September 28, 2015
Shell today provides an update on the Burger J exploration well, located in the Alaska’s Chukchi Sea. The Burger J well is approximately 150 miles from Barrow, Alaska, in about 150 feet of water. Shell safely drilled the well to a total depth of 6800 feet this summer in a basin that demonstrates many of the key attributes of a major petroleum basin. For an area equivalent to half the size of the Gulf of Mexico, this basin remains substantially under-explored.
Last Monday, the world woke up to the following press release from Shell:
The oil patch is in severe financial pain and it seems that prior to the summer 2015 drill season that Shell set the well test results as a pass/fail decision point.
This post is a review and commentary on the book Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy by Matthew R. Simmons. 448 pages, John Wiley & Sons Inc. June 2005, ISBN-13 978-0-471-79018-1.
Twilight in the Desert is a book describing the history of Saudi Arabia's oil with the underlying thesis that it's epic run of easy light crude production is fact coming to an end despite Saudi Arabia's public claims that they're oil is limitless.
Since 2000, Russian oil production has risen like a Phoenix from the ashes of it's 1998 financial collapse. It "quietly" became the World's top crude producer in 2006 retaking the spot Russia has occupied on several occasions over the past century and, as of 2015, achieved an admirable 10 mbd + some.
I feel about imperial units the way the Romans felt about Carthage.
When imperial units and metric units go out together, get drunk and f*ck, you get oilfield units, that way you get tantalized with the simplicity of the metric system while trying to reconcile it with the inanity of the imperial system. Additionally, at least a third of your sh*t is ordered/or you have to work with customers from overseas so you get to juggle both f*cking systems and it's weird for everyone. Eventually, someone will use the wrong conversion factor, and a really huge, really expensive, really sh*tty mistake will happen.
Imperial Units must be destroyed.
Prior to Chavez (1980-1990's), PDVSA was a organized enterprise that had benefited from working with private companies. PDVSA was considered by many to be the best run NOC in Latin America throughout the 1990's. Oil production was maintained and managed such that production was sustained despite the price of oil plummeting early in the decade.
Petrostates see business ethics as a function of the current political climate (i.e. sometimes optional) but are relatively good at safeguarding their own financial wellbeing. Venezuela is an exception to this general rule - hence this article.
I grew up with fire, ice and North Slope Crude in my veins. I completed a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering and currently work as a field engineer in the Bakken.