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Latest Opinion & Commentary

Getting ready for a natural gas rebound
The Set-Up: In February 2014 I wrote a story on how the US arm of brokerage Raymond James saw a lot of negatives for Canadian natural gas. Longer term that could be true but in this article OGIB guest writer Shaun Polczer—who was formerly an energy writer at the Calgary Herald and Petroleum Ec...
» Written by Keith Schaefer on Thursday, April 24, 2014
Iraq: Electoral infighting means continued legislative limbo for the oil law
There are two conflicts raging in Iraq at the moment: the continuing extremist and counter-extremist operations in the northern provinces, and the political conflict that has ignited over the forthcoming elections. In the last two weeks there have been assassination attempts on senior Sunni politic...
» Written by Anthony Franks OBE on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Libyan Stability Snapshot: political ins and outs, abductions, ports and oil supply chains
The sudden resignation of interim Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni on 14 April 2014 sees the loss of a moderate politician who had proved himself able to mediate between warring groups in the South and East of the country. Al-Thinni announced his resignation after his home was attacked by, ...
» Written by Helen Carter and edited by Anthony Franks OBE on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Perverse outcomes: Lifting U.S. oil export ban would mean greater dependence on foreign oil
The United States today is a large net importer of crude oil and refined products. And, yet the story that the country can somehow export crude oil as a foreign policy measure to help reduce Ukraine's dependence on Russia won't die. Oil executives and their surrogates keep bringing it up, an...
» Written by Kurt Cobb on Wednesday, April 23, 2014
The trouble with gas
Cinderella Gas at the Thieves Ball Simple questions can have complicated answers, but for Cinderella Gas the clock has a habit of chiming 12-midnight all too often. The simple question is how come natural gas in the USA has grave problems to even attain $27.50 per barrel of oil equivalent - but in ...
» Written by Andrew McKillop on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Insight: What's happening to Exploration?
Explorers should be deeply troubled by recent events, namely: 1. The general lack of success, especially in Frontier plays, and the evident lack of New Ideas and instead the re-cycling and re-hashing of old ones. 2. Exponentiating costs, especially for deep water drilling. Exploration outcomes ov...
» Written by David Bamford on Tuesday, April 22, 2014
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

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Opinions & Commentary

Canadian oil & gas companies endure a tough 2013

by Isabelle Li

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