Author Archives: Jake Barnes

When engineers ignore economics, Part 375

One of the many side effects of the collapse in the oil price is a proliferation of nonsensical articles on the subject.  Today I stumbled across this in LinkedIn. It must be hard for the world to have sympathy for an oil and gas industry that has been so extravagant and wasteful. Why yes, it must be. The Hubbert curve is a logistic model showing the theoretical depletion of worldwide resources over a two hundred year period.  It has a steep ramp up […]

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Total Failure

It must be “Pick on Total Week” here at Chez Jake: Total and Zarubezhneft have agreed to adjust their participation in the Kharyaga Production Sharing Agreement whereby Total will transfer a 20% interest together with operatorship to Zarubezhneft. This is a big development: Kharyaga was the only producing development which Total operated in Russia.  Once this deal goes through, Total will no longer operate anywhere in the country. “Russia remains a key country for the Group. Total has ambitious plans […]

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Total Maintained

This might be encouraging for Total employees, but for their shareholders less so: French energy company Total expects a drop in 2015 results but does not plan to cut jobs as peer BP has done to weather currently low oil prices, its chief executive said in a radio interview on Tuesday. Patrick Pouyanne told Europe 1 that the group had the financial capacity to weather low oil prices. Pouyanne said Total like its peers was being hit by the fall […]

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One less snout

Bloomberg reports of a Russian oligarch who has found himself ousted from Putin’s inner circle: He was one of the most powerful men in Russia for a decade, an old pal of the president who oversaw a million workers and a rail network spanning 11 time zones. But then Vladimir Yakunin was suddenly out, ending a career that included a stint as an intelligence officer at the United Nations in New York during the Cold War. Now Yakunin, 67, has […]

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Max Fordham: rent-seeking since 1966

A downside of writing about oil and gas affairs is being spammed by people who write articles about “energy”.  One such example received over the holidays was a link to the predictions for 2016 of somebody by the name of Max Fordham, a building engineer who “started his own practice in the spare bedroom of his Camden home” in 1966.  Good for him.  Let’s see what he thinks will happen in 2016. 1. Infrastructure-scale solutions to climate change Governments will […]

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Nations and Corporations: Parallel Decadence

It can sometimes be an interesting exercise to compare countries with corporations.  Not in the usual sense that dimwitted Social Justice Warriors do when they compare a company’s market capital (a stock) with a country’s GDP (a flow).  You might as well compare a lake with a river (and iif you’re a SJW, express concern that the Rio Grande is bigger than Crater Lake).  On this point, Tim Worstall explains all. No, I’m thinking more along the lines of how […]

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Modern thinking at Netflix

In having a lazy day surfing the ‘net I stumbled across this gem of an article written by one Patty McCord who was chief talent office at Netflix between 1998 to 2012.  It describes the management techniques employed by the CEO Reed Hastings, and the way in which they differed from those of other companies, across a period which saw Netflix grow from nothing to being one of the biggest media companies in the world.  Entertainment media is a lot […]

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Pointless reporting

There are few signs of an incompetent manager more prominent than a demand that his or her employees compile weekly reports. First some clarifications.  If a project manager is responsible for ongoing works in several, geographically-spread locations across multiple time-zones, then regular reports containing pertinent information are useful.  I’m not talking about that.  Also, a single report containing a limited number of project KPIs (e.g. volume of concrete poured, manpower on site, etc.) compiled by one individual each week or month and […]

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Socareless

With Socar being a state-owned company in a country which is about as transparent as Hillary Clinton’s past business deals, I doubt we’re ever going to find out what caused the fire on board their platform in the Caspian sea over the weekend which seems to have cost the lives of 29 people, with another 3 having been swept overboard a separate platform operated by the same company. Which leaves the floor clear for people like me to indulge in uninformed […]

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Roundup

First up, Upstream Online brings us news of Alberta’s new climate change policy: Becoming a leader in climate change reform has been the Alberta government’s dream since the New Democratic Party took office in May 2015. Now that dream could be reality with a proposed new policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions and holding everyone — including the general public — accountable. Okay, that’s the facts out of the way. There were a lot of shiny happy people at the Alberta Legislature on […]

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