Monday, June 20, 2016

How bad is it?

Update for 6/17/2016. May be getting better. Rig count up for 3 weeks, oil price up and steady near $50, and first significant exploration geology jobs posted in Houston last week.


Updated through 21 May 2016

Bankruptcies: SandRidge, Halcon, Energy XXI, Aztec Oil & Gas, Breitburn Energy Partners LP, Penn Virginia Corp., Linn Energy, etc... altogether 27 companies field for bankruptcy in April 2016 and 69 since the beginning of 2016. Compare that to the 42 that filed in 2015 (source).

Layoffs: Estimated at 350,000 worldwide (source)

To paraphrase SPE 2016 President Nathan Meehan: If we include cable tool rigs, total US activity has exceeded 500 rigs since Abraham Lincoln was the US President. The current (5/20/2016) North American rig count stands at 404, making it a truly historic low. 



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Updated through 13 Mar 2016


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Updated through 19 Feb 2016

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Updated through 8 Jan 2016


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This graph captures the current deep decline in world oil price (WTI, but Brent would be similar), North American natural gas price and North American rig count. The rig count is a macro measure of economic activity in the hydrocarbon energy sector, the center of an ecosystem of exploration and production business activity. The rig count still falling after 12 months may indicate the quickest possible recovery could be 12-18 months away.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

EAGE 2016 Vienna

With EAGE President and longtime friend  Mohammed Al Faraj

Monday, May 9, 2016

3D Seismic Interpretation class 2016

We have just completed the 2016 version of 3D Seismic Exploration, a graduate-level class in the Geosciences Department at the University of Arkansas. This was the first time the course used OpendTect interpretation software. We had some recurring issues with network licensing and crashes on some computers, but overall it was an excellent experience. My advice... just give the students access to the base OpendTect Pro system and forget about network licenses to advanced functions. Most of the attributes you want (similarity, energy, spectral decomposition) are right there in the base system. 

I need to make a special shout-out to Mac Macgilvery for bringing insight and deep geological knowledge to the class from his long and distinguished career at Tenneco, Shell and ConocoPhillips. Not to mention a PhD from the University of Texas. Thanks Mac, it is great to have you back home in Fayetteville.


Bryan Bottoms was winner of Best Prospect Award for Banzai!!. The wise owl of accomplishment was gifted to the winner.

Slide of Banzai!! amplitude anomaly (color) overlay on similarity attribute (gray) with key faults highlighted. 

Class photo (Mac Macgilvery front row far left)