Categotry Archives: Oil Companies

Too much information

A mate of mine from my university days works as one of the bosses in a company supplying specialist equipment to the oil and gas industry.  A few years ago, back in the days before the oil price collapsed and such jollies were kyboshed, I met him at his company’s stall at the ADIPEC exhibition in Abu Dhabi.  We started talking about his role in flogging equipment, and he told me over the course of the conversation that you can […]

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In Reply to Young PETE

Commenter Young PETE has asked me a couple of questions in the comments under the previous post, and I have decided to answer them in a post of its own.  First, YP’s comment: I stumbled upon your website and have been reading your posts for the past few hours, and agree with practically all of it. One of the common trends you discuss within majors is technical ineptitude and lack of integrity/character on a junior level, which evolves to middle […]

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Going, going, BGone

Four days ago, on 7th April, BG CEO Helge Lund – who had joined the company only in February – outlined his strategy for the company: Lund acknowledged that BG had sustained “operational setbacks” over the past two years, having been hit by lower liquefied natural gas exports from Egypt and construction challenges and cost overruns on its Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project in Australia. He said “we must take account of the lessons learned from these experiences as we […]

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At least it’s not another mass grave

On 1st April a fire broke out on a platform belonging to Pemex, the Mexican national oil company, killing at least 4 people and injuring 16 others.  The fire is out, and now Pemex has released the picture below showing the extent of the damage: That an oil company which can, in all seriousness, release a photo like that should have suffered a fatal explosion on one of its platforms doesn’t come as much of a surprise.  There are clearer […]

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Petrograft

It’s difficult to overstate the seriousness of the impact the Petrobras corruption scandal will have on Brazil’s oil and gas industry, with even top politicians now being accused of involvement in an enormous kickback scheme. Until this scandal broke, there were hopes that Brazil was breaking away from the South American tradition of oilfield development going hand-in-hand with corruption and mismanagement, resulting in stagnation of the whole industry.  With Brazil choosing to channel the bulk of its future development through […]

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Vertebrates need not apply

The other week I was at a party and I heard a splendid little anecdote.  The party was on behalf of a driller who was turning 65, but had retired several years before.  The driller was a real, old-school company man and had worked for the same oil company for his whole working life, clocking up something in the region of 35 years with them.  During the party somebody happened to mention a certain individual from the driller’s former company […]

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Shutting the gate might have helped

I’m rather glad about this: The family of two Britons killed in a terrorist attack on the In Amenas gas plant in Algeria reportedly intend to sue UK supermajor BP over an alleged lack of adequate security measures at the facility. It follows a UK inquest this week into the deaths of seven Britons killed in the armed siege that heard “unnecessary and intentional” delays meant government intelligence about terror plots to kidnap British workers in Algeria was not passed […]

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I know-a nothing!

In amongst all this doom and gloom there’s a bright ray of sunshine for one company: Saipem has finally secured the $1.8 billion contract to construct a pair of pipelines at the giant Kashagan project in Kazakhstan’s Caspian Sea region. The Italian contractor has been handed the deal to build the two 95-kilometre pipelines by the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC), Kashagan’s operator. Now that’s a nice little contract, isn’t it? Saipem was thought to be in pole position to […]

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Back to the ’70s!

When the idea of the EU regulating offshore oil and gas activities first raised its head several years ago, it was met with opposition from those in the industry who were skeptical that a bunch of bureaucrats in Brussels could do a better job than the existing national regulators.  Surprisingly the most outspoken opponents were the French, albeit obviously with an eye on their substantial UK North Sea presence: French oil major Total has strongly criticised the European Union plans […]

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Don’t ask, don’t tell: oilfield version

Upstream Online reports a change in ExxonMobil policy: ExxonMobil has changed its business conduct policies to explicitly forbid discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees, a move the corporation has previously resisted. … The US supermajor had, to the chagrin of LGBT rights activists, previously insisted that broad anti-discrimination policies were adequate to protect its employees. Multiple shareholder resolutions on the subject were brought up but ultimately rejected. The Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights organisation, has previously ranked […]

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