for instant gratification can also deliver fast responses, perpetual change. I believe millennials want to win — but not at the expense of their customer. Expect them to reimagine everything: budgets, transportation, food, employee health, content excellence (vs. advertising excellence).

Corporate And Social Responsibility: Millennials expect brands to give back — to be authentic and transparent. As leaders, they will make it a part of their company’s core mission to support causes that matter the most to their associates, customers and community.

The smartest companies collaborate and benefit from the millennials’ perspective (soon they will answering to them, so they might as well nurture them now!). Today’s organizations will need to build bridges, not walls, that prepare, motivate and influence future leaders — working with them, not against them. Leadership development is not fast or easy. Understanding a multigenerational, multiethnic and gender-diverse workforce is essential for those called to lead larger, bigger, better and differently.



Royal Dutch Shell plc, through its affiliate Shell Canada Energy, agreed to sell a total of approximately 206,000 acres of non-core oil and gas assets in Western Canada to Tourmaline Oil Corp. for a total consideration of roughly $1.037 billion.

The consideration is comprised of $758 million in cash and Tourmaline shares valued at $279 million. Subject to regulatory approvals the transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The acreage includes 61,000 net acres in the Gundy area of Northeast British Columbia, Canada, and 145,000 net acres in the Deep Basin area of West Central Alberta, Canada. The assets are a combination of developed and undeveloped lands, along with related infrastructure, producing 24,850 barrels of oil equivalent per day of dry gas and liquids.

“Shell retains a significant shale position in Canada and we are actively working to mature our attractive core asset base in the Montney and Duvernay,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director, Shell.

“At the same time we are strengthening our shale business and creating shareholder value by selling assets that do not fit our near-term development plans,” he added.

Shell has a large shale portfolio focused on North America and Argentina, and is currently maturing this portfolio as a growth option for beyond 2020 with material value and substantial long-term potential.

 Source: Rigzone

Peak Oil: Myth or Reality?

Posted by sksingh Oct 22, 2016

Whenever we come across shortage of oil, short-term of course, or a hike in oil prices, the very first thing implied is that we’re running out of affordable oil, an idea formally known as the “Peak Oil” concept. Peak Oil may be defined as the hypothetical point when the maximum rate of extraction of petroleum is reached, followed by a terminal decline. According to economists, it is the point at which the oil production maxes out: the easily available reserves are exhausted, and the cost of extracting and refining the remaining stuff exceeds the price it fetches on the open market. There is a lot of debate regarding the Peak Oil Theory, with some experts predicting a rapid decline in oil production with serious implications for the entire human economy and society. If such a decline in production happens too rapidly, it could outpace the development of viable energy alternatives, resulting in a drastic spike in prices. On the other hand, some believe that peak oil is merely a myth, and that the world’s oil supply would never be drained to a point of such crisis.


From a geological perspective, it may be stated that oil production will achieve it’s peak when half of the total ultimate recoverable resources have been produced. However, the actual problem lies in the determination and estimation of the total recoverable conventional oil reserves. Recovery factor and uncertainty are the players of major roles in this case. With various technological advancements, discoveries are being made in virgin areas and in case of old fields, methods of enhanced oil recovery are being put to use. It is essential to keep in mind that, peak oil is about the maxima in oil production, and not about running out of oil. Production is affected by price and price is controlled by the demand and supply economics, i.e. the global oil markets.


Peak oil is not about oil reserves or resources, neither of which translates directly into production rate. Peak oil is not about running out of oil but about its peak in production. Production is the key metric because price is controlled by the balance between supply and demand. So the question is if the ideas of peak oil a myth. If readers are expecting an abrupt decrease in oil production, then it is. But if they understand that the manifestation of peak oil is a struggle between supply and demand that is resolved through global oil markets, they will understand that the data show that peak oil can originate from economic as well as geological factors.


However, an apparent peak in production does not necessarily represent a peak in oil availability, especially in a global market - something that Peak Oil advocates tend to overlook. In fact, a “peak” may just be one of many “spikes”.


With conventional oil production on a plateau and with expensive unconventional sources the only means by which oil production may be increased in the short term, it is clear that societies face a major dilemma. Will the price remain high enough to develop unconventional sources and, in doing so, limit economic growth? Even so, can the production rate of unconventional oil ever be enough to support the concept of an “energy revolution,” much less “oil energy independence”? The grey areas remain grey still as well.



The biggest oil field in the USA turns up new surprises everyday as explorers discover so many rich pockets of crude that make investors turn a blind eye to the current industry slump in favour of ambitious drilling and acquisition programs.

In the past four months itself, the field has seen $12 billion worth of action in terms of acquisition capital, even though field analysts are still at work. The Permian land rush reached a new crescendo last week when RSP Permian announced a $2.4-billion deal to buy Silver Hill Energy Partners’ fields in the Permian’s western wing, the Delaware basin.


“Capital moves to the lowest-cost plays and in today’s price environment, the Permian is the last man standing,” says Gabriele Sorbara, an analyst at Williams Capital Group Plc. “In some spots, people can break even at $20/bbl or $30/bbl.”


Oil producers crippled by the worst oil-market rout in decades have been shutting down exploration in marquee oil provinces from the Gulf of Mexico to Africa and flocking to West Texas, where the Permian’s deep layers of oil-soaked rocks present one of the few profitable drilling horizons in the world today. Dallas-based RSP, which went public less than three years ago, said some of the wells it’s acquiring are gushing so much crude that they’re posting 70% rates of return. Last month, Apache Corp. stunned the oil industry when it discovered the “immense” Alpine High field in a backwater area of the Permian long written off by other drillers as a bust.


The buying spree for Permian assets is expected to persist in coming months, Sorbara said. Deals are currently lucrative to the investors because the acquisitions are seen as ultimately worth the temporary pain. Pure-play Permian drillers are trading at a premium to rival companies that have only some or none of their exploration in the region, said the team of Barclays analysts.


 “The Permian basin has undergone a wave of consolidation over the past couple of years,” the Barclays analysts wrote in an Oct. 17 note to clients. “We expect this trend to continue, driven by bolt-on acquisitions in the Midland basin, and larger resource capture in the Delaware basin."


And as all the other fields struggle to maintain production, profit and prestige, Permian stands as strong as Atlas, the last of the titans, with perhaps the entire American O&G world on its shoulders. It would indeed be interesting to see how this matter concludes.


Source: Bloomberg

Clean Energy Economy

Posted by aditibahuguna Oct 19, 2016

The government of Australia- a nation booming with energy both above the ground, and down under; has set up a Clean Energy Fund, with a one billion dollar start.The primary objective of this fund is to "earn income or a profitable return" on the loans and valuations made towards alternate energy sources, and sources with low emissions. 

The reason that drives this fund stems from the fact that Australia's alternate energy technologies are flourishing.

For instance, according to Australia's market operator, in a mere ten years, the entire nation's electricity requirements will be met primarily by the use of Solar Energy.


Another driving technology in the clean energy spectrum is Energy Storage- the capture of energy produced at a certain time, to be used at a later time. Tesla's electric cars are gaining recognition in the consumer market, and the era of more people with electric cars, than without, is near.


The Smart Energy Grid is another such clean energy source. The grid includes a variety of operational and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency resources. Despite of the fact that Renewable energy is mainly self sufficient, experts are positive that the relevance of the grid will stand.

And yet, there are environment-related drivers.


With the signing of the Paris agreement, with the objective of practically no net emissions by the year 2050, governments are finally recognizing effective solutions in the Energy sector, Australia leading by example. With a newer, cleaner energy economy breaking through, what with nations making investments, and setting up funds, the near impossible goal, might just be met.


Source- The Guardian

Bringing Energy Discussions from Around the World to You


Pink Petro is proud to announce our most recent corporate sponsor: Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation.  Cabot will specifically be supporting Pink Petro TV, our online streaming service that brings business, innovation, policy and workforce topics to the Pink Petro community.


Cabot is taking the opportunity to be a part of extending energy messages and education beyond geographic borders starting with Pink Petro’s members across the world in over 30 countries and 500 companies.


“Energy extends beyond any physical state or country borders – and the technology Pink Petro has pioneered is helping to spark conversations with people around the world,” explains George Stark, Director of External Affairs for Cabot. “We’re proud to be a part of this innovative approach to bring thought leaders and experts together and make this content accessible regardless of your physical location.”


"Having support from Cabot to bring education, learning and critical content is key to raising the profile of the Shale story globally. We are delighted to have their support,” says Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder.


Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation is a leading independent natural gas producer with its entire resource base located in the continental United States. For additional information, visit the Company's website at

Your network is your net worth.


It’s a cliché business sentiment you’ve likely heard before. And, it definitely holds some water. Networking is important for building both a solid professional reputation and a powerful web of contacts.


But, let’s face the facts: The word “networking” alone is enough to inspire visions of cringe-worthy conversations and awkwardly long silences over glasses of cheap, watery wine.


So, needless to say, today’s “Dear Kat” question is an important one:


I know that networking is important. But, every time I head to an event or attempt to strike up a professional or career-related conversation with someone, I feel so uncomfortable. Do you have any tips to make me feel more secure and confident when networking?


First of all, I know that networking can seem like an incredibly forced exchange. But, done right, it doesn’t need to be a miserable experience. In fact, it can be super beneficial—and even enjoyable!


Not convinced? Here are four tips to help you feel a little more self-assured when networking (that don’t involve gulping down three glasses of that free wine).



1. Practice Your Elevator Pitch

Practicing for networking? The whole concept seems a little strange, doesn’t it? But, that old saying, “Practice makes perfect!” rings true.


Before heading to any sort of networking event, you’ll want to be armed and ready with your elevator pitch—your brief, impactful summary of who you are, what you do, and why you’re good at it. This doesn’t need to be anything complicated. Typically a sentence or two does the trick.


But, once you have an idea of what you’d like to say when introducing yourself, run through it a few times. Of course, you don’t want to become so rehearsed that you sound robotic. However, taking the time to practice even a little bit will ensure you can get that important information out without tripping over your words.


And, even further? You’ll save yourself from that horrifying moment when you can’t think of anything to say in response to, “So, tell me what you do!”.


2. Have a Plan

Creating a plan for yourself won’t be doable everywhere. But, this tactic can come in especially handy if you’re heading to a specific networking event—especially if you know ahead of time who will be in attendance.


Oftentimes, networking is anxiety-inducing because you don’t really have any idea what you should be doing. Of course, you know your goal is to make some connections. But, that typically means you end up wandering into a large room filled with strangers without any idea where to start.


If you have some information before a formal event, you can take a little bit of time to form a plan and develop your strategy. Is there somebody specific you’re hoping to meet? What are you hoping to accomplish? Are you looking to find people in a specific industry or who possess a certain skill?


Again, this won’t be feasible for every networking situation. But, if you have the necessary information to form some sort of strategy, coming armed with a rough plan in place will give you some confidence and direction.



3. Remember It’s a Two-Way Street

Here’s a key reason why so many people feel uneasy about networking: It’s often viewed as a completely selfish encounter. We all waltz into networking opportunities with a, “What’s in it for me?” sort of mentality. We’re all hoping to find a new job, meet a powerful contact, or score something else that benefits us.


This approach is enough to make anybody feel anxious—because there’s really nothing comfortable about that “me, me, me” perspective.


So, instead of thinking about what you’ll walk out of that room with, shift your focus to what you bring to the table. Knowing that you have something to offer other people—and not just request of them—is sure to give you a nice confidence boost.


4. Shift Your View

The thought of networking immediately inspires visions of a really formal exchange. But, it’s time for you to change your perspective. Networking doesn’t just need to happen over name tags and lukewarm appetizers.


At its core, networking is really just a conversation. And, as you already know, those can happen anywhere—in line at the grocery store, at your kid’s dance recital, or at an event filled with professionals.


So, don’t limit yourself by thinking that real networking only happens when you have your business cards in your hand and a misspelled name tag stuck to your lapel. Some of the best connections you make can happen at those times when you don’t expect it.


If you’re intimidated by the idea of networking, you’re not alone. Plenty of people find it to be an uncomfortable and anxiety-inducing concept.


But, it’s time to bid adieu to those shaky knees and sweaty palms. Remember these four tips, and you’re sure to present yourself as the calm, cool, and collected professional you are when networking!

1. Tesla looks to partner with Panasonic on solar energy

Electric car manufacturer Tesla declared it plans to begin working with Japanese electronics company Panasonic Corp. to make solar products at SolarCity's Buffalo facility.

As stated on their corporate blog Monday, Tesla stated that the companies have signed a non-binding letter of intent to begin collaborating and building upon Panasonic's photovoltaic cells and modules technology. The deal is not completely finalized; however, and requires shareholders' approval of Tesla's planned acquisition of SolarCity – a shareholder vote that will occur November 17th.

JB Straubel, chief technical officer at Tesla stated, "We are excited to expand our partnership with Panasonic as we move toward a combined Tesla and SolarCity. By working together on solar, we will be able to accelerate production of high-efficiency, extremely reliable solar cells and modules at the best cost."


2. Markets are cautious amid uncertain future.

Both European markets and Asian markets declined Monday, as investors got their first opportunity to react to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. On Friday, Yellon eluded to the idea that the U.S. would overshoot its 2% inflation target to fix its structural problems thought to be the result of the recession after the financial crisis. 

Markets are also treading lightly before Wednesday's final U.S. presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The debate will likely provide significant insight into the future of the U.S. economy.

These cautious markets are impacting oil prices and energy producers. Oil prices were down 0.56% to $50.07 and Brent Crude down 0.60% to $51.64. 


3. Iran approaching pre-sanction oil production levels.

According to Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh, the OPEC member country is approaching 4M bpd, a level he said was near Iran's peak from prior nuclear-related sanctions were enacted back in 2012.

Iran’s reported numbers were not confirmed by OPEC, and Iran has expressed its intent to not cooperate when it comes to holding production levels steady with other OPEC nations. Zanganeh said that for now Iranian production cuts are not a matter up for consideration and any concrete figures for Iran can be discussed when OPEC meets in Algeria meet this November.

With this news of increased output, Iran said it would begin taking applications this week for oil and gas projects from potential foreign investors. The state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said companies interested in becoming qualified bidders have until Nov 19th to submit their proposals.

October 14, 2016 —


As we approach the end of commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month, I am proud to look back on my time in the federal government as Treasurer of the United States and the role that my position has played in advocating for women and the Hispanic community. When I was first asked to be part of President Obama’s U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Transition Team—in fall 2008 during the height of the financial crisis—I never would have imagined how my life would turn out. It was during this time, when I was conducting the due diligence to prepare for the day President Obama would assume office in January 2009, that I came across the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP).

The BEP is the part of U.S. Treasury that designs and produces almost every financial product in the federal government since 1862. Most people would know it as the place that makes our paper currency, but in the past, it also produced savings bonds, postage stamps, military payment certificates, and food stamps, and it still produces the security page of your passport. For me, it was a window into our nation’s history. While poring through decades of vignettes and renderings of these products, I realized that real women were missing. Women whose ideas, efforts, and sacrifices have contributed to the fabric of America’s rich history.

At that moment, I made a decision to accept the U.S. Treasury position and move my family across the country from California to D.C. My new mission was clear: chart a course to redesign the U.S. currency to institutionalize a much more accurate representation of our country’s history.

The Treasurer of the United States has been a woman since 1949. Apparently, President Truman was the first to declare that it would be symbolic to place a woman on our U.S. currency alongside the Secretary of the Treasury who to this day has always been a man. And prior to my appointment, there have been five other Latinas. Unfortunately, the position had become largely ceremonial. My goal was to change that, and thanks to the Transition Leads along with Secretary Tim Geithner, I was given the support to redefine the position.

My responsibilities included direct oversight over BEP and the U.S. Mint (including Fort Knox), and to act as a senior advisor to Secretary Geithner on issues of community development and public engagement. At my request, I was also appointed Chair of the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, which is responsible for making recommendations about currency design. With almost 4,000 employees and a strategic plan in place, Secretary Geithner approved the concept of placing a woman on the front of our nation’s currency for the first time in our history—now scheduled to be unveiled in 2020 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

But I felt it was important to neither end our efforts at that point nor discontinue the national conversation we had started. It’s not about highlighting one particular woman, it is more important to honor the unsung heroes who happen to be women. This is a conversation that goes beyond currency design. Therefore, using in large part the feedback that American citizens provided via social media, roundtables, and town halls, I created a database of women who might be pictured on the new currency—making sure to also be transparent and post information on the U.S. Treasury’s website. I felt strongly that we should share these efforts in the spirit of democracy, which coincidentally is the theme for this new generation of currency.

Today, my passion to shine a spotlight on women who have fought and are still fighting to have a seat at the table—and whose inspiring accomplishments are also the reason to help ensure my daughter continues to pursue her dreams. And, it is the key driver that led me to decide to leave my job in July to launch a special initiative on Equality Day 2016 called Teachers Righting History.

Teachers Righting History uses the database from our currency public engagement process and provides content for teachers and students to recognize the contributions that women have made to the history of this great country. It is not HIStory or HERstory. It is OUR story. The response has been overwhelming from both girls AND boys. This has all happened mostly by word of mouth from students and teachers who are so excited to uncover what I refer to as “buried treasures”—women who have been, for the most part, written out of our mainstream history.

Just like our currency, we value what we see every day. If you can see it, you can be it, and if we just change our lens to recognize what is missing, we can start filling in the gaps. This holds true for other areas where women are sorely underrepresented whether it’s in Congress, in the C-Suite, or on corporate boards, as Catalyst so vehemently advocates. For me, this is just the beginning of so many structural changes on the horizon.

Rosie Rios was the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and is most recently known for initiating and leading the historic efforts to place a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in over a century. Treasurer Rios has accepted a position as a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and continues advocating for women and girls as she prepares to launch her Empowerment 2020 foundation and has already unveiled its first initiative, Teachers Righting History,


Even after some signs of enhancement, women do not save enough funds for their retirement, finds a 2016 report from a financial education company, Financial Finesse. As per the report, which explores gender gaps in financial wellness, the gender gap is shrinking – presently at 8.9 percentage points, which gives a 37 percent improvement since 2012.


Still, just 22 percent of women between the age of 45-54 are on track for their retirement; 28 percent of the women aged between 55 to 64 ; and 33 percent of the women aged 65 and older. The report states that though the average American worker’s expectation of working is until at least age 66, the average age of actual retirement is closer to 61.


Does this mean it’s too late for those women 65 and older?


Not mandatory, says Kelley Long, a certified financial planner and Financial Finesse’s lead researcher on the gender issues. She said that some women are more motivated after the age of 60 to put cash away.


“While the last few years of work may not give them an opportunity for growth, they are able to put money away by cutting back on life costs,” Long days. “What I’ve been seeing is women at that point in their lives are saving everything past their living expenses. This is partly because, in their later years, they realize they can live on significantly less money."


Long also added that different people ready retirement differently, depending on their present stage in life.


“When you get closer to retirement age, it becomes clearer exactly what it looks like to you,” she said. “When you’re younger, retirement is almost an educated guessing game because you don’t know what your lifestyle will be in the future.”


The report evaluated that the median 25-year-old working full-time for about 40 years, and retiring at an age of 65, needs to save an amount between $1.5 and $1.7 million to meet the estimated average yearly expenses for people with the age of 65 and above.


“Those big numbers can be scary, but younger people should understand it doesn’t take a lot of concrete savings to get that amount because of compound interest and the years you have to save,” said Long. “It’s easy to get intimidated by the big number, but it’s also easy to save once you take it by the smaller number.”


Younger women, millennials in particular, seem to be struggling with saving enough for retirement.


About 18 percent of women between the ages of 30-44 are on track for retirement while only 16 percent of women aged younger than 30 are.

Long offered some advice. First, enroll in a company 401K savings plan if it’s offered.

“Try to start out contributing whatever your employer matches. If you’re not financially able to do that right off, add a percent every year if you get a raise,” she said.


Long also cautioned against investing too conservatively.

“If you’ve got more than 15 or 20 years [of working] to go, invest pretty aggressively,” she said. “Don’t pay attention when the stock market is weaker. In the long run, those investments will help you.”


Courtesy: Rigzone

Each year, the Society of Petroleum Engineers selects one qualified and dedicated member as their International President. This past year, this role fell to Pink Petro member Janeen JUdah. Ms. Judah, who is based out of Houston, has held many SPE leadership positions and was even named a Distinguished Member of SPE in 2003. Her list of accomplishments is endless, and is only getting longer. Thanks to Pink Petro, I was able to get a chance to learn more about her achievements and the work put in to get her to where she is now. 


Where did you study? What was your major?

I actually have four degrees. I got my Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Petroleum Engineering at Texas A&M, followed by an MBA at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, followed again by a JD from the University of Houston Law Center. However, I would not recommend studying law after engineering. It is difficult to combine law and engineering as there are limited opportunities in the industry to effectively combine both petroleum engineering and law.


It is amazing that you will be the first female SPE president in more than a decade. Do you see yourself as a role model for young women? What strides do you hope to make regarding reaching out to budding engineers while in office?

I have learned that I am a role model whether I choose it or not. There are not a lot of women in any industry with engineering backgrounds to look up to. I embrace it and try to give advice to make other women’s paths easier because mine was hard. I try to give general life advice, especially when I get approached by millennials.


Speaking of work-life balance, how do you yourself balance work and life?

You don’t. It is difficult to get a perfect balance. I generally warn people who ask about balance because I don’t know any women that have had it all, all at one time. I would describe it as a juggling act. Sometimes, the work is more dominant, and sometimes, the family is dominant.


Students that want to get into management need to understand that management demands your time. There are choices that you’re going to have to make in your life, but there is no reason that you can’t have a wonderful career and family. Many people don’t realize that the technical ladder is more flexible. It is better for family and/or anyone on a dual career ladder and you can get almost as high as you would on a managerial ladder.


In your JPT article, you discuss the importance of environmental stewardship. I believe that not enough people talk about the environmental aspect of petroleum engineering. Many people think that all oil products are ruining the environment. How do you hope to address that/change that?


At this point and time, there is not much for the industry to do to overcome the general media view of climate change because facts are often not relevant. Everything you do has an impact on the world around you. I learned firsthand dealing with the full life cycle of what we do when designing projects. Most people are not used to designing projects keeping the end of its life in mind. It is our job as an industry to minimize our impact and our footprint through these designs. An investment now will pay off in 40 years. No one cared about their footprint in the 1930’s, but we are getting bad press now because of this.


Pink Petro and others conducted a survey, Energy 2021 regarding the loss of talent during this downturn. What are your predictions? Do you believe that people will come back after the downturn?


There was a big influx of people between the 70’s and the 80’s that came in all at once. A majority of these folks have left the industry in this downturn.  Many of my peers are retiring now. The big crew change has mostly happened. So how do you deal with gearing back up again? This generation is starting to hand the reins off to a younger generation, allowing them to take leadership roles. Many of the older generation might come back, but probably in consulting roles rather than full time employees.


Have you had any mentoring/coaching that has helped you in your career?


Yes, but I haven’t had as much of it as I would have liked. There almost no women ahead of me, so I didn’t have women around to give me advice. All of my mentors have been men. I get asked to mentor a lot, but I can’t be every woman’s mentor, so I do a lot of public speaking and I try to be active on social media to make myself accessible. 


What advice do you give to the new generation of young petroleum engineers entering the industry in a downturn?


Our downturns are more spectacular because they get lots of press.


My biggest piece of advice is “Persevere through hard times. When things aren’t going great, don’t quit.” Society gives us women permission to quit.


I also advise people to search their heart. Why did I choose engineering? I was a problem solver, not a math wizard. I struggled through calculus just like everyone else. Perseverance will get you through it.


Lastly, life happens. Sticking through the hard things is worthwhile, whether it is differential equations or the current state of the business.


Thanks to Janeen JUdah for taking the time to talk to us at Pink Petro! #Janeen2017


What advice do you have for young engineers, readers? Comment Below!

Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed a bio-photo-electro-chemical (BPEC) cell that produces electricity and hydrogen from water using sunlight, by using a simple membrane extract from spinach leaves. The raw material of the device is water, and its products are electric current, hydrogen and oxygen. The findings were published in the August 23 online issue of Nature Communications.

The extraordinary combination of a human-made BPEC cell and plant membranes, which absorb sunlight and convert it into a flow of electrons with high efficiency, paves the way for the development of new technologies for the creation of clean fuels from renewable sources: water and solar energy.

The basic concept involved in the development of a BPEC cell is based on the naturally occurring process of photosynthesis in plants, in which electrons are driven by light and give rise to storable chemical energetic molecules that act as fuel at the cellular level.

An iron-based compound was added to the solution by researchers, in order to utilize photosynthesis for producing electric-current. The compound mediated the transfer of electrons from biological membranes to the electric circuit. The electric current thus created was then channeled to form hydrogen gas through the addition of electric power from a small photovoltaic cell that absorbed the excess light. This made it possible to convert solar energy into chemical energy that was stored as hydrogen gas formed inside the BPEC cell. This energy could be converted when required into heal and electricity by the burning the hydrogen in the same way hydrocarbon fuels are used.

The interesting part lies in the fact that unlike hydrocarbon fuels, which emit greenhouse gases when burnt (which pollutes and harms the environment), the product of hydrogen combustion is clean water.

Therefore, this is a closed cycle that begins with water and ends with water, allowing the conversion and storage of solar energy in hydrogen gas, which could be a clean and sustainable substitute for hydrocarbon fuel.

The study was conducted by doctoral students Roy I. Pinhassi, Dan Kallmann and Gadiel Saper, under the guidance of Prof. Noam Adir of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry, Prof. Gadi Schuster of the Faculty of Biology and Prof. Avner Rothschild of the Faculty of Material Science and Engineering.

"The study is unique in that it combines leading experts from three different faculties, namely three disciplines: biology, chemistry and materials engineering," said Prof. Rothschild. "The combination of natural (leaves) and artificial (photovoltaic cell and electronic components), and the need to make these components communicate with each other, are complex engineering challenges that required us to join forces."


Source: American Technion Society

Comment from the Curator:

I have always loved Wonder Woman. She was a strong woman in a world of Barbies. My little secret is my Wonder Woman journal.  I've used it to keep track of my accomplishments both large and small since 2007.  I love a strong woman who kicks butt.   I believe we are all WONDER WOMAN!!  (Images:  KC Millspaugh)



The United Nations has announced a new honorary ambassador for women and girls, and she's not a human woman or girl.

She's a comic-book superheroine.  

According to a U.N. statement, Wonder Woman will be officially appointed Oct. 21, which is the 75th anniversary of the character's debut.

"Wonder Woman's character is the most iconic and well known female comic book superhero in the world, known for her strength, fairness and compassion, and her commitment to justice, peace and equality," Maher Nasser, outreach director of the United Nations' Department of Public Information, said in a statement to NPR.

He did not comment on how, exactly, the imaginary heroine's powers would be harnessed by the international governing body, but he did say it would mark the start of "a campaign ... in support of the U.N.'s sustainable development goal 5."This goal states that the U.N. will work to "achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls."

"Women and girls represent half of the world's population and therefore also half of its potential. But, today gender inequality persists everywhere and stagnates social progress," reads a 2014 U.N. fact sheet titled "Gender Equality: Why it matters."

Nasser did not say whether either of the actresses who have played Wonder Woman would attend the appointment ceremony later this month. Lynda Carter played Wonder Woman on television in the '70s. Gal Gadot plays her in a movie set for release next year.

Wonder Woman's promotion comes about a week after the United Nations announced its new secretary-general would be the Portuguese politician (and man) Antonio Guterres.

Multiple women had been in the race for the role, including a Bulgarian who heads the U.N.'s cultural organization, Argentina's foreign minister, a New Zealander who runs the U.N.'s development program and a Costa Rican woman who led successful international climate negotiations, as NPR's Michele Kelemen has reported.

Despite pressure from groups such as the aptly named Campaign to Elect A Woman U.N. Secretary-General and Equality Now, which sent letters to members of the U.N. Security Council and world leaders including President Obama, none of the women in the race polled well.

"Some people believe that this is because, in secret, a lot of male ambassadors in New York prefer the U.N. to be a boys' club," Richard Gowan of the New York University Center on International Cooperation told NPR. But, he said, "there are also a lot of political games involved."

Other links:

Images:  DC Comics



From The Motley Fool's 

Brian Stoffel
Oct 2, 2016 at 8:08AM

The 4% rule says that you can withdraw 4% of your nest egg in the first year of retirement, and adjust that amount annually for inflation thereafter, without having to worry about exhausting your resources. It assumes the other 96% of your nest egg remains invested in a mix of stocks and bonds.


If you want a simple answer to the title's question, the answer is: Yes, it's a great rule of thumb!

The 4% rule is an important benchmark for those in the middle of the retirement-planning process. But there are caveats to this endorsement, and it's important you understand them.

It's a rule of thumb

Merriam-Webster's definition of "rule of thumb" is worth referencing here:

A general principle regarded as roughly correct but not intended to be scientifically accurate.

This is precisely as the 4% rule should be regarded: roughly correct but not totally accurate.


If we zoom out and look at the average American's preparedness for retirement, we see a population that will struggle mightily to continue living the same lifestyle in retirement. A 2015 report by the Government Accountability Office found that the median household between age 55 and 64 had a nest egg of $104,000. For those between 65 and 74, the figure was $148,000.


That might sound impressive. But it isn't -- and that's where the 4% rule comes in.

Using the rule, we see that $104,000 would provide just over $4,000 per year of income. The higher saved amount for those over 65 would provide just under $6,000. Of course Social Security will chip in, and some people have pensions to count on as well.


But for many of today's workers, pensions are scarce, and there's a real possibility that Social Security benefits could be cut in the future. Knowing that, it's important to understand how big your nest egg needs to be to provide for you in retirement.


As Merriam-Webster reminds us, even if we do a prodigious job saving, we can't blindly follow this rule of thumb as if it's a law. There are certain scenarios where dogmatically following the 4% rule could lead you into trouble.


The first is not including provisions for taxes and/or fees. Let's say you have a $500,000 nest egg and are counting on the $20,000 of income it provides. But you forgot that, since the money is coming from a 401(k) or Traditional IRA, it would be taxed as ordinary income. For a married couple, that will eat up over $2,000 of your income immediately.


Furthermore, if your money is invested with a fund that requires you to pay a fee when you make a withdrawal, you can't count on that cash ever making it into your bank account.


The second major caveat has to do with your investment returns. The first five years of retirement are critical for the sustainability of your nest egg. If the market -- and thus, your nest egg -- suffers big setbacks during this time frame, not only will the money you withdraw disappear forever, but so will the future growth that this money could have produced over the course of your retirement.


If you find yourself in this situation, it'd be worth considering taking out a smaller percentage -- between 2% and 3.5%, depending on how severe the downturn is. Because you've just retired, you're likely still mobile enough to consider getting a part-time job to bridge the gap, or you can adjust your budget to take advantage of newer circumstances that require less income.


Regardless of how the specifics play out in real life, I have no doubt that if every student were introduced to the 4% rule starting in middle school -- and had to revisit it every year thereafter at least once -- many of today's workers would be doing a better job with their retirement planning.

1. Presidential candidates finally discuss energy.

In the debate on Sunday Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton finally got a chance to weigh in on one of the biggest issues that has been avoided to this point: energy.

One of the attendees asked what each of them would do to make sure the country’s policies meet energy needs, while remaining environmentally friendly and minimizing job losses for workers in sector.

Trump criticized the Obama administration, but was not very specific about how he would renew job growth in the conventional energy sector. He stated, “Energy is under siege by the Obama administration,” and also inserted his opinion on the EPA by saying, “The EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, is killing these energy companies.”

In contrast, Clinton touted the growth in American energy during the Obama administration, largely attributed to the technological advances that have allowed companies to tap into oil and gas contained in shale formations. “We are now, for the first time, energy independent,” stated Clinton. “We are not dependent on the Middle East. But the Middle East still controls a lot of the prices. The price of oil has been way down, and that has had a damaging effect on a lot of the oil companies, right?  We are, however, producing a lot of natural gas, which serves as a bridge to more renewable fuels.”

2. Saudi Energy Minister is optimistic about the OPEC oil deal.

Speaking at an energy conference in Istanbul on Monday, the Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih said he is “optimistic” major oil producers would reach an agreement to cut production by November of this year. Investors have been cautiously optimistic since OPEC reached a tentative agreement last month to curb its oil output, and we’re still far from certain that any deal will be finalized. Iran seems to be the main stumbling block due to their commitment to boost production.

 3. Russia agrees to join global effort to limit oil supply.

At the 23rd World Energy Congress in Istanbul, Turkey, Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged his support to limit Russian oil supply in an effort to boost prices.  Speaking to the congress he stated, “We believe freezing or even reducing oil production is the only way to save the stability of the energy sector… Russia stands ready to join common efforts to limit oil production and urges others to as well.” 

This comes just a few hours after Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said he was optimistic for a supply limitation agreement as well. (As noted above).  Energy ministers from Russia, Saudi Arabia, and other major oil producing are expected to meet while at the conference this week to establish a tentative agreement to limit oil supplies.

Regina Mayor KPMG KPMG LLP has named Regina Mayor its new global sector head of energy and natural resources practice, a job she will perform from Houston.

Mayor, who has been with KPMG since 2006, previously headed the energy and natural resources practice for the U.S.

Her new role will have her focused on oil and gas services across the globe, and traveling as a speaker and to meet with clients. As of early October, Mayor had already traveled to Australia and Mexico, and she said she is planning on making future trips for conferences in Japan and India.

Mayor said she also will be working on a very American problem at home: What she calls the demonization of the oil and gas industry. Americans' fractious relationship with the oil and gas industry — particularly in recent years with the increased use of hydraulic fracturing — is not something she sees often in other countries.

"It's a much maligned industry, unfairly. ... It is kind of a demonized industry," Mayor said, adding that oil and gas companies are working more on their public image. "I am seeing the industry pulling together to take back control of the dialogue."   Read the rest of the Houston Chronicle story here.

We're so thrilled for Regina and are honored to have the KPMG Global Energy Institute a part of Pink Petro. We believe like Regina believes that it's time the industry own the story.  It's why Pink Petro is a place to give women and men a place to connect, develop and grow their knowledge, share with other parts of the sector, and elevate voices.  

Help me give two thumbs up for Regina in her new global role.  

Chances are, you’re familiar with the classic “Dear Abby” column that allows eager readers to submit burning questions and gather some insightful advice.


Well, today, I’m so excited to share this new “Dear Kat” column concept, where I’ll be dedicating an entire article to answering a specific career question submitted by you—the readers and Pink Petro community members.


I don’t think I could ever quite follow in the famed the footsteps of the beloved “Dear Abby” (and my hair will undoubtedly never be as impressive). But, I’m hopeful that this format gives you the opportunity to read content and advice that is completely targeted toward what you really want to know and learn about.


So, today, we’re kicking off this column with this important question:


“I've been looking for a job for a while, and—while I've had offers in other industries or other jobs—nothing excites me. What advice do you have for someone trying to find a job in a downturn?”


This is a critical question for so many people. In an economic landscape as tumultuous and fickle as ours, all industries can experience some pretty dramatic ups and downs. This is especially true for those of you in the energy industry, which can be an especially volatile field.


Needless to say, finding a new gig during an industry downturn presents a unique challenge. Luckily, there are a few tips you can implement to up your chances of landing a new job—even when your particular career field is at a low point.


1. Find What Makes You Stand Out

Here’s one thing that makes finding a job during a downturn much more complex: Increased competition. With less and less opportunities available, there are more and more applicants flocking to each posted position.


Standing out from the crowd is important regardless of when you’re job hunting—but, it becomes increasingly critical when your specific field has limited opportunities.


So, before just blanketing the entire world in your resume, make a list of the things you can do to separate yourself from the sea of competition. This should include basic things, like tailoring your resume and cover letter (yes, you should absolutely plan to do that for every position you apply for!).


But, you can also take things a step further by creating a personal website to showcase some of your work or accomplishments or even connecting with the hiring manager on LinkedIn to start forming a relationship.


Remember, you don’t just want to add your resume to the never-ending pile—you want to be on the very top of it. And, that’s going to take some work on your end to ensure you make an impression.


2. Remember Quality Over Quantity

There’s a trap that’s all too easy to fall into when you’re feeling desperate to find a new job: You fire off resume after resume and convince yourself that it’s a productive way to job search.


However, believe me when I tell you that you likely won’t see great results from that sort of rapid fire approach. When it comes to applying for jobs, your focus should be on quality over quantity.


Take the time and put in the elbow grease to appropriately tailor your resume and thoughtfully fill out the required application. Keep a detailed record of the jobs you apply for so that you can actually follow up on the hiring process and demonstrate even more interest in the company and the open position. Your attention to detail and your ability to follow through are both important.


Yes, I know that it might seem like applying for 20 jobs in a day rather than two will significantly increase your chances of actually finding something. But, I’d argue that the opposite is true. After all, if those 20 applications are half-assed and the two applications are top-notch? Well, that makes a pretty big difference in your success rate.


3. Network Like Crazy

Networking is always important. But, it becomes absolutely crucial when you’re hunting for a job during an unstable time in your field.


I know you’re likely tired of the cliché, “It’s not always what you know, but who you know” line. But, this sentiment is oft-repeated for a reason: It really holds some water. When companies are overwhelmed with a flood of applicants who are eagerly seeking employment during a downturn, they typically rely on referrals from existing employees and trusted contacts even more than usual.


Pink Petro is a great community to connect with people, share ideas, and meet others in the energy industry. But you also have to get out there and join an industry association that allows you to meet people you don’t already know. You can also head out to some networking events in your local area. Remember, you can get the largest list of events geared toward women and industry in the Events area on Pink Petro.


Don’t hesitate to set up informational interviews with companies and people you admire either. Do what you need to do to get your name out there, shake some hands, and make some meaningful connections. Those can take you far.


4. Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

You might have your eyes set on a very specific job for a very specific type of company. However, when you’re faced with a job hunt during a tumultuous time, it’s important to recognize that you don’t always have the luxury of being selective.


Don’t hesitate to think outside the box and identify some non-traditional areas where you could apply your skills, experience, and expertise. If you’re a Project Manager, for example, you can market yourself to a wide variety of industries—and not just the one you’ve grown accustomed to or have had your sights set on.


I know that it’s not the most encouraging thought to have to abandon your vision in favor of trying something new. But, sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get yourself through a rocky time. When your desired industry bounces back? You can try job searching then—with even more experience and a fresh perspective!


5. Stay Positive

Here it is—the cliché advice you knew had to show up somewhere.


There’s no denying that trying to hunt for a new job when your industry is at a total lowpoint can be incredibly discouraging and disheartening. But, do your best to keep your chin up.

The energy industry is experiencing a downturn—not an eternal downward spiral. Sooner or later, it will be on an upswing again. This too shall pass. And, it doesn’t do you any good to wallow in your misery in the meantime.


Instead, channel your energy into making the best of it. As cheesy as it may sound, a positive attitude can make a world of difference.



Do you have a burning career question you want answered? Leave it in the comments below, and it’ll be considered for an upcoming column.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 7th October (Reuters) - Pennsylvania adopts new regulations regarding the exploration and extraction of natural gas via fracking, effective Saturday, 8th October in Pennsylvania, the first remodelling since the industry took off in the state more than 10 years ago.


With the implementation of the new rules, the state's department of environmental protection is allowed to require additional measures in case of fracking being conducted near public resources, and makes it necessary for the drillers to restore water supply that gets degraded through fracking operations.


Environmental groups hailed the new rules. An oil and gas industry group blasted the regulations, with a spokesman saying he expected legal challenges.

The rules have been under development since 2011, and they suffered oppression from the oil and gas industry and it's allies in the state legislature, where the regulations were rejected earlier this year.


Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, came to an understanding that gives conventional oil and gas wells varied rules than the 'unconventional' wells developed through fracking operations.


Hydraulic Fracturing i.e. fracking, incorporates injection of water, chemicals and sand at high pressure into the rock to withdraw natural gas and other products. Oppression has mounted due to the fact that the run-off from fracking operations has been blamed for contaminating water supplies in parts of the States.


In March, residents near Dimock in the northeast corner of the state won $4.2 million in damages from Cabot Oil & Gas for the contamination of well water. The verdict is being appealed.

Thomas Au of the Sierra Club in Harrisburg said one of the biggest changes in the new regulations involves industry reporting of spills and contamination. "It's much more thorough," he said.


Daniel Weaver, President, Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association boosted the new regulations in a statement, saying that they are a result of a "flawed, pre-determined and antagonistic development process."


Industries cannot challenge state regulations in court until they go into effect. Au said he expects there will be litigation over some of the new rules.


Source: Rigzone
(Reporting By David DeKok in Harrisburg)

For the last two years, global oil prices have been in free fall. The crude prices fell from $100/barrel in June 2014 to less than $33/barrel in February 2016. And let’s face the harsh reality: fossil fuels are not going to last forever. Ultimately, at some point of time, they are going to exhaust. And then the question arises: What next? Alternate sources of energy like solar power, wind energy etc, may be efficient, but only in some particular cases. Moreover, they are most certainly cost-inefficient, and in turn, not feasible at a major scale.


An innovative mechanism that can be taken into consideration is that of converting energy (in a particular form) to a hydrocarbon fuel. Audi, a high-profile German automobile manufacturer, in collaboration with an energy technology company named Sunfire, has created a ‘green’ diesel fuel, thus putting forth a carbon neutral way of powering vehicles. Experts employed the use of renewable energy to convert carbon dioxide and water into a very specific form of crude oil known as the ‘blue crude’, which was then refined into diesel. It is common knowledge that carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, has an adverse impact on the environment, as it results in global warming. However, with this particular technology, it can be used as a raw material for making blue crude, along with the second base component, i.e., water.


As per the claims made, the entire process of producing blue crude, right from the onset to the very end, can be powered by renewable energy and an efficiency rate of 70% can be achieved. Further, blue crude can be refined to produce e-diesel, or it may be blended with regular diesel. Being synthetic in nature, this fuel does not contain any aromatic hydrocarbons, which acts as an incentive because the pollution levels are lowered.


This is an innovative, future-oriented technology, which will prove highly beneficial for all generations to come. Not only does this come across as a lucrative choice in the times when the oil market is fluctuating, but also causes relatively negligible harm to the environment, by cutting back on emissions. Furthermore, with global warming on the rise, and ozone layer on the verge of greater depletion, it is absolutely essential that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are brought down. This technology provides an opportunity to do so, and an added incentive of producing energy at the very same time. The road ahead, therefore, is as bright as it could possibly be.


Let’s face it—finding a new full-time job can be tough at times, particularly when you’re attempting to do so in a downturn. And, enough time spent submitting application after application only to hear crickets in return can usually inspire you to do one of two things: Either cry out in pure frustration or start looking at some different options.


So, today’s “Dear Kat” question is definitely a timely (and likely relatable) one for many of you. One Pink Petro community member asks:


I’ve been searching for a new full-time job for a while now, but I haven’t been able to make much progress. I’ve heard a lot about the fact that the workforce is making a shift toward more contract workers and project-based work. Is this true for the energy industry as well? Should I start looking for gigs instead of jobs? And, if so, how does all of that work?


Alright, so this is an awesome question—but it’s also one that has a lot of parts. So, let’s break this down and take a look at each individual piece of the puzzle.

Is the workforce really shifting?

Do you want the short answer? Yes, things in the workforce really are changing. You’ve probably seen the countless articles that assert that in just a few more years, there will no longer be “employees”—there will only be contractors. Some research goes as far as to suggest that 40% of America’s workforce will be contingent workers—rather than employees—by the year 2020. That’s not far off!


Take a look at some large-scale companies, and you can see that these changes are already rolling. Uber, for example, has only 2,000 employees—but over 160,000 contractors. That’s a ratio of 80 contractors to every one employee. Pretty crazy, right?


And, while Uber may not be in the energy industry, this workforce trend is far-reaching. Most employers now hire fewer full-time employees in favor of bringing on more contractors. Much of this has to do with limiting the costs of staffing (health insurance headaches and retirement plans, anyone?).


While I’m not quite convinced that we’ll do away with the full-time employee model altogether, I do think we’ll continue to experience some pretty dramatic changes in the composition of our workforce. And, I also think it’s a trend that’s worth exploring if it interests you!

Image Source

Does this apply to the energy industry?

I know what you’re thinking now: This change in the workforce doesn’t apply to you. That’s only happening for people in more creative fields—like writers, photographers, designers, or web developers, for example.


But, rest assured that the “gig economy” isn’t just for those people in tech or creative industries. There are independent contractors in all sorts of different roles and positions, as the below chart shows.

Image Source


However, as someone in the energy industry, things might look a little bit different for you—in the form of temporary employment, as opposed to true freelancing.


And, while there are some that argue that this temporary model only reduces productivity for energy companies, it doesn’t change the fact that many still rely on that format to meet staffing needs for larger projects. That way, they’re only paying for the manpower when they truly need it.  

How do you get started?

Alright, so you get it—things are changing. There’s a new model on the block. But, how do you toss your hat into the ring and get involved in this new way of work?


Your first stop should be to check out some of the job platforms that specifically target temporary, remote, or contract work—such as Upwork or Guru. I’ll be the first to admit that these often offer way more opportunities for creative freelancers than they do for more traditional roles. But, do some digging and you might find some viable options. Both sites have user-friendly categories that are especially easy to navigate.


Another thing I recommend? Not immediately clicking away when you notice that a job listing is for temporary employment. Yes, I know that’s likely what you’re conditioned to do when you’ve grown so used to only looking for full-time positions. But, temporary and contract employment is the way of the future, and you don’t want to be left behind.


Basically, the point is this: When hunting for a job, don’t limit yourself into a small box of only full-time employment. There are alternatives out there for you to explore. And—who knows—you might just like them better than the standard 9 to 5 format you’ve grown used to!

I’m feeling hesitant about the gig economy. Is that normal?

With all of that being said, I completely understand if you’re still a little uneasy at the thought of not heading into the same desk at the same office day in and day out. This new workforce is a big adjustment—so, naturally, it takes a little getting used to for all parties.


Don’t work yourself into a frenzy thinking you’re unadaptable or inflexible—you’re definitely not alone in your resistance to immediately accept the new.


As Pink Petro community Jane Henderson—who has spent 11 years working in the oil industry—says about the gig economy, “I would rather have a full time position with a company rather than work on a contract basis and jump from company to company never settling in. While I like learning new skills, I also like a familiar place with a consistent work flow.”


Change can be anxiety-inducing. And, in the end, maybe you’ll decide that this “gig economy” isn’t ultimately something that you’re interested in pursuing. However, it’s still important to get the information you need in order to make an educated decision about the future of your career.


Weigh your options, see what’s out there, and then take steps forward from there. If nothing else, you’ll know that you left no stone unturned.


Have a burning career question you want answered? Let us know and it could inspire the next “Dear Kat” column!

Over the last couple of years, the global oil and gas industry has waded through deep waters with oil prices sliding precipitously. Within a matter of months, oil companies that had made heavy investments based upon the rosy forecasts, resorted to slowing or halting operations. Quite recently, the slight price rebound has boosted optimism and efforts are under way to limit expenditure. However, it is still important to explore more strategies to boost efficiency, no matter how uncertain the long-term forecasts might be. 


Given the fact that we're living in a tech-oriented world, oil executives should consider digital technologies that have the potential to transform operations and create additional profits. Research has found that upon the effective use of digital technologies in the O&G industry, capital expenditure can be reduced by up to 20%.


O&G companies were pioneers of the first digital age in the 1980s and 1990s. Use of technologies like 3D seismic, linear program modeling of refineries and advanced process control unleashed new hydrocarbon resources and helped deliver operational efficiencies across the value chain. Thanks to the latest advancements, we are now poised for a second digital age that could further reduce costs, unleash unparalleled productivity and boost performance by a significant measure.


The visibility and clarity delivered by digital technologies and advanced analytics can yield unprecedented, granular views into operations, increase agility and support better strategic decision-making. McKinsey conducted a research on more than 100 use cases at oil and gas companies and identified three categories for the application of digital technologies:


  1. Operations of the future. While advanced analytics are being used to transform functions such as procurement and to support better decision making, the latest technologies, such as drones and equipment sensors, are also revolutionizing monitoring and maintenance. Use of advanced analytics for predictive maintenance can help reduce the maintenance costs by up to 13%. At one company, where maintenance costs accounted for 25% of operating expenses, this enabled preemptive equipment maintenance—in effect, vital equipment could be repaired before it broke down. This strategy lowered costs by up to 27% while increasing reliability and uptime. Advanced analytics for energy and yield also has the potential to increase energy efficiency by as much as 10%.
  2. Reservoir limits. By integrating digital applications, companies have been able to increase their reservoir limits significantly, resulting in a decrease of up to 20% in upstream and downstream capital expenditures. Use of 4D seismic over 3D seismic, gives the added advantage of time-lapse thus enabling companies to measure and predict fluid changes in reservoirs. This enhanced view of reservoirs typically increases the recovery rate by as much as 40% boosting upstream revenue by up to 5%..
  3. Digital-enabled marketing and distribution. In various industries, digital technologies are employed to gain a better insight into consumer habits and preferences, optimize pricing models, and manage supply chains more efficiently. Oil companies are applying these same methods, with impressive results, potentially increasing revenue by up to 1.2%. By using geospatial analytics, for instance, executives are increasing the efficiency of their supply and distribution networks through location planning and route optimization. Collectively, efforts in this category have lowered costs by up to 10% and increased revenue by 3%.

Keeping in mind the current scenario of the global oil and gas industry, companies need to reinvent themselves to improve productivity. While capital expenditures or acquisitions might result in pauses, investing in digital technologies is a no-regrets move that could increase production from existing operations. Moreover, these technologies are readily available and have proved their value in the form of reduced operating costs, increased efficiency, and revenue generation. Hence, oil companies should move quickly to embrace digital for it could be the difference between leading the next wave of industry innovation and being left behind.


Source: McKinsey and Company

Are militant groups responsible for the 50% reduction in Nigeria’s oil production or is Shell?

On September 29, 2016; Forbes listed out Royal Dutch Shell’s growth plan for the next five years, which now focuses on moving on to offshore production. Move forward six months to February 14, 2016, when the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) destroyed Shell’s underwater Forcados 48-inch Export Pipline at the Forcados Export Terminal, forcing Royal Dutch Shell to shut production and announce Force Majeure. According to Nigeria Today, the production of more than 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil and 2000 megawatts of electricity was held up due to the incident. Following containment and recovery work, Shell had set May 29 as the deadline for repair proceedings to be completed in order to resume production. Shortly thereafter, another attack on the pipeline put a major stop on recovery. OPEC has since exempted Nigeria from the output cuts that are to officially be divided in November; however, the real recovery work lies in the retrieval of the 2.2 million barrels of oil per day that the militants take as their own.

The cause of this mayhem may only be truly understood by understanding the NDA, their demands and the cause that led to its creation. Their demands? ‘More power for the Niger Delta region to control their natural resources.’ The reason behind this demand?

The Niger delta houses 20 million people from 40 different ethnic groups and contains one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity in the world. From the years 1976 to 1996, an estimated 1.89 million barrels of petroleum has been spilled in the delta. Operations have led to more than 4,835 incidents. Reports suggest that half of all oil spills occur due to pipeline and tanker incidents- several of Shell’s pipelines from the region result in pollution and spillage as they are corroded. Since 1958, 9 to 13 million barrels of oil has been spilled in the delta. Effects of these incidents include degrading livelihood of Nigerian farmers, loss of mangrove forests, depletion of fish population, water hyacinth invasion, natural gas flaring etc. The NDA claims that the Niger Delta region lies robbed of development, and all essence of quality human life.

The unfairness lies in Shell’s continuous denial of its contribution to pollution, despite mass protests and their unwillingness to compensate for the damages they have caused for the better part of a century. According to Amnesty International, “The tragedy is that the oil spills continue to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of local people to this day. Shell will tell you that the vast majority are a result of theft, even though we have published evidence showing Shell misstates the cause of oil spills.” The said evidence is a report titled, 'Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spill response in the Niger delta' published on their website on 3rd November 2015 implicating Shell in major cover ups, including absolute denial of their involvement in the Bomu Manifold and Boobanabe oil spills. 

The end result of this war between the Multinational Oil Corporation and the NDA is a lose-lose situation. Shell suffers heavy losses as production is crippled and Nigeria loses oil revenue and the government is forced to consider selling its hydrocarbon assets to fund their 2016 budget. The way forward is if Shell holds good on its promise to clean up the Delta, and the NDA realize blatant attacks on Shell pipelines will not provide a long term solution. As the Forcados export pipeline is to shortly resume exports after the February attacks, only time will tell whether conditions in Nigeria will change for the better or not.


A legal case against the self-described Frack Master is a sure sign that the so-called bezzle in the shale-oil industry is shrinking.

The Securities and Exchange Commission says the entrepreneur Chris Faulkner inflated his shale companies’ prospects to attract cash, then blew $80 million of investors’ money on questionable expenses like escort services. The oil industry’s lax governance makes it an obvious place for enforcers to hunt for culprits.

John Kenneth Galbraith, the Depression-era economist, coined the idea of the bezzle — an inventory of undiscovered shenanigans that builds up during boom times as investors make gains and ask few questions. In downturns, the bezzle shrinks, as Galbraith explained, because the financial tide goes out and makes problems more obvious even as investors exert more scrutiny. Bad behavior, in other words, gets exposed.

The S.E.C.’s complaint paints Mr. Faulkner, 39, as a consummate snake-oil salesman, able to persuade investors to part with their money despite having no previous experience in the oil business before starting Breitling Oil and Gas in 2009. It accuses Mr. Faulkner of misleading backers about the estimated cost of drilling and completing wells and their likely returns.

As for where the money went, the S.E.C. says that at one point Mr. Faulkner racked up more than $1 million of charges for travel, escorts, strip clubs and exclusive night clubs on an American Express card. His costs were later reimbursed by the company in violation of its expenses policy, according to the complaint. His lawyer called the charges “inaccurate and untrue.”

If there were shenanigans, it is unlikely to come as a surprise to followers of the shale industry. A permissive governance environment allowed Chesapeake Energy’s former chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, to run a private hedge fund and take out personal loans from firms that his company did business with, among other instances of pushing the boundaries.

If that extended to actionable misdeeds, it would be no shock. It is also typical that such things should come to light after many shale players’ finances have been slammed by a fall in oil prices. Mr. Faulkner is an especially colorful test case, but the sector’s record suggests it may not be the last.

Source - New York Times .

Kite Power Takes Flight

Posted by latikasharma Oct 8, 2016

Kite Power Solutions expects to open the UK’s first kite power plant in March 2017 at the Ministry of Defence’s West Freugh site in Stranraer, Scotland. If all goes well, huge kites could well be The Great Green Energy Miracle that we all have been hoping for, supplying clean energy without subsidies within a matter of years. The energy firm hopes to roll out the technology onshore as well as offshore, building systems with the capacity to produce “hundreds of megawatts” of power within the decade.

The company believes that the technology, developed by a handful of firms around the world, could significantly cut existing costs of conventional turbine based wind energy production plants. It could also, according to the designers, be so effective financially that it would soon become a major alternative to petrol and other highly polluting fossil fuels in developing countries, which face a critical problem in capital investment and maintenance expenditure when it comes to renewable energy.

The technology involves rigging two giant kites, each up to 70 square metres, to either side of a turbine. The first kite rises with the wind, up to a height of 450 metres, moving in a figure-of-eight pattern. The movement pulls a rope that turns a turbine, generating power. As one kite descends, the other rises in tandem, meaning that electricity can be generated almost constantly, as the kites rise and fall in altrernation.

A spokesman for Kite Power Solutions said the technology could halve the cost of offshore wind energy, dispensing with the need for governments subsidies. Ainsworth said the technology was easy to install and maintain, meaning it could be deployed in deep water, on floating structures far from shore. “If we do that, it opens up a whole new global deepwater offshore wind market,” he said. The technology could curb rising CO2 emissions in the developing world, where the need to save money forces people to resort to polluting technologies such as diesel, Ainsworth said.

The technology has been tested on a small scale in Essex and the company will move its headquarters to Glasgow in readiness for next year’s launch. It has won planning permission for a 500kW demonstration system but plans to build a 3MW power station after that and is identifying other sites to develop.

A 3MW system would be comparable in power to smaller wind turbines but will be able to generate 20% more energy, as claimed by the company. It will also be less than 20% of the weight of a conventional horizontal axis wind turbine, which is made partly out of steel. The kite can fly higher than the tip of a wind turbine, reaching heights where wind tends to be stronger and more consistent, hence becoming more profitable and reliable.

The UK’s green energy trade body, RenewableUK, welcomed the technology but warned that it was not a silver bullet. The deputy chief executive, Maf Smith, said: “This is an ambitious project to harness wind power at extraordinary heights and it shows the level of innovation within the renewables industry. Kite power is at an early stage of development and it will be interesting to see how the technology progresses. We will need a wide range of energy sources in the future to meet our needs in a sustainable way.”

Kite Power Solutions has received funding from the former Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund along with private backers. Its largest shareholders are Kite Power Solution’s chief executive, Bill Hampton, and chief operating officer, John Hardy.

Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates has said that there is a 10% chance kite power could be the “magic solution” for global renewable energy needs. As for us, let’s wait and see which way the winds flow.

Source: The Guardian

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”


It is only by continuously striving to excel and learn from experience, observation and introspection that we become better versions of ourselves each passing day, and in the process, do our little bit towards making the world a better place.


The world is in dire need of environmental recuperation and remediation. At an international level, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Paris last year (India was the 62nd country to sign the Paris agreement on 2nd October 2016) have delivered a clear objective to limit global warming due to human induced emissions to 2 degrees Celsius.The fear of climate change weighs heavily on our minds, and the world is doing all it can to reduce its carbon footprint and control excessive greenhouse effect and ozone depletion. The fore of our industries today is increasingly led by operations that allow us to design processes and products that are sustainable and naturally beneficially.


Question is, how might the Oil and Gas Industry take to this new carbon constrained world?


In the short term, I think every O&G Company will have to figure out how to produce oil competitively while reducing its carbon footprint as much as possible. OPEC reference case projections to 2030 show global energy demand increasing by around 1.7 per cent annually. It also highlights that fossil fuels will continue to provide more than 90 per cent of the world’s total commercial energy needs, with oil remaining the leading source in the global energy mix, although its share may decrease from 39 per cent to 36.5 per cent. This means that we need to concentrate more on improving the current energy industry and make it future-ready, rather than go for an all out shift to renewables entirely, which at this stage, is a pipe-dream anyway.


Technologies such as cogeneration, fluidized-bed combustion, integrated gas and gasification combined cycles, and supercritical steam cycle can help power stations achieve higher conversion efficiency. Combined-cycle generation units produce electricity and capture the waste heat energy, using it to generate more electricity or for process heat at a nearby facility. Improved traffic management and vehicle maintenance, modal shift and increasing vehicle efficiency, in addition to fuel switching, will also prove incredibly beneficial.

Concentrating more on conventional and unconventional gas over fuel oil also might be a good idea. Natural gas fired combined cycle generation units can be up to 60 - 90 percent energy efficient, whereas coal and oil generation units are typically only 30 to 35 percent efficient. In November 2015, Royal Dutch Shell’s purchase of BG Group made it the world’s largest liquefied natural gas trader. This deal and others reflect the fact that natural gas is a preferred fuel for power generation in the U.S. and many other parts of the world, especially as its price has dropped and made it more desirable than coal for cost and environmental reasons.


Another promising option is carbon capture and storage (CCS), applied to large stationary sources of CO2 emissions, such as power stations and industrial sites, which together account for over half the energy-related CO2 emissions. CCS is basically the idea that the fossil fuel industry could carry on forever because we can trap carbon dioxide first by capturing it with help of a wide range of technologies, then by compressing and transporting it and injecting it into deep underground stone rock formations. Currently over 60 percent of carbon dioxide emissions come from 8,000 large-scale stationary sources, such as coal- and gas-fired power plants and industrial sites — all of which could be subjected to CCS. 


This is not to say that CCS has no negative aspects, but combined with the fact that CCS methods are anyhow already in use in a process called enhanced oil recovery (EOR), which increases the amount of oil recovered in a field by 25 percent, I’d say it’s a promising technology to keep an eye on (and implement on large scale) in the future.


Hence, like it or not, change is coming. And though it might not come onto us all at once like a tsunami, the impact will be just as huge. Navigating change of this scale will require smart, strategic judgment on the part of O&G pioneers. They must tackle cost concerns in the short term, while preparing to respond to the future impact of inevitable external environmental pressures.


The focus should be on ensuring healthy economic growth, rapid social progress and environmental protection in a mutually-supportive manner. As we move from the capitalist, consumer-centred approach to a holistic development regime, we shall try all we can to redeem ourselves, and live a better, cleaner life in the new world.

The problem with every type of energy supply, from fossil fuels, to nuclear (based on uranium), to geothermal, to hydroelectric, to wind and solar, is diminishing returns.  At some point, the cost of producing energy becomes less efficient, and this results in an increase in cost of production.


With oil, the growing cost of extraction comes because the cheap-to-extract oil is extracted first, leaving only the expensive-to-extract oil. This makes the price go up.  


Now let’s take Uranium as an example.  It experiences the same problem of diminishing returns, similar to oil.   After the cheap-to-extract portions are extracted, we must eventually move on to lower-grade and harder to extract ores.


What about hydroelectric?  Same problem.  When hydroelectric plants are installed, the best locations are utilized first. Gradually, less desirable locations are added. The same holds for wind turbines.


And don’t forget about wood.  When it comes to wood, overuse and deforestation are constant problems.  Throw in the exponential population growth over that last few decades and the situation is likely to become even worse.


In addition to diminishing returns, there’s another important factor to consider.


Most renewables are still dependent on oil. Oil is required for operating mining equipment and for transporting goods and machinery.  Helicopters (requiring oil) are used to maintain wind turbines, especially off shore.  Road maintenance even requires oil.


The bottom line is this…


If there is ever a shortage of oil, there will be an enormous drop-off in the production of renewables as well.  Thus, renewables are not available in unlimited supply. If oil supply is constrained, you’ll soon discover renewable energy sources will follow shortly thereafter. 

Finding the big one

Posted by mtalasz Oct 7, 2016

Finding the big one - October 09, 2016 - Petroleum News



Can't help but wonder if this is the Shell lease oil that moved, that the company spent so much money chasing. Like a lava lamp, oil moves. With other fields in production, pressures change. Thoughts anyone? ~ Maria



Caelus discovery at Smith Bay could add 200,000 barrels per day to TAPS (Trans Alaska Pipeline System)


Petroleum News


Caelus find


Doyon Ltd.’s Arctic Fox drilling rig in action, drilling from a circular ice pad in the shallow waters of Smith Bay during Caelus energy Alaska’s 2016 exploration drilling project. (image Caelus Energy)



Following tantalizing hints earlier this year about the possibility of a major oil find at Smith Bay, towards the western end of the North Slope, Caelus Energy Alaska has now made an official announcement: The two exploration wells that the company drilled in the bay in early 2016, coupled with the results of earlier seismic surveying, have revealed the presence of a massive resource of light oil.

In an Oct. 4 statement the company said that there could be 6 billion barrels of oil in place in its Smith Bay leases, with the possibility of 10 billion barrels or more across the complete Smith Bay area.

An oil field development at Smith Bay could result in the delivery of 200,000 barrels per day of light crude to the trans-Alaska pipeline system, Caelus said.

“This discovery could be really exciting for the State of Alaska,” said Jim Musselman, Caelus CEO. “It has the size and scale to play a meaningful role in sustaining the Alaskan oil business over the next three or four decades.”

The field as characterized by Caelus would be roughly equivalent in scale to the Kuparuk River field, which together with the Prudhoe Bay field, has been a lynchpin of North Slope oil production.

Musselman told Petroleum News that Caelus has also been interpreting 3-D seismic data obtained from surveying that the company has conducted in its 350,000-acre lease position to the east of Prudhoe Bay, and has identified some promising oil prospects there. There is the eventual possibility to develop perhaps 500 million to 750 million barrels of oil from that region, he said.



Very expensive

Given the remote location of the Smith Bay find, development of the discovery there would be very expensive. And, with an estimated capital cost of $8 billion to $10 billion to bring the Smith Bay field on line, field viability would require a sustained oil price in the mid-$60s, Musselman told Petroleum News. But, also critical to the feasibility of developing the field is the future stability of Alaska’s fiscal system, Musselman emphasized.

Caelus is a limited liability company funded by private investors.

Musselman attributes the successful discovery of major oil resources at Smith Bay both to the state’s latest oil production tax regime, commonly known as SB 21, and to the state’s tax credits.

“Fiscal stability going forward is critical for a project of this magnitude,” Musselman said. “Without the state tax credit programs, none of this would’ve happened, and I’m not sure Caelus would’ve come to explore in Alaska. We’re proof that the credit programs work.”



Delayed drilling

Caelus had hoped to return to Smith Bay in the coming winter to drill a third well and to drill a horizontal lateral from that well to frack and flow test the oil. But given the current uncertainty in the state tax system coupled with the low price of oil, the company decided to postpone that plan, probably to the following winter. The company has also decided not to drill in its eastern North Slope exploration acreage this winter.

“We were hopeful that we could drill a well or two this coming winter. … We were also hopeful that we would be back out on the ice at Smith Bay this winter and we’re not going to do that,” Musselman said. “It’s hard times politically, hard times economically.”



Huge subsurface structure

Caelus says that the Smith Bay discovery lies in an ancient submarine fan structure that spans more than 300 square miles in the Smith Bay area. Apparently the discovery sits at a subsurface depth of some 5,000 feet in the Torok, a rock formation that lies below the Nanushuk formation in the Brookian sequence, the youngest and shallowest rock sequence within the Arctic Alaska petroleum systems. The Nanushuk is the focus of a major oil discovery being pursued by Armstrong Energy and Repsol in the Pikka unit, on the east side of the Colville River delta.

U.S. Geological Survey geologist David Houseknecht, an expert on Alaska petroleum geology, has suggested that the Nanushuk discovery by Repsol represents a major new oil play in the Brookian, extending west along the Beaufort Sea coast from the central North Slope. Oil in this play would be derived from source rocks to the north, deep under the nearshore waters of the Beaufort Sea. The Smith Bay discovery clearly supports this view.

Caelus says that its two Smith Bay wells encountered oil through a vertical interval of 1,000 feet. One well found net pay of 183 feet, while the other well encountered net pay of 223 feet. The company did not have sufficient time to flow test the wells. However, extensive sidewall coring and subsequent laboratory analysis have confirmed the presence of reservoir quality sandstones containing light oil with an API gravity ranging from 40 to 45, Caelus says. The estimates of total oil volumes in place come from using seismic data to trace the extent of the oil reservoir.



Could be larger

Musselman told Petroleum News that, although it will be important to drill a third Smith Bay well to conduct flow testing, his company is confident, based on the core and seismic data, in the overall scale of its oil find. In fact, given that the submarine fans in the Torok continue beyond the area encompassed by the seismic surveying, the discovery will likely turn out larger than Caelus’ current estimate, he said.

In common with other Brookian oil reservoirs on the North Slope, the Torok at Smith Bay tends to contain multiple sand bodies, rather than consisting of a single massive sandstone unit. This feature of the geology can create challenges in accessing the oil from production wells. However, given the quality of the reservoir sands and the fact that the light oil will flow easily, Caelus is confident that the field can be productive, albeit with a need to use drilling and production techniques appropriate to a compartmented reservoir.

“We’re confident that the rocks here are fine,” Musselman said. “It’s going to require horizontal wells. It’s going to require fracking.”

Simulations based on data obtained from the Smith Bay wells suggest potential well production rates of 8,000 to 10,000 barrels per day, with perhaps a total of 8 million or 9 million barrels of oil coming from each well, he said. The field also holds a significant quantity of natural gas that could be recycled for enhanced oil recovery. The use of this gas might enable as much as 60 to 70 percent of the oil in place to be recovered, Musselman said.



Five years for construction

Pat Foley, Caelus senior vice president for Alaska operations, said that, once development of the field starts, first oil is possible within five years. Musselman commented that included in the capital cost of the development would be an $800 million oil pipeline to the central North Slope - there are several potential pipeline routes. The development would probably involve the drilling of about 400 wells from four well pads. With water depths ranging from just 4 inches to 10 feet in Smith Bay, there are several options for the construction of the pads, with the use of large barges for drilling being one possibility.

The need to build onsite oil processing facilities at the remote Smith Bay location is a significant factor in the high development costs. A road past Smith Bay from the Alpine field in the central North Slope to Barrow would knock $1 billion off the Smith Bay development cost, Musselman commented.



A Brookian focus

Caelus has previously stated that the Torok and other Brookian rocks form a focus of the company’s exploration and development efforts in Arctic Alaska. In fact, the Torok at Smith Bay is equivalent to the Torok reservoir that the company wants to develop in its 100 million to 150 million barrel Nuna development in its Oooguruk oil field. Musselman commented that Caelus had planned to have Nuna come on line in early October this year, before the company put the project on hold because of low oil prices and Alaska tax uncertainty. Caelus has already invested $200 million in Nuna and has constructed a pad for the drilling of 40 wells, Musselman said.

Development drilling is also on hold in the currently producing Oooguruk field. Musselman commented that, thanks to favorable geology and improved well completion techniques, the performance of the Oooguruk field has turned out better than expected. Caelus has not just replaced the oil reserves at the field - it has added some new reserves, Musselman said. However, given the continuing low price of oil, the company may throttle back production a bit, to help manage cash flow, he said. Oooguruk probably has some 85 million barrels of oil remaining to be produced, he said.

Caelus’ interest in the Brookian continues in the company’s eastern exploration acreage, where many of the oil prospects that the company has identified so far from its seismic data are in this relatively young rock sequence. However, the company has also found some significant possibilities in an older and deeper sequence known as the Ellesmerian, Musselman said. Musselman commented that there appears to be further scope for finding much as yet undiscovered oil under the eastern North Slope. He also expressed his amazement at the fact that no one has yet shot seismic across some of the acreage to the south of Prudhoe Bay.

In a Nov. 4 press release, Gov. Bill Walker congratulated Caelus on the company’s Smith Bay discovery.

“My administration will continue to work with the industry to identify new development opportunities in Alaska’s oil and gas sector, and provide appropriate investment incentives given our current fiscal climate,” Walker said.

Greetings from the UPES SPE Student Chapter!


Established in 2009 under SPE International’s North India Section with the objective of enabling students to contribute to, and learn from and about, the Oil and Gas sector, the UPES SPE Student Chapter has, ever since, hit the ground running; a statement reflected by the three consecutive Gold Standard Awards followed by three consecutive Outstanding Student Chapter Awards over the years. With a multitude of events, conferences, lectures and an international fest every year, the Chapter has a great outreach and an empowering vision to inculcate students into the Energy industry from an early stage, and to spread knowledge and information about the industry which in true sense, drives the contemporary world.


Pink Petro’s mission to Unite, Connect, Develop and Grow Women in Energy is reflected deeply in our Chapter’s vision- to enhance students’ industrial involvement, social outreach, and technical and professional capacity. Furthermore, the UPES SPE Student Chapter, itself ably lead by a female president, Ms. Sagarika Gangopadhaya, is keen on building a synergistic alliance with Pink Petro in order to help realize its vision. Where the importance of Women in Energy is concerned, we lead by example. We understand that the current gender ratio of the industry which we are all a part of is nowhere near desirable, or even acceptable.


Hence, with a team of nearly 50% female members in our chapter, we acknowledge the importance of equality in workforce and we’re here to do our bit to promote the involvement and upliftment of women in the energy sector, and strive for a gender neutral industry. We are thankful to Pink Petro for providing this wonderful opportunity to work alongside the stalwarts of the industry and learn from the people who inspire us and the industry, on the whole. We shall do our best to inculcate a surrounding of learning which will help the community as well as ourselves, to grow.



Caelus Energy Alaska LLC has made a light oil discovery of 6 billion barrels in place off Alaska’s North Slope.

Based on the outcomes of two wells drilled by Caelus earlier this year on its Smith Bay state leases, and 126 square miles of existing 3-D seismic data, this estimate was calculated, Caelus said in a press release on October 4.
Caelus-Tulimaniq No.1 and step-out Caelus-Tulimaniq No.2 well encountered Gross hydrocarbon columns of more than 1,000 feet in both the with respective net pay of 183 and 223 feet. As a result of the seasonal time constraints, the company could not run the flow tests in the well, but Caelus said that extensive sidewall coring and subsequent lab analyses confirm the existence of reservoir-quality sandstones holding light oil ranging between 40 to 45 degree API gravity.

Company also predicts that the Smith Bay fan complex might possess more than 10 billion barrels of oil in place when adjoining acreage is included. The Smith Bay evolution could prospectively provide 200,000 barrels per day of highly mobile and light oil which should raise the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) throughput volumes and minimize the average viscosity of oil through the pipeline, extending the long-term viability.

According to the favourable fluids the reservoir accommodates, Caelus anticipates to attain about 30 to 40 percent recovery. It also reported that the supplementary drilling and seismic should improve oil-in-place estimates via delineation of undrilled fan lobs and channel complexes imaged on the original 3D seismic.

CEO Jim Musselman quoted “the discovery has the size and scale to play a meaningful role in sustaining the Alaskan oil business over the next three to four decades.” He also expressed that the discovery is a solid proof that Alaska’s state tax credit programs are functional, adding that he was unsure that the company would have explored Alaska without these programs.

Tudor Pickering and Holt analysts were persuaded to observe the huge discovery of conventional oil in shallow waters of Alaska, but such a discovery prevails to be an exception to the rule, analysts stated in an October 5 note during their research. They will focus the market on Repsol’s exploration program at the Pikka unit on the North Slope this winter to supplement to its 1.4 billion barrels discovered hitherto, which is onshore and much closer to existing North Slope producing infrastructure, analysts added.

Analysts believe that “pertinent that this discovery was made by an E&P and not an IOC, and the CEO of Caelus has a strong exploration track record as one of the founders of Kosmos [Energy].”

Caelus is a private, Dallas-based exploration and production (E&P) firm founded in 2011 by Jim Musselman. The company is operator of the Oooguruk Unit on Alaska’s North Slope. Caelus is currently planning an appraisal program that will include drilling and the acquisition of new 3-D seismic data. The company is also studying and planning the facilities buildout which will process and transport oil to TAPS.

Courtesy: Rigzone

NBC News
By Reuters/Oct 4, 2016

Oil rose towards $52 a barrel on Wednesday, hitting its highest since June, supported by an industry report that U.S. inventories probably fell for a fifth straight week and OPEC's deal to cut supply.


The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories dropped 7.6 million barrels, which would be the fifth straight weekly decline if confirmed by U.S. Energy Information Administration data on Wednesday.

Another drop in U.S. crude stocks would reinforce the view that the supply glut that has been weighing on prices since 2014 is easing. The API data, however, does not always tally with the EIA data. Analysts expect a rise in crude stocks of 2.6 million barrels.

"If the (EIA) can confirm the API statistics and help crude oil break away from the resistance of the high of August, then crude oil will have to start targeting the high of June," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix.

Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA in Singapore, said another confirmed drawdown in crude stocks would likely push U.S. crude above $50.

Brent has risen from below $49 on Sept. 28, when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed a surprise cut in its output to support prices which are less than half the level of mid-2014.

Under the deal, OPEC will target production of between 32.50 million barrels per day and 33.0 million bpd, implying a cut of as much as 740,000 bpd from the August level, as reported in OPEC's monthly report.

The move marked an about-face by OPEC, which in November 2014 dropped its role of cutting production. Although it hasn't yet worked out all the details, and analysts are skeptical the cut will be implemented, the deal is supporting the market.

"The mere threat of a production cut should put a floor under oil prices until the next OPEC meeting on Nov. 30," said Jason Gammel of U.S. investment bank Jefferies.

An offshore oil platform is seen at the Bouri Oil Field off the coast of Libya. REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Deepwater Horizon movie

Posted by skatna Oct 6, 2016

I just saw the movie in Singapore, and it was an incredible experience. I can't believe something like this just happened 6 years ago. There have been so many stories surrounding what transpired back then. But, I think the men and women who risk their lives, to bring us energy deserve our hearfelt salute ! Thank you !

 Iran, fresh from an OPEC meeting where it won significant concessions from regional rival Saudi Arabia, accelerated the rejuvenation of its sanctions-ravaged energy industry on Tuesday when the state producer signed a new-model oil investment contract.

National Iranian Oil Co. agreed to the framework of a $2.2 billion deal with Persia Oil & Gas Industry Development Co. to boost output at three fields along the country’s western border with Iraq, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said during a ceremony at the ministry. A second contract will be signed with a local company on Wednesday, Tasnim news agency reported, without giving details. Zanganeh has said the new type of contract, designed to better reward investment in crude and natural gas production, is crucial to increasing the country’s long-term export potential.

Although it may take years for new investment deals to bear fruit, Tuesday’s signing caps a good few days for Zanganeh, who returned from last week’s OPEC meeting in Algiers having secured Iran’s right to pump more oil even as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies agreed to curb output. President Hassan Rouhani’s government has argued that it should be allowed to return production to levels achieved before international sanctions curbed shipments.

“Iranians feel that they’ve missed out on a big, big party because of sanctions,” Francisco Blanch, head of commodities research at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in an interview. “Sanctions basically took a lot of production out at a time when oil prices were very, very high. Iran doesn’t really have to cut production, and it’s going to get a higher price.”

The prospect of higher oil - benchmark prices in London traded at a three-month high above $50 a barrel on Monday - coupled with increased investment in the energy industry will also be a boost to Rouhani, who faces a reelection battle next year when he must convince voters that rapprochement with the West is paying off economically. Brent crude rose 0.4 percent to $51.10 a barrel at 3:02 p.m. in London.

Even if the real test for Rouhani’s government would be to persuade international oil companies to invest in the country, the oilfield development accord is evidence of progress, together with rising crude exports. Persia Oil & Gas, the energy arm of the conglomerate Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, will develop part of the Yaran, Koupal and Maroon fields near the Iraqi border. The contract is an agreement that sets the framework for a final deal to be signed in five to six months, Zanganeh said.

The International Monetary Fund said Monday that economic conditions in Iran are improving substantially and forecast growth of at least 4.5 percent in 2016-17.

Iran aims to increase exports to 2.35 million barrels a day in coming months from about 2.2 million barrels a day, state news agency Islamic Republic News Agency reported Sunday, citing Mohsen Ghamsari, NIOC’s international affairs director. The country has raised export capacity to 4 million barrels a day, NIOC’s managing director Ali Kardor said, according to an IRNA report on Monday.

Iran told the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries that it wants to produce about 4 million barrels of crude a day to regain its pre-sanctions share of the market, Zanganeh said last week. Iran produced 3.62 million barrels a day in August, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

OPEC Quotas

A previous attempt to reach a freeze agreement in April failed when Saudi Arabia insisted that Iran should participate even without recouping the production levels it lost under international sanctions. Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, softened its stance in Algiers, with Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih saying that Iran, along with Libya and Nigeria, should be allowed to “produce at the maximum levels that make sense.”

Iran’s eventual production cap isn’t clear. While OPEC agreed on a new overall range for production, it will set up a committee to decide on output quotas for individual members, before it meets again in Vienna next month.

Iran may already be near its maximum output in the absence of new investment, Jaafar Altaie, managing director at consultants Manaar Energy Group, said by phone from Abu Dhabi. The country needs foreign money and technology to counter the natural decline of its aging fields and to push production capacity much beyond 3.8 million barrels a day, he said.

Paolo Scaroni, the former chief executive of Italy’s Eni SpA, said Iran is able to pump as much as 4.1 million to 4.2 million barrels daily. Any increase from there will take time and foreign investment, said Scaroni, who is now a vice chairman at NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd., speaking in a Bloomberg television interview from London on Monday.

“The pressure is on NIOC to show they can bring additional barrels to the market,” Manaar Energy’s Altaie said.

SOURCE : Rigzone

I  recently had the opportunity to speak with Greg Williams, who is raising funds for a documentary film about “the real heroes” of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Williams told me that his time on the Deepwater Horizon from 2002 to 2008 made a huge impact on his career. His time on the rig – where he worked up to the driller position – taught him most of what he knows about managing people. Williams told me he uses the lessons he learned from working with BP and Transocean in his own business, Houston-based Contechnix LLC.

Williams told me he believes the industry as a whole is doing better in terms of addressing the problems that led to Macondo, including the adoption of recommendations outlined in BP’s Bly Report. Some good things came out of the reforms – including the formation of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and new regulations. But Williams believes that, had the industry practiced what it preached, the incident wouldn’t have happened. Then the guidelines would not have needed a full workover after Macondo.

What kind of lessons should the oil and gas industry learn from Macondo? Williams, who’s worked in the oil and gas industry since 1994, believes that drilling contractors and operators should do a better job on well planning and form a more cohesive team.

“It’s most commonly a ‘them-versus-us’ dynamic that we don’t want to come out, but sometimes it does,” said Williams. “Some of the projects we pursue are advanced and in-depth. They should … invest their time to ensure that everyone agrees on the drilling program, and, if they don’t, then do as they tell the world and stop operations.”

The impact of the Macondo well blowout – which killed 11 people on board the Deepwater Horizon, destroyed the drilling rig and unleased the United States’ largest ever oil spill – is evident in operations today. Williams said he knows a whole generation of drillers who, when mud comes above the rotary table, will disconnect the blowout preventer without a second thought.

“The faster you react, the better,” said Williams, adding that planning between the contractor and the client is paramount. No matter the problem, an investment of time is needed, not walking away and hoping the problem will fix itself, he said.

I agree with Williams’ assertion that industry needs to practice what it preaches. Why have rules and regulations in place if they aren’t followed? I’ve heard at many industry conferences about the need for safety in operations. But ensuring safe operations involves more than just giving speeches; it also involves hanging company culture and operations. Ensuring that all parties are on board with drilling plans – and that employees feel they can say stop if something isn’t right – is critical to preventing future incidents like Macondo.

I also agree with his idea of telling the stories of other survivors of the Macondo incident. I did catch an early screening of the movie Deepwater Horizon, and I can say that Williams’ assumption about the movie is correct: the film’s budget and capabilities of today’s computer-generated imagery resulted in a well-filmed movie. I agree that the film focused on honoring the people who lived through Macondo, not the companies involved. But Williams was right that the movie focuses on one person’s perspective. There are many more stories to be told by the survivors’ and victims’ families. I wish him luck in ensuring that the stories of the survivors are available to the next generation.

SOURCE : Rigzone .

The Oil and Gas Industry is currently abuzz with the recent OPEC deal, wherein an agreement to cut back on production was reached. This marks the first time OPEC stepped in to manage production since 2008, when production quotas were abandoned due to the prevailing global economic crisis.

The biggest monthly gain since April was recorded after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to limit production for the first time in eight years, at a meeting in Algiers. The unveiled plan involves reducing the production to a range of 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day, with the hope of providing a boost to the oil price. The outlined accord, thus, indicates cutting back in production by as much as 750,000 barrels a day. The quotas for the same are scheduled to be decided at the OPEC’s next formal summit in Vienna, on November 30.

Although the oil prices have been falling for almost two years, Saudi Arabia, the most influential member of the OPEC, did not cut back on production. A major stumbling block in reaching an agreement till date has been Iran’s commitment towards boosting its production. Both the countries, being arch rivals, had refused to sign on to any production curbs unless the other did, too.

The OPEC deal finalized on September 28, became possible due to the mediation of Russia, Algeria and Qatar. While countries like Venezuela and Algeria can ill afford to lose oil revenue by reducing production, OPEC has said that Iran, Libya, Nigeria and maybe, even Iraq, would be treated differently, without further specifications. Russia, on the other hand, has shown inclination to be a part of the OPEC plan and as obvious as it is, if more non-OPEC member get on board, prices will surely become higher. On October 3, oil rose by more than 1%, with Brent settling above $50 a barrel for the first time since August, after Iran called in for support from non-OPEC members.

Amidst all the skepticism and uncertainty, there is a fairly good chance that the odds will work out and this deal will succeed in raising the oil prices by at least $10 a barrel, by early 2017. There are plenty of governing factors, of course, and a lot rests on what will be discussed in November at the OPEC’s next summit in Vienna.

Well, this might just be the long overdue silver lining we’ve all been looking for. The rest, as they say, only time will tell.

The global oil production leader Saudi Aramco is now expanding its footprint into petrochemicals as well, managing itself to become a leading provider for the Asian markets where the growing middle class clamors for various petrochemicals.


According to a study by Colorado based energy analysts IHS, Saudi Aramco has established itself as a major key player in the global chemical production just after its seven years of entry into the petrochemicals business.


“We expect they will become a force to be reckoned with during this decade,” Sanjay Sharma, vice president of Middle East and India markets at IHS Chemical said in a statement.


IHS has also revealed the fact that although the company is the sixth largest refiner in the world, but its chemical portfolio accounts for about 10 % of its revenues and earnings which is indeed appreciable.The company has been successful in gaining a competitive edge in chemical hungry markets of Middle East and North East Asia due to its upcoming two  multibillion dollar projects.


As reported by IHS, it is estimated that the company will kick off its production to 3 million metric tons per year of plastic and chemical products after a joint venture has been signed with the Dow Chemicals. Not only this, the company has further secured its foothold in the market by entering into a joint venture with Sumitomo of Japan which has already opened a $10 billion petrochemical complex in 2009 in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia and is going further expansion.

Earlier this year, Saudi Aramco’s CEO said the company’s downstream investments will top $100 billion in the next decade, Reuters reported.



A quantitative, probabilistic risk modeling tool used for more than a decade by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) might help the offshore industry prevent low-probability but high-impact incidents, a NASA safety official told a breakfast audience on 4 May at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.

David Kaplan, who is in charge of partnership development for NASA’s Safety & Mission Assurance Directorate, said that over a long period — but accelerated by the 2003 loss of the space shuttle Columbia — the space agency has embraced and advanced a quantitative tool called probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) to model and manage risk in the space shuttle program and for the International Space Station (ISS). PRA was also used for the now-terminated Constellation lunar exploration program and is currently in use on the Orion capsule that will one day carry humans to Mars.

“All of NASA’s manned space programs have used PRA to keep aware of these kinds of low-probability, high-consequence events,” Kaplan said. Encompassing hardware performance and human reliability assessment, PRA models are continually updated as changes take place and milestones are met.

Origins in the Nuclear Industry

PRA was developed by the nuclear power industry in the mid-1970s. Like many new programs, it sat on the shelf for several years. But after the 1979 Three-Mile Island accident, the industry took it up and began to apply it.

“People in the industry concluded that the defect that led to the incident could have been predicted, could have been stopped,” Kaplan said. Today, the licensure of every US nuclear power plant is based in part on PRA modeling. 

NASA had “dabbled with” PRA before the Columbia disaster, Kaplan said. But the loss of the spacecraft, which disintegrated upon re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven crew members, led to the agency’s full adoption of the probabilistic assessment tool. Although the future of the space shuttle program was thrown into doubt for an extended period, when shuttle flights resumed in mid-2005, NASA was able to complete its remaining missions because of PRA, Kaplan said. The NASA space shuttle fleet was retired in 2011 as construction of the ISS was completed.

The Loss of Columbia 

PRA has helped NASA understand risks that arise from small deviations from standards and that increase as the deviations become accepted, Kaplan said. Over many missions, NASA had grown used to small amounts of foam insulation breaking loose from the spacecraft during the launch phase, he said. Although this had never caused problems previously, foam that broke off of Columbia’s propellant tank just after takeoff on 16 January 2003 struck and damaged the protective covering on the orbiter’s left wing tip. During re-entry on 3 February, hot gas penetrated and destroyed the wing, which caused Columbia to lose control and disintegrate.

Kaplan described the evolution of the foam issue in the years before the disaster as “a deviation that became normalized,” resulting in a slow erosion of safety. To address these types of problems, hiring more people or redeploying them would not be an adequate response, he said. NASA needed a system that could provide leading indicators of low-probability, high-impact risks and adopted PRA for that purpose. PRA modeling also “will show you where you should spend your money,” Kaplan said. 

In suggesting that PRA could help the oil industry to improve risk management, Kaplan noted the similarity in size and isolated operating environment between the ISS and a facility such as a spar or mobile offshore drilling unit. In all of these facilities, maintenance is critical and repair of critical components is essential. They also must be regularly resupplied. 

Parallels Between Deepwater and Space

“NASA does have experience dealing with complex facilities operated in hostile, isolated environments, frankly where single mistakes can have extreme consequences,” Kaplan said. Given the nature of these operations, “failure is not an option,” he said. “In certain ways, it strikes me that the oil and gas industry, particularly in offshore deepwater activity, has many parallels [with NASA’s ISS activity].”

As a quantitative tool, PRA builds on the framework of qualitative tools used by the oil industry and NASA, such as failure modes and effects analysis, hazard and operability studies, fault trees, event trees, and bow-tie assessments, Kaplan said. 

Through last year’s SPACE Act, the US Congress allows NASA to engage in partnership agreements with the external community, including private companies, to share expertise, assets, or information potentially beneficial to both parties, if NASA has excess resources available. Kaplan noted a SPACE Act agreement with Anadarko Petroleum to study the potential of PRA to mitigate operational risks in blowout preventers. Results of the study will be made available through the American Petroleum Institute and a planned technical paper this fall. 

Kaplan said he was “certainly looking forward” to creating SPACE Act agreements with other oil industry participants to examine PRA’s applicability to industry activity. He encouraged the industry to form such partnerships. He also said that NASA has a 5-year inter-agency agreement with the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement to determine if PRA would be a useful tool for the offshore regulatory bureau.

Source: SPE

When people use the word addiction, they are generally referring to a strong desire for something harmful.  Something negative… like heroin for example.  So when speaking about America’s dependence on oil, the myth is more embedded in using the term “addicted”.  America’s use of oil is not an irrational desire for something harmful, but more accurately described as the use of a natural resource to provide positive, life-sustaining benefits.  At this point, no other energy source compares to oil when it comes to being a safe, and affordable source of portable energy.  And not only our lifestyle, but our lives depend on such a source of energy.


Here are just a few things oil provides for us…


  • Oil is the power source for most farm equipment that brings us supermarkets full of food.
  • Oil is the power source for mobile machinery that we use to harvest and extract raw materials such as iron, lumber, uranium, and natural gas.
  • Oil powers construction equipment for building new office buildings, factories, and homes.
  • Oil facilitates the use of hundreds of millions of vehicles (including your car) to move people, materials, and products around the world.
  • Oil is also the key raw material ingredient for thousands of different petroleum products such as the carpet in your living room, the insulation inside your walls, or even the synthetic rubber that makes the tires on your car. 


Do we consume a lot of oil?  Yes.  But to use the word addiction would be a misstatement.  We’re not addicted.  We maximize its value to provide the wonderful standard of living that we enjoy today. 

Indiana Gazette - RANDY WELLS

The Shell Chemical Appalachia Ethane Cracker Plant, still years away from operation, will be about 65 miles west of Indiana, but Indiana County can have a share in supplying the thousands of professionals and skilled tradesmen needed to build and operate the facility, according to natural gas and petrochemical industry experts who spoke Friday at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.


The Indiana County Center for Economic Operations brought the panel together to discuss how Indiana County can benefit from the cracker plant and other downstream and manufacturing opportunities anticipated because of an abundant supply of relatively cheap natural gas.


Dr. Nate McElroy, an IUP chemistry professor and analytical chemist, told the audience at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex that cracker plants use extreme pressure and heat to break larger molecules into smaller molecules. The cracker plant to be built in Potter and Center townships of Beaver County will take liquid derived from the ethane gas captured in the Marcellus shale formation and use it to create polyethylene pellets, which in turn will be used in manufacturing plastics.


“We are on top of the largest natural gas field in North America,” Craig Neal, vice president of operations for CNX Gas Company, a subsidiary of CONSOL Energy, said. He added that companies in southwest Pennsylvania have the ability to drill for the gas and capture it at lower costs than elsewhere in the nation. The abundant, low-priced gas will contribute to businesses ramping up, he said.


Discussion moderator Bill Flanagan, chief corporate relations officer of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, said southwest Pennsylvania was one of three regions that led the country out of the 2008 recession, and the energy sector then, too, was a driver of job creation.


David Rupersberger, president of the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, said Shell chose Beaver County as the site for the new cracker plant because it is within 700 miles of 70 percent of its customers, and the 1,200-acre flat parcel of land there is near river, rail and highway transportation systems.


But, he said, Shell also wanted assurances that a regional workforce pool of about 40,000 lived within a one-hour drive of the site and would be available to help build the plant.


David Brocious, director of business development and membership of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, said construction of the cracker plant will require many professionals, such as engineers, project managers and safety specialists, but also skilled tradesmen, including boilermakers, electricians, carpenters, heavy equipment operators and crane operators.

“It’s a very diverse, wide workforce that’s needed,” Neal agreed.


It is projected that between 2,000 and 6,000 workers will be required annually to build the Beaver County cracker plant, and then 600 permanent operational positions will be created there.


Construction of the plant is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2017, and production of polyethylene pellets there is not anticipated until 2022.


Neal said some industry officials believe the southwest Pennsylvania region can support two more cracker plants of the same capacity as the Beaver County facility.


Flanagan asked the panel what might get in the way of southwest Pennsylvania’s economic resurgence through abundant natural gas.


Taxes and regulatory policies must be handled carefully, Brocious answered. “There are other shale plays (in the nation) that are competing for capital. … Getting the economic equation right” will be important, he said.

Joe Bozada, CEO of Environmental Service Labs and Environmental Land Surveying & Solutions, said insufficient pipeline capacity to move the abundant gas could also pose a challenge.


However, the panel members agreed a pipeline construction boom could also create more employment opportunities.

The discussion several times touched on the types of education today’s students should be receiving to prepare them for coming jobs in the natural gas and petrochemical industries.


Neal said opportunities for STEM — science, technology, engineering and math — education are extremely important.

Brocious said today’s students should not perceive the natural gas industry as “a bunch of rough-neck wildcatters.”

“It’s a very technologically advanced industry,” he said. “There’s a tremendous amount of science and technology involved.”


But, he added, there’s also a wide range of skilled labor that’s needed.


PHOTO: Participating in a panel discussion Friday on the impact of a proposed cracker plant in Beaver County were, from left, Nate McElroy, an IUP chemistry professor; Craig Neal, vice president of operations for CNX Gas; and Joe Bozada, CEO of Environmental Services Laboratories. (Tom Peel/Gazette)

Houston Business Journal's second-annual Women in Energy Leadership honorees include presidents at some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, as well as CEOs of flourishing startups.


The 22 honorees this year were selected in three categories by a panel of judges, listed below, based on submitted applications.


The three categories were Women of Influence, Women to Watch and Innovators. We're so pleased to see many of our members who won this prestigious honor.  Thanks to the community board and members across the globe for nominating!  




The Women in Energy Leadership awards started in 2015 through the Houston Business Journal and a partnership with Pink Petro with an effort to drive visibility around women in energy and their accomplishments.  These events are now held in multiple cities in the USA through the American City Business Journals including Pittsburgh and Denver.  


Pink Petro has plans underway to recognize women and companies internationally at the HERWorld Energy Forum in 2017.

Congratulations to our founder companies, Halliburton for having three women named to this year's list and  Shell, along with members from ConocoPhillips, Spectra, and ExxonMobil.  


Sign up to join in the celebration on November 10th - Pink Petro is getting a table so if you're game to join in, drop us a line and read the full story here.


Click here to read about last year's honorees.

C. Susan Howes, PE, PHR

Member, Susan Howes wins DeGolyer Distinguished Service Medal.

The award was presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in Dubai.  Award recipients are only allowed 60 seconds for their acceptance speech, so Susan shared her appreciation of the support of many more of my colleagues around the world on LinkedIn last week. Service to SPE is its own reward, but it’s wonderful to receive this recognition, and it’s my honor to share it with all of you. Here’s my acceptance speech from the Awards Banquet:

“It’s been my privilege to serve SPE as a volunteer since my days as a student. I’d like to thank my parents, Tom and Diane Smith. My dad is also an engineer and SPE member, and he encouraged me to apply for the SPE scholarship when I was in high school. At UT, one of my first professors was Dr. Larry Lake, who nominated me for the DeGolyer award, with support from my three additional mentors, Behrooz Fattahi, Giovanni Paccaloni and Janeen Judah. I’d like to thank my husband, Hal Howes, and my daughters, Rachel Howes and Elizabeth Howes. SPE volunteerism is often done at night and on weekends, so their support has been vital. I’d also like to recognize my colleagues at SCA, as well as my former colleagues at Anadarko and Chevron for their support and encouragement. And of course, I’d like to thank all of my SPE friends, both in the Gulf Coast Section and in the global committees on which I’ve served throughout the years.”  

The picture includes Nathan Meehan, 2016 SPE President and Nikhil Trivedi, AIME President.


Source: LinkedIn 


1. OPEC announced it's intentions to cut oil production by 700,000 barrels per day. 


After meeting Wednesday in Algiers, Algeria, OPEC released a statement stating their intent to reduce production clarifying their reasoning and intentions.   The Organization said, “In the last two years, the global oil market has witnessed many challenges, originating mainly from the supply side. As a result, prices have more than halved, while volatility has increased. Oil-exporting countries’ and oil companies’ revenues have dramatically declined, putting strains on their fiscal position and hindering their economic growth.”


While the arrangement is sizable, most oil experts don’t feel the reduction is drastic enough nor expedient enough to return the oil market back to equilibrium.


2. New Norwegian oil and gas producer emerges. 


On Friday, British energy giant BP and a Norwegian energy company Det norske officially created Aker BP, an independent company that is now the largest independent Norwegian oil and gas producer.  With the formation of Aker BP, BP is staking claim on their piece of the giant Johan Sverdrup oil field, where Det norske has a minority interest.


Initial operations of Aker BP are projected to yield up to 380,000 barrels of oil per day, approximately half of the expected peak production rate. Once in full capacity is reached, Johan Sverdrup (The 5th largest discovered oil field off the coast of Norway) should produce nearly 25 percent of all Norwegian petroleum production.


3. Significant events in the upcoming week.


Tuesday, October 4th the American Petroleum Institute is scheduled to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.


Wednesday, October 5th the U.S. Energy Information Administration is set to release weekly data on oil and gasoline stockpiles.


Friday, October 7th Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.