Monthly Archives: February 2016

The importance of speaking out

Martin Niemöller was a German pastor who is probably most famous for being the originator of this text and its variants: First they came for the Site Inspectors, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Site Inspector. Then they came for the Planners, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Planner. Then they came for the Project Engineers, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Project Engineer. Then they came for me—and […]

Downsizing

Jake in January 2015: I am not convinced the future of the oil industry lies solely with giant, complex mega-projects in very challenging locations. …   With countries being able to raise their own financing and smaller, cheaper, faster projects becoming the norm, the lumbering giants which have dominated the industry for a century might find their opportunities drying up in the coming years as sleeker, more efficient companies provide the right mix of technology, delivery, and cost. Such a […]

Shell: the beta male of the oil industry

In August 2014 I wrote a post which started as follows: Ever since Shell acquiesced to the Kremlin’s demand to surrender majority ownership of Sakhalin Energy in 2007 I have thought that western oil companies have fundamentally misunderstood the Russian mentality.  The perception at the time was that Shell believed by caving in on this issue, they would gain favour with the Russians and hence be in a strong position to participate in future projects.  Whether this was true or […]

Patrick’s posers

Last week Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne wrote an article in LinkedIn which is worth taking a look at: Investments by the major oil companies are being scaled back in response to falling prices, which means they will no longer be able to offset the natural decline of currently producing fields. This is a rather frank admission coming from the CEO of one of the major oil companies which has done just that.  But alas he doesn’t tell us why, if […]

Newfound pain

There’s a long but interesting article in Canada’s The Star on how the decline in oil prices has hit the city of St. John’s in Newfoundland.  It is interesting because although St. John’s does have an offshore oil industry, it is not a traditional coastal oil town in the manner of Aberdeen or Stavanger, and is often overshadowed insofar as the Canadian industry goes by Calgary. Though Newfoundland is some 6,500 kilometres east of ground zero for Canada’s oil industry, […]

Hypocrisy from Greenpeace, Double Standards from UK HSE

I am all for the right of citizens to protest anything they like, and consider it to be a cornerstone of a civilised society, but I’m not so happy about this: Greenpeace has built a 10-metre high mock fracking rig outside Parliament, to protest the Government’s support for the controversial drilling method. The rig, accompanied by lorry and drilling sounds and featuring a flare which fires up every hour, was erected to coincide with the opening of a public inquiry […]

Igor another presentation for you

A post by Streetwise Professor reminds me that International Petroleum Week has just taken place, and once again Rosneft’s Igor Sechin played the role of conference comedian, this time by blaming “robots” for the collapse in the oil price.  Go and read the whole thing. Veteran readers may recall I wrote a post on Igor’s amateurish presentation at the 2015 International Petroleum Week which I described as follows: What follows is a rambling 20-page presentation cluttered full of data, graphs, […]

Firefighting

If a farmer receives a call from a neighbor that one of his sheep has escaped and is standing in the road, he will go out, fetch the sheep, and put it back in the field where it belongs.  Most likely the farmer will then make a tour of the hedgerows and fences to see where the sheep got out, and close up the hole when he finds it.  Certainly, if he gets two such calls about his sheep standing […]

Another major comparison

Now that each of the supermajors has turned in their 2015 Q4 and preliminary full-year reports, it is time for some commentary. ExxonMobil: IRVING, Texas – February 2, 2016 – Exxon Mobil Corporation today announced estimated 2015 earnings of $16.2 billion compared with $32.5 billion a year earlier. … Exxon forecast capital spending at around $23.2 billion this year, a 25 percent drop from 2015. Summary: Their profits have halved last year so they’re cutting CAPEX further for 2016.  They don’t need to […]