Woes in the Oil Patch
My sister was up here from Houston on her way to the University Of Oregon to give a lecture today. She was an upstream geologist for a couple of major oil companies the last 40 years and has an international reputation. She retired 2 years ago but had kept busy doing consulting work. She gave me some insight as to what is going on in the oil industry now that oil is under $30 a barrel. For starters the once booming Houston economy is suffering – houses are not selling and businesses are closing. While the major oil companies are still hesitant to lay off regular employees they have been shedding contract workers. They are still willing to do upstream research in hopes that the price of oil will rebound but are unwilling to commit to any new projects. The majors have never been enthusiastic about shale oil fracking so most of my sister’s work now involves deep water projects in the Gulf Of Mexico although there will be no new actual projects as long as the price of oil is so low. My sister is still in demand, she will go from Eugene to Colorado to give a talk at the Colorado School of Mines and then back to Houston to continue her consulting.