Opinion & Commentary


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Contingency Planning: the value to oil and gas companies in high-risk areas
This article has been drafted by Mark Theobald of Mars Omega LLP, a former senior British army officer with considerable operational experience and an expert in contingency planning. Editing and addition of whimsical ephemera by Anthony Franks. Given the rapidly evolving crisis in Ukraine, we decid...
» Written by Mark Theobald and Anthony Franks on Thursday, April 17, 2014
Is Hawaii making a dash for gas?
Hawaii is considering making a dash for gas as part of its efforts to diversify and invest in cleaner, more affordable power supplies. Approval has been so sought from the various responsible Federal agencies, including the Federal energy regulatory commission to move ahead with supplying Hawaii'...
» Written by Nicholas Newman on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Insight: How can companies develop and retain Petro-technical professionals?
What should oil & gas companies do to develop, train, motivate and thereby retain Petro-technical Professionals? How can they turn 'raw material', recent recruits whether graduates or folk with a few years experience in an oil field service company, into exploration, reservoir and operation...
» Written by David Bamford on Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Canadian oil & gas companies endure a tough 2013
2013 was a difficult year for Canada’s biggest oil and gas companies, according to a new analysis of the annual results over the last 5 years for 99 TSX-listed oil and gas companies by CanOils (note 1). Capital expenditures reached record highs for recent periods, but so did the average well c...
» Written by Isabelle Li on Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Oil limits and climate change - how they fit together
We hear a lot about climate change, especially now that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has recently published another report. At the same time, oil is reaching limits, and this has an effect as well. How do the two issues fit together? In simplest terms, what the situation mea...
» Written by Gail Tverberg on Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005?
"Wait a minute," you must be saying. "Haven't we been hearing from the oil industry and from government and international agencies that worldwide oil production has been increasing in the last several years?" The answer, of course, is yes. But, the deeper question is whether ...
» Written by Kurt Cobb on Monday, April 14, 2014
Insight: Current demographics, and the current issue, in the oil & gas industry
What impact has almost 30 years of RIF-ing had on our industry? What can we say about the current demographics? What is the current big issue? By far the most authoritative insight into oil & gas industry demographics is that produced by Schlumberger Business Consulting’s annual review of H...
» Written by David Bamford on Monday, April 14, 2014
Insight: A brief history of RIF-ing
Once again, there is a lot of excited chatter about cost cutting in our industry. Oftentimes in the past, this has meant cutting great swathes of people (also known in better times as ‘our most valuable resource’) out of the team. Now I see it’s happening again – RIFs are in ...
» Written by David Bamford on Friday, April 11, 2014
From financial subprime to global energy subprime
Russian Sanctions and the Energy Subprime The U.S. subprime crisis of 2008, although it was cast in stone by 2006-2007, was a dreadful surprise for political deciders. It sprang at them from the murky world of Wall Street's frenzied brewing of incomprehensible financial instruments with names l...
» Written by Andrew McKillop on Friday, April 11, 2014
Is drilling in the Gulf safer? Regulators beg for an answer
Federal regulators have a new approach for improving safety in the Gulf of Mexico: beg the industry to cooperate. Maybe even say “pretty please.” The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement unveiled a plan this week in which it will set up a series of meetings with offshore opera...
» Written by Loren Steffy on Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Iraq: Second largest oil reserves, one of the largest security problems
With the highly dangerous situation in Eastern Ukraine dominating the headlines, even relegating the retirement of Sir Bruce Forsyth from Strictly Come Something or Other to the inside pages – it would be easy to overlook the political chaos and security collapse in the country with the world&...
» Written by Anthony Franks OBE on Monday, April 7, 2014
Ukrainian death spiral
Russia has raised natural gas prices to Ukraine twice this week. The total rise is 80% bringing the price for gas in Ukraine to $485 per 1000 cubic meters [1]* which is well above the European average of $380 in 2013 [2]. Prior to the recent geopolitical crisis Ukraine was in a mess. With a popul...
» Written by Euan Mearns on Monday, April 7, 2014
Oil exports: The rhetoric and the reality
If not natural gas, then oil. That seems to be the latest reaction to breaking Russia’s energy grip on Europe. Harold Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Resources, reciting a new meme in the energy industry, told members of Congress this week to forget all the breathless banter about na...
» Written by Loren Steffy on Monday, April 7, 2014
DARK CYGNETOLOGY: Unpicking the east-west geopolitical links between natural gas and political hot air
If April is, as the poet T. S. Eliot suggested, 'the cruellest month' then this March has run it a close second. March 2014 has seen geopolitics return with a capital 'G' with the deepening of the crisis in Ukraine and the collapse in relationships between Moscow and the West; the p...
» Written by Anthony Franks OBE on Thursday, April 3, 2014
Oil & Gas M&A reaches US$33.4 billion in Q1 2014
The recent absence of major Chinese involvement and eroding profitability in the oil and gas industry has led to M&A reaching just $33.4 billion in Q1 2014, 28% lower than the average quarterly M&A spend over the past three years. The lower M&A value is also mirrored in the deal count of 205 deals d...
» Written by Eoin Coyne on Thursday, April 3, 2014
The absurdity of US natural gas exports
Quiz: 1. How much natural gas is the United States currently extracting? (a) Barely enough to meet its own needs (b) Enough to allow lots of exports (c) Enough to allow a bit of exports (d) The United States is a natural gas importer Answer: (d) The United States is a natural gas importer, and ha...
» Written by Gail Tverberg on Thursday, April 3, 2014
The fantasy of European gas independence
Indigenous and North African supplies of gas to Europe declined by 50 million tonnes per annum over the last decade and are likely to decline by a similar amount in the next. Imports of LNG from the USA and development of indigenous shale gas may compensate for some of the decline in legacy suppl...
» Written by Euan Mearns on Thursday, April 3, 2014
Politics, pipelines and predictions
At the last Finding Petroleum conference I was asked to talk about which African country would make the most headlines in 2014. My selection after some thought was Nigeria. But after some further consideration of a current client's business concerns and requirements in the Middle East, a furthe...
» Written by Anthony Franks OBE on Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Oil & Gas Boom 2014: A Withering Regulatory Assault
While the Obama Administration frequently touts its commitment to an “all of the above” energy policy, its ongoing devotion to handing out massive subsidies (wind, solar) and demand quotas (ethanol, biofuels) to some forms of energy while ramping up taxes and heavy-handed regulations on ...
» Written by David Blackmon on Wednesday, April 2, 2014

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Politics, pipelines and predictions

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