Monthly Archives: April 2016

Roundup

In what is becoming a regular occurrence in that company, Mexican state-owned oil company PEMEX experienced another deadly explosion, this time in one of its petrochemical plants: Four more people have been found dead after last week’s explosion at a petrochemical plant in southeastern Mexico, raising the death toll to 32, state oil giant Pemex and Mexican plastic pipe maker Mexichem said in a joint statement on Sunday. The vinyl petrochemical plant in the Gulf coast state of Veracruz is a […]

Total surrender?

On Tuesday France’s Total presented a new organisation which purports to achieve its ambition of “becoming the responsible energy major”.  I must confess, if I thought Total’s strategy was rather unclear before, it is doubly so now. Total spent 2015 meeting the short-term goals set in response to the ongoing imbalances resulting from the fall in oil prices that began in June 2014. Yet even as it addresses these immediate challenges, the Group must also prepare for the medium and longer […]

The value of promises for the future

When I was 18 years old and first got my driving license, all the talk among my peers was about insurance costs.  When you’re a young male – and by definition a total idiot – car insurance is understandably very high, and you can end up being quoted premiums of $2,000 per year on a $700 car.  The standard refrain from the insurance companies was “it’s high because you’re under 21”, and 21 was the magic age at which car […]

The Varying Standard of Expats

In among a series of rather haphazard comments on this post, reader Kale Sid raises a point which is worth discussing further: the … system that perpetuate mediocrity over excellence in the name of local content allows some nitwit from elsewhere that are not qualified to be painters in their countries to lord themselves around as ” expats”. Unless I am mistaken, what I think Kale Sid is saying is that countries which have stringent local content laws end up employing […]