Drillers https://drillers.com Drilling Jobs & Professional Support for the Global Drilling Community Mon, 14 Oct 2019 17:17:59 +0200 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.3 https://drillers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/imageedit_8_3054722830.gif Drillers https://drillers.com 32 32 Facilitation: What Will a Facilitator Bring to Your Next Meeting? https://drillers.com/facilitation-101-what-will-a-facilitator-bring-to-your-next-meeting/ https://drillers.com/facilitation-101-what-will-a-facilitator-bring-to-your-next-meeting/#respond Mon, 14 Oct 2019 12:54:44 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050790 Introduction: This article was kindly submitted to us by a writer for a corporate facilitation company. It sparked some lively debate among our team, regarding the differences between corporate and industrial facilitation approaches. The post will be published as-is, and then after, we want to highlight some nuances of industry-specific planning and areas that share […]

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This article was kindly submitted to us by a writer for a corporate facilitation company. It sparked some lively debate among our team, regarding the differences between corporate and industrial facilitation approaches. The post will be published as-is, and then after, we want to highlight some nuances of industry-specific planning and areas that share commonalities across sectors.

– Jason Lavis

A lock connecting multiple straps, to illustrate a bond created by a facilitator

A Facilitator Definition

Facilitation styles vary from industry to industry, but generally, there are three different ones: delegating, exploratory, and directive. When the facilitator assigns attendees functions, roles, or tasks, that is the delegating style. A facilitator who asks questions about ideas and experience is using the exploratory style. Finally, one who gives instructions and information is directive. The best facilitators use a combination of the three approaches.

The word facilitation comes from ‘facile’ in Latin, which means ‘to make easy’. If we were to go by that definition, a facilitator works to make things easy for other people. Of course, this is a broad definition that would cover a host of other professions as well, including mediation and training. Defining this profession clearly can help create realistic expectations on the part of the client, the facilitator, and the group or organization he or she serves.

What Do Facilitators Do?

Facilitators help organizations or other groups of people understand, plan for, and achieve common goals. In the process, the facilitator doesn’t take a particular position; they remain neutral. Some facilitator tools can assist the organization or group in reaching an agreement on issues that have emerged during a meeting or that already existed.

Types of Facilitators

Business facilitators normally work for companies, but they may also assist other communities or groups. They do not enforce or even state an opinion on the subject of facilitation; their role is to make it easier for the group to make its own decision or find an answer. As conflicts between different management levels can emerge in this process, facilitators have to be very flexible. Facilitators also take measures to empower the groups they work with, increasing their degree of self-determination and autonomy so they are able to represent their interests responsibly.

Normally, facilitators are not experts in the company’s field of activity. For example, if your company works in the automotive industry, you shouldn’t expect the facilitator to possess specific knowledge in this field. Rather, he or she will draw on participants’ existing knowledge in the interaction and, if needed, facilitate access to training if it emerges that knowledge in a certain area is insufficient.  

Facilitators can be appointed to help individuals in small and medium-sized groups solve specific tasks or work through a given problem.

Human Factors

No company can do without meetings. Ideally, these are an effective way to improve team dynamics, exchange information, brainstorm, and reach an agreement on important issues. Unfortunately, it’s all too often the case that executive and staff meetings fail to be productive. Facilitators help avoid this by using a variety of techniques to achieve optimal outcomes depending on the type of meeting. 

Executive and board meetings benefit most from facilitators with experience in design and strategic planning to stimulate discussion and creativity. Meetings are structured so that groups remain focused on strategic factors, in particular, tendencies that could disrupt their sector or industry. With facilitation, clients find relevant and innovative solutions to address these tendencies.

Management meetings benefit from the facilitator’s team management and corporate experience to enhance team interaction. Team members can attain higher levels of productivity and engagement during meetings as a result.

Advantages of an External Facilitator

If your company doesn’t have any staff trained to work as strategic planning facilitators or you’ve never created an official plan for a meeting, you may find an external facilitator quite useful. He or she will bring a new, fresh perspective that participants in a meeting may not have, being too focused on the results. What is more, the staff involved in the planning process will find they can be honest and open with an external participant without fear of conflict with management or coworkers.  

If your company is facing a series of issues and finding it difficult to arrive at an efficient strategy, an external facilitator can help you set appropriate targets and goals. Facilitators have one single responsibility – to offer you guidance in the planning process – and this process will have their full and undivided attention. Your employees have other duties and may not be as invested in this process as an outside consultant.

The Skills of a Good Facilitator

A good facilitator has a variety of different skills and isn’t easy to find. Basic skills include timekeeping, keeping a clear record of meetings, and following the agenda as agreed. More advanced skills are related to extensive knowledge of group dynamics, the ability to build conversation, the ability to paraphrase, to balance participation, and to empower reserved group members. A good facilitator augments group creativity because they have the skills to intervene effectively. They are always respectful of all participants and aware of the multiple layers of a human group’s reality.

If consensus or agreement on an issue cannot be reached, the facilitator helps participants in a meeting understand the factors dividing them. Successful facilitators also possess excellent problem-solving skills. They can enable group decision-making and structure plans and agendas to achieve optimal outcomes.

The Economic and Cultural Value of Facilitators

Facilitators are highly valuable where issues are controversial or complicated, where there are diverse perspectives and interests, or where a high degree of consensus, creativity, and collaboration are needed.

Engaging a professional facilitator is not faster or more cost-effective in the short term, particularly compared to the traditional approach of making and cascading policies, decisions, and plans from the top down. 

If these policies, decisions, and plans aren’t achieving the desired results, it may be because the employees crucial to their success haven’t played an optimal role in the process. Down the line, an investment in a more effective, efficient, and inclusive process can save your company a lot of money.

Facilitators bring the additional advantage of familiarity with different work environments and cultures. Cultural differences can emerge as an obstacle in strategic planning and facilitators have the experience needed to help participants understand these and reach a consensus despite them.

What Should You Look for in a Facilitator?

The International Association of Facilitators (IAF) has six guiding principles for those looking for a specialist facilitator. According to IAF, competent facilitators plan appropriate group processes, build and maintain an inclusive environment, create collaborative client relationships, develop and sustain professional knowledge, guide the group to suitable and optimal outcomes, and model professional and positive attitudes. Evidence of these skills can be found in a facilitator’s resume, case studies, testimonials, or references from previous clients.

You may be looking for outside support to develop in-house competence and capacity to establish and facilitate processes to achieve long-term goals. In other words, you may need facilitation services for a longer period of time. If this is the case, look for experience in facilitator coaching or facilitation training as well.

Finally, take into account the magnitude of your tasks in terms of space, time, and the number of people involved. You might find it best to engage an organization with a broad network of associates in case your facilitator needs assistance from a coworker or a facilitator team. A participatory, multifaceted approach is something your company can only benefit from.

Facilitators in commercial industries may place a greater focus on promoting creativity and reconciling individual differences, while those in state or government organizations will fulfill the role of organizers and integrators. The most effective facilitators utilize a combination of these approaches.   


Hi, Jason here again. Sylvia does a great job of covering some of the main concepts of facilitation. There are soft skills and techniques that would make a good facilitator across industry sectors for example:

  • A great facilitator will focus on shared ideas raised during the workshop, not on historic mistakes or achievements.
  • There’s an art to creating an atmosphere of energy and a meritocracy of input.
  • Finding that balance of leading the meeting, but also creating a leaderless zone at the same time.
  • Careful recording and the drawing out of action points is also an art. Anyone can find challenges and pitfalls, not everyone can crowdsource a robust plan and record it in a report.

Here’s a quick video where common best and worst practices are highlighted:

The lively debate:

From time to time, the topic of a facilitators competency comes into question. Some would argue that the best facilitators are able to get everyone together in harmony and that the expertise from the participants is the priority. It’s possible to envisage someone with great people skills, but without industry experience creating a great workshop. Imagine Tony Robbins facilitating a meeting at the sales department of a hardware distribution company. That would work, wouldn’t it? Would it matter if Tony has ever sold the same widgets as the team? Probably not.

An external facilitator has an advantage because they can treat people equally without fear of political consequence.

For industrial workshops, such as the ones in the oil and gas industry that Relentless Pursuit of Perfection host, we argue that a general facilitator won’t suffice. Can you imagine the same scenario with Tony facilitating a plan of action for a hazard and operability study (HAZOP)? What about Tony working with a bomb disposal team, as Phil Smith and the team at Critical Team Performance do? On balance, most would prefer to work with those that have had skin in the game and are seen as professional industry equals.

There are a few reasons that spring to mind for this rationale:

  1. Unlike the average office-based job, an oil rig is stressful for the mind and body – and dangerous, potentially deadly. Camaraderie and group focus is experienced by people who have taken the same risks and had the same stories to tell.
  2. A facilitator that holds workshops for different companies in the same industry, all over the world will often know answers to challenges that come up. They can absorb combined knowledge from all of the teams that they interact with.
  3. The notes recorded during the workshop and the post-workshop reports contain degree level, and often postgraduate-level science, knowledge and industry jargon. Have you ever tried to take notes about, and then write about something you know nothing about? What if lives depended on it all being accurate?

What do you think? What has been missed? Does an external facilitator need extensive personal experience in the same industry vertical? Perhaps you prefer an in-house person to lake lead on a workshop? Please comment below.

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US Shale Update Through June 2019 https://drillers.com/us-shale-update-through-june-2019/ https://drillers.com/us-shale-update-through-june-2019/#respond Fri, 11 Oct 2019 11:00:06 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050814 These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 114,539 horizontal wells in 12 US states, through June 2019. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 11.7 billion bbl and 133.7 Tcf of natural gas. West Virginia is deselected in most dashboards, as it has a greater reporting lag. Oklahoma […]

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These interactive presentations contain the latest oil & gas production data from 114,539 horizontal wells in 12 US states, through June 2019. Cumulative oil and gas production from these wells reached 11.7 billion bbl and 133.7 Tcf of natural gas. West Virginia is deselected in most dashboards, as it has a greater reporting lag. Oklahoma is for now only available in our subscription services.

Oil production from horizontal wells in these states increased slightly in June, to around 7 million bo/d (after upcoming revisions). That would represent a growth of 100 thousand bo/d in the first 6 months, far lower than the ~670 thousand bo/d increase in the same period last year, but still positive.

As is visualized in the chart above, total oil production in June can be divided into 3 roughly equal parts: the contribution from wells that began production in the first 6 months since year (dark blue), the ones that started last year (light blue), and all the wells that came online before 2018 (all other colors).

Natural gas production also set a new record (switch “Product” to gas), at 64 Bcf/d.

In the “Well quality” tab, you can easily see how well productivity has changed in the major tight oil basins. Results have steadily improved since 2008, but markedly slower after 2017. Normalized for lateral length (which is possible in our advanced analytics service), and averaged for all the oil wells in these basins, we see no clear improvement since 2016.

EOG is by far the largest operator of tight oil wells (see “Top operators”), producing almost double the numbers 2 to 5. However, its production dropped by almost 8% in June, from which it somewhat recovered in July (based on preliminary data, not visible here).

This “Ultimate recovery” overview shows the relationship between production rates and cumulative production over time. The oil basins are preselected and the wells are grouped by the year in which production started.

The 2nd tab (“Cumulative production ranking”), ranks all counties by cumulative oil production. McKenzie County is shown here in the top spot. Since 2005 more than 1 billion barrels of oil have been produced in this county from horizontal wells, and production is still above half a million bo/d. Lea, Midland, Reeves and Weld are also close to this production rate.

In the following overview (taken from our ShaleProfile Analytics service (Professional)) you can see how well productivity has evolved in each of these 5 counties.

Well productivity in the top-5 oil-producing counties

The chart on the top-right shows the average cumulative oil production in the first year on production, by production start date, for each of these counties. It clearly shows that based on this metric, McKenzie is still the most productive area. If you normalize for lateral length in this dashboard, Lea is clearly outperforming the other areas. That probably explains why you can now find the most rigs drilling horizontal wells in Lea County, based on the latest rig count (65, vs. 53 in Reeves and just 18 in McKenzie).

The charts below it reveal that McKenzie also has the longest laterals, while in Midland most proppant is used.

Early next week we will have a new post on North Dakota. Production data through July, in which another production record was set, is already available in our subscription services since last week.

Production data is subject to revisions. For these presentations, I used data gathered from the sources listed below.

  • FracFocus.org
  • Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission
  • Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission
  • Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. Similar to Texas, lease/unit production is allocated over wells in order to estimate their individual production histories.
  • Montana Board of Oil and Gas
  • New Mexico Oil Conservation Commission
  • North Dakota Department of Natural Resources
  • Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Texas Railroad Commission. Individual well production is estimated through the allocation of lease production data over the wells in a lease, and from pending lease production data.
  • Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining
  • Automated Geographic Reference Center of Utah.
  • West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
  • West Virginia Geological & Economic Survey
  • Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission


The above presentations have many interactive features:

  • You can click through the blocks on the top to see the slides.
  • Each slide has filters that can be set, e.g. to select individual or groups of operators. You can first click “all” to deselect all items. You have to click the “apply” button at the bottom to enforce the changes. After that, click anywhere on the presentation.
  • Tooltips are shown by just hovering the mouse over parts of the presentation.
  • You can move the map around, and zoom in/out.
  • By clicking on the legend you can highlight selected items.
  • Note that filters have to be set for each tab separately.
  • The operator who currently owns the well is designated by “operator (current)”. The operator who operated a well in a past month is designated by “operator (actual)”. This distinction is useful when the ownership of a well changed over time.
  • If you have any questions on how to use the interactivity, or how to analyze specific questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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Oil and Gas Production: A Beginners Guide https://drillers.com/oil-and-gas-production-a-beginners-guide/ https://drillers.com/oil-and-gas-production-a-beginners-guide/#respond Mon, 07 Oct 2019 09:20:21 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050793 Upstream Industry Guide: Oil and gas production is a fundamental cornerstone to the global economy. The world consumes close to 100 million barrels of crude oil every day, and the number is set to continue rising despite the expansion of renewable energy. In short, oil will continue to be an essential primary source of energy […]

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Vector of an oil platform and pipeline used for oil and gas production

Upstream Industry Guide:

Oil and gas production is a fundamental cornerstone to the global economy. The world consumes close to 100 million barrels of crude oil every day, and the number is set to continue rising despite the expansion of renewable energy. In short, oil will continue to be an essential primary source of energy for the foreseeable future. Here is how energy companies find it and extract it.

Seismic exploration

Oil and gas get formed when hydrogen and carbon atoms in plant and animal remains connect in geological formations.  It happens under the growing weight of sand and other sediments that accumulate on top of the remains over millions of years. With time these accumulations hardened and became rock.

That rock, in layers of different density, or strata, moved over these millions of years driven by tectonic movement. This movement created pockets of oil and gas trapped in porous rocks sandwiched between harder layers. Identifying such sandwich-like structures that contain so-called oil traps is the first step in oil exploration. The second is conducting seismic surveys of the area.

Seismic surveying involves sending sound waves into the rock commonly using either a seismic vibrator, for onshore exploration, or an air gun, for offshore exploration. In the past, dynamite was popular as a tool for seismic surveying. It is still sometimes used today for locations when it is vital to limit the impact of the vibrations to the surrounding area.

When sound waves penetrate rock formations, part of their energy gets reflected by the harder layers of rock, while the rest continues deeper into other strata. The reflected energy travels back and is recorded and then interpreted.

The industry differentiates between 2D and 3D seismic surveying. The difference between the two comes down to the number of seismic lines used to derive data about potential reservoirs. Seismic lines are the lines of geophones—the devices that receive the sonic signal reflected from the layers of rock—arranged in the surveyed area. The more geophones there are, the better the data. Also, in 3D surveying, the geophones are more closely-spaced to capture more detailed data.

Based on how much energy from the sound waves gets reflected, (and where), explorers identify potential oil and gas-bearing strata. The next step is exploratory drilling. Time to spud the wildcats as drillers call these wells.

Exploratory drilling

Drilling exploration wells is the only way to confirm there are oil and gas in the location identified as a possible reservoir by seismic surveying. From exploration wells, E&Ps gather data not just about whether there are oil and gas in the ground but also whether there is enough of it to progress to development wells.

If the drillers strike oil in the well, the next step is to measure flow rates and pressure, which would tell the company if the well is viable and worth the additional investment for appraisal wells.

Appraisal wells are drilled around the first exploration well in case the flow of oil from the first well suggests there are enough hydrocarbons to justify developing the field. The purpose of the appraisal wells is to quantify the reserves of the oil field. Also, they enable the drilling team to examine the quality of the hydrocarbons contained there.

Another thing appraisal wells tell drillers is how much oil they can reasonably expect to produce from the field. This information would inform other decisions afterwards, chief among them how to best approach extraction to recover most of the identified and quantified reserves. The number of production wells, their location in the field, the drilling and launch schedule are all determined thanks to the data collected and analysed during the appraisal drilling stage.

Onshore vs offshore oil and gas production

Drilling an exploration or an appraisal well and turning the latter into a production well is pretty straightforward on land. Once the well gets drilled and the presence of oil and gas confirmed, drillers remove the drillbit, add production tubing, and the oil begins flowing. The rig is dismantled and moved to another location.

Offshore, however, everything depends on depth. For shallow water exploration, a drilling barge with a rig attached to it is sufficient. In depths of up to 500 feet, drillers use jack-up rigs, which are a type of mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs). Jackup rigs are attached to the seafloor, and the drilling rig is “jacked up” above the surface.

Further out into the sea, at depths of up to 10,000 feet, E&Ps use semi-submersible platforms. These are floating MODUs that feature pontoon-like “legs” underwater, hence the name. These legs make semi-submersibles more stable than drillships—the vessels used in deepwater exploration.

Another kind of vessel used in deepwater and ultra-deepwater offshore exploration and production is the floating production, storage and offloading vessel, or the FPSO. FPSOs look like ships, and they accommodate processing equipment and storage space. The oil and gas extracted on-site and processed on the FPSO are either loaded on smaller vessels to take to shore or fed into pipelines.

Once the drilling rig has done its job, commercial production begins. Onshore, the process from exploration to production start takes a lot less time than offshore. Putting a shale oil well into production takes a few months, making shale the fastest deposit to develop, at least in the United States. Offshore projects, on the other hand, still take years between discovery and the start of production. This slow process is both because of the much more challenging maritime environment and because of safety concerns. These were heightened after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and have remained elevated since then.

Conventional oil

Initial production of oil and gas from a conventional well, onshore or offshore, has traditionally relied on the underground pressure of the hydrocarbon reservoir, which pushes up both the oil and the gas. Primary production is called free flow.

The underground pressure of oil and gas deposits quickly declines and E&Ps need to help the oil keep flowing by injecting either gas or water into the well to boost the pressure of the reservoir. Increasingly often, gas, steam and water injection are moved back to the start of a production well’s life to maximise initial recovery.

Free flow—primary production—can recover a relatively small portion of a well’s reserves. Different sources put this at between 5% and 25%. Secondary recovery, commonly called enhanced oil recovery, features water, steam, and gas injection. It can increase recovery rates substantially, bringing the total to 40% of the oil in the deposit. EOR’s main drawbacks are that it is both expensive and uncertain. There is no guarantee the injection of fluids or gas would increase recovery enough to justify the expenses.

Oil sands

Oil sands are a special kind of oil deposits. They are so special that they require unique technologies to recover the solid-state bitumen. About 80% of oil sands get mined in-situ, on-site. The most popular technique for bitumen recovery is called steam-assisted gravity drainage, and it involves drilling two horizontal, parallel wells in the bitumen layer. Producers then inject steam into the top well to melt the bitumen around. Gravity makes this bitumen flow into the lower well and from it, up to the ground.

Shale oil

Shale oil differs from the conventional oil in that there is no pool of oil that drillers tap into. The oil in shale formations is trapped in the rock, and E&P companies drill directly into that. The initial drilling is vertical, like in a conventional field. From this borehole, horizontal laterals are drilled to maximise the amount of oil recovered.

After the well gets drilled, E&Ps inject water into it to release the oil from the rock: the notorious hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Besides water, drillers also inject chemicals into the rock and sand, to keep the rock pores that contain the oil open for longer and recover more oil. Shale oil wells are much quicker to start producing, and depletion also comes more quickly than in conventional oil wells.

Abandonment and decommissioning

Every well that has stopped yielding enough oil and gas to make economic sense needs to get plugged so as not to contaminate underground aquifers or leak above ground. First, there are tests to make sure there are no cracks in the well casing that could cause leaks. Then the operator of the well plugs it with cement and removes the surface structures used in production.

Offshore, in addition to the plugging of the depleted wells, E&Ps need to decommission the platforms that have housed the production and storage equipment. Decommissioning involves dismantling the equipment and related infrastructure (pipelines), and removing the platform – or at least most of it – from its location.

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Offshore Oil Rigs: Power, Equipment and Technology https://drillers.com/offshore-oil-rigs-power-equipment-and-technology/ https://drillers.com/offshore-oil-rigs-power-equipment-and-technology/#respond Sat, 28 Sep 2019 17:16:09 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050775 Introduction Offshore oil and gas production involves the extraction of oil and gas from often extreme depths under the sea. Land-based drilling is much easier, but offshore production plays an essential role in the world’s energy supply. With 71% of the world’s surface as water, hydrocarbon deposits are found in larger quantities in the sea […]

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Offshore oil rigs rely on a robust power supply, and support equipment.


Offshore oil and gas production involves the extraction of oil and gas from often extreme depths under the sea. Land-based drilling is much easier, but offshore production plays an essential role in the world’s energy supply. With 71% of the world’s surface as water, hydrocarbon deposits are found in larger quantities in the sea than on the land.

Even with new technology in renewables, offshore oil production is likely to continue to increase. Green energy isn’t keeping up with the high demand for oil and gas production across the world. Finding a sustainable, suitable, and cost-effective power source is a significant challenge for offshore oil production.

Drilling for oil involves the use of bulky and specialized equipment. The equipment needs an enormous and continuous power supply. That makes power supplies an essential part of the oil and gas industry. Heavy instruments include equipment such as hoisting systems, cranes, turntables, pumps, and large engines. A power supply gets needed for the smooth functioning of machines for extracting and producing oil and is also required to provide employees for their daily needs and use.

Offshore oil rigs also require water for desalination, to power washing machines, process waste, and a power source for cooking. This much-needed power supply in gas and oil fields is significant for the smooth functioning of the oil rig.

Ensuring Powering Supply for Off-Shore Oil and Gas Rigs

The use of diesel-powered generators is the most common method of power supply to the rig. Additional configurations and features get required for stationed offshore diesel generators. The generators are manufactured with materials and coatings that can withstand the extreme temperature along with water, salt, and wind in marine conditions. Diesel and gas generators get used for generating power for offshore rigs.

Oilfield Equipment Used Offshore

The oilfield equipment market majorly includes upstream operations. The primary use of oilfield equipment is the development of successfully explored oilfields. Various applications of this equipment include well completion and drilling. The main functions of oilfield equipment include flow control, pressure maintenance, well intervention, drilling, well logging, data acquisition, well completion, etc.

On account of rapid fluctuations in prices, the oil and gas industry witnessed a significant number of downturns in recent years. A recent upturn is expected to increase the global number of oil wells, thereby propelling the oil field equipment market.

According to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc., the global oilfield equipment market is expected to reach $127.6 billion USD by 2020. Incorporating advanced technology for improved recovery rate, better performance, and higher production is expected to fuel market growth.

The main factors driving the growth of the market are oil price recovery, increased field development activities, number of mature oil wells, and oil exploration. For instance, in April 2018, Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd., a company located in Perth, announced the redevelopment of Buffalo oil field in the Timor Sea after signing the Maritime Boundary Treaty with Australia.

Product segment in the market includes field production machinery, drilling equipment, valves and pumps, etc. Crude extraction, processing, and transportation has extensive usage of this equipment and is also used to perform multiple operations offshore.

Instances of accidents on onshore and offshore drilling sites have generated concerns regarding the testing, production logging, and survey equipment and services. These factors are expected to propel the growth of exploration and drilling equipment. The oilfield equipment also helps operators control borehole erosion and subsurface pressure, reduce formation damage, and optimize drilling parameters.

The proper pipeline transport system is required for efficient energy transportation for cost-effective and safe movement from supplier to end-user customers.  Valves and pumps are required for these pipeline systems, which is driving the demand for the oilfield equipment market. There are various other tools used for removing impurities and harmful chemicals before it’s transported to end-use customers or refineries.

Trends and Advancement in the Market

Leading companies in the market are inclined to invest in technological development to ensure security and safety for equipment usage. That is further anticipated to fuel the global oilfield equipment industry. To meet continued global demand pressures, the oil and gas industry is shifting toward unconventional sources of energy production, which is anticipated to impact the growth of the market positively.

Companies are focusing on innovation to maximize their productivity, which is promoting the growth of the market. Better internet connectivity provides offshore oil rigs improved productivity by connecting to the Internet of Things (IoT). This helps to add internet to physical objects and also add sensors, to measure the flow accurately through pipes.

Various technological advances in well drilling and completion have enabled exploration of new oil and natural gas sources for the energy industry. That has resulted in meeting with the rising demand along with reducing the environmental impact of energy production.

Technological advancements will play a vital role in meeting global energy demand because they:

  • Enable the discovery of new resources,
  • Provide access to harsh or remote locations, and:
  • Help develop vital reservoirs, which were previously not economical to produce.

These have also enabled more oil and natural gas to be recovered from the length of each well. That improves productivity and reduces the environmental footprint of energy production.

The global market has a presence of the number of companies across the value chain. Manufacturers and sellers of oilfield tools include companies such as FMC Technologies and National Oilwell Varco. Other companies involved in extracting and finding crude oil are Schlumberger, Halliburton, and Weatherford International. Some companies who own equipment are engaged in leasing out offshore oil drilling rigs. Major market players include Aker Solutions, National Oilwell Varco, Halliburton, Cameron International, Schlumberger, Baker Hughes, and Weatherford International.

Company Bio:

This article has been written by the team at of Grand View Research, Inc., a U.S. based market research and consulting company. The company provides syndicated and customized research reports, as well as consulting services. To help in making informed business decisions on oilfield equipment market, the team offers market intelligence studies ensuring relevant and fact-based research.



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Guyana: The New Star on the Global Oil Map https://drillers.com/guyana-the-new-star-on-the-global-oil-map/ https://drillers.com/guyana-the-new-star-on-the-global-oil-map/#respond Tue, 24 Sep 2019 14:44:02 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050749 Exxon Guyana Oil Discoveries When Exxon first started drilling off the coast of Guyana, it hardly anticipated the oil price crash of 2014. The supermajor first struck oil in the Stabroek block in 2015, in the worst of the crisis. Since then, Exxon and its partner Hess have made 13 oil discoveries, tapping reserves that […]

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The Guyanese flag on an oil barrel vector with the globs and oil pumps in the background

Exxon Guyana Oil Discoveries

When Exxon first started drilling off the coast of Guyana, it hardly anticipated the oil price crash of 2014. The supermajor first struck oil in the Stabroek block in 2015, in the worst of the crisis. Since then, Exxon and its partner Hess have made 13 oil discoveries, tapping reserves that may reach as much as 5.5 billion barrels of crude. That could be less than half of what the rocks under the waters around the tiny South American country contain.

In 2000, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated the Guyana-Suriname Basin could hold some 13.6 billion barrels of oil and 32 trillion cu ft of natural gas in recoverable reserves. That was 19 years ago, and since then exploration and production technology has improved significantly, making more barrels technically recoverable. No wonder Exxon has been striking oil repeatedly.

Liza well scheduled for production in Q1 2020

Exxon and Hess—and their partner Chinese CNOOC—plan to begin commercial production from the Liza well in the first quarter of 2020. Initially, this should be 120,000 BPD, rising to 220,000 BPD during the second phase of development. Meanwhile, Exxon is working on its other discoveries in the Stabroek block. The combined output from these discoveries could reach 750,000 BPD over the next five years.

That is an impressive speed of development. There has been a lot of talk, from industry insiders and observers alike, about offshore projects taking too long to bring from discovery to commercial production to be worth the investment. (In the post-crisis world of lower-for-longer prices). Exxon’s success in Guyana has disproved the universality of this observation. Guyana is turning into the next focal point of the oil industry in a world of shrinking discovery potential.

Tullow Oil gets in on the action

Exxon and Hess are not the only ones drilling for oil offshore Guyana. Tullow Oil announced in August its first discovery in the Orinduik block, two months after drilling started. The well, Jethro-1, could hold more than 100 million barrels of crude, the company said. Another two wells got scheduled for the Orinduik block, with the combined reserves of all three estimated at 400 million barrels. The whole block, however, could hold almost 4 billion barrels of recoverable crude. That’s the latest reserve estimate, and it is much higher than earlier ones.

Then, in mid-September, Tullow announced a second discovery in the Orinduik block and quite a significant one, at that.

“Joe is the first oil discovery to be made in the Upper Tertiary,” the UK-based company said, “and de-risks the petroleum system in the west of the Orinduik block, where a significant number of Tertiary and Cretaceous age prospects have been identified.”

In other words, the find in Joe-1 may open up a lot more recoverable reserves than initially thought.

Investment by Total

It appears Guyana’s oil wealth got underestimated from the start. When Hess Corp. bought its 30% interest in the Stabroek block, its reserves were estimated at just 500 million barrels of crude. Now, Shell must be kicking itself for selling the stake in what has turned out to be one of the most significant discoveries in the oil industry in decades. Other oil majors, in the meantime, approached Eco Atlantic, the minority partner of Tullow in the Orinduik block with offers for a stake acquisition.

At the time, in early 2017, Eco Atlantic’s chief executive declined to name names but said they were “big”. One of those big names was French supermajor Total: it snapped up 25% of Eco Atlantic’s 40% stake in Orinduik in September 2017. The deal got completed last year.

Total’s entrance into Guyana’s offshore oil industry is significant. The French company has been particularly picky with its investments post-2014 and has created a lasting impression of being a lot more cautious and low-risk than most of its peers. In other words, if Total has bet on Guyana, it is a safe bet.

It was not always this way. When Exxon signed its first production sharing agreement with the Guyana government, it was 1999 and exploration efforts until that year had failed to produce any discoveries. It took another 16 years for the first discovery to get made. Since 2015, however, it seems wherever drillers set their drillships, they strike oil. The problem for companies that might want in on the Guyana action is… The pie has been already cut and served.

Other players

Besides Exxon, Hess, CNOOC, Tullow, Total, and Eco Atlantic, explorers in the waters off of Guyana include Chevron (after its acquisition of Anadarko, which holds a license for the Roraima block) and Repsol, as well as one energy junior, CGX Energy. Most of the acreage available for exploration offshore Guyana is in supermajor hands.

Besides the Stabroek block, Exxon shares control of the adjacent Canje block with Total, each with a 35% stake. The U.S. giant also holds the operatorship and 35% in another block adjacent to Stabroek: Kaieteur, where the first well is scheduled for next year. Hess is a minority partner there as well, with 15%. Total, for its part, holds a minority stake of 25% in a third block, Kanuku, where the operator is Spain’s Repsol, with 37.5%. Drilling in the Kanuku block will begin in late September.

CGX Energy, the junior, holds the rights to two blocks, Demerara and Corentyne, which it earlier this year agreed to share—along with the exploration expenses—with Frontera Energy.

Guyana has always held the promise of oil riches. The tiny nation is squeezed between Venezuela with its biggest-in-the-world oil reserves, and Suriname. Suriname is a minor oil producer but shares with Guyana the basin that holds all those billions of barrels. If anything, not finding any oil should have been surprising.

Can Guyana survive the oil curse?

The country has yet to start reaping the benefits of its oil wealth. Some worry it will become the latest to suffer the so-called oil curse. (Which has most recently and spectacularly manifested itself in Guyana’s northern neighbour, Venezuela).

Indeed, as a BBC analyst noted in a story earlier this year, Guyana has all the symptoms of a country vulnerable to the oil curse. Poverty and unemployment are widespread, and so is corruption. In other oil-rich nations, Simon Maybin observed, the petrodollars have only made matters worse rather than better. That, in turn, has had a bearing on the investment climate, and therefore the future development of oil wealth.

Right now, the political situation in Guyana seems relatively stable. Earlier this year tempers flared up with the ruling coalition refusing to accept the result of a no-confidence vote and challenging it at court. It lost the case, and elections could get held before this year’s end.

Whoever wins, chances are Exxon and company are safe, at least for the time being, until the oil starts flowing and the petrodollars start coming. As history in other resource-rich countries such as Indonesia and Iraq has shown, the time may come for contract term renegotiations that oil supermajors might not like. That is only a possibility and a relatively distant one. For the time being, Guyana loves Big Oil, and Big Oil loves Guyana.

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BP scores a win off the Digital Oilfield https://drillers.com/bp-scores-a-win-off-the-digital-oilfield/ https://drillers.com/bp-scores-a-win-off-the-digital-oilfield/#respond Tue, 02 Jul 2019 13:50:26 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050592 You may have missed this, but last month BP announced that a new field had been discovered in their Thunderhorse field. This is welcome news as the original T-Horse reservoirs are undergoing secondary recovery methods as production has declined. Thunderhorse produces from reservoirs buried more than 28,000′ BML. This new one is deeper still from a well […]

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Photo of the BP Thunderhorse SemiSub in the Gulf of Mexico

You may have missed this, but last month BP announced that a new field had been discovered in their Thunderhorse field. This is welcome news as the original T-Horse reservoirs are undergoing secondary recovery methods as production has declined. Thunderhorse produces from reservoirs buried more than 28,000′ BML. This new one is deeper still from a well that went 35,000′ BML. New oil horizons in the GoM seem to be regularly found by this operator. How did they do it?

Shale has sucked all the O2 out of the room in recent times. This new announcement by BP and credited to their analysts at their Houston, Tx Center for High-Performance Computing, processing data from a 2018 exploration well in a matter of weeks, could change that narrative in the coming year. New billion barrel fields are not commonly found anymore, and the ones that are found are much harder to find than in years past. Particularly ones that are “advantaged,” as defined by BP’s Chief of Upstream, Bernard Looney.

In upstream the business is focused on growing both gas and advantaged oil – focusing on only those resources that are low cost or high margin – to be resilient to any price environment.


The ability to turn around data like this within a time frame of a few weeks, rather than the year or more it might have taken another company is a real competitive advantage for BP.

Here is how it’s done in part.

The Houston data center also constructs “digital rocks,” which are high-resolution 3D images of real geological features that reveal highly detailed Petrophysical properties. For example, BP is able to determine the shape and location of embedded pores in the rocks so BP can produce oil in a safe, effective and environmentally sound manner.

Exhaustively testing a physical rock with 20th-century fluid methods used to take up to half a year. But by collecting samples of rock and extrapolating their properties, a more accurate picture of the structure can be determined in a fraction of the time. BP petrophysicists take field samples and bombard them with x-rays, creating an image of every microscopic slice of the rock. They transmit all the data to the supercomputer, which transforms it into actionable images employing custom-designed software.


In terms of advantage, consider this. BP just picked up a billion barrels of new oil without:

  • Having to buy a new lease from the Federal government
  • Build new infrastructure, i.e. production host, subsea pipelines, etc.

In the Q-4 conference call, Bernard Looney mentioned that at least two new GoM FIDs could be expected this year.

I would expect two to three expansion projects to come at Thunder Horse. I’d expect to see the first one being sanctioned this year. And I think I would say from a development cost per barrel perspective, we’re continuing to drive it down. In our overall portfolio, our cost per barrel is down by 20% over the last couple of years. Expect to see the first expansion project at the Thunder Horse later this year.


That is a definite digital advantage for BP.

BP’s valuation against other Super Majors

BP generated $12.7 bn in net profit for 2018 and currently trades for about 11X that amount. It’s hard to make comparisons between Super Major oil companies, but compare we must since this is a financial article. Let’s look at the PEG-Price to Earnings Growth ratios for a few of the commonly compared competitors for your investing dollars.

Source: Seeking Alpha Key Financial Data, chart by author

You can see from the PEG ratio that BP is undervalued by the investing community. Currently, it is a very affordable ~$42 a share. If you wanted to buy Shell (NYSE: RDS.A) (NYSE: RDS.B) it would cost in the $60s. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) is in the mid $70s. Chevron (NYSE: CVX) is over $100 a share. I am not arguing against any of those companies as an investment; they are all great, but since we are doing comparisons, they cost more per unit of earnings growth than BP.

I think 2019 might the year it reclaims its 2018 high of $47.00 and then takes it out to the high side. If BP were to attain parity in EV/EBITDA with Shell as an example, a price between $48-50 could easily be obtained.

The risk is oil prices, not to the profitability of the company mind you, within the range they forecast, but rather the equity price in relation to crude. As we know though, crude prices can be a cruel mistress.

The Direction for Oil?

People often ask me in replies to articles concerning the oil patch, why oil fluctuates so wildly. I think a lot of people invest in names they’ve become familiar with, without doing the “due diligence” that prudent investing requires.

Here’s what I tell my subscribers about the current swings in price.

No investment in oil-related securities can be wisely considered without putting it in the larger framework for expectations for oil.

There are three key drivers for the oil market presently.

The rhetoric coming out of Washington and Tehran is pretty strident currently. The downing of the U.S. drone brought the world very close to a cataclysmic event, a wider war between the U.S. and Iran. Thankfully President Trump listed to his more dovish advisers and called off the retaliatory strike.

I have to agree with the President’s reasoning and applaud his craftiness in not taking this step. There was no appetite for this strike broadly in the country, and he would have been excoriated in the press when news of the deaths of the Iranian troops made the rounds. Killing a few Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, IRGC commandos would do nothing to further our core interests-stopping Iran’s nuclear program and would have likely been met with a response from the IRGC. The U.S. would of course then had to take out another missile battery, or some such, and we’d have been off to the races figuratively speaking. Wars are much easier to start than to stop. If the last 20 years has taught America anything, it should be that.

Attacking the American drone was a desperation step by Iran’s ruling theocracy to entrap it into retaliating. Now, giving them a pass on knocking this drone out of the sky, America assumes the “moral high ground” in a press for “negotiations.” Negotiations that their population may “demand” of their leaders. Make no mistake, sanctions are having a profound effect on the average Iranian’s life.

Things are hard in Iran now, the U.S. re-imposition of sanctions is having a real effect on their economy. The graphic below suggests that Iran’s economy is actually shrinking. That means in spite of a growing population the country’s economic output is falling. This is the very definition of hardship on a personal level.


If you’re an average Iranian, it means your money is worthless, the Iranian Rial has lost 60% of its value YoY. It means there are fewer goods and services you can afford to buy, inflation is over 30% YoY. It means if you’re a new graduate, looking for a job, there are no jobs to be had. Iran’s youth unemployment is approaching 27%, and new graduates nearing 40%.

This is an untenable situation that cannot persist for very long. People will demand change. And, that, of course, is the ruling theocracy’s deepest fear. Because when change comes from within, (as real change surely must), it has much more profound and permanent results, than when it is forced from external sources. It’s how the theocracy took control of this country in the first place, now so many years ago.


Given the three factors discussed so far, I expect the most recent backdrop for oil of oversupply/under-demand worries will shortly resume its dominance. Inventories have been building for most of this half year, and the world is consumed by the trade spat with China. Until we get some kind of deal regarding trade with the Chinese, I don’t see a positive catalyst long term catalyst for oil.

While the indicators this week are bullish for crude, I do not expect a strong rebound in oil equities until there are obvious trend reversals for oil inventory growth, the global economic growth story becomes less bearish, and no war erupts with Iran.

Mr Messler also writes for Seeking Alpha, a crowd-sourced investing site. His prior articles are published under the pseudonym- Fluidsdoc.


Main Picture: BP’s Thunderhorse PDQ-Production and Drilling Quarters: the world’s largest Semi-submersible platform. Source: Andyminicooper

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Best Chemical Engineering Schools 2019 https://drillers.com/best-chemical-engineering-schools-2019/ https://drillers.com/best-chemical-engineering-schools-2019/#respond Wed, 15 May 2019 16:45:18 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050463 Before naming the best chemical engineering schools in 2019, some viewers may ask: What do Chemical Engineers do? Chemical engineers use chemical procedures for finding inventive ways to advance products, therefore, improving our way of life. They also devise methods to convert chemicals and raw materials into better uses. Chemical engineers also produce energy efficient […]

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Chemical engineering student at universityBefore naming the best chemical engineering schools in 2019, some viewers may ask:

What do Chemical Engineers do?

Chemical engineers use chemical procedures for finding inventive ways to advance products, therefore, improving our way of life. They also devise methods to convert chemicals and raw materials into better uses. Chemical engineers also produce energy efficient materials.

What Types of Jobs do Chemical Engineers Find in the Oil and Gas Industry?

Chemical engineers get involved with the production of fuels. Chemical engineers also make the equipment used in the production process.

Also, chemical engineers design, construct, maintain and improve large equipment and facilities used for processing and producing oil and gas – either offshore or onshore.

Methods for Determining the Best Chemical Engineering Schools for 2019

Several online publications reviewed and named their best chemical engineering schools in 2019. The leading ones are U.S. News & World Report, the Top Universities website, the Niche website, the College Raptor site, and The 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Also, Drillers: “The 10 Best Petroleum Engineering Schools (USA 2019)” provided useful information regarding some of the same schools.

Here’s the list in order of rankings:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is rated as the #1 Chemical Engineering course for undergraduate and doctoral programs by most reviewers.

Also, it was rated by Niche.com as the #1 Best College in America. Niche rates MIT with an overall A+ Grade along with A+ for Academics, Diversity, and Value.

Location: Cambridge, MA sitting on 166 acres in an urban setting from a private land grant near Boston.

MIT was founded in 1861 stressing laboratory instructions for applied sciences and engineering.

MIT believes in a diverse community drawing their students from all 50 states and 127 countries.

It’s an elite private college with very competitive admission where only 7% of all applicants get accepted. Of their 11,300 total students about 5,750 major in engineering.

Over 94% of their students graduate, with their alumni earning an average starting salary of nearly $80,000. The breakdown includes:

  • 4,540 Undergraduate Students;
  • 5,750 Students (undergrad and graduate) in the School of Engineering; and
  • 11,300 Total Students

The Department of Chemical Engineering offers many courses in Energy Research including Sustainability, Energy Technology, and an Energy Club to interact with faculty and other students and network with the industry.

Tuition and Fees:

  • $51,830 for the 2019 school year; and
  • $49,310 average annual financial aid

Getting accepted by MIT requires:

  • A 4.16 GPA or higher;
  • A lower GPA requires a higher ACT/SAT score; and
  • Also, an application of achievements, innovation, and creativity to impress MIT.

Their Office of Undergraduate Admissions provides all the requirements, deadlines, and an online application process including financial aid.

Get admissions information for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2. California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) ranks as the #2 Best Chemical Engineering School by most reviewers.

Location: Pasadena, CA about 10 miles from Los Angeles.

Founded: In 1891 with a private foundation grant, and the campus sits on 124 acres.

It’s a tiny institution with only 960 undergraduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1 is considered very low. Over two-thirds of their classes contain less than 20 students. A high 98% freshman retention rate indicates substantial student satisfaction.

Caltech education emphasizes close faculty/student collaborations, a rigorous curriculum, and small class sizes. Caltech maintains an unusual strict Honor Code for their students. No student takes unfair advantage of another student in all manner of behavior.

Their Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Department offers:

  • Chemical Engineering;
  • Materials;
  • Environmental;
  • Biomolecular;
  • Process systems;
  • Chemistry;
  • Inorganic Chemistry;
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics; and
  • Organic Chemistry.

Admission to Caltech is considered being very difficult as only 8% of applicants get accepted. Most first-year students ranked within the top 10 percentile of their high school senior classes.

Tuition and Fees: $52,360 for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Financial Aid that’s considered very generous is available to all students.

Get admissions information for the California Institute of Technology


3. University of California – Berkeley

The University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) ranked by every reviewer within the top 3 to 5 for the Best Chemical Engineering School.

Location: Berkeley is considered a suburb of San Francisco, situated across the Bay Area Bridge.

It got founded in 1868 nestled in an urban environment on a 1,230-acre campus.

UC Berkeley is considered a large public university with an undergraduate student enrollment of 30,500. It’s a part of the statewide University of California system.

Their Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) opened in 1946 and offers:

  • Electrochemical engineering;
  • Catalysis and reaction engineering;
  • Microsystems technology and micro electrics;
  • Polymers and complex fluids;
  • Interfacial engineering;
  • Biochemical and bioprocess engineering;
  • Synthetic biology;
  • Molecular simulations and theory; and
  • Biomedical engineering.

Admissions:  There’s a 17% acceptance rate for the freshman class. A student-faculty ratio of 18:1 where 53% of an average class contains fewer than 20 students. 97% freshmen retention rate indicating student satisfaction.

Tuition and Fees: $43,200 for out-of-state and $14,200 (in-state) for 2018-19 school year. $20,900 for the average scholarship.

Get admissions information for the University of California in Berkeley


4. Stanford University

Stanford University ranks #4 for its Chemistry Engineering Department.

Location: Stanford, CA near the Silicon Valley and 30 miles from San Francisco

Founded: 1885 by California Senator Leland Stanford and his wife, honoring their only son, Leland Junior who died 15 years old of typhoid. Officially opened in 1891. Known as the “Farm”.

Faculty: 2,220

Students: 16,420 with 7,060 undergraduates and a student-faculty ratio is 4:1 with classes with fewer than 20 students in over 68% of the total.

Stanford’s Engineering School includes its renowned Chemical Engineering Program. They specialize in Life, Energy, and Environment with the production and manipulation of chemicals in energy, electronics, medicine, and materials with new properties.

Their Chemistry Engineering Graduate Program focuses on the energy and oil industries where their engineers find opportunities in environmental engineering along with electronic device/materials fabrication.

Tuition and Fees: $51,350 for the 2019 academic year. Nearly half of their full-time undergraduates receive some financial aid. The average scholarship is $50,500.

Get admissions information for Stanford University


5. The University of Texas at Austin – Cockrell School of Engineering

The University of Texas is rated as high as #4 in Chemical Engineering with some reviewers. Its Doctorate program rates #9 Overall Engineering Programs.

Location: Austin, TX.  A public university of 40 acres in the heart of Austin, a city considered entrepreneurial and creative. Expedia named Austin one of America’s “Coolest Cities”. While U.S. News and World Report proclaim Austin as one of the “Best Places to Live in the U.S.”

It was founded in 1883 by the Texas state legislature. The flagship of a state system consisting of 9 universities and six health institutions.

Cockrell School of Engineering offers a Top 10 engineering education. Their Chemical Engineering major combines chemistry with physics and mathematics. Students learn large scale production technology and manufacturing products using chemical engineering. Many Chemical Engineering graduates get jobs in the petrochemical and environmental industries.

40,490 undergraduate students with a total of more than 51,000 make it a huge university. Their freshman retention rate of 95% shows student satisfaction. The teaching faculty numbers 3,000.

Tuition and Fees: $37,480 (out-of-state) and $10,606 (in-state)

Admissions to the University of Texas requires:

  • A minimum 3.68 GPA;
  • Plus, an average ACT Score of 29 also helps; and
  • As for the SAT Score, you should achieve between 580 – 730 in Math and 560 – 680 in Reading and Writing.
Get admissions information for the University of Texas at Austin


6. Georgia Institute of Technology

The Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) emphasizes research and improving human conditions through advanced science and technology.

Location: Atlanta, GA nestled within 400 acres in the downtown area.

It was founded in 1885 as a trade school eventually growing into a technological university when it changed its name to the present usage in 1948. Recently, Georgia Tech became a national leader transforming industrial economies to information economies.

Over 25,000 undergraduate and graduate student body. A student-faculty ratio of 22:1 includes over 39% classes with 20 or fewer students.

Their College of Engineering houses the Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering School. Their chemical engineers develop frontier technologies in environmentally neutral manufacturing and alternative energy resources. They create new compounds and turn them into products people need and use.

They offer two programs:

  1. BS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering with options to specialize in solely chemical engineering of the environment and materials; and
  2. BS/MS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (a 5-year program) where students with a Georgia Tech GPA of at least 3.5 and completed ChBE 3200 can apply for admission.

The admission rate of 23% for its freshman class with a 97% retention rate makes institution appealing.

Tuition and Fees: $12,420 for in-state and $33,000 for out of state students.

Get admissions information for Georgia Institute of Technology


7. University of Delaware

The University of Delaware (UD) is one of the oldest universities in America.

It is located in Newark, Delaware (halfway between New York and Washington, D.C.) with three other campuses in Delaware.

They were founded in 1743 as a private academy with three signers of the Declaration of Independence as members of their first class. A research-focused university which boasts as the first American university to establish a “Study Abroad Program” in 1923. As a result, more than 30% of their students study abroad every year.

Total enrollment averages 24,120 students every year.

Their Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering program offers many options including:

  • New energy technology;
  • Environmental chemical engineering;
  • Materials, polymers, and composites; and
  • Thermodynamics and transport and separations.

They claim that many of their graduates find careers in the energy field.

Get admissions information for the University of Delaware


8. Princeton University

Princeton University a truly private Ivy League institution.

Location: Princeton (formerly Elizabeth), NJ a 30,000 resident community in tree-lined neighborhoods. It’s a fast train ride to Philadelphia and New York City.

Founded in 1746 as the College of New Jersey by the Presbyterian Synod. It changed its name to Princeton University in 1896.

Their School of Engineering and Applied Science hosts the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department where students can focus on Environmental and Energy Science and Technology which gas and oil companies alike.

Currently, they enroll 5,260 undergraduate students and 2,845 graduate students. The student-to-faculty ratio is 5:1 – a very low ratio.

Financial Aid:

  • Averages $55,200 for the Class of 2021 with 60% of their students receiving financial aid.
  • They also claim that 82% of the recent seniors graduated with no debt.
  • Also, they boast that 100% of their Class of 2022 earn up to $65,000 towards their tuition, room, and board.
Get admissions information for Princeton University


9. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is a public research institution and considered one of the best research universities in America.

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan near Detroit sitting on 3,200 acres.

It was founded in 1817 as a public state university.

A total enrollment of 46,000 with 29,800 undergraduate students. The student to faculty ratio is 15:1. Over 56% of their classes consist of 20 students or less.

The university averages a 29% freshman class acceptance rate from all applicants. A 97% freshman class retention rate shows student satisfaction.

Their Engineering School currently has 3,636 graduate students enrolled where graduates average base salary is $83,390. Their student-to-faculty ratio is 7:1.

Tuition and Fees: $49,350 (out-of-state) and $15,260 (in-state).

Financial aid averages $19,640 per year.

Admissions for engineering freshman depend on:

  • The strength of the applicant’s college prep background includes the difficulty of courses taken including science and math courses;
  • Academic achievement record;
  • ACT or SAT scores; and
  • Special and unique accomplishments.
Get admissions information for the University of Michigan


10. University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

The University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities provides the highest skilled workforce in the State of Minnesota with over 225,000 alumni working in the state.

It is located in the twin cities of Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

It was founded in 1851 as a preparatory school before Minnesota became a state.

The total student population is 31,530 with 16,030 graduate students.

The College of Science & Engineering hosts its Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science that prepares its students for careers in Energy. The Engineering Accreditation Commission ABET accredits their Bachelor of Materials Science and Engineering (BMatSE) and Bachelor of Chemical Engineering (BChE) programs.

Their Chemical Engineering students choose what to specialize in from 14 areas, such as:

  • Energy;
  • Materials Processing;
  • Materials Theory;
  • Systems Engineering; and
  • Transport and Fluid Mechanics.

Students can also receive funding and grants from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Tuition and Fees: $28,000 for in-state residents and $45,100 for non-residents.

Get admissions information for the University of Minnesota



Chemical engineers play a big part in producing fuels and making the equipment used in the production process. They also create improvements and maintain production equipment.

The Best Chemical Engineering Schools in 2019 listed above pave the way for a bright and lucrative future in the oil and gas industry.

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Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Schools in the U.S. (2019) https://drillers.com/top-10-mechanical-engineering-schools-usa/ https://drillers.com/top-10-mechanical-engineering-schools-usa/#respond Wed, 03 Apr 2019 12:20:33 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050310 Before listing the Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Schools in the U.S. in 2019, there are a few things that you need to understand. First, oil companies value a Mechanical Engineering (ME) degree. They recruit and train ME’s for petroleum engineering, subsea engineering, rig management positions, and many other oil and gas jobs. So, like many […]

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Before listing the Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Schools in the U.S. in 2019, there are a few things that you need to understand.

First, oil companies value a Mechanical Engineering (ME) degree. They recruit and train ME’s for petroleum engineering, subsea engineering, rig management positions, and many other oil and gas jobs. So, like many industries that look for any STEM degree, the oil and gas industry values an ME degree highly as an entry point to jobs that require similar skills.

Second, as a ME you will find your degree more attractive than even a petroleum engineering degree for some drilling and completions jobs.

Finally, your ME immediately qualifies you for the following refinery jobs:

Maintenance Rotary – Performing preventive maintenance on oil top up. You look, listen, and feel the rotary equipment for signs of problems. At times, you will do minor and major overhauling of the rotary equipment.

Reliability Department – You will perform FMEA, RCA, and IRRR, checkups to ensure the availability of rotary equipment in case of breakdowns.

Maintenance Planning – Ensuring availability of all spare parts and their maintenance.

Maintenance Static – This department takes care of static equipment like columns, heaters, filters, pipeline, vessels, heat exchangers, and safety valves. For instance, all manually operated valves with daily maintenance and periodic overhauls.

Asset Integrity – Like a reliability department ensuring availability of all static equipment. This involves measuring the degradation of material over time, maintaining proper calibration of static equipment and pipe thickness and verifying correct metallurgy usage at the right atmosphere, etc.

Utilities Operations Maintenance – Maintaining utility units like RWTP, RODM, IAC, and Cooling tower.

Projects – Setting up new plants including erecting and commissioning new equipment.

Engineering – This department designs modifications to equipment as needed. Based on RCA, critical observations, or failures occurring, or refinery expansions. Changes to existing systems or purchasing new systems.

Pipeline – ME’s are better qualified to deal with pipeline stress problems which influence its mechanical characteristics, welding, bolting valves, etc.

Production – Making sure the wells produce optimally requiring failure analysis, redesign, and repairs. Also, managing the rigs that do the repairs.

Service – ME’s are also working for service companies hired by operators to provide the tools and fieldwork. Involves designing different tools and machines. Also, optimizing the manufacturing process.

As you see, various departments in the oil industry need ME’s. Now, let’s look at the top ME schools.


Top 10 Mechanical Engineering Schools in the U.S. 2019

Several reputable online reviews exist about the top mechanical engineering schools. Comparing the major reviews and observing which ones come to a consensus of the best schools results in the following Top 10:


1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ranks #1 with many reviewers. Offering a top-notch Mechanical Engineering degree and Engineering Programs tendering Doctorates.

MIT is a private institution founded in 1861 sitting in a 165-acre campus in an urban setting. It is located in Cambridge, MA across the Charles River from Boston.

MIT focuses on technological and scientific research. Their graduate School of Engineering ranks #1 with several reviewers. It’s the institution’s most significant school by enrollment. Around 5,750 of its total 11,300 students are in its engineering school.

Their Mechanical Engineering program offers everything you need to know about the subject. Courses include:

  • Mechanics and Materials I and II;
  • Thermal-Fluids Engineering I and II;
  • Dynamics and Control I and II; and
  • Differential Equations.

Only 8% of all applicants for its freshman class get accepted.

Tuition and Fees: $51,800 during the 2018-19 school year.

Get admissions information for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


2. Stanford University

Stanford University founded in 1885 is a private institution.

Located 30 miles from San Francisco in Palo Alto and near the Silicon Valley. Situated in a pristine campus with buildings of early Spanish architecture. Considered one of the most beautiful campuses in America.

Stanford prides itself with the close interactions between faculty and students. The student-faculty ratio is 4:1 with over 68% of its classes with fewer than 20 students.

Its acceptance rate of 5% of all applicants for its freshman class ranks amongst the most difficult to attend. Their freshman retention rate of 98% indicates student satisfaction.

The total undergraduate enrollment of 7,060 and whole student body of 16,000 makes it a small university.

Its School of Engineering received many high ranking reviews. Its mechanical engineering students get both theoretical and practical training. Classes include:

  • Mechanics of Materials;
  • Mechanical Systems Design;
  • Engineering Thermodynamics;
  • Visual Thinking;
  • And more.

Tuition and Fees: $51,350 for 2018 – 2019 term. But, 48% of their full-time undergraduates receive some type of financial aid. The average scholarship is $50,500.

Get admissions information for Stanford University


3. Georgia Tech

Georgia Institute of Technology, a public institution, boasts a highly ranked Graduate School of Engineering. The school provides a focused technical-based education.

Founded in 1885 and located in the heart of Atlanta with an urban setting on a 400-acre campus.

Undergraduate enrollment of 15,570 students makes up over half of its 30,000 total student population. The student-faculty ratio is 22:1 with 39% of their classes with fewer than 20 students.

The College of Engineering considered as one of the Top 5 engineering colleges in the U.S., according to U.S. News & World Report.

Their Mechanical Engineering degree develops professional STEM practice with engineering fundamentals. They emphasize designing principals with hands-on education. They offer eight areas of specialization:

  • Automotive;
  • Nuclear Engineering;
  • Manufacturing;
  • Thermal, Fluid, and Energy Systems;
  • And more.

It averages a 23% acceptance rate for the freshman class. It also maintains a 97% freshman retention rate indicating student satisfaction.

Tuition and Fees: $33,000 for out of state students and only $12,420 for in-state.

Get admissions information for Georgia Institute of Technology


4. University of California – Berkeley

The University of California in Berkeley sits just outside of San Francisco Bay. A public university founded in 1868. It lies in an urban setting with a vast 1,230-acre campus. The undergraduate enrollment totals around 30,500.

Their College of Engineering ranks as the #3 of all U.S. engineering graduate schools according to U.S. News & World Report. They offer a unique five-year BS/MS Mechanical Engineering degree. Some of their many courses include:

  • Bioengineering;
  • Acoustics;
  • Plasma Dynamics;
  • Cryogenics;
  • And much more.

Their acceptance rate for freshman applicants is 17%. The student-faculty ratio is 18:1 where 53.5% of its classes contain fewer than 20 students. A freshman retention rate of 97% indicates student satisfaction.

Tuition and Fees: $14,200 (in-state) for 2018-19 school year and $43,200 for out-of-state. The average scholarship is $20,900.

Get admissions information for the University of California in Berkeley


5. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

The University of Michigan, a public university founded in 1817 and located in Ann Arbor 45 minutes from Detroit. The campus sits on 3,200 acres. Awarded as one of the best college towns in the U.S.

Undergraduate enrollment of 29,800 with over 46,000 total enrollment. A student-faculty ratio of 15:1 with 57% of their classes with fewer than 20 students.

It maintains a 29% acceptance rate from all applicants for its freshman class. Boasts a 97% freshman retention rate indicating student satisfaction.

Their highly ranked College of Engineering programs emphasizes research as it spends up to $100 million per year in research. They offer a BS degree, as well as a Master of Science in Engineering (MSE) and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Their BS in Mechanical Engineering provides opportunities to study abroad and collaboration in significant research projects. Some of their notable courses include:

  • Fluid Mechanics;
  • Thermodynamics;
  • Solid Mechanics; and
  • Behavior of Materials.

Tuition and Fees: $15,260 (in-state) and $49,350 (out-of-state). Average scholarship amounts to $19,640.

Get admissions information for the University of Michigan


6. California Institute of Technology

The California Institute of Technology, a private institution founded in 1891 located in the Pasadena suburb about 10 miles from Los Angeles sitting on 124 acres.

Caltech receives many grants from NASA, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Science Foundation. Thus, Caltech focuses on engineering and science.

It’s a small institution with 960 undergraduate students. Also, a low student-to-faculty ratio of 3:1. Over 67% of all its classes maintain less than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate of 98% shows student satisfaction.

Admission to this top-ranked institution is tough where 98% of their students placed in the top tenth of their high school senior classes. As a result, only 8% of all applicants gain admission.

Observes a strict Honor Code where no member of the community takes unfair advantage of another member.

Besides, offering undergraduate programs in engineering, it also provides top graduate programs too. Its engineering, science, and tech contributions include alumni and faculty earning Nobel Prizes, and National Medals in Technology and Science.

Their Mechanical and Civil Engineering Department offers graduate programs in:

  • Applied Mechanics;
  • Mechanical Engineering; and
  • Civil Engineering.

US News and World Report rank their Mechanical Engineering program #4 in the nation.

They also offer an ABET accredited Mechanical Engineering undergraduate degree.

Tuition and Fees: $52,360 where Caltech provides generous financial-aid packages which the majority of its students use.

Get admissions information for the California Institute of Technology


7. Purdue University – West Lafayette

Purdue University, founded in 1869, located in West Lafayette, Indiana situated on a 2,465-acre campus.

It boasts a well-ranked College of Engineering undergraduate and graduate programs. The renowned School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is part of the College of Engineering. It is known as the “Cradle of Astronauts” where 22 astronauts graduated from Purdue including Neil Armstrong the first person to walk on the moon.

The Purdue University Mechanical Engineering degree offers so many subjects they publish an undergraduate program Map showing all the course options.

Purdue at West Lafayette is a public coed university with a total enrollment of 41,500 with 31,000 undergraduate students. The student-faculty ratio is 13:1 with 38% of all classes with fewer than 20 students. The average freshman retention rate is 93%.

They average a high 52% acceptance rate for freshman class applicants.

Tuition and Fees: $10,000 for in-state in the 2018 – 2019 school year and $28,800 for out-of-state students.

Get admissions information for Purdue University.

Get admissions information for Purdue University - West Lafayette


8. University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign

The University of Illinois located in Champaign and founded in 1867 sits on a 1,780-acre campus. The university nestles within the twin cities of Champaign and Urbana a few hours from Chicago, St. Louis, and Indianapolis.

Its College of Engineering considered one of the best in the country. Their Mechanical Engineering major offers complete training in design, materials, manufacturing, and thermal fluid science.

The university maintains an average of 33,950 undergraduate students. Total enrollment is 48,200. Their student-faculty ratio is 20:1 with 40.5% of its classes with fewer than 20 students. Their average freshman retention rate is 93%.

This public university has an acceptance rate of 62% for incoming freshmen applicants.

Tuition and Fees: $15,990 for in-state and $32,560 for out-of-state.

Get admissions information for the University of Illinois at Urbana, Champaign


9. Cornell University

Cornell University, founded in 1865 and located in Ithaca, New York is a private Ivy League university nestled within 744 acres campus in a rural setting.

Once proclaimed as the “first true American university” due to its founders’ unique higher education vision.

They maintain an undergraduate enrollment of 14,900 within its total population of 20,000 students. Their student-faculty ratio is 9:1 with over 57% of its classes supporting fewer than 20 students.

Their College of Engineering receives high rankings. For example, it ranks #9 in the nation by US News and World Report.

Their Mechanical Engineering degree offers courses in:

  • Analysis;
  • Design;
  • Testing; and
  • Manufacturing of machinery and systems.

Cornell also offers its students the opportunity to concentrate in one of these four areas:

  • Vehicle Engineering;
  • Mechanical Systems;
  • Materials Processing and Precision Engineering; and
  • Biomechanics

Their acceptance rate of incoming first-year students is 13%.

Tuition and Fees: $55,187 with 47% of their undergraduates receiving some type of financial aid averaging $40,500.

Get admissions information for Cornell University


10. Washington University in St. Louis

Washington University in St. Louis recognized as one of the leading private research schools in America. Over 15,000 students attend WashU.

Its McKelvey School of Engineering established in 1854 is one of the oldest in the U.S. It offers a BS in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science emphasizing the core fields of force, motion, and materials. Students work closely with faculty researching a wide range of mechanical engineering subjects like instrumentation, environmental control, energy conversation, and biomechanics.

Classes include:

  • Mechanics and Materials Science Lab;
  • Computer-Aided Design with AutoCAD;
  • Mechanical Engineering Design and Build; and
  • Thermodynamics

Average freshman class acceptance rate of 17%.

Tuition and Fees: $50,400 for the 2018-2019 academic year.

Get admissions information for Washington University.

Get admissions information for Washington University in St. Louis



Earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering opens many doors for good jobs in the oil and gas industry.

The Top 10 Mechanical Engineering schools in the U.S. for 2019 provide a mix between expensive private institutions and moderately priced larger public universities.

As mentioned in a past Drillers post describing the Top Petroleum Engineering Schools:

The ten major oil companies maintain relationships with the top engineering schools so they can pick the best and brightest graduates.

That’s why you need to earn high grades and admissions tests scores to get into the best mechanical engineering schools.

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The Role of Portable EX Power Distribution In The Oil & Gas Industry https://drillers.com/the-role-of-portable-ex-power-distribution-in-the-oil-gas-industry/ https://drillers.com/the-role-of-portable-ex-power-distribution-in-the-oil-gas-industry/#comments Thu, 28 Mar 2019 12:07:30 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050346 The oil and gas industry is a fundamental part of the day-to-day workings of society. Its products supply the power to heat homes, the fuel to transport goods and people, and the raw materials that go into many of the everyday items we choose. The challenges the industry faces include safety, and operational efficiency and […]

The post The Role of Portable EX Power Distribution In The Oil & Gas Industry appeared first on Drillers.


The oil and gas industry is a fundamental part of the day-to-day workings of society. Its products supply the power to heat homes, the fuel to transport goods and people, and the raw materials that go into many of the everyday items we choose. The challenges the industry faces include safety, and operational efficiency and collaboration, and this is where portable EX electrical power distribution equipment comes into the equation.

EX equipment is explosion-proof technologies designed for operation in extreme or potentially hazardous environments. Safety specialists SA Equip designs and manufactures a range of state-of-the-art heating, lighting, ventilation and power distribution equipment that is perfect for the oil and gas industry. Particularly useful for the Upstream and Midstream sectors of the industry, this equipment helps to address the challenges of safety and productivity in environments like underground/underwater reservoirs, pipeline networks and cargo holds in shipping tankers.

Portable solutions for a demanding industry

The upstream and midstream sectors of the oil and gas industry have many critical requirements for safety and productivity. Work gets carried out deep underground or inside large tankers, with no natural light, and nothing to regulate temperatures or ventilate areas. Add to this the fact that the harvested oil and natural gas are highly flammable and toxic in high concentration, and it’s easy to see why specialised electrical equipment is required.

The portable EX solutions include precision-engineered heating products that enable the user to undertake temperature-critical jobs in hazardous environments without delay or risk of explosion. Similarly, there are fans, ducts and couplers that can help extract dangerous substances from the air in a hostile environment to make it a safe place for workers to carry out their tasks.

Lighting is another crucial requirement for dark underground environments, and good visibility must get achieved with energy-efficient, safe and bright lighting. All of these requirements are met by products in the SA Equip range, with full portability to ensure workers can easily transport equipment to a site, set it up in the most efficient configuration, carry out their work effectively, and finally remove all equipment upon completion of the job.

An industry under immense pressure

The demands of modern society, with global populations already high and increasing at an exponential rate, weigh particularly heavy on the oil and gas industry.

The requirements of:

  • Product manufacturers
  • Global energy suppliers
  • Automotive fuel producers
  • Aviation fuel producers
  • Construction companies
  • And many more…

… Mean that there is enormous pressure on the oil and gas industry, so any delays, downtime or severe health and safety incidents are incredibly costly. The upstream sector must carry out the exploration and production processes as swiftly as possible, and the drilling of wells and tapping of deposits must get performed safely and efficiently.

Furthermore, the needs of the midstream sector also produce unique requirements in terms of electrical power distribution. As work gets conducted on pipelines, including the excavation and production of new pipelines, temporary underground electrical equipment plays an important role.

When barges and shipping tankers are loaded to handle the complex logistics, there are always differing setups and safety requirements in a cargo hold. In either case, the versatility and safety features of portable EX-technology enables workers to create the environment they need to work efficiently and minimise hazards when transporting the oil and natural gas.

Managing bespoke electrical configurations

One of the challenges that arise when using a range of electrical equipment in different configurations is the way power distributed throughout the network of devices. It is essential that power reaches the lights, heaters and ventilation systems in a reliable, uninterrupted and entirely safe way at all times. In short, temporary power distribution is fundamental to powering the essential equipment for critical processes, and it needs to be handled right.

Among the SA Equip range, there are some specially designed Electrical Transformer units that are uniquely suited to the task of electrical power distribution for the diverse configurations that an oil and gas site requires. Fully portable and ATEX/IECEx certified, these transformers can also get combined with various splitter boxes, reels and extension leads for a versatile solution. The features that make EX electrical equipment so important to the oil and gas industry are:

  • Portability
  • Versatility
  • Safety

These are all fundamental considerations for an industry that is still in such demand from a multiplicity of other industries all over the world. Continuing improvements to the technology available, workers can focus on the task at hand and maximise the efficiency and safety of all operations.

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Aubrey McClendon: Controversial Oil and Gas Industry Giant https://drillers.com/aubrey-mcclendon-controversial-oil-and-gas-industry-giant/ https://drillers.com/aubrey-mcclendon-controversial-oil-and-gas-industry-giant/#comments Fri, 22 Feb 2019 09:34:15 +0000 https://drillers.com/?p=2050229 Aubrey McClendon passed away in 2016 after leaving a legacy as a true giant in the oil and gas industry. However, along with his success came controversy even in his death. Aubrey McClendon’s Early Life He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 14, 1959. The son of Joe McClendon and Carole Kerr, a […]

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Aubrey McClendon passed away in 2016 after leaving a legacy as a true giant in the oil and gas industry. However, along with his success came controversy even in his death.

Aubrey McClendon’s Early Life

He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on July 14, 1959. The son of Joe McClendon and Carole Kerr, a niece to former Oklahoma governor and U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr.

His father, Joe McClendon worked for Kerr-McGee an oil exploration company for 35 years. Robert S. Kerr was a co-founder of Kerr-McGee.

McClendon attended public elementary school and graduated from the Heritage Hall High School as senior class president and co-valedictorian in 1977. He then continued his education at Duke University graduating with a B.A. in History in 1981. He met his future wife at Duke, Kathleen Upton Byrns.

He began working as an accountant but switched to the energy business after reading a Wall Street Journal story about two men who sold their Anadarko Basin well shares for $100 million.

His first energy job was at Jaytex Oil & Gas in Oklahoma City, a company founded by his uncle, Aubrey M. Kerr, Jr.  He worked as a Landman, acquiring leases that allow drilling and oil extraction.

He didn’t stay long at Jaytex. In 1982 he left to start his own oil and natural gas business and began acquiring land rights for himself. A few years later, he teamed up with Tom Ward, who had become his partner, created Chesapeake Energy, a new enterprise with a focus on fracking to extract shale gas.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation

In 1983, he teamed up with Tom L. Ward for their first joint venture in oil and natural gas. They founded Chesapeake Energy Corporation in 1989 when they both were 29 years old. McClendon started as the Chairman and CEO while Ward became its president and CFO. Chesapeake focused on fracking to extract shale gas.

Chesapeake’s headquarters became a lavish Oklahoma City campus.

In May of 1989, the company began drilling its initial two wells in Garvin County, Oklahoma.

A controversial agreement occurred in 1992 with an initiative known as the Founder Well Participation Program (FWPP). This program allowed its founder, McClendon to invest in Chesapeake wells independently. By 1993, the FWPP became incorporated and formalized into McClendon’s employment agreements connected with a Chesapeake IPO. These agreements eventually led to his ouster as Chesapeake CEO.

In 1993, the company went public valued at $25 million. McClendon borrowed funds to acquire land in Oklahoma, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. He invested heavily in building Oklahoma City’s riverfront into an upscale neighborhood. Source

Unconventional Drilling

Chesapeake drilled wells in unconventional reservoirs like shales and fractured carbonates.

They became early adopters of hydraulic fracking and horizontal drilling techniques which contributed to their fast growth. Because of these unconventional drilling techniques, McClendon became known as a “visionary leader” in the oil industry.

Chesapeake Rises

After going public, Chesapeake’s stock value skyrocketed by 274% in only three years (1994 to 1997), becoming the most successful in the country.

In 2005, Chesapeake became the second largest producer of U.S. natural gas behind ExxonMobil.

Forbes Magazine in 2005 named McClendon as one of the top performing executives in the country because of Chesapeake’s success.

By 2008, he became the highest paid S&P 500 companies CEO. His annual compensation package amounted to $112 million.

Also in 2008, McClendon discovered his shares lacked enough value to back a margin loan when he applied with Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions. As a result, McClendon had to sell 94% of his 31.5 million shares.

In 2009, McClendon received a five-year retention contract along with $75 million in bonuses from Chesapeake.

Forbes, in a 2011 cover story, declared McClendon, “America’s most reckless billionaire.” Forbes claimed that his 2008 sale of Chesapeake shares as “reckless.” That same year Forbes named McClendon as a member of its 20-20 Club which comprises eight public companies CEOs who gained yearly returns of over 20% over the last 20 year period. Source

McClendon’s Empire Began to Crumble in 2012 and 2013

In 2012, news stories leaked that McClendon ran a hedge fund from his office at Chesapeake and he personally owned stakes in wells which Chesapeake invested in. The 1992 FWPP agreement mentioned above, allowed him to purchase these stakes.

In 2012, McClendon denied being a risk-taking wildcatter by declaring, “If I wanted to always do the most popular thing, then I’d be a follower.” He further stated, “The funny thing is that I don’t consider myself a gambler at all. A gambler is somebody who just closes their eyes and rolls the dice. We don’t do that”. Source

From 2009 to 2013, Chesapeake gas production growth went from 5 million to 2.5 billion cubic feet per day. The discovery of large natural gas reserves by Chesapeake helped lower natural gas prices for U.S. consumers. Source

In 2012, Bill White a former Houston mayor and U.S. Secretary of Energy claimed McClendon “at the forefront of those heroes” of the U.S. natural gas industry over the first decade of the 21st Century. Source

However, also in 2012, Reuters claimed that McClendon used employees of Chesapeake to provide him $3 million of personal work. These included accounting and engineering support and repairing his home in 2010. Reuters also claimed he used corporate planes for personal use including fun travel jaunts for his family and friends. This raised questions about conflicts of interest and Chesapeake management business ethics. Source

In May of 2012, a Chesapeake proxy statement recorded with the SEC, McClendon reimbursed the company everything except for $250,000 for its employees’ services. However, his employment contract allowed his personal use of the company plane including his family members and guests.

In June of 2012, Chesapeake’s shareholders voted to remove two board members. McClendon resigned as chairman but continued as the CEO.

In February of 2013, Dow Jones reported that Chesapeake’s Review Board concluded that no improper conduct or improper benefits to McClendon occurred with no increase costs to the company.

By 2013, these news reports stirred up enough controversy forcing McClendon to resign as Chesapeake’s CEO.

After his resignation, McClendon retained an option for continuing investments in Chesapeake wells to July of 2014.

American Energy Partners, LP

In April of 2013, McClendon co-founded a private oil and natural gas company in Oklahoma City called the American Energy Partners, LP (AELP).

In 2013 and 2014, McClendon raised equity and debt commitments approximating $15 billion and hired over 600 employees for AELP.

However, oil prices collapsed in 2014 making it harder for McClendon to finance his ventures.

McClendon Suffered Setbacks in 2015

In February of 2015, Chesapeake sued McClendon claiming he misappropriated company records about available lands when he left the company. McClendon defended his actions by claiming he had the right to all company records in his possession according to the separation agreements with Chesapeake.

In April of 2015, co-defendant American Energy – Utica, LLC settled the lawsuit with Chesapeake giving them $25 million and 6,000 acres of land. At the time, McClendon remained in an arbitration process with Chesapeake’s lawsuit.

McClendon’s Tumble in 2016

From Billionaire to Mere Millionaire

In 2007, Forbes placed McClendon’s worth at $3 billion. By 2012, he dropped out of the Forbes 400 list of rich Americans. In 2016, Forbes estimated his net worth around $500 million. Source

McClendon’s Federal Criminal Indictment

On March 1, 2016, McClendon indicted by a federal grand jury for antitrust laws violations. The indictment alleged he conspired to suppress prices for oil and natural gas leases he paid by rigging the bids. It also claimed McClendon carried on a conspiracy where two oil and gas companies agreed not to bid against each other to buy leases in Northwest Oklahoma. Source

In addition, the indictment alleged that he orchestrated a scheme between large energy companies to decide before the bidding which ones would win bids. In return, the winning bidder would divide an interest in the leases to the other company. This eliminated open bidding competition.

The U.S. Justice Department claimed their investigation resulted in the first case of federal antitrust laws violated in the oil and natural gas industry for bid rigging and price fixing.

Chesapeake Energy settled the fraud, racketeering, and antitrust violations out of court by paying $25 million to the leaseholders. Source

McClendon denied all charges and claimed:

“The charge that has been filed against me today is wrong and unprecedented, I have been singled out as the only person in the oil and gas industry in over 110 years since the Sherman Act became law to have been accused of this crime in relation to joint bidding on leasehold.” Source

William Baer, Assistant Attorney General of the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division responded by declaring:

“His actions put company profits ahead of the interests of leaseholders entitled to competitive bids for oil and gas rights on their land. Executives who abuse their positions as leaders of major corporations to organize criminal activity must be held accountable for their actions.” Source

Aubrey McClendon Dies

McClendon never got his day in court as he died the following day on March 2nd, 2016. He was 56 years and left behind his wife, Katie McClendon, and their three children.

He died in a single vehicle only occupant crash into a concrete bridge wall while traveling his SUV at 88 miles per hour.

Due to the immense body burns, identification became difficult. On March 4th, a forensic teeth specialist identified McClendon using his dental charts to compare his teeth.

In June of 2016, the Oklahoma medical examiner ruled the crash an accident. The autopsy report revealed no alcohol in his system. However, an unspecified amount of sedatives and antihistamine found in his system.

Did Aubrey McClendon Commit Suicide?

A week after his death, the Chicago Tribune ran a story about the last day of his life. No emails or phone calls or a suicide note ever emerged indicating suicide.

But, the facts of the lone driver one car crash raise the question. Did he commit suicide?

The Tribune reported:

He climbed into his SUV and drove off. As he cruised north along a two-lane country highway, he picked up speed, traveling well above the posted 50 miles per hour.” In addition, before the police issued an official report, “Their early comments suggest the embattled shale tycoon may have intentionally crashed his car.”

The Tribune story also quoted a police officer at the scene of the crash:

“He pretty much drove straight into the wall,” police officer Paco Balderrama said shortly after the crash. “There was plenty of opportunity for him to correct and get back on the roadway, and that didn’t occur.” Source

One must ask. Going at 88 mph on a 50 mph road with sedatives and antihistamine in his system driving straight into a wall with the opportunity to get back on the roadway only one day after being indicted for serious federal crimes…?

Remembering Aubrey McClendon Positively

As mentioned above, many considered Aubrey McClendon as a “visionary leader” and a “pioneer” in fracking and horizontal drilling.

He eventually became the highest paid CEO of all S&P 500 companies.

Forbes named him a member of their exclusive 20-20 Club.

A former U.S. Secretary of Energy once proclaimed him a “hero” of the U.S. natural gas industry.

Oklahoma City raised flags at half-mast throughout the city shortly after his death. McClendon credited with creating tens of thousands of jobs in Oklahoma City along with bringing the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team. Also, he brought the city upscale dining and shopping venues and contributed to local elementary schools and charities. Source

McClendon: Advocate for Natural Gas

McClendon helped to found America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) based in Washington, D.C. This trade association lobbied for independent natural gas producers. He advocated for expanded use of natural gas in the U.S.

McClendon Opposed Coal Production

He funded a 2007 campaign to use clean-energy activists to oppose the building of 11 new coal plants in Texas. In addition, he donated to the conservationist Sierra Club to fund a “Beyond Coal” campaign. It resulted in preventing more than 150 new coal plants in the U.S.

McClendon Advocated for Fracking and Shale Drilling

Besides advocating for natural gas, McClendon also promoted fracking and shale drilling. In 2010, he appeared on the 60 Minutes TV news show arguing that natural gas was a clean fuel industry that created thousands of jobs.

He also defended the oil and natural gas industry use of hydraulic fracking technologies. He once claimed:

 “We have found something that can liberate us from the influence of OPEC, which can put several million Americans back to work, liberate us from four-dollar gasoline”. Source

Remembering Aubrey McClendon Negatively

Reuters obituary for Aubrey McClendon described him as:

“A flawed visionary, McClendon ignited shale revolution, courted controversy.”  Source

McClendon and Controversy over the Seattle SuperSonics Basketball Team

McClendon was an original partner in the Professional Basketball Club LLC which owns the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA franchise.

In 2006, his group bought the Seattle SuperSonics from Starbucks Chairman and CEO for 23 years, Howard Schultz.

In spite of initial promises not to move the Sonics to Oklahoma City, shortly after the sale completed, McClendon’s group reneged. The NBA approved the relocation.

In 2007, The L.A. Times reported that McClendon told an Oklahoma newspaper: “We didn’t buy the team to keep it in Seattle. We hoped to come here.” Ten days later, the NBA fined McClendon $250,000 for the comments which contradicted prior claims by his group. Source

Since then, the City of Seattle and its sports fans scorned McClendon and his group along with current aspiring U.S. presidential candidate Howard Schultz.

On January 28, 2019, the Seattle Times reported Howard Schultz first apology to Seattle and SuperSonics fans for selling the franchise to McClendon’s group.

On February 1, 2019, the Washington Post reported many SuperSonics fans disrupted and heckled Howard Schultz during a speech he gave in Seattle.

“Green-and-gold-bedecked basketball fans who haven’t forgiven him for selling the Seattle SuperSonics to a group that moved the team to Oklahoma City more than a decade ago.” Source


Aubrey McClendon a controversial oil and gas industry giant and between the ages of 29 to 56 he made a lasting impact.

Pioneering the modern resurgence of fracking, and building Chesapeake Energy Corporation into the second largest producer of U.S. natural gas in just 16 years.

He orchestrated moving an NBA franchise to Oklahoma City while building an upscale riverfront community and contributing heavily in their schools and local charities. This brought him praise in Oklahoma City and scorn in Seattle.

McClendon became a leader in the oil and gas industry making him a billionaire by the age of 48. But, he lost most of it after the 2014 oil price crash.

Hailed as an innovator and hero to the oil and gas industry. He advocated against coal production in favor of natural gas.

Indicted for criminal bid rigging and price fixing in the gas industry which brought his ultimate downfall in a fiery vehicle crash in Oklahoma City where his life began.

Controversy surrounded his death even though officially ruled as an accident.

Aubrey McClendon remembered as a controversial oil and gas industry giant in life and death.

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