Stale Thoughts and Broken Links

Old entries from my weblog on geophysics and the energy industry.


KCBS Channel2000: L.A. Likely To Be Smog Capital Again.

"Houston earned the dishonor of smoggiest metropolitan region two years ago, but Los Angeles choked the title away last year, and experts said that the City of Angels is a `shoe-in' to do it again, according to CBS2 News."


Associated Press: Tough Meeting Expected for OPEC. OPEC Faces Tough Meeting to Decide Oil Output Amid Tumbling Prices and U.S. Attacks.

"OPEC's benchmark price for crude has dropped by 25 percent in 11 days to $20.51 a barrel -- far below the group's established target price of $25 a barrel."

Wall Street Journal (subscription): Tensions Put Oil Concerns Drilling In Mideast in Vulnerable Position.

"Oil companies large and small are finding themselves unusually exposed in the globe's hot spots as the U.S. declares war on terrorism."

Oil & Gas Journal: Observers say technology gains can't nullify industry's personnel gap.

"... advancing technology has emerged as a `bandaid' to improve the efficiency and productivity of workers at oil and gas companies. Many industry sources, however, doubt how long these newly gained efficiencies will last without industry addressing the underlying problem: its shortage of skilled technical workers owing to a "generation gap" spawned by the boom-and-bust cycles of recent decades."

Oil Online: MMS issues multisale nominations call for U.S. Gulf sales.

"The Minerals Management Service published a Call for Information and Nominations for 10 tentatively scheduled Outer Continental Shelf lease sales in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico in the proposed 2002-2007leasing program."

Oil Online: Amerada Hess secures approval to drill off Faeroes.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur: Baghdad accuses Kuwait of "stealing" Iraqi oil from border fields.

"Kuwait's alleged stealing of Iraqi oil was one of the reasons cited by Iraq for invading Kuwait in August 1990."

Oil & Gas Journal: Raymond James analysts foresee `almost certain' oil supply disruptions.

Scientific American: The End of Oil. Will gas lines in the coming decade make those of 1973 look short?

"Deffeyes used a slightly more sophisticated version of the Hubbert method to make the global calculations. The numbers pointed to 2003 as the year of peak production, but because estimates of global reserves are inexact, Deffeyes settled on a range from 2004 to 2008."

> The reason I became a geophysicist was because as a teenager, I was familiar with studies from the mid-70's that predicted an oil shortages starting around the turn of the century. $100 to $150 per barrel oil seemed likely, and I thought that would make a geophysicist worth his/her weight in gold. I'm still waiting.

> Whether you believe in it or not, if you want to know more about "the coming global oil crisis," check out The Hubbert Peak of Oil Production.

Apparently the Chronicle got the facts wrong in their report on Chevron layoffs earlier this month. A friend at Chevron sent me the real story.


Scientific American: Antarctic Ozone Hole Gapes Again.

"As winter melts into spring across Earth's southern hemisphere, the Sun's return triggers the onset of another event: the opening of the ozone hole."

Not exactly on-topic for me, but I feel like I should give the Bush administration credit ->

AP: Bush Wants Change in Farm Spending.

"In a break from traditional Republican farm policy, the Bush administration on Wednesday criticized subsidies for big grain and cotton farms and proposed putting money into conservation programs that benefit more growers."

Oil & Gas Journal: Shell to develop Manatee by tieback to Bullwinkle.

Oil Online: Shell to tie-back Manatee discovery.

"Shell Exploration & Production Co. (SEPCo) plans to develop Manatee, a subsea production system located in the Gulf of Mexico in 1,940 feet of water. Manatee will be a two- well development located approximately 160 miles southwest of New Orleans in Green Canyon Block 155."


Oil & Gas Journal: Shell cuts estimates for global short-term oil production growth.

"`We are currently developing projects from which we expect to produce by the end of 2005 over 1.2 million new boe/d. Capital investment in the upstream business will be in the range of $7 to $8 billion/year (US),' [says Van der Vijver, a member of the Royal Dutch/Shell committee of managing directors.]"


Oil Online: Statoil hits duster off Faeroes.

Oil & Gas Journal: Amerada Hess prepares to spud Faroe Islands wildcat.

"The well is expected to take 2-3 months and will be the last well drilled on the Faroe Shelf this year."

Associated Press: Exxon says it halted seismic tests alleged to push whales off feeding.

"[Glenn Waller, director of external affairs for Exxon Mobil in Moscow] said Exxon went beyond regular international standards of leaving a one kilometer (0.62 mile) buffer zone around whales -- extending that to four kilometers (2.49 miles) for the gray whales. `Whenever we saw a gray whale within that four kilometer radius we shut down,' he said."


Houston Chronicle: Energy industry tightens security at plants, strategic reserve sites.

"The entire commercial airline fleet in the United States was grounded Tuesday, chopping fuel consumption. As long as the grounding continues, it reduces demand by about 10 percent of the nation's daily supply of refined products."


Long day at SEG; gave my "booth presentation" twice. My talks went pretty well, but the grid tomography section needs a better demo (understatement).

The great thing about SEG always is seeing so many friends, old and new, in one place.

I saw Phil Schultz of Unocal give a "Recent Advances and the Road Ahead" talk. He was really jostling conventional wisdom. For instance, he showed some Kirchhoff / wave equation prestack depth migration comparisons with better subsalt imaging on the Kirchhoff results. Also, he said he didn't think anisotropic migration would ever get out of research departments because there are too many model parameters to derive!


SEG starts tommorrow! I should be at Paradigm's "booth" for most of the first four days. If you're there, stop by and say hello.


Oil & Gas Journal: FTC finally clears way for $35 billion Chevron-Texaco merger.

"... ChevronTexaco will have a combined enterprise market value of more than $100 billion, assets of $83 billion, net proved reserves of 11.5 billion boe, daily production of 2.7 million BOE, and operations throughout the world." ...

"... some 4,000 jobs worldwide representing a 7% reduction of the present workforce of some 57,000 will be made redundant through the merger."

Wall Street Journal (subscription): There Are Lots of Jobs Available If You Want to Be a Roughneck.

"Drilling companies and contractors are in such desperate need of hands that they are paying $75,000 a year or more to roughnecks working seven days on and seven days off."


Oil & Gas Journal: Oil firms explain diverse technology strategies at Aberdeen conference.

"Areas of evolutionary advance in which Amerada Hess is especially interested include application of seismic methods to depths of 30,000 ft, improved seismic imaging, deepwater and subsea applications, and reservoir modeling." ...

"Kenny Lang, vice-president for upstream technology ... described a formal method BP applies for deciding whether to build or buy technology, with decisions to build related mainly to proprietary areas such as seismic processing and reservoir characterization."

Oil & Gas Journal: Mexico to offer more oil service contracts to speed E&P.


Oil & Gas Journal: Devon Energy to buy Anderson Exploration for $4.6 billion.

"Devon Energy Corp. of Oklahoma City is acquiring Calgary-based Anderson Exploration Ltd. in a $4.6 billion deal that will give it the most North American oil and gas reserves of any independent, officials said Tuesday. This latest acquisition comes on the heels of Devon's Aug. 14 agreement to buy Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., Houston, for $3.5 billion in cash and stock."

Houston Chronicle: Chevron-Texaco merger go-ahead looms, along with job cuts.

"The companies say they plan to trim 7 percent from the combined work force of 57,000, or about 4,000 workers. Applying that percentage to Houston would mean about 280 people here could lose their jobs after the deal closes.

"The headquarters of the combined company, to be named ChevronTexaco, will be in San Francisco, but it will have a substantial presence in Houston."

I'm ignoring stories about the Global Marine, Santa Fe merger because they're drilling companies. I really shouldn't. I bet they employ lots of geophysicists.

And how about that Compaq buyout?

Houston Chronicle: The end of an era up there. Satellite that confirmed ozone harm to be shut down.

"The decommissioning will save NASA $10 million in annual operating costs, a final dividend from the little-known spacecraft that silenced much of the debate over whether human activities can harm the environment and fueled efforts to reverse the damage."


Scientific American: Vegetation Responds to Climate Change More Than Carbon Dioxide Fluctuations.

Walter Kessinger

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