Skip navigation
All Places > News & Field Trips > Blog > 2017 > April

From: Stephen Forrester, TWA Editor / SPE 


It is universally acknowledged that the oil and gas industry is dominated by highly technical professionals. That said, after working with and befriending people of various educational backgrounds, I have become very passionate about raising awareness of how people with degrees outside the usual degrees such as engineering, geology, or business are still critical to this industry. In this article, I share some of my thoughts on how my education has benefited my oil and gas career and also profile two professionals in the industry who have achieved success despite having unique backgrounds.


English Graduate Turned Technical Writer and Marketer

Stephen Forrester, Marketing and Technical Communications Writer, NOV

As I worked through the rigors of both an undergraduate and a master’s degree in English, I was frequently asked about my plans for those degrees. What would I do, people would ask with a mixture of wonder and incredulity, what could I do with English degrees in this day and age? What kind of career could I possibly have, particularly in oil- and technology-driven Houston, a progressive city but one where the liberal arts had nonetheless fallen out of favor due to shifting socioeconomic and educational conditions?

Even at the university, I frequently studied under professors who relentlessly insisted that there were only two paths forward: a career in education, or a career in academia. I briefly explored the former before realizing my passion lay elsewhere, and then pursued my master’s degree in the hope of getting ahead of the curve. I was confident not necessarily in the degrees themselves so much as in the power of words, ideas, and communication.

Fast-forward to the present, where I have achieved success in this early stage of my career. I entered the oil and gas industry, which is traditionally perceived as being very unresponsive to those with liberal arts degrees, as a technical editor at Lloyd’s Register, going page by page through very long, detailed reports on subsea blowout preventer compliance inspections; that is, I entered this industry reviewing highly technical, time-sensitive material. Today, I work at National Oilwell Varco (NOV) in a hybrid role that combines aspects of technical writing with marketing communications. I have tried to push the fundamental truth that good writing leads to the creation of collateral that is polished, coherent, and definitively sells the value of a product/service vs. competitors’. Accomplishing this is an ongoing and challenging endeavor, as engineers can be hesitant to accept writing as little more than an expedient. Despite this, NOV has given me a great opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge myself. I have been published several times, as an author and a coauthor, and am always looking for new ways to hone my craft and move forward in my career.

I have also had the good fortune of joining the editorial board for The Way Ahead, which has provided me with additional chances to broaden my reach and learn new things. I have done all this despite having degrees that, initially, seemed to bar me from entering this very field. I took some important things from those degrees: the ability to think critically about complex issues, to articulate points in ways that people understand, to simplify and humanize often distant and inaccessible ideas, and to make meaningful connections. Now, one of my passions is to help others realize that they can do the same thing.

Music and Cultural Studies Graduate Turned HR Professional

Jared Hawkins, Human Resources Advisor, Shell

Looking back on how my music and cultural studies led me to my career in human resources (HR), I think a great deal of credit has to go to a work ethic instilled by my family, my studies as a musician, and distinctly my studies of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. I’d be remiss if I did not acknowledge the hard work and tough love from my parents; I grew up with prime examples of being dedicated and responsible, but always keeping what you feel is right and just at the forefront of your life. Outside of the home, music and cultural studies give me a unique perspective for a career in the business world, specifically HR. 

No good musician ever performs unprepared; you’ll practice and rehearse thousands of hours a year and be critiqued before, during, and after any audition or performance, driven to strive for an unreachable level of perfection. I take this same approach in my career as an HR practitioner. Whether it is developing an HR process, completing an investigation write-up to address employee concerns, or developing an external presentation on diversity and inclusiveness, I feel that poor work quality or sloppy delivery has never been an option. To me, that is the equivalent of walking out on the stage of a great music hall and fudging through notes because you did not get enough time to learn the piece. As someone still pretty green in his career working for one of Houston’s oil and gas majors, I have had to strike a balance with this approach while realizing that we are all human, and we all make mistakes.

Studying Spanish and the cultures in Latin America led me to travel more, which helped me understand that different ways of life are to be celebrated and valued. The critical thinking skills demanded of me from my professors throughout studies of the arts, cinema, history, cuisine, and politics, to name a few, taught me to appreciate other perspectives and insights even as a “cultural outsider.” These studies and my experience learning the Spanish language greatly developed my ability to empathize with those who may not look, think, or act like me. In a nutshell, Hispanic studies taught me to be curious about the “other,” which helped me to take criticism constructively, to listen to understand instead of listening to respond, and to view a challenge as an opportunity to arrive at a stronger decision point.

On occasion, mentors and sponsors will point out to me that I should be proud of my unconventional background as an HR professional. While I still work to continuously learn and upskill the foundational parts of my HR responsibility, I no longer dread the question about how I got to where I am; if anything, I hope it encourages others to speak up about interests and passions outside of our 9-to-5 desk jobs. To be as engaged and high-performing as possible during those 40+ hours a week, we should feel comfortable and inspired to bring our entire selves to work.

Communications Graduate Turned CEO, Visionary Women’s Advocate

Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder, Pink Petro and Experience Energy

I lead Pink Petro, a global community of energy professionals providing digital learning, formal and informal networking, mentoring, and development, to bring about the next generation of women in the industry. The platform provides content, conversation, resources, careers, advocacy, and change. Pink Petro’s ultimate goal is to help develop the pipeline of female talent within the energy industry and attract new people into the sector.

Prior to Pink Petro, I held various health, safety, and environment (HSE), change, and organizational effectiveness leadership roles at both BP and Shell worldwide. I conceived of the idea of Pink Petro on a flight from London to Houston in 2013, later leaving a director-level position at BP to launch the Pink Petro project. Seeing that women were struggling to penetrate a dominantly male industry, and witnessing the widespread impact of the severe crash in oil prices, I felt and understood my true calling: I would serve as a disruptive catalyst to drive a talent shift for women in the sector. I docked my pay to zero, withdrew funds from my portfolio, and formed Pink Petro.

As I achieved success in the industry, people often wondered about my degree in communications. One early mentor from my early HSE role, reinforced that my degree is valuable. She asserted that someone who could speak well with others, work with varying personalities, and provide the support necessary to ensure that people understood safety was a critical asset; how could we attempt to create a culture of safety if our employees did not even understand why we needed to do so, or how? I have taken this belief forward in my career: Your degree is only one half of the coin. What is more important, I have found, is how we work with and inspire others. You must have focus, discipline, and the ability to operate at multiple levels and in multiple cultures, something I gained from my experiences working closely with employees every day. Good leaders listen, learn, and leverage the best parts of the team, consistently delivering improvement and results. Resolve is also important. People generally talk about problems or overanalyze the issues, but I prefer to take action, create solutions, and get things done.

The best part of any job I have had is helping to effect change in the lives of everyday people. I get to meet and work with some of the incredible unsung heroes in my industry, individuals who need their stories shared and elevated. I take particular joy in seeing women succeed, and strive every day to blend genders, nationalities, and generations together to drive inclusivity in the places we work and live.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors/presenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of referenced companies, their affiliates, or their employees.

Photo source (top): Getty Images

NextDecade LNGEarlier this month, the Woodlands-based NextDecade LLC announced a reverse merger. The all-stock deal will take NextDecade to public markets once it closes.


NextDecade, LLC (“NextDecade”) also announced on April 25th that it has entered into an agreement with GE Oil & Gas to advance its liquefied natural gas (“LNG”) export projects and associated pipelines in the State of Texas. NextDecade has named GE Oil & Gas as the exclusive supplier of gas turbine and compressor equipment for the liquefaction trains of the Rio Grande LNG project and the associated Rio Bravo Pipeline.


“We believe GE will add significant value as we work to make Rio Grande LNG one of the most competitive liquefaction projects in the world. The addition of GE Oil & Gas reaffirms our commitment to use proven technology to provide our customers with low-cost, reliable LNG," said Kathleen Eisbrenner, NextDecade's founder and CEO, and Pink Petro member in a press release.



Take charge in your career, but be a team player. Make sure your ideas are heard, but listen more than you speak. Look out for number one, but support others.


Are you confused yet? I can’t blame you. The waters you need to navigate in your professional life can get undeniably murky.


We’re told to grab the reins, be assertive, and steer our careers in the direction we want them to go. But, we’re also told not to be bossy—we shouldn’t put ourselves first. We need to be competitive, but we also need to be collaborative.


It’s a tricky tightrope to walk, that’s for sure. And, finding the balance between the two can present some challenges, much like today’s “Dear Kat” reader has discovered:


Dear Kat, I’m so often told to be more assertive in my career and go after the things I want. But, I’m also worried about being viewed as pushy, overbearing, or inconsiderate. I want to be competitive in my career, but I don’t want to step on others to get there—in fact, I want to lift them up with me. Do you have any advice for climbing the ladder—without stepping over other people or sending them tumbling off entirely?


First, this is an excellent attitude to have. Yes, it definitely pays to look out for number one in your career (nobody cares about your success and future as much as you do!). But, if you can find a way to do that without being condescending or brutal, you’ll maintain a positive professional reputation and solid relationships.


So, how do you strike this balance? Here are a few tips that will help:


1. Celebrate Others

We all fall into this trap: Thinking that other people’s successes are our failures. When someone gets a promotion, an award, or a great new job, it’s pretty much human nature to get down on yourself—why didn’t you achieve that very same thing?

As natural as that might be, it’ll ultimately only drag you down and undermine your confidence. And, when you think about it, silently resenting or envying that person won’t push you any further ahead.


So, rather than feeling disheartened and wallowing in your own negativity, join in and celebrate that person’s successes. Congratulate him or her on a job well done! After all, it’ll be tough to foster a reputation as someone who’s supportive and encouraging if you constantly turn a blind eye to everyone else’s accomplishments—yet expect them to leap for joy when you achieve one of your own.


2. Learn From Others

Of course, you can take things a step further than just recognizing those people who accomplish great things. Why? Well, because these are people that you can learn a lot from.


Maybe that person just completed a major project that intrigues you. Or, perhaps she landed a promotion that you’re eager to land one day. Instead of thinking that person just took your spot, make it your mission to learn from her own experience and insights.


After you’ve congratulated her (remember, that’s important!), request a time when you could take her out for a celebratory coffee or drink when she has time. This will give you the perfect opportunity to find out more about that person’s path—experience is a great teacher!


One word of caution: You don’t need to do this in a sneaky or passive aggressive way. Simply state that you admire what she’s achieved and you’re curious to know more about the steps she took to get there. Hopefully, she’ll be more than willing to share!


3. Share Your Insights

If you expect to learn from the people ahead of you on the ladder, you also need to be prepared to return the favor and help out the people that are below you.


Often, we feel tempted to hold onto our own tips, advice, and experiences like they’re trade secrets—we reveal just enough to seem helpful, but not so much that we’re handing people things on a silver platter.


But, ask yourself this: What’s the worst that can happen if you turn around and offer other people truly beneficial and actionable advice? They’ll achieve things similar to you? Is that really so bad?


If you truly want to be collaborative, resist the temptation to keep your best advice so close to the vest. Helping someone else make strides in their own career is rewarding (and typically does no harm to you!). In fact, more often than not, it elevates your professional reputation and establishes some great mentor/mentee relationships.


4. Always (Always!) Act With Integrity

Oh, how easy it can be to ignore our conscience in those moments when we want nothing more but to keep clawing our way up that ladder. We’ve all done things that make us feel a little shameful—whether it’s throwing a co-worker under the bus or going over a boss’ head.


However, you will never—and I really mean never—regret acting with integrity. How can you make sure that you always act with a clean conscience? Well, slow down a little.


Before acting or speaking, ask yourself if this is something you’ll be proud of. Would you say whatever you’re about to say in front of that person you’re speaking about? If someone found out about the way you’re behaving, would feel the need to duck your head in shame?


Let’s face it—your conscience is pretty good at speaking to you. So, when you get that uneasy feeling that you’re doing something a little shady or ruthless, take a deep breath and find another way. You can definitely be competitive, without being cutthroat.


There’s no denying that being competitive and aggressive in your career—while avoiding being unnecessarily aggressive or pushy—can be a tough balance to strike. But, it’s doable, as long as you’re willing to press pause, practice some humility, and change your perspective a little bit. Put these tips to work, and you’re sure to walk that fine line!

Most of us are in the business of Big Energy, but what about how that energy is used in our daily lives?  Today we’re going to bust some household energy myths:


Myth One:  My AC and Heater are the biggest energy consumers in my home.


This used to be true a few years ago, but with improvements in the efficiency of air conditioning units and furnaces, today’s homes are much more efficient HVAC-wise.  And if you live in a moderate climate where you don’t’ need to run your AC and/or heater all the time, you’re not spending as much as you would think compared to other items in your home. 


So what is the big energy hog in your home then?  Electronic devices!  This is your big screen TV or your gaming console that stays on 24 hrs. a day or the constant charging of all your electronic phones, tablets and toys. 


Myth Two: Putting your computer in sleep mode saves on the electric bill.


Not true!  Even when your computer is in sleep mode, it’s sucking up a shockingly high amount of electricity!  And that goes for tablets and phones as well. 


The best way to stop paying for your electronic gadgets to sit around and run is to turn them off when you’re not using them!  Don’t leave phones and tablets plugged in all night.  When they reach 100%, unplug! 


*TIP* Try plugging all of your electronic devices into a power strip, then you can easily flip the switch and turn everything off at once.


Myth Three: I can save a bunch of money by changing out my old windows for the new, energy-saving windows.


This myth is true or false depending on your home.  Yes, if you’re building a new home, you should definitely install double-pane, low-e windows.  They will help improve the energy efficiency of your home




If you’re living in an older home, changing out all the windows isn’t really going to give you the bang for your buck that you’re hoping for.  With all the other ways heat or cold escape old homes, your power bill is still going to stay high, and it will take a long time to recoup the investment of new windows.  You’re better off keeping the old windows and implementing other energy saving methods as much as possible. 


With these three tips, you can save on your energy bills and keep money in your pocket.  What other energy saving tips do you have to share with us?  Share in the comments below!



We are so excited to be joining our partners on May 24–25 at KPMG’s 15th Annual Global Energy Conference  taking place at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas. Register now to join other senior energy executives and luminaries to share ideas and gain insights on the current issues and emerging challenges that are shaping the energy industry.


This year's conference features an outstanding program examining industry opportunities, debating the future of U.S. and world markets, and collaborating on ways industry players can succeed in the new energy landscape. Come share your ideas and gain insights into the current issues and emerging challenges that will impact the energy industry in the coming year.


Keynote speakers this year include John Boehner, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Mark and Scott Kelley,  highly decorated NASA astronauts and retired U.S. Navy captains.  Robin Chase, leading pioneer of the “sharing economy” and founder and former CEO of Zipcar, also joins us as a featured speaker.


Click here to register! (And get $200 off!) - $1450 now until April 30 2017




The KPMG GEC is a premier event for executives in the energy industry. Presented by the KPMG Global Energy Institute, the GEC attracts more than 700 professionals each year and brings together energy executives and luminaries to share ideas and gain insights on the current issues and emerging challenges that will impact the energy industry in the coming year. The GEC offers a rich, candid exchange of views among industry leaders. The goal of the conference is to provide participants with new insights, tools, and strategies to help them manage industry-related issues and challenges. Additionally, attendees have the opportunity to join their peers form leading energy companies to network and share effective practices.





Join us and several of our friends at the Ninth Annual Women in Energy Executive Breakfast cohosted by partners of KPMG and the KPMG Global Energy Institute (GEI). The breakfast will be held in conjunction with the opening of the 15th Annual KPMG Global Energy Conference (GEC) at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Houston, Texas on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.


The networking event will include a panel discussion with senior female leaders. This year’s topic is “It’s time to boost morale and recreate a high-performing team,” which will offer various perspectives from experts who are skilled in changing the workplace culture, as well as leading industry executives who have gone through this journey and come out successful.


This year’s panel includes


  • Sandy Asch, Principal Alliance for Organizational Excellence and architect of the Resilience at Work model and best selling author; 
  • Deanna Jones, Vice President of Human Resoures and Administrative Services for Marathon Oil Corporation;  
  • Laura Schilling, Global Business Development Manager for Halliburton Production Solutions.
  • Moderator: Kimberly Kesler, Partner with KPMG


Click here to register! - There is no fee to attend the breakfast.


Pink Petro will be at the GEC and breakfast both days.  Stop by our booth to connect, refresh, and get your boost of energy you need.  We'll have a special gift for those who come by.  

Oil prices continue to stall. Rig counts continue to climb.

The increase in U.S. oil rigs continues to put pressure on oil prices. As of Friday afternoon, Baker Hughes published data showing active U.S. drilling rigs rose by five to 688 for week ending 4/21.  That continues the rally, making it 14 weeks in a row the U.S. rig count has increased.  Meanwhile, Price per barrel dropped below $50 or 7% week over week.  Additionally, with the French presidential elections, instability on the Korean peninsula and the continued Syrian conflict, investor confidence is highly volatile at the moment, which also contributes to the unpredictability of oil prices.

Some OPEC members reach a tentative agreement to extend supply cuts.

Prior to the next OPEC member meeting, Saudi Arabia Energy Minister Kalid al-Falih hinted that a few OPEC members have reached a preliminary agreement to extend cuts to supply. “Consensus is building, but it is not done yet,” Falih stated, “We are talking to all countries. We haven’t reached an agreement for sure, but the consensus is building.”

The decision and full member consensus (Including Russia) is anticipated to come from the May 25th member meeting in Vienna; however, unless the trend of rising U.S. production slows, the decision to extend cuts seems inevitable. 

Sri Lanka oil workers go on strike.

As a protest against the government’s action to lease oil tanks to neighboring India, employees from the state-run petroleum corporation have gone on strike. Union workers have cut off fuel supplies from 12 of the country’s major storage facilities since Sunday, and the disruption to the supply chain is causing long lines to form at gasoline stations across Sri Lanka. 

Trade union leaders have stated their displeasure with the government agreement stating it only benefits Indian companies. Rajakaruna, the union head and representative, feels the lease of 14 tanks (out of 99) would severely affect Sri Lanka's economy and sovereignty.  Minister of Sri Lanka's Petroleum Resources Development, Chandima Weerakkody, and Rajakaruna are set to meet today in hopes of resolving the issue.

Women in Energy Pink Petro

These days, there are multiple power rankings reserved strictly for women, and that’s a good thing. Fortune’s got a list. Forbes does, too.


Sadly, however, major power players from the oil and gas industry seldom make the cut. I get it.  The words OIL and GAS aren't cool.  And while I've said it before, I'll say it again: women are game changers in energy -- we will and are solving climate issues, energy poverty and all the things that come with the challenges of our sector.  


But it was particularly thrilling this month to see the National Diversity Council release its list of the top 50 most powerful women in oil and gas. I’m proud to say that nine of them are members of the Pink Petro community. 

Laurie H. Argo
is the senior vice president at Enterprise Products. She’s spent 18 years in the energy industry and previously served as president and chief executive officer of OTLP GP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Enterprise.


Shelbie DeZell is the senior vice president and chief financial officer at Hilcorp. She’s been with the company for 14 years and held management positions with responsibility over finance, financial reporting, tax, risk, investor relations and planning.


Zhanna Golodryga is the senior vice president of services, and chief information officer at Hess Corporation. She spearheaded a large-scale migration to the cloud at Hess. Before that, she served as vice president and CIO at BHP Billiton Petroleum.


Myrtle Jones is the senior vice president of tax at Halliburton. She has more than 30 years of experience in international and domestic tax compliance and strategic tax planning. In 2016, the National Women’s Council honored her as Houston Woman of the Year.  Halliburton is a global corporate founder of Pink Petro.


Castlen Kennedy is the vice president of public affairs at Apache Corporation. According to her corporate profile, she’s just 38 years old and previously served as served as a senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Energy.


Elizabeth Killinger is the executive vice president of NRG Retail at NRG. She’s been with the company for 15 years and is spearheading the company’s “Era of Personal Power,” helping introduce new products that “push the energy industry into the future.”


Christina S. Sistrunk is the president and CEO at Aera Energy. She’s worked in Houston, New Orleans, the Netherlands and the Arctic and, during an assignment with Shell, worked on improving the company’s approach to drilling in Alaska.  Christina is also spoke at HERWorld this year on how she thinks we'll end the gender gap. Aera Energy is a corporate global member of Pink Petro.


Melanie Trent is the executive vice president, general counsel, chief administrative officer and company secretary at Rowan Companies plc. She’s got a degree from Georgetown University Law Center and has been with Rowan since 2005.


Marguerite Woung-Chapman is the senior vice president of land administration/computer assisted drawing services (CAD), general counsel and corporate secretary at EP Energy Corp. She’s also a member of the company’s executive committee, which guides EP Energy’s strategic direction and management.


The National Diversity Council used a variety of criteria to solidify what the organization calls “a definitive list of female executives, influencers and achievers impacting the oil and gas industry”: These women contribute directly to the business growth or strategic direction of the organization. They have a track record of accomplishments, and — closest to my heart — they are role models and active mentors for the next generation of women in the industry.


There had to be a reason they were drawn to the work we’re doing at Pink Petro.


I love to see women in the energy industry get the recognition they deserve. Every award and accolade is a step forward, not just for the individual executives on the list but for all of us in oil and gas. Congrats to each and every one of the 50 women on this list. It’s an honor well-deserved — and long overdue.


You can’t argue the fact that solar energy is up and coming in the ranks of renewable energy.  With recent job reports claiming there are more jobs in Solar than in Fossil Fuels (Another myth to be discussed at a later time), you can see that solar power is on the rise.  So let’s take another spin on this and bust some myths when it comes to solar power for your home.  Here are five myths about solar panels that you MUST know!


Myth 1: If you live in a cold climate, solar panels won’t work for you.


It’s quite the opposite.  Solar panels work better in cooler climates compared to hot climates.  The cold increases conductivity and allows electricity to flow more efficiently.  In fact once temperatures rise over a certain level, the electricity production from the solar panel begins decreasing, meaning your panels are LESS efficient.


Myth 2: Solar power technology is advancing at such a rapid rate, I should wait to install panels on my home.


Nope.  We’ve been using the same basic solar panel technology since the 1960’s.  Yes, companies are working to improve efficiencies, but the incremental gains are so minimal you’re not losing out on much by investing now.  If you decide solar panels are the way you want to go, there’s no reason to wait on technology. 


Myth 3: I’m not sure how long I’m going to live in my home.  I’ll never make my money back!


When you install solar panels on your home it increases the resale value of your home an average of $15,000.   On top of that, depending on where you’re located the panels can pay for themselves with savings on your power bill in about 10-15 years. (sometimes sooner)


Myth 4: Solar panels don’t work in cloudy conditions.


It’s true that snowy and cloudy weather can decrease the amount of energy your solar panel produces, but they can still work efficiently in these conditions.  If you live in the Northeast, they can position your panels at an angle that allows the snow to slide off.  If you live in the Northwest, the rain actually helps clean and wash the panels of debris, helping them be more efficient.  While weather does have an impact, solar panels are still an effective power source.  Just ask Germany


Myth 5: My state doesn’t offer financial incentives for installing solar panels.


Before you say that, you should look into the solar energy incentives and policies for your state.  At this point nearly every state in the U.S. has some form of tax incentive for solar power.  And even if your state doesn’t offer any incentives, the federal government offers a 30% tax credit for solar panel systems installed before 2020.


There you have it, the truth about solar panels.  I know this article may sound like an advertisement for a solar panel company, but it’s not.  Just busting some myths  

With the recent public relations blunders and straight up crises of companies like Pepsi and United Airlines, professional faux pas have been on my mind quite a bit recently. And, if this week’s Dear Kat reader is any indication, I’m not alone:


Dear Kat, I try to always be respectful and professional in my career. But, that doesn’t mean I’m flawless. I still make mistakes! Do you have any tips for bouncing back from a work-related screw up?


We’re all only human. So, no matter how conscientious you try to be, you’re bound to goof every now and then.


Whether you do something minor, like send an email to the wrong person or spill the breakroom pot of coffee, or you do something that’s a little more cringe-worthy—like include incorrect information in a major report, for example—mistakes in your career are inevitable.


But, much like anything, it’s not always about what happened, but how you react to it that matters most. So, let’s take a look at how you can bounce back from your professional mistakes even better than before.


1. Get Ahead of it

We’re all likely far too familiar with that stomach-sinking feeling that occurs when we realize we just made a big mistake. And, oftentimes, our shame is enough to inspire us to consider leaving it alone and hoping that nobody notices.


However, attempting to sweep your faux pas under the rug is one of the worst things you can do—particularly if your mistake could have major negative consequences. Instead, you’re much better off owning up to your slip-up and then immediately jumping into action to fix it.


The sooner you can take accountability and identify next steps, the better. The only thing worse than making a mistake is getting caught trying to hide it.


2. Loop Someone Else In

In many cases, it’s also a good idea to make somebody else aware of your mistake—especially your boss or supervisor. Yes, it can be embarrassing. But, it’s almost always wise to bring in some outside perspective.


Perhaps she has some experience with this sort of mistake being made before, meaning she’ll have some sage advice for the best way to fix it. Or, maybe she’ll be able to assure you that your slip-up was really no big deal.


Either way, it’s important that your manager is in the know about your blunder, particularly if it will end up being something she needs to address or explain.


3. Identify Your First Step

Now, it’s time to get to fixing. Recovering from a professional mistake—especially if it’s a big one—can feel overwhelming. So, rather than thinking about all of the steps you’ll have to take to bounce back, start by identifying your very first one.


What’s the one thing you need to do immediately in order to repair your blunder or fix an error? Do you need to send an email to someone? Do you need to undo a change you made?


Zone in on the most important and urgent thing you need to get taken care of, and then get it done. Taking that first step will address the high-pressure and time-pressing concerns, so that you can get those out of the way and continue taking steps to fix your mistake.


4. Continue Reparative Action

After you’ve checked that first step off your list, it’s time to figure out if there are additional things you need to take care of.


Do you need to send a company-wide email about the error? Do you need to redo a portion of a report or spreadsheet? Do you need to reschedule a meeting? Do you need to issue an apology to someone (that’s always important if your mistake significantly and negatively impacted someone else!)?


The steps you need to take to repair your error will vary greatly depending on your specific circumstances. But, it’s important that you identify the things you need to do to resolve your blunder—write them all down if you have to!—and then get moving on those items.


After that, you’ll also want to determine some actionable tactics for avoiding this same mistake in the future. Do you need to institute a new process for yourself or stick a post-it to your computer monitor? Find some things that will help you sidestep this error moving forward and you’ll be much better off.


After all, making a mistake once is understandable. But, continuing to make that same one over and over again? That will become frustrating fast.


5. Don’t Dwell

Making a mistake—no matter how big or small—is embarrassing. And, unfortunately, it can haunt you for a while.


But, this is important for you to remember: resist the urge to dwell on that experience. While you want to use it to improve moving forward, continuing to obsess over the “I wish I had done it this way…” or “If only I had…” scenarios will only drive you crazy and prevent you from moving on.


So, after you’ve fixed your mistake and put steps in place to avoid it in the future, take a deep breath and let it go. You’ll be much better off!



We’ve all made a mistake in our careers before! What did you do to repair a professional goof? Let me know in the comments!

Wow!  The past six weeks since HERWorld17 have been amazing.  I've been to Europe and Asia and hot spots all over the globe to speak and connect with members, government officials, media, industry leaders, and gender gap advocates.


My travels eastward have been more eye opening than ever.  You can step into one country and it's like going back to the 1960s (and I was born in the 1970s), and other countries, they have more advanced practices. (Yes, China is ahead.)


In Japan I learned that the country ranks 111 of 140 countries in the World Economic Forum's gender gap report.  Guys and gals, that's horrific.  While traveling with KPMG 's Regina Mayor and Mina Sekiguchi, our Gastech 2017 forum on women in energy held promising discussions -- women from Oman, UAE, Africa, China, Singapore and other countries attended the session.  Men were also there which signaled a great sign of support but still there's SO much work to do.Lean In Tokyo Katie Mehnert


One of the highlights of my trip was meeting Lean In Tokyo leader Rena Suzuki Wagner and her supportive husband Felix Takashi Wagner.  Rena is a true progressive blazing a torch for women in Tokyo not just in energy but in multiple industries.  


Her husband Felix came along to our meeting which struck me as nothing short of amazing.  Felix wants a world like Rena, where women are empowered to achieve their goals and aspirations.  


In Japan...


  • Social roles put family at the base or center. 
  • Husbands and families expect wives to quit their jobs and take care of home duties including housekeeping. (Side note: My husband might quite like a move to Japan.  You know he's the domestic one in our dual-earner household!)
  • Even work style is driven by men's way of thinking. The notion of equal employment opportunity laws were introduced in 1986 which was an attempt to prevent discrimination against working mothers but it's still taken time for culture to change.  It's slow. 


Many of the women I met in Japan in senior roles has no mentors and found themselves the only ones in meetings much less "networked".  And because working women also have the added expectation of taking care of children and the home, women find less time to network, socialize and develop in their careers.


Another perspective is that building a talent pipeline of female leaders is a new breed.  It takes on average 30 years to groom an executive, sJAPEX women in energy GASTECH 2017o why would we expect things to happen over night?


The news wasn't all bad.  We talked solutions. To improve, women in Asia suggested the following:


  • Increase access to childcare centers, both availability and opening hours.
  • Widely endorse flex time and remote work policies (hmm, this sounds Western -- and has been met with opposition now hasn't it?)
  • Promote role models for males who have working wives to demonstrate it's do-able.
  • Target junior high schools to begin discussing the possibilities in the industry.


There was a moment in the day when JAPEX Chairman stood up and declared his support for women in energy which brought a resounding applause.  It was a special moment to observe.


Some of you may be thinking, hmm... how and why does this all matter?  


What it comes down to is we're not in the same place.  In fact countries can be generations a part.  To give you perspective, the US ranks 45 and Canada ranks 35, and the United Kingdom is 20 out of 140 countries measured in the World Economic Forum annual study. The Global Gender Gap Index reveals that all countries can do more to close the gender gap. Across the Index, there are only five countries that have closed 80% of the gap or more. In addition, there are 64 countries that have closed between 70% and 80% of their gender gap. A further 65 countries have closed between 60% and 70%, while 10 countries have closed between 50% and 60%. In 2016, no country had closed less than 50% of their overall gender gap. However, there is wide variety in progress on closing the gender gap in every world region, with both success stories and underperforming countries in each.

If there is one thing we agreed on at Gastech is that all women, regardless of country or career background need to band together globally and make our voices heard.  We spoke about the commercial value that women bring to deal making and we celebrated newfound friendships and connections that will serve to drive value as we drive the energy value chain into the next era.

1. Oil leak continues to spill crude and natural gas onto Alaska's North Slope near Prudhoe Bay.


It’s been three days and multiple failed attempts to remedy the situation; however, the BP oil well spill in Alaska continues because the company has determined the spill site is too dangerous for workers to approach.  BP hasn’t yet been able to quantify how much oil has spilled in the area, but stated, as of Sunday, there have been no injuries to workers or harm to wildlife in the area.


The leak was discovered Friday morning when BP workers noticed crude oil and natural gas spraying from the top of it, but the cause is still undetermined.  As of now, this is nowhere near as monumental as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.  That spill killed 11 workers and created the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. federal waters. 


Iran in favor of continued supply cuts.


In advance of the May 25th OPEC meeting, Iran is going on record in support of continued restrictions on oil supply.  The Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported that Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh “stressed that most countries want OPEC's decision to be extended,"  and that Iran would be in favor of this as well.  Currently OPEC, and some non-OPEC countries such as Russia have agreed to cut output for the first six months of 2017 in an effort to reverse price decreases from the market be oversupplied since mid-2014.


North Korea’s Sunday missile launch fails, US, not the only one wearing thin on patience.


Everyone seems to be ready for extended geopolitical tensions after North Korea attempted and failed to launch a ballistic missile.  Thankfully, the missile blew up almost immediately after it launched, but failure doesn’t mean respite.  The US has already shown it’s not playing games by moving battle cruisers and aircraft carriers to the region, but it’s looking like China is finally losing patience as well.   According to a state Chinese media outlet, Huanqui, China is considering a suspension of its crude oil exports to North Korea after their latest tests.  With China on board, this would be a near fatal blow to North Korea because they depend on China for nearly 90% of their crude oil supply.  Without crude oil imports from China, North Korea’s economy would come to a complete standstill. 

Yes. Absolutely. You got it. No problem.


Sound familiar? Chances are, words and phrases like that fly out of your mouth all the time at work—whether you truly mean them or not.


We’re all somewhat conditioned to be people pleasers. We’re taught to be team players, to put ourselves out there, and to accept new opportunities that come our way. And, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a big fan of saying “yes”—especially when it comes to taking on a new project that challenges you.


However, that doesn’t change the fact that turning things down every now and then is necessary in your professional life—which can be deceivingly hard to pull off when you’ve become so used to saying “yes” to everything.


This is something that today’s “Dear Kat” reader struggles with:


“Dear Kat, I’m a quintessential ‘yes person’. Even when I know better than to agree, I catch that little word and a nod flying out before I even realize it. Saying ‘no’ seems so harsh to me, which means I stay far away from ever turning anything down. But, now I know I’m stretching myself way too thin. Do you have any tips to help me get better at saying ‘no’?”


You’re not alone in this challenge—I’m sure nearly every person reading this can relate. In fact, even I struggle with rejecting people or opportunities on a frequent basis (and, hey, I dish this advice out for living!).


But, with all of that said, there are definitely a few things you can do to get better at turning things down. Here’s what you need to know.


1. Understand Your Priorities

Sometimes it’s not an issue of knowing how to say “no”—it’s an issue of knowing when to say it.


This is why it’s important that you start by getting a solid handle on your goals and your priorities. When you get a request to attend a meeting or take on additional work, for example, you’ll know if that falls in line with your priorities or would only ultimately distract from what you’re aiming to accomplish.


Sit down and create a list if you have to. Just do what you can to get a good grasp on what your top priorities are. As a result, knowing exactly when to give things a pass will be that much easier.


2. Use “Future You” as a Motivator

How many times have you agreed to something, only to regret it almost instantly? If you’re like most people, this probably happens on a frequent basis.


Here’s a trick to help you: When you’re considering saying “yes”, take a minute to think about “future you”.


Taking on that additional work might seem like a good idea in the heat of the moment. But, when you pause to picture “future you”—who’s stressed out, frazzled, and has far too many commitments—you might feel more inclined to give yourself a reality check, turn that opportunity down, and preserve your sanity.


I’ll admit that it can be tough to connect your present state with the future—science even says so. However, the more you can think about how your answer will not only impact you today, but tomorrow as well, will help you reject things when it’s really necessary.


3. Start Small

Alright, so the thought of saying “no” still makes you uncomfortable. Rather than telling yourself that you need to jump right in and start by passing on a major, earth-shattering, and life-changing request, dip your toes in by turning down something small.


Perhaps you finally tell your colleagues you can’t join them for lunch because you have too much on your plate. Or, maybe you tell your boss that the deadline she requested is a little too tight and you’d like to extend it by a few days.


Start small, and you’ll start to feel more and more accustomed to not saying “yes” to every little thing. Soon enough, you’ll have the confidence to turn down those bigger things!


4. Resist the Urge to Apologize

How many times have you prefaced a rejection with “I’m sorry”?


I’m sorry, but I can’t. I’m sorry, but I’m too busy. I’m sorry, but that’s not my area of expertise.


It’s a completely natural thing to do. And, sure, sometimes a casual “sorry” can help to cushion the blow a little bit. But, ultimately, you don’t have anything to be sorry for.


Saying “no” is perceived as such a negative thing. However, it’s really not. In fact, you could argue that it could actually be viewed as a positive.


Saying ‘no’ is not the equivalent of flipping a giant middle finger. It's quite the opposite,” explains writer Scott Fetters in one of his posts, “It shows you have a vision, a plan, and an opinion. By clearly articulating your needs, challenges, or deadlines (in advance if possible) you begin to eliminate distractions. In turn, you stop feeling inclined to people please because you have defined a game-plan.”


Long story short, don’t feel like you need to start your rejection with an apology. It’s really not necessary.


When we’re all taught to be collaborative, helpful, and to occasionally “take one for the team”, knowing how to say “no” can be a challenge. However, it’s also a necessary skill—unless you want to end up stressed out and over-committed.

Put these four tips to work, and you’re sure to find it at least a little bit easier to turn things down!

President Trump won states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio with his promised to bring coal back from the brink of death.  And so far, he’s kept his promise by rolling back regulations that have crippled the industry over the past 8 years.  With its “dirty” reputation, coal is often under fire and seems to be the first on the chopping block when it comes to moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewables. 


But should we be moving away from coal right now?


Many say that clean natural gas is the bridge from old and dirty to new and clean.  And while I won’t argue against the use of natural gas, it’s simply not a matter of saying, “OK!  Let’s use natural gas from now on!”


Yes, natural gas has a lot of things going for it.  It’s used for roughly 26% of our current electricity generation in the US and it’s also a very valuable resource with multiple uses beyond electricity generation.  And with the revival of shale gas wells recently, it’s relatively affordable.  However, it has two major drawbacks. 


  1. Natural gas reserves are about half of that in our coal reserves.
  2. Natural gas continues to experience volatile pricing.


These two facts make it hard to simply drop coal like a hot potato.  Coal is more than twice as plentiful as natural gas, and only about 1/3 the cost.  On average over the past 15 years natural gas has averaged $5.75/MMBTU and Coal has only averaged $1.5/MMBTU.  And then when you throw in the fact that natural gas prices have varied between $1.94/MMBTU (in 2012) to a high of $10.79/MMBTU (in 2008) it makes budgeting, investing and planning difficult for everyone involved. 


While it’s not the perfect solution, it’s getting cleaner and for now it gives us a pretty good bang for our buck.  It is domestically-sourced, secure, affordable and abundant.  Everything we want in an energy source. 

1. Uncertainty due to Syrian conflict may cause increase in oil prices.


Even though U.S. oil drilling is still on the rise, up for the 12th straight week to 672 rigs, Oil prices are flat due to strong demand and political uncertainty in Syria.  U.S. missile strikes on Syria late last week have traders and everyone in general questioning what the future holds for oil.  Today (Monday) ANZ bank stated, "an unsettled global backdrop (is) leaving the market very finely balanced."  The fact that rig counts are at the highest level since August 2015, put a cap on the price increase – but if the conflict continues, US drilling may not be able to off-set the uncertainty much longer.


2. Rumors are being circulated that Trump Administration is looking to open Atlantic Coast to oil drilling.


Last Thursday Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, when addressing the National Ocean Industries Association, mentioned the possibility of an executive order addressing offshore regulations.  Thoughts are this would be a rollback of President Obama’s regulations and would allow drilling in new areas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans.


There has been no drilling off the Pacific coast since 1969 and the Atlantic coast since the early 1980’s.  If the rumors are true and we do see an executive order regarding oil drilling of our east coast, environmental groups are sure to challenge it immediately in court, and who knows how long that will keep it tied up before becoming official.


 3. PacifiCorp, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Energy, recently issued plan for its renewable energy system.


Warren Buffet is using tax credits as a motivator to expand wind and the solar power across the western United States.   Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary PacifiCorp plans to use the federal tax credits to offset a $3.5 billion plan for its renewable energy system that will span from Wyoming to California.


Six states will be included and the new plan will add 900 megawatts of capacity by upgrading generators with larger blades and improved technology, building a new 140-mile-long power line in Wyoming, adding 1,100 megawatts of new wind projects and adding 1,000 megawatts of solar generators in the six states by 2036.  All of these projects are part of the larger government agenda to incentivize renewable energy companies to make these investments in an effort to phase out coal-generated power.

If you’ve read the latest U.S. Energy and Employment report, it’s very clear that employment in low carbon emission generation technologies, including renewables, nuclear, and advanced/low emission natural gas is on the rise.  With statements such as, “There are an additional 102,000 workers employed at wind firms across the nation…. [and] wind employment increased by 32%.”, it’s easy to be impressed. 


Many Americans are excited about the prospect of transitioning to cleaner energy sources, but, we shouldn’t be getting too eager yet.  Yes, the statistics for current renewable energy employment trends are going in the right direction, but there may be more to the story that “experts” aren’t telling you.


First, it’s important to keep in mind that previous policy makers have significantly influenced growth OR decline in the different energy sectors.  For example, solar and wind have been subsidized, while new regulations are have decimated the coal industry.  Government took the role of picking winners and losers, no matter the cost.  With a more “free-market” administration in place that is more opposed to subsidies and regulations, it’s hard to say if the current trends will continue.  Government will be stepping back and letting each sector flourish or fail based on its ability to meet market demands at a cost-effective price.   And whatever happens from this, employment trends will follow.


Second, we need to look at the bigger picture and not get too worked up over one year of reporting.  Remember Mark Twain’s famous quote, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."  With this latest report, everyone is excited to report that solar is in the lead for employment growth with a growth rate of 14.7% for 2016.  “That’s 12 times greater than the growth of the US economy!!” they yell… But they conveniently leave out the part that 14.7% is a considerable drop from the 20% growth in 2015.  If you’re looking at trends, this would indicate solar is declining, not increasing.


And last, with the increase in renewable energy jobs, what cost comes with it?  Many researchers and studies point out the fact that the benefits of renewable energy are off-set on some level by economy-wide job reductions from loss of discretionary income.  That’s a fancy way of saying everyone makes less money because we’re paying more for our energy bill.  And when bills go up, companies go out of business and people lose their job. 


In conclusion, the growth of employment in the renewable energy sectors is fantastic!  Discovering and developing cleaner sources of energy and fuel is important and necessary for our future, and it seems to be trending in the right direction.  However, fossil fuel based energy is still the big dog on campus, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

No matter who you are, you probably want to be taken seriously in the office. After all, you know you have valuable insights and contributions to offer, and you want them to be listened to with the respect and attention that you deserve.


However, you can’t just expect to command the room’s attention just by simply opening your mouth. Respect is something that’s earned, not just given—particularly if you’re a woman in a male-dominated field.


This is exactly where this week’s “Dear Kat” question comes into play:


“Dear Kat, I know the importance of speaking up and making my voice heard in team meetings. But, here’s the problem: Whenever I share an idea or a suggestion, I can tell nobody really gives it any serious consideration. Do you have any tips to help me be taken more seriously at work?”


Well, you already have the first step conquered: Realizing that if you want to be taken seriously, it’s up to you to make that happen. It’s easy to blame a lack of respect and attention on other people (and, sometimes that’s justified). But, when it comes to commanding respect, the ball is largely in your court. Here are a few tips that will help!


1. Have Confidence

First comes the most important part: Proving that you’re worthy of respect. Easier said than done, right? However, all this really involves is taking a deep breath before you start speaking so that you can communicate clearly and with confidence.


Combine that with the other tips below and you’re sure to command the attention of the room. Respect yourself, and others will be much more likely to follow suit.


2. Avoid Qualifiers

“This is probably a bad idea, but…”


Have you started a suggestion with a phrase like that before? We all have. But, all you’re really accomplishing is shooting down your own idea before you even pitch it.


Whether you have the tendency to say things like, “I’m no expert…” or even, “This might be crazy…” before making a suggestion, make your best effort to cut out the qualifiers. If you don’t have confidence in your own ideas, how can you expect others to?


3. Make Eye Contact

Think of the last time you were engaged in a conversation with someone, and he or she seemed to be talking directly to the floor. Did you give serious consideration to what that person was saying? Did you value his or her insights? Or, did you write him or her off as unconfident and perhaps even incompetent?


Eye contact is so important in conversations. It displays a high level of confidence, and also sends the message that you’re engaged in the discussion. So, as uncomfortable as it might make you feel at first, maintain eye contact with your conversational partner. It can make all the difference!


4. Accept Compliments

Somebody compliments you on the piece of the project you completed. Instead of graciously accepting that praise, you refute it with a comment like, “Oh, it was nothing!” or even, “Ugh, I wish it had turned out better!”


I can understand your efforts to avoid looking like an egomaniac. But, you don’t need to flat out argue with people’s compliments in order to do so.


Instead, thank them for their recognition and then pay a genuine compliment in return. There’s really no point in disagreeing with someone’s praise, and it’ll ultimately only make you look even more insecure.


5. Beware the Pitch of Your Voice

Women in particular have the tendency to raise the pitch of their voices at the end of the sentences—making them sound as if they’re asking a question, rather than making a statement.


It often happens totally subconsciously. But, challenge yourself to pay attention to how you’re speaking. Avoiding the trap of raising the pitch of your voice will make you sound that much more confident when making an assertion—resulting in a greater amount of respect from your colleagues.


6. Stand Up for Yourself

While most people demonstrate a certain level of common courtesy in the workplace, occasionally you’ll come across someone who’s nothing short of condescending and blatantly rude.


In certain situations, you might determine that the best thing to do is just let it go. But, if you’re being repeatedly disrespected? Don’t hesitate to stand up for yourself. Nobody deserves to be offended, insulted, or put down in the office. And, if you are? Speaking up is a surefire way to command the treatment you deserve.

Everybody wants to be taken seriously. But, it’s not something that’s going to happen by closing your eyes and clicking your heels together. Use these six key tips, and you’re much more likely to make your voice and your ideas heard.

“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” You’ve likely heard that Aristotle quote before. And, it holds some water.


More than likely, you appreciate that entree without thinking about each individual ingredient that went into it. Or, you admire that sports car without thinking about all of the different components that manage to make it run.


But, let’s face it—even if they don’t often get the individual attention and praise they deserve, the singular parts are still important. After all, that sports car isn’t quite as impressive without that crisp red paint job or that upgraded engine.


This same concept holds true in the drilling industry. And, what’s one of the parts that—while you may not think of it often—is still undeniably important? Manhole covers.

Identifying a Need

After recognizing a major need in the drilling industry, Jeff Garby and his partner Carlos Lima took the leap into entrepreneurship to start Alucast Industries in Canada, which manufactures environmentally-friendly manhole covers—the kinds that come into contact with different contaminants at places like gas stations and drilling sites.


“Issues unscrewing the bolts, we couldn’t remove the cover, gaskets would rip, the skirt would break,” Garby explains of his previous experience with manhole covers, “We had daily issues with bad products. I think this always stuck with us and the stars aligned one day. We said jokingly that we would design a manhole cover that everyone would love.”

A Better Manhole Cover

And, that’s exactly what they did. Garby and Lima started with international market research with drillers and engineering firms to hit on some of the main complaints and pain points involved with the existing manhole covers. “Funny enough, of the 10 countries we did market research in, 90% of the complaints were the same,” he adds.


From there, Alucast took a grassroots approach to marketing. “We connected with drillers and engineering firms globally and started listening. We joined many of the drilling communities and asked more questions. We have drilling backgrounds, so we found it easy to fit in with this culture.”


Alucast also leveraged social media to spread the word about their better alternative to the existing manhole covers of the oil industry. This more organic approach was their goal all along. “We decided from the beginning that we would let the drillers and engineering firms learn about our products and what they bring to our industry, instead of trying to sell our products to distributors,” Garby explains.


With such an innovative product that addresses an obvious need, Alucast is growing. “Demand for our product is high and global, so we are expanding our market share to Australia, the US, and the UK by the end of the year,” he adds.

Making a Difference

There’s no doubt, Garby and his Alucast team have a lot to look forward to. But, their agendas are never too busy to help out others—including making a big difference for one of our own Pink Petro Members, Tina Peters. In fact, Alucast sponsored Tina's recent trip to HERWorld Energy Forum in Houston, TX.


Garby and Peters met through social media. “We enjoyed the information Tina was providing about the industry standards and issues, and she appreciated the specialized information we provided to the drilling industry,” Garby says, “Tina seems very passionate, and two passionate people get along great together.”


“Sometimes life offers you the opportunity to meet wonderful people,” he adds “And, with Tina, we didn’t let that opportunity slip by.”


Garby and Alucast believe so strongly in the value that Peters brings to the energy industry, that they made the decision to sponsor her trip to HERWorld, so that she could offer her voice and expertise as a panelist at the event.


“We believe Tina has a voice in this industry and should have the opportunity to offer her great perspectives to the Pink Petro audience,” Garby concludes, “We wanted to help her out as much as we could to ensure she could be present at this event. Tina is a wonderful woman, a very caring human being, and sometimes that just inspires you to do great things for great people.”

1. Oil prices continue to fall as rig counts increase.


Oil futures are down today and with the rising US rig count indicating shale output is on its way up the global oversupply continues despite OPEC’s cuts.   International benchmark Brent futures (LCOc1) dropped 15 cents to $53.38 a barrel.  U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures (CLc1) fell 8 cents to $50.52 a barrel.  That means both of these contracts have reported their worst quarterly loss since late 2015 in the March quarter.


2. Oil leak reported in Cook Inlet pipeline.


The Cook Inlet pipeline, just south of Anchorage halted operations on Sunday after a leak was noticed and reported by workers on the Hilcorp Alaska offshore platform.  The amount of oil spilled is not yet known, but a flyover found patches of oil sheen about 3 miles downstream from the platform. 


Officials immediately stopped the flow of oil to the pipeline after the sheen was discovered; however, the DEC reported that the pipeline itself had about 460 barrels worth of oil in it at the time the incident was reported.  As of Sunday evening, the investigation as to what caused the leak was still underway and undetermined. 


3. New US Energy Information Administration report for 2016 reports Coal as main driver for US production decreases.


We have yet to see the impact from the Trump administration’s cutback on coal regulations, but in the meantime, coal power isn’t looking so good and seems to be on the decline.  A new report from the US Energy Information Administration revealed that the United States’ 2016 energy production dropped year-over-year for the first time since 2009.  And the main driver:  COAL.

Other energy sources decreased, but coal plummeted 18 percent from 2015 to 2016.  One positive note from the report is that renewable energy seems to be on the rise.  Technologies such as solar and wind power are up 7 percent since last year at this time – the biggest contributor being wind. 


With this news, it begs the question, “Is it too late to prop up the coal industry?”  What do you think?