In Defense of the Carbon Economy

An Oscar Wilde character famously defines a cynic as someone “who knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing.”  When it comes to shaping Americans’ views on the carbon-based economy, it’s fair to say the cynics have been hard at work.

All of us are now keenly aware of the price we pay as a society for our “addiction to fossil fuels”.  Coal-fired electric plants spew unhealthy particulate matter into the environment.  Coal is also responsible for significant greenhouse gas emissions, which purportedly alter the Earth’s climate. Natural gas, though far less an offender, is nonetheless deemed guilty as well.

Continue reading In Defense of the Carbon Economy

Halliburton & Baker Hughes: The Devil’s in the Details

If the devil lies in the details when it comes to Halliburton making its acquisition of Baker Hughes work for stakeholders, so might the opportunity.

We’ve pointed out in the past the convergence of performance as seen by customers among the industry’s largest suppliers.  We see elements of this same effect in the latest customer satisfaction scores for Halliburton, Baker Hughes and Schlumberger.  With the exception of Schlumberger’s marks in engineering and technology, there’s generally little difference in the three companies’ ratings across several key performance and organizational attributes. Continue reading Halliburton & Baker Hughes: The Devil’s in the Details

Halliburton’s Risky Bet on Consolidation

The pending merger between Halliburton and Baker Hughes promises to be one of the most highly scrutinized corporate combinations in the history of the oil and gas industry.  Not only will the deal create, by some metrics, the largest provider of oilfield products and services in the world, it will irrevocably alter the balance of power for a customer base accustomed to long-standing rivalry among its largest suppliers.

Notwithstanding Halliburton CEO Dave Lesar’s contention that initial customer feedback regarding the deal was unanimously positive, customers have a right to be concerned any time two competitors of this size Continue reading Halliburton’s Risky Bet on Consolidation

Hydraulic Fracturing & The Nocebo Effect

Recently, residents of Denton, Texas voted to ban hydraulic fracturing within the city limits.  One way to read the results from the referendum is to conclude that the verdict is in: unconventional drilling for oil and gas poses enough health risks to nearby communities that it had to be stopped in the Dallas-suburb home to drilling innovation.

But is fracking really to blame for recently high incidents of asthma, nose bleed and nausea reported by Denton residents?  As a pioneering city for hydraulic fracturing, the practice has been in place for decades in and around Denton.  What’s novel to the city is the anti-fracking activism and its coverage in both the local and national media. Continue reading Hydraulic Fracturing & The Nocebo Effect

The Reluctant Rockstar

Until recently, if one were to side-click their way to the website of onshore drilling contractor Helmerich & Payne (H&P), they could be forgiven for assuming the company was just another run-of-the-mill driller.  Framed mostly in nondescript grey and blue, the site seemed an unfinished afterthought of a organization with better things to do.

In truth, that’s probably not too far off.  H&P has traditionally avoided heavily marketing itself, leaving the trumpeting of its success to customers and industry analysts.  Nonetheless, when you’ve earned the kind of respect the Tulsa-based company has over the years, taking pride in the presentation of your story is only Continue reading The Reluctant Rockstar