Monthly Archives: January 2016


From the comments over at Tim Worstall’s: I happen to do a little work for a company started by a South African. He bought a British company and pitched up at a board meeting (chaired by a peer) where they were discussing which particular knob should be on the ethics committee or the audit committee. His contribution was “who’s going to be on the fucking profit committee?” Which serves nicely to illustrate the point I made here. The Daily Mail […]

Gordon’s ghost

This is bullshit: David Cameron will fly to Aberdeen on Thursday to announce a £250m package to prop up the North Sea oil industry, the first stage of an infrastructure investment for the city. The prime minister will promise a new “oil and gas technology centre” in Aberdeen to fund future research, including into innovative ways to extract oil and gas. His visit comes as the North Sea struggles against slumping oil prices, which have left many of its companies […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]