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72 Posts authored by: kmillspaugh

AMSTERDAM, Dec 7 (Reuters) - The Netherlands will gradually phase out subsidises for renewable energy and shift its climate change strategy to areas such as energy saving and carbon capture, the government said on Wednesday.

A week ago, the Netherlands announced a 33 percent increase in subsidies for solar, wind, geothermal and other projects to 12 billion euros ($12.9 billion) in 2017, from 9 billion euros in 2016, as it struggles to reach 2020 targets.

But the "Energy Agenda" published by the Economic Affairs ministry on Wednesday - setting out how greenhouse gas emissions can be cut to 80-95 percent of 1990 levels by 2050 - said subsidies would be phased out as renewables become more viable.

Offshore wind turbines will no longer require subsidies by 2026 and the government intends to designate new areas of the North Sea for wind energy, the paper says.

The Energy Agenda also says there will be a minimum 20 billion euros of investment in the electricity grid and a reduction in vehicle emissions to zero for all new cars by 2035.

The government intends to encourage power companies to make it easier for individuals to invest in renewables, such as wind and solar farms, partly to undermine "not in my backyard" sentiment which hampers such projects at the planning stage.

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Alaska Dispatch News | Author: Alex DeMarban


An Alaska Native corporation hoping to provide jobs and cheaper energy to its shareholders reported it has finished drilling a natural gas exploration well and will soon conduct tests to determine if gas exists in the targeted zone.

Ahtna said the two-month drilling at Tolsona No. 1, located about 12 miles west of the company's Glennallen headquarters in the Interior, was delayed by challenging geology and zones of high-pressure water. It had to be drilled 700 feet deeper than planned, but the company was able to isolate the potential gas-bearing zone from the water about a mile beneath the surface.


The drilling rig will be demobilized so it can be used again by Hilcorp, the dominate producer in the Cook Inlet region. Hilcorp allowed rig owner Schlumberger to extend the rig contract to finish drilling, Ahtna said in a statement.

Well-testing is expected to begin in mid-December, with a wireline truck lowering perforating guns down the well using a steel cable to blast holes in the pipe with explosive charges, officials said. The holes will connect the pipe to the reservoir thought to contain gas.

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Image: Bill Roth / Alaska Dispatch News

Anne Neely-Beck MAFCA (Model A Ford Club of America) Era Fashion Committee
Business_Women.doc Page 1 Rev. 12/31/06

There were business women in the Model A era, but most women’s magazines did not portray the women outside the house. During the 1920's, one in four women over the age of 16 were part of the work force. They mainly held jobs traditionally thought as female, such as in the fields of nursing and teaching. Thirty percent of women wage workers were involved in clerical and sale work. Clerical work or white collar positions were “respectable” during the era. White women born in the United States largely filled these positions.

During the 1930's, women workers faced heavy discrimination and social criticism. This was the Depression and it was thought that women were taking jobs away from men and that they were also abandoning their families in a time of extreme need. Most of the media railed against working mothers.

I did find some advertising by Pond’s during the late 20's and early 30's that made reference to how a working woman could manage to maintain fresh beautiful skin even while working, if she used Pond’s cold cream. It was “believed” that if women worked outside the home, they would lose their charm and delicate beauty.

The business women of the Model A Era, whether she was an executive or a secretary (clerical worker), could be smartly dressed. “The right clothes and smart clothes are part of the business of work, and in the day of excellent copies of originals, the secretary may be as well dressed as her employer.” This is a quote from a business woman in the April 1930 issue of Delineator Magazine. Articles written in the February and October 1930 issues of McCall’s talk about the importance of dressing correctly for the work place.


Suggestions were given by several business women on how to plan a wardrobe on a budget. One thought was to decide on a color and stick to it; then add one green, red, and black frock. With these three colors, add one good set of black accessories, bag, pumps, and a hat would complete the wardrobe and do the trick. Another suggestion was to add one piece of good jewelry if it fit into your budget.


Also it was suggested to start with a black wool crepe coat with an uneven hem, then add a black skirt and several blouses. The blouses could be white and pastel for variety. If the budget permitted one or two frocks, a black and white print or perhaps a pink or yellow print on black background all with uneven hemlines. Also purchase a plain pair of black suede pumps, black gloves, black hat, and one or two pieces of black and white jewelry.


Read the full paper

- Levo article | June 04, 2013

“I believe in pink.” – Audrey Hepburn

For the past year peplum has been a very hot trend. I personally love the whole peplum movement because it is so unabashedly feminine. It is practically like adding a little lace petticoat to whatever you are wearing. Forbes even wrote a piece recently on how to wear peplum to work because it is so trendy and doesn’t exactly scream corporate. But before we all rush out and buy peplum tops in every color, I have to ask, is it possible to dress too feminine for work?


A recent CareerBuilder survey found that pink and red are the least preferred choice (1% or less) for CEOs. The presumption is that these colors are too girly and are not taken as seriously as the corporate world’s favorite colors, the always exciting navy blue and black (navy blue was the top choice at 36% amongst CEOs, with black falling behind at 26%).


But does that mean that women should dress like men? Haven’t we been trying to move away from that? Women have proved they can be powerful and feminine. And yet, there is still prejudice against pink.

Fashion blogger Marion Green posed the question of “Can You Wear Pink to Work?” last year. She wrote on her blog that a female CFO friend of hers said,

“I had to earn the right to wear red.” Berry said it took this woman, who worked in banking, 25 years of wearing beige, black and grays before she could inject more color. Perhaps you have to earn the right to be feminine?”


What is very interesting though is that a recent Cotton USA study claims to have discovered that men who wear pink shirts earn an extra $1,600 a year and are found to be better qualified, more confident, and get a greater number of compliments from female colleagues than their male colleagues wearing blander clothes. No waiting period there! So why don’t women get this kind of praise when they wear pink?


Pink is the color of power when it comes to fighting a disease that is major killer of women and it is Katy Perry’s go-to hair color, but this color can also make a significant impact on you and your environment. In the late 1970s, researchers discovered that a certain shade of pink could help decrease aggression. Two US Naval officers named Baker and Miller painted an admissions cell at the U.S. Naval Pepto-Bismol pink. After monitoring acts of aggression for those in the pink cell versus other cells, they found that prisoners held in the pink cell calmed down more quickly than their normal cell counterparts. In 1981 this effect was looked at closely by researcher Alexander Schauss. He found that when participants (often obstreporous youth) were exposed to Baker-Miller pink (often in an entire room painted pink) they experienced physiological changes including lower heart rates, breathing rates, and strength.


Hmm, when could having a lower heart and breathing rate be useful? Maybe in super stressful situations? You may want to rethink that LBD for today and go for a LPD (Little Pink Dress).


New research has also revealed that women who wear skirts and jackets are viewed as more confident, higher-earning and more flexible than those opting for a trouser suit.


This is by no means advice to throw out your power suit, but don’t throw away that pretty pink blouse either. Your clothes help convey power and seriousness, but it mainly has to come from the woman behind the clothes.

Photo: Thinkstock

McGill Reporter | Doug Sweet | 

Posted on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

We’re almost out of election season, and for many it can’t come soon enough. An economic meltdown might seem welcome by comparison. Agony aside, a prolonged period of political activity can prove instructive.


One thing the autumn of 08 has revealed is that when it comes to politics and the media, a double standard some would call sexist is alive and kicking.


Whether it is the familiar and faintly paternalistic use of Hillary” in a headline instead of the more formal “Clinton,” or stories that focus on wardrobe choices (this extends to the brutal and detailed criticism of Michelle Obama’s red and black election night dress in the next day’s press) or the gleeful, indeed, savage way the media feasted on Sarah Palin’s shortcomings, one thing has seemed constant: Little or none of this would have been said or done about a man.


I can’t recall lengthy discussions about the cut of John McCain’s suits or the unnatural crispness of Barack Obama’s luminous white shirts. But there has been much written and said about Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits and Sarah Palin’s eyeglasses, hair, wardrobe and, according to one CBC blogger, “porn-star looks,” whatever those are.

(One exception to this rule comes from the 2006 Quebec provincial election when Jean Charest’s rumpled frumpiness was observed. It doesn’t seem to be an issue this time.)


While the media certainly had a field day with former U.S. vice-presidential candidate Dan Quayle, who, in retrospect, seems to have been head and shoulders above Palin in terms of qualification for higher office, I don’t think anyone cared where he shopped.


In a way, it’s not necessarily the media’s fault.


The focus on style over (or sometimes alongside) substance springs from a crucial difference between male and female politicians: the men essentially don a uniform; the women must exercise far, far greater choice in what they wear, how they present themselves. And women pay a heavy price if their choices are deemed improper. When it comes to women in political life, and that includes the wives, every reporter is reborn a fashion critic.


The male uniform means you’ll never get stories about the shape of Obama’s ankles the way snipers targeted Clinton’s “cankles,” and, unless he takes to wearing Hawaiian shirts in the National Assembly, Charest’s daily dressing decisions will never be as important as whether Pauline Marois has a big (and expensive, meaning extravagant, meaning out-of-touch-with-the-little-people) gold pin holding her pashmina in place.


(Oh, and would a male political leader be described as “un snob,” the way Marois’s own party apparatus has branded her? Arrogant, perhaps, as in the case of Michael Ignatieff or Pierre Trudeau, but probably not a snob, and never that kind of criticism from within.)


How much a public person spends on clothes is easily more evident for women than men; I know Brooks Brothers suits look good and that they’re expensive. But I defy most casual observers, and that would include the vast majority of voters, to, at a glance, distinguish between a $5,000 suit and a well-fitted $500 model. Don’t know, don’t care. A Louis Vuitton handbag, however, is a dead giveaway.


But what about Stephen Harper’s sweaters? The Canadian media wrote at length about the way the prime minister’s stylists tried to portray him as so much more warm and fuzzy than his public persona had heretofore suggested. It can be argued that here the story was more about campaign calculation and strategy than fashion; how the Tories were trying to trick us into believing the prime minister is actually a living, breathing human being who likes dogs and little kids. Until the sweater ads, we hadn’t really seen him that way.


And that means it was the party and not the prime minister who was making the wardrobe choices. Have you seen him in a sweater since Oct. 14?


It is not that media are dominated by men who have developed a sexist prism through which female candidates are viewed and presented. Some of the more devastating commentary on Palin, Clinton and Marois has come from females. It would seem more that the media’s view of women is a reflection of a broader, deeply imbedded and socialized double standard that evaluates men and women according to different criteria.


Male politicians, by donning the uniform and largely taking away the issue of fashion judgments, can then be evaluated more according to their performance and positions. Women, who have yet to escape the fashion-judgment issue, continue to be evaluated on those choices as well as on their platforms (not the shoes) and comportment.


It’s the old comparison between Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. She did everything he did, only backwards and in high heels.


Doug Sweet is Director of Media Relations for McGill.

by  Suyin Haynes  |  Motto | This article originally appeared on Motto.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has faced backlash over a pair of pricey pants from some critics, whilst others have been left wondering what all the fuss is about.

May was criticized by members of her own Conservative Party and the media after it was revealed last week that a pair of brown leather trousers she wore in a photoshoot for the British newspaper The Sunday Times cost over $1,250.

In an interview with The Times, May’s colleague Nicky Morgan said that the expensive garments featured in the photoshoot had been “noticed and discussed” in local Conservative Party circles. “I don’t have leather trousers. I don’t think I’ve ever spent that much on anything apart from my wedding dress,” Morgan commented. 


May was also accused of being “out of touch” and faced criticism on social media for the clothing choice.

Other commentators have responded to the backlash by noting that while the Prime Minister has been criticized for her clothing many times before, her male colleagues have not been subject to the same level of scrutiny. Last year, a tailor whose bespoke suits cost around $2,500 was photographed entering 10 Downing Street, reportedly for an appointment with then-Prime Minister David Cameron. When Hillary Clinton came under fire for a $12,000 Armani jacket earlier this year, commentators pointed out that criticizing female politicians’ clothes is sexist, regardless of which party they belong to.
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Image Source:  Carl Court—Getty Images

(Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc signed an agreement to assess three of Iran’s largest oil and gas fields as OPEC’s third-biggest producer looks to boost output with the help of international companies.

Shell signed a memorandum of understanding to evaluate the Azadegan and Yadavaran oil fields near the Iraqi border, and the Kish gas deposit in the Persian Gulf, Gholam-Reza Manouchehri, deputy director of the National Iranian Oil Co., said at a signing ceremony in Tehran on Wednesday.

“We’re happy to resume working in Iran,” Hans Nijkamp, Shell’s vice president for Iran, said at the ceremony. “We are hoping to have a fruitful cooperation with NIOC on these fields.”

International oil companies have re-established contact with Iran since sanctions were lifted in January. However, no final contracts to develop oil fields have yet been signed. Total SA reached a non-binding $4.8 billion agreement to develop a natural gas field last month.

The fields are some of Iran’s most attractive, Homayoun Falakshahi, an industry analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., said by phone from London. “If you had a look at the list of the three or four biggest fields to be awarded, you have three of them here.”

Earlier Wednesday, an Oil Ministry official said Shell and Total would sign deals to develop the three fields, in what would have been a major step forward for Iran’s oil industry. The official later said talks were still ongoing with Total for other fields, but no agreement was expected imminently. Total declined to comment.

Iran hopes Shell will invest in the Azadegan and Yadavaran fields to boost recovery rates, Manouchehri said. Iran aims to produce 4.28 million barrels a day of crude oil by 2020.

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by  Karen Boman | Rigzone


Innovation will continue to play a role in the oil and gas industry as companies seek to remain competitive, not only in terms of cost and efficiency, but attracting the next generation of workers.

Rigzone’s inaugural Ideal Employer Survey highlights what our readers think are the most innovative companies in the oil and gas industry. Damon Vaccaro, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, told Rigzone he is seeing more and more of the firm’s oil and gas clients focusing on their innovation practices and building the capability to innovate within their organization. Vaccaro also expects to see more digital type thinking and capabilities permeating the oil and gas sector.

In recent years, the oil and gas industry has been exploring technological innovation, such as digital technology, to gain more insight and derive more value from exploration and production. This discussion has continued through the downturn as companies look at how technological innovation can help companies better integrate their operations.

Oil and gas companies are now looking at realizing efficiencies wherever they can, including the digitization of the paper-based process, Yanda Erlich, founder and CEO of Parsable, said in an interview with Rigzone. Parsable has been working with companies such as Schlumberger – also on Rigzone’s Ideal Employer Survey list of most innovative companies – to not only extend operational excellence across Schlumberger’s global business, but allow the company to capture the knowledge of retiring workers.

Royal Dutch Shell plc ranked among the top five most innovative companies. Innovation has led to Shell’s many industry firsts, from building the first oil tanker deemed safe enough to navigate the Suez Canal in 1892, to the opening of the world’s first commercial-scale carbon capture and storage project at an oil sands facility in Canada last year, Yuri Sebregts, chief technology officer at Shell, told Rigzone. Shell continues to push the technology envelope, responding to challenges such as ever increasing field complexity, new customer requirements for more sophisticated oil and gas products, and the changes in global energy markets.

“As the energy system transitions, innovation and technology will continue to play a critical role as we seek to meet the world’s growing energy needs with less environmental impact,” Sebregts said.

Chevron Corp. – also ranked as one of the top five most innovative companies in the survey – has thrived for over a century by continuously finding new technologies and approaches to reliable, affordable energy while improving environmental performance from production to consumer’s end-use emissions, Melissa Ritchie, Chevron spokesperson, told Rigzone in an email statement. Since 2007, Chevron has invested nearly $6 billion on research and development, and is involved in every step of the technology development chain. One example of Chevron’s work with innovative technology includes its use of drones for early detection of unanticipated emission releases.

Innovative Strategy, Structure, Work Practices Needed in Oil, Gas

Innovation is not only needed in oil and gas technology, but in the industry’s business practices, strategy and hiring practices. This innovation is needed as industry will seek to address is how to be more agile, more autonomous in real-time, and how to react to market conditions quicker, Vaccaro told Rigzone.

Going forward, companies will need to pay attention to weak signals, or signs that indicate a possible future direction for an industry, Vance Scott, Ernst & Young’s (EY) Americas Oil & Gas Transaction Advisory Services Leader, told Rigzone. Scott referenced E&Y’s three-box solution, in which most companies will focus 100 percent of their effort on the first box, or activities and things that have helped them succeed in the past. But this can create a blind spot for market changes that can occur. Technology is one factor that can change a business.

Business models, changing regulations, demographic changes and consumer preferences are other factors. These can start very slowly and gain momentum. Using a portion of company resources to look at emerging trends can better position a company for future success.

Innovation is also needed in the future underlying operational philosophy of oil and gas companies. Major oil and gas companies are still looking to pursue innovation in this area as they strive to become more competitive in plays such as shale.

“The success of major oil and gas companies is still built around large-scale, expensive capital projects. Successfully managing these projects – such as a field development project with a liquefied natural gas train or the construction of a deepwater floating, production, storage and offloading vessel – requires all the moving parts to work flawlessly,” Scott said.

While the stage-gate process works for large, offshore projects, shale operations present different risks. A shale well can be contained quickly if a problem arises, and the associated loss is not as big.

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| CleanTechnica |   by Joshua S Hill 


Texas grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced that on Sunday, wind electricity generation hit a new peak record and represented approximately 45% of total electric demand at the time, topping 15,000 MW for the first time.


new transmission lines for texas wind powerThe Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) made the announcement earlier this week, however, its website has been misbehaving ever since news of the record hit the wires. According to S&P Global, which picked up the story on Tuesday, ERCOT set a new wind electricity generation record of around 15,033 MW on Sunday the 27th, at 12:35 pm, representing approximately 45% of total ERCOT electricity demand at the time.


Throughout the day wind played a significant role in providing electricity to ERCOT, ranging from about 35% to more than 46%, and averaging nearly 41% throughout the whole day.


Specifically, more than 8,800 MW came from wind farms in West and North Texas, 3,800 MW from South Texas, and around 2,300 MW from the Panhandle region.


“We saw high wind output throughout the day, ranging from just over 10,000 MW during the late night hours to this peak output during the noon hour,” said ERCOT Senior Director of System Operations Dan Woodfin. “Over the years, ERCOT has taken a number of steps, such as improving renewable generation forecasts, to allow us to operate the grid reliably on days like this.”


Texas currently has more than 17,000 MW of wind installed throughout ERCOT’s grid, and is expected to grow even further by the end of the year, topping off at 19,000 MW by the time the year ends. ERCOT wind generation for November is actually down on last year’s average, down 6% to an average of 137,300 MWh/d.

Image source:  Clean Technica

Oil and gas drillers in the Gulf of Mexico lobbying for fewer rules and regulations may have a friend in the Trump administration, CNBC reports.

The report says President-elect Donald J. Trump's promise to open more federal waters to drilling will likely take years to fulfill, but efforts to peel back or change oil and gas regulations could gain more traction more quickly. Industry has complained tighter regulations add cost as low oil prices cut into operating margins, crippling projects.
"Under a Trump administration, operators may have a sympathetic ear," Wood Mackenzie Senior Manager Imran Khan wrote in a research note to clients.

The report highlights three areas where policy changes under a Trump administration could benefit drillers, including lowering the royalty rates offshore drillers pay to the federal government, easing new rules that require drillers to commit to covering the cost of removing offshore facilities and extending lease terms.

Read the full CNBC report.

Reuters | By Liz Hampton |

The U.S. Army's denial of an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline, after permitting and legal obligations were followed, sets an uncertain precedent for new projects despite President-elect Donald Trump's promise to support energy infrastructure.


The decision came after months of protests by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and others who said the line could desecrate tribal grounds, or a spill could contaminate drinking water.


While most of the 1,172-mile (1,885-km) pipeline is complete, Energy Transfer Partners, the line's owner, needed an easement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to drill under Lake Oahe. The lake, a water source formed by a dam on the Missouri River, has been the focus of protesters.


The Army's intervention sets an unsettling precedent, analysts and industry groups told Reuters, because Energy Transfer had undergone the necessary environmental reviews and permitting processes to move ahead with construction.


"I think it sends a horrible signal to anyone wanting to invest in a project and I strongly suspect those policies will be discontinued on Jan. 20th," said Brigham McCown, the former head of the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) under George W. Bush, referring to the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump.

Still, the decision to deny the easement tempers some of the optimism pipeline companies assumed following the election of Trump, who is seen as more supportive of oil and gas projects.


Energy Transfer Partners said in a statement the decision was politically motivated and it did not intend to reroute the line.


Native American 'water protectors' celebrate
Native American 'water protectors' celebrate that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied an easement for the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline inside of the Oceti Sakowin camp as demonstrations continue against plans to pass the Dakota Access pipeline adjacent to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, near Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S., December 4, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson



Beyond the federal approval issues, state and local governments have also mobilized against pipelines. Earlier this year, Georgia's state legislature passed a bill to restrict pipeline developments, stopping a gasoline line from Florida to South Carolina from being built.


Energy Transfer chief executive Kelcy Warren, a donor to Trump's campaign, said his election was a positive. Last week Trump for the first time voiced support for the Dakota Access project.

Trump has also said he would support TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL, which the Obama Administration rejected last year.


Denying permits for an already-approved pipeline adds a new level of uncertainty to projects. Oil companies have already been facing growing resistance from environmental groups that have resulted in delays or unanticipated costs.

Equipment used for the Dakota Access line has been set on fire, and in October, a group of protesters turned off valves on pipelines transporting oil from Canada to the United States. Together, those lines had capacity to move some 2.8 million barrels per day of oil.



"Until you see that Trump has a track record of approving things and showing that things can get built in time, it's tough to say it's not a murky environment for pipelines," said Sarp Ozkan, manager of energy analytics for Drillinginfo.

That means pipelines could face higher risk premiums and have a harder time getting volume commitments from shippers that underpin such projects, Ozkan said.


Energy Transfer has said it expects to lose almost $84 million each month the Dakota Access pipeline is delayed, and that losing shippers could result in its cancellation, according to a court filing.


"I think midstream companies will hope that each project can be decided based on necessary permitting approvals, but there will be increased risk where agencies like USACE are involved," said Sandy Fielden, director of research in commodities and energy at Morningstar.


While the Standing Rock Sioux have said they would support a rerouting of the line, others, such as the Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN), want it canceled.


"Given Trump's support of the Dakota Access, and the Keystone XL, we remain cautious," said Dallas Goldtooth, a spokesman for IEN.





by Joel Garfinkle

You are good at what you do. You’re competent, your team thinks highly of you, and your boss gave you a great performance review last quarter.


Still, even with nearly everyone around you agreeing you’ve got what it takes, you can’t just rest on your laurels or wait until someone notices that you deserve recognition.


Everyone -- men and women -- must put themselves to work when it comes to getting ahead. Many women find this to be more difficult; it can be daunting to assertively ask for more, and studies show that women are less likely to even try. An expensive mistake.


Lack of self-advocacy during salary negotiations costs the average working woman nearly $500,000 in lost wages by age 60. Still, other research indicates that being overly aggressive can be just as damaging for women.

So what works best for those who want to get the bigger projects, get a raise, or get that promotion?

Not all strategies pay off equally, and what works for men doesn’t always work for women. Studies show that the following tactics are the top picks for women looking to advance:


Make your work known. Nothing is as important to career advancement as self-advocating. Yet women are often reluctant to take the steps necessary to make sure everyone knows how good they really are.

Here’s a tip: Men are uncomfortable with self-promotion, too, and they also worry that co-workers and bosses won’t like them for being too assertive or too boastful. The difference? Men are less likely to let uneasiness stop them. When you feel that discomfort, try the following, rather than giving up or staying silent:


Tip for pushing through self-promotion discomfort
Credit: Joel Garfinkle


Network inside and outside your organization. it may seem like a big step to join a professional group or even presumptuous to insert yourself in a certain “league,” but persevere. It can be key to join and stay connected with a professional network that can help you advance and may even tip you off to upcoming opportunities.

Inside your company, find a mentor, male or female, who can help you navigate the internal politics, advocate for you higher up and coach you on your career development. Don’t be afraid to reach -- studies suggest women don’t aim as high in the corporate chain as their male counterparts when seeking mentorship, and as such don’t reap as much reward.


Actively plan your career. First, as your own best advocate, it’s wise to have a solid plan for having your work recognized. Whether you plan to build on your career internally by climbing the ranks or you prefer to keep your eyes open for an external posting, (or you hedge your bets by doing both), it really does pay to have an action plan.

Rarely does coasting reap the same rewards.


Statistically, the best avenue may be career advancement within the company where you’ve proven your worth, but in the rapidly changing business landscape, many companies are actively seeking female talent anywhere and everywhere, so it pays to keep abreast of opportunities outside your organization.

If you’ve achieved career advancement, what did you do? Did you get that promotion? What strategies worked for you?


Joel Garfinkle is the author of “Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level.”  As an executive coach, he recently worked with a newly promoted leader helping her manage the new responsibilities, lead her team and manage high-level priorities. Sign up to his Fulfillment@Work newsletter (10,000+ subscribes) and you’ll receive the free e-book “41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!”


Image source:  Pixabay

The U.S. shale industry, gutted by 2 1/2 years of bankruptcies, writedowns, credit downgrades and layoffs, is poised to step back from the brink, thanks to an old enemy: OPEC.

Abandoning a policy that sought to starve shale explorers and other high-cost drillers into submission, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries relented on Wednesday and agreed to curb output by 1.2 million barrels a day. Other producing nations that aren’t cartel members also signaled plans to cut back by as much as 600,000 barrels, OPEC said.

The deal could boost prices through at least the first half of 2017, according to Chris Kettenmann, chief energy strategist at Macro Risk Advisors. The result: U.S. shale fields could raise the amount of crude produced within four months, said Antoine Halff at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy. First to pounce should be drillers in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, home to gushers prolific enough to spur a recent land rush.

If the deal holds, “U.S. oil production growth is all but guaranteed to return in 2017,” said Joseph Triepke, founder of Infill Thinking, a Dallas-based oil research firm, and a former analyst at Citadel LLC’s Surveyor Capital unit. “All U.S. tight-oil plays will benefit, but none more than the Permian, where we estimate as many as 150 rigs could be reactivated next year.”

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by  Deon Daugherty | Rigzone Staff

But there are other issues to consider that may alter OPEC’s scope. In the short term, how U.S. shale producers respond will be a factor. The adherence of other non-OPEC producers can also have a role, said Michael Burns, a global energy partner at Ashurst LLP.

Without a doubt, OPEC still has influence, Burns said. And part of what makes this deal remarkable is that it shows the cartel is willing to change course.

“The idea before was to produce as much as possible and now, it’s not to produce as much as possible,” he said.

But ascertaining OPEC’s impact is weeks, months – even years – away, Burns said, as normalized inventories move the level of oil prices.

“If that level is enough for some of the shale producers to make money, then they may well turn the taps on and you may see an adjustment to the price,” he said. “It’s only then that we’ll be able to see the power that OPEC has. To take the logic on, if shale depressed the price again, then OPEC would have to cut further, and the question is, would they be prepared to do that?”

The initial reaction from the oil market was to jump about 8 percent – tantalizingly, just slightly above the $50 per barrel mark – but it won’t necessarily last.

“It’s a big increase on a daily basis, but the point is, that’s only back to the level it was when the conceptual deal was announced in Algiers a couple of months ago,” Burns said. “I’m not sure that what is happening here is going to make a remarkable difference going forward. But I think it does hopefully give a bit of stability – at least in terms of knowing where OPEC stands.”

Showing that OPEC is prepared to reduce supply sends out a strong signal to give stability to prices.

“But I don’t think it gives the signal that we need to see $70 prices tomorrow,” Burns said. “I suspect it may give stability for a period rather than any rapid increase.”

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Image source:  Rigzone

by  Deon Daugherty | Rigzone 

Along with almost across-the-industry relief that OPEC managed to agree on a crude oil production cut, investors are also showing real concern the cartel won’t adhere to its 

On Nov. 30, OPEC announced it would trim its production by 1.2 million barrels per day – more than initially proposed when the group last met in September. Add in another 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) cut from non-OPEC nations, and you’re really starting to cook. Surprising to almost everyone, Russia came onboard and pledged to cut its production by half the non-OPEC total.

But before the industry plans a parade, there’s this to consider: historically, OPEC isn’t great at fully complying with quota. And Russia is a mixed bag.

“Naturally, implementation will be a critical question mark, and history teaches us not to expect 100 percent compliance,” analysts at Raymond James said in a note. “That said, this is still a very bullish outcome, as it signals that OPEC is back in the game of managing the oil market and it helps an already improving global oil supply/demand picture.”

Investors remain skeptical, though, and that is one of several factors that may keep oil prices in check, analysts at Morgan Stanley said. Reported OPEC production will likely be higher than suggested based on recent trends and history.

To wit – between 2000 and 2008, OPEC out-produced its quota by 883,000 barrels per day. If that overlap carries into the 2017 agreement, Morgan Stanley said, OPEC would actually be producing 33 million barrels per day (MMbpd) – significantly more than the 32.5 MMbpd stipulated in the latest deal. Goldman Sachs OPEC generally met roughly 60 percent of its production goals in the last 17 cut announcements, from 1982 to 2009.

And as for the 600,000 bpd that’s to come from non-OPEC nations, it’s unclear if that is based on declines – such as in Mexico – that have already been forecasted. Russia’s commitment to cut its production by 300,000 bpd is tempered by its track record of compliance, too. The nation adhered to cuts in 1998, but opted to increase – not decrease – its production when others were cutting in April 1999 and January 2002, Goldman Sachs noted.

There is still a long way to go before we begin to see production counts from January. OPEC has a meeting scheduled Dec. 9 to ascertain non-OPEC participation. It’s unclear what Libya and Nigeria will do. And questions remain on overall compliance, Morgan Stanley said, “given likely cheating, seasonal demand swings and varying production figures.”


An award-winning journalist, Deon has reported on energy, business and politics for almost 20 years. Email Deon at
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