Seeing the Big Picture as the Smoke Clears

The Fort McMurray fire highlights how privileged most North Americans, Oil Sector workers, and oil industry support service providers are to live in a region where Emergency Response Plans and Services are so well organized and coordinated. It has also been a great showcase for our industry in the ability to so effectively (more…)


Seven Strategies to Embed a Competency Approach in Your Organization Successfully

The ultimate goal of a competency project is to design and deliver a targeted learning and development plan that will lead to a fully competent workforce. IHRDC has learned many lessons around what works and what does not in the development and implementation of competency management and assurance systems. Below are (more…)


Will the Chinese Still Build their US-Based Methanol Plants?

Last March, I wrote about several Chinese companies planning to build methanol plants in the United States with the purpose of shipping the product to China for use as feedstock in the Methanol to Olefins (MTO) plants constructed or currently being built in China. I showed that at crude oil prices at that time, i.e. $60/bbl, olefins (more…)


Instructional Design in the Oil and Gas Industry

Project Drivers

Cost, time, and quality are the three main drivers behind any project, and finding the balance between these things is key to success, whether the project is developing a training program, designing and developing new software, (more…)


U.S. is Making Progress in Reducing Methane Emissions

In August 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new regulations for the oil and gas industries to cut emissions of methane into the atmosphere. These new regulations would have oil and gas drillers and operators:

  • Finding and repairing leaks;
  • Capturing natural gas from the completion of (more…)

Unconventional Oil Assets in Bankruptcy Reorganizations

This note is a sequel to the blog I posted in April 2015 that examined the connection between Federal Reserve policy and the collapse of the oil price. The conclusion in that blog post was that the policy of Quantitative Easing indirectly and unintentionally contributed to the oil price slide by funneling bond investments into more drilling and therefore (more…)


Unconventional Thinking

After attending the SPE Conferences on Unconventionals in Calgary and Brisbane at the end of last year, I am blown away by:

  • What the joint ventures in Australia have achieved over the last eight years in making Coal Seam Gas (more…)

EPA Finalizes Renewable Fuel Standards for 2014 to 2016 and Biodiesel for 2017

As follow-up to my June 23rd blog, on November 30th, the EPA issued the volume requirements and associated percentage standards for conventional and advanced biofuels for 2014, 2015, and 2016 in the United States. The volume requirement for biomass-based diesel, a sub-category of advanced biofuels was also set for 2017. The (more…)


IHRDC is Moving the Flipped Classroom from the University to Our Industry

A new form of learning is sweeping through the US higher education system in response to recent discoveries of how students learn best. A few weeks ago I visited Penn State University, where I taught for four years earlier in my career. I was advised by the Dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Science that over 90% of his professors had (more…)


As U.S. Tight Oil Production Grows, Can the Nation’s Refineries Process It or Will It Soon be Exported?

During the past ten years, thanks to hydraulic fracturing of horizontal wells and the high cost of crude oil, the U.S. has gone from being the world’s largest importer of petroleum products to the leading exporter of these same products worldwide. Exports now amount to 5 million b/d. (more…)