Let’s kick-off 2016 the right way. With another First Friday Q&A episode! We discuss oil and gas bankruptcies, how to get promoted, and Coal vs Natural Gas vs Mark.
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#044: Coal vs Natural Gas vs Mark!
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Many Thanks to Everyone Who Submitted Questions!
First off, I am a big fan of the show, been listening for about 6 months now and it has been unbelievably helpful for me in my current job as I am new to the industry. Couple of questions for you and James.
Considering that bankruptcies do not mean production will stop for E&Ps (see link), do you think that even if a large number of firms go under we won’t see crude prices stabilize?
How long can firms remain operational after they go into chapter 11?
You guys often mention how much people underestimate the influence the oil & gas industry has on our daily lives and think that the only use of the oil & gas industry is fuel for road transport.
What percent of the oil & gas being produced today is needed for purposes other than non-road transport fuel?
VP-Finance at Channel Energy LLC
Good show. I really enjoyed it. But I cringe a bit every time you say the the oil and gas industry solved the US acid rain problem. Most of the SO2 and NOx emissions were from coal fired power plants. And government regulation was the catalyst for change.
In 1989, the U.S. Congress passed a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act. Title IV of these amendments established the Acid Rain Program, a cap and trade program that required companies to comply with new regulations and reduce emissions. But that’s a nit pick I do really enjoy your show and learn a lot from it. Keep up the good work.
In my current role I am a software developer. I would like to remain highly technical but also transition to trading and analysis.
What companies would you recommend I look into and what skills are most import for me to demonstrate to potential future employers?
Chris, BDM with Premier Chemical
I’m a dedicated listener of the show and I truly prescient the time you guys invest into providing valuable content. I wanted to start by offering some clarification on a story you guys covered about Devon energy acquisitions in episode 41.
The acquisition was three parts; the first was Devon’s purchase of close to $2 billion worth of assets from Felix energy in the stack play, which is in the sooner trend section of the Anadarko basin in Oklahoma not in the Powder River basin as you guys stated.
The second part of Devon’s acquisition involved 600 million in assets from an undisclosed third-party; that acquisition was is in the Powder River basin, which is in Montana and Wyoming, not Oklahoma. The part of the deal associated with EnLink was for the acquisition of tall oak midstream.
Also, another interesting point is that the partnership between Devon and in link is less of a new deal then maybe some would think. Devon previously owned 70% of Enlink so I’m not sure that “merger” is much more than just money moving around within the same set of hands.
What would be one certification that you think could help almost anybody in the business get a promotion, or get another job. Regardless of position or segment?
Sam Wilson, Self-employed Investor
First of all I enjoy your podcasts and the fact that you’re based in Houston you provide a much needed perspective that is lost in the mainstream media.
Two questions for your show:
1. Schlumberger acquired Cameron in 2015 and has also teamed up with T&T, a German rig manufacturer to create a new line of land drilling rigs. Is the idea for Cameron to provide the rig equipment needed for these land rigs?
Cameron does not have a strong portfolio in rig equipment (NOV is the clear leader) and I don’t believe the SENSE acquisition and its products are going to sit well with Schlumberger and what they are planning to do.
Any thoughts? Comments?
2. Mark mentioned a few podcasts ago that he has some stories about Cameron around their cultural differences and operational challenges. Mark do you mind sharing what you know?
Thanks and keep up the good work!
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#044: Coal vs Natural Gas vs Mark!
Transcripts Courtesy Of
James: I’m James Hahn II.
Mark: And I’m Mark LaCour.
James: You’re listening to This Week in Oil & Gas brought to you by Red Wing. This is the show for busy oil pros who want to quickly keep their finger on the pulse of the industry. Here we are. Episode 44.
A happy new year, Mr. LaCour.
Mark: Yeah, James. Happy New Year to you, too. Happy New Year to our entire audience, although you’ll hear this, and it’ll actually be –
Mark: Tomorrow. Yeah.
James: New Year’s Day. Have you got anything planned? You going to turn up?
Mark: Actually, no. Which sounds really lame, but my wife and I are both so busy that we decided we’re just going to stay up at night, have dinner, and have a nice night at home.
James: Yeah. I’m watching the Red Wings hopefully destroy the Pittsburg Penguins. That’s on my plate. But we have the – what is this? This is probably the fourth edition now of the first Friday Q and A. We have a lot of questions to get to.
Anything that you want to say before we get to these questions?
Mark: Wasn’t it really cool how our listeners – not only have they given us questions, but the questions are getting better and harder? I love this. I love the participation and the dialogue we have with our audience.
James: That is a really great point. They’re getting much more dialed in with more detail, and hopefully we can stump Mr. LaCour a few times here.
Mark: Okay, wait. Stop. That is not the goal. The goal is not to stump me.
James: All right. Let’s set that as a goal. We’re going to start off with Zachary Fogelson. He writes “First off, I’m a big fan of the show. Been listening for about six months now, and it’s been unbelievably helpful for me in my current job as I’m new to the industry. Couple questions for you and James:
“Considering that bankruptcies do not mean production will stop for ENPs, see link” – and he actually links to a story that Magnum Hunter filed for bankruptcy; I’ll throw that in the show notes at triberocket.com/tw44 – “considering that bankruptcies do not mean production will stop for ENPs, do you think that even if a large number of firms go under, we won’t see crude prices stabilized? How long can firms remain operational after they go into chapter 11?”
Mark: Zachary, man, what an awesome question. Just showing how you’re thinking way ahead of everybody else. This is great.
I guess first thing for me to say is there’s different types of bankruptcies. Chapter 11 is when the bankruptcy loss allows the company to continue to operate. What happens is the debtors now control the company. There’s a bunch of legal requirements. You have to put together a plan. There’s a time frame.
The whole goal is to try to keep the company up, get rid of as much debt as possible so that people can continue to have jobs and the company can continue on.
The last part of the question, how long can they remain operational after they go to chapter 11 – it may be years. Months or years. There really is no timeline. It’s all built around whatever the bankruptcy claim that gets approved. It has a timeline.
The other part of the question, if you think about this, if they go chapter 11, there’s still an operation. He’s saying, well, they keep producing, and this way, you won’t see crude prices go back up.
Great question. What’s going to happen is – and we’ve already started to see this at the very end of 2015 – production is going down in the US. The production and the filing for chapter 11 have some correlation, but they’re not directly related. Production’s going down regardless whether these companies will file a chapter 11 or not. If you file chapter 11, it doesn’t mean that you disappear. You continue to operate.
James: I want to follow up on that, because I’ve lived through a few chapter 11s of large companies up in Michigan. A lot of people talk about even – I’m not thinking of GM or other places like that, but I think that’s an obvious first place for me to start. How does that work, then? They file bankruptcy, and they make their way through it?
Mark: Well, what happens is there’s several ways you can file bankruptcy. There’s probably an accountant out there that can probably correct us. There’s a chapter three, a chapter seven, chapter 13, chapter 11.
Chapter 11 is a part of the law that allows the business to continue to run under a set of rules agreed to by a court. What happens is, like in the case of Magnum that he’s talking about, Magnum had a bunch of debtors. A bunch of people, they loaned money to Magnum, and they want their money back.
Magnum could file chapter – I think – three. That means the company could get sold. The company disappears. Then people that they owe money to get a piece of that in order. Doesn’t mean they get all their money back.
If you are a bank or some type of an equity firm, and your company’s getting ready to go under, you’d prefer them to file chapter 11 so they can keep operating, so hopefully, you’ll get most if not all of your money back. It just may take longer for you to get it back. Make sense?
James: Yeah. I think that’s where I hear the talk about restructuring the debt.
Mark: Right. Restructuring. Yeah.
James: We talked about that on a previous show. All right. Good. Did we dig into that one enough?
Mark: Yeah. We did. That was a great question.
James: All right. Thanks for that, Zachary. The next one comes from someone who shall not be named.
“You guys often mention how much people underestimate the influence the oil and gas industry has in our daily lives and think that the only use of the oil and gas industry is fuel for road transportation. What percent of oil and gas being produced today is needed for purposes other than road transportation fuel?”
Mark: Once again, another awesome question. The answer to this question varies dependent on what year you’re talking about or what country you’re talking about.
James: Probably what season, too, right?
Mark: And the season, too. We’re going to talk about just the US in 2015.
In 2015, a barrel of crude – about 45% of that crude is turned into transportation fuels. That’s gasoline, diesel, jet fuel. The other 55% is turned into stuff. You would be amazed at the stuff that’s made from oil and gas.
Think about adhesives that come from the oil and gas industry. Think about all the different parts and cars that are made from oil and gas to make them lighter and more fuel-efficient. Consumer products. Think about buckets, Tupperware. All that sort of stuff comes from oil and gas. Industrial applications. There’s all kinds of high-tech products that industries use that come from oil and gas. Lubricants. Every lubricant that practically is used other than what goes into satellites in space comes from the oil and gas industry.
Interestingly enough, the lubes they use for satellites in space are actually whale oil from a whale. It’s the only one that is not as temperature-sensitive. They can have it zero degrees or 300 degrees, and it still lubricates.
Packaging. Every time you open an envelope or unwrap a present, cut that tape, that came from oil and gas. Agriculture. All the fertilizers came from oil and gas. I could go on and on and on.
Medical. Eighty-five percent of the stuff in a hospital emergency room came from the oil and gas industry.
But let’s quit talking about that sort of stuff and let’s put something real. One barrel of crude oil, about 35 polyester shirts is made from the remains of what’s in that crude after they use the rest for fuels. Think about that: 35 shirts can be made from one barrel of crude. Multiply that by the millions of barrels that are produced daily. You can get a feel for what actually the oil and gas industry adds to our society.
James: Well, I was traveling obviously over the holidays, and the more I was on planes, the more I looked around and thought “This entire plane is made of oil.”
Mark: Yeah. It literally is. Even the stuff that didn’t come from oil like the aluminum – guess where the energy comes? Aluminum‘s not natural. What’s natural is a material called bauxite. Bauxite has to be heated to unbelievable temperature, and then they use electrolysis to turn it to aluminum. Guess where the energy comes from to do that process?
Mark: Us and the oil and gas. Even the aluminum that was on your plane that’s not a product of oil and gas, it needed oil and gas to be manufactured.
James: Right. I hope that helps Mr. – I think it was ABC who asked that question. Moving on to Jeff Keane who’s coming in with a little sassiness here. We’re going to push back on you, Mr. LaCour. “Good show. I really enjoyed it. But I cringe a bit every time you say the oil and gas industry solved the US acid rain problem. Most of the SO2 and NOx emissions were from coal” – what’s that?
James: Got it. “…Emissions were from coal fire power plants, and government regulation was the catalyst for change. In 1989, the US congress passed a series of amendments to the Clean Air Act. Title four of these amendments established the Acid Rain Program, a Cap and Trade program that required companies to comply with new regulations and reduce emissions. But that’s a nitpick. I do really enjoy your show and learn a lot from it. Keep up the good work.”
What say you, Mr. LaCour?
Mark: He’s absolutely right. I probably should not just so freely say that the oil and gas industry solved the acid rain problem. But he’s right. The Clean Air Act is what was the stimulus, the motivation to remove the stuff that we knew was dangerous to people and to the planet.
But what happened is that was just the stimulus. At that point in history, which is back in the late 70s, early 80s, in that area, there was only a couple of options to get rid of the coal fire power plants where most of the damage was coming from. That was clean coal technology or nuclear, both of which at that point in time were extremely expensive.
The oil and gas industry came in and showed the electrical generation and the utility companies “Hey, look. We can guarantee you there’s this long-term, forecastable, deliverable fuel called natural gas which will allow you to meet your emissions that you have to meet by law.”
I won’t say 100%, but a large chunk of the electrical suppliers just jumped to natural gas. He’s right. What I really should say is that oil and gas industry made it economically possible to get rid of acid rain and pollution. That’s the truth.
James: All right. Thanks for that, Jeff. I hope that helps. You definitely helped us by getting us straightened around on that issue.
All right. We have another person who shall not be named. I’m trying not to say the particular name of a certain anonymous, because we are actual transcribing these now. I do worry about my website security.
A person who did not submit their name. “In my current role, I’m a software developer. I would like to remain highly technical, but also transition to trading and analysis. What companies would you recommend I look into, and what skills are most important for me to demonstrate to potential future employers?”
Mark: I hope person who doesn’t want to be named has actually thought this through. That trading floor is brutal. You make a lot of money, but that has a high burnout rate. If that’s what you’re looking for, there’s a couple places I would tell you to look that you may not even think of.
Before you try to get a job on the trading floor of Shell or Conoco or something, there’s a company called PricewaterhouseCoopers. PWC. They do a lot of consulting and a lot of training for the oil and gas companies around commodities and energy trading.
I would actually reach out to PWC, see if you can come in the door there, because they will teach you the industry from the ground up so that you can better serve their clients which are the big oil and gas companies.
Think about that. They would pay you to basically train you so that later, if you wanted to go work for MOTIVA Training or somebody like EDF or Conoco or Chevron on their trading floor or even companies like Direct Energy, you’ve been trained properly from the ground up.
As far as what skill sets, we’ve talked about this for other jobs, and it applies to this one a lot. You’ve got to be able to disconnect yourself emotionally from the math and the statistics that tells you when to buy and sell. You can’t do stuff on a hunch. You have to make it a science.
If you’re in the mood for that fast, high-paced, pressure-driven world, that’s the way I would go about it.
James: I’ve got to go back here to the very beginning of your response, though, because I heard something that I’ve not heard. You said a trading floor at Shell?
Mark: Oh, yeah. All of them have a commodities floor. I shouldn’t say all of them. Most of them do. It’s crazy. It’s like walking down Wall Street, but it’s in Chevron or ConocoPhillips or it’s in Exxon or whatever.
Part of their revenue stream is they buy and sell oil and gas commodities. Not just for themselves. That business that makes money on its own. They may be buying Shell crude that’s sitting in their Chevron super tankers being shipped to an Exxon refinery.
James: It looks like it’s Wall Street down there with guys in jackets running around screaming at each other? The whole thing?
Mark: Yeah. It’s the exact same thing. Huge displays. I had a chance years ago before Kinder Morgan bought El Paso. I got a chance to tour their trading floor. It was like you’re in Star Trek. There’s huge displays. This is before plasma was real popular. All over the walls, there are computer monitors everywhere. There’s interns running around, pieces of papers, handing stuff off. Telephones ringing back and forth. There was probably a hundred people in there buying and selling for El Paso.
James: That is insane. This is another huge part of the industry I knew nothing about until this very moment. How many companies like that are there out there?
Mark: Yeah. Probably more like tens of thousands. Not only do you have the trading floors of the oil and gas companies. You have companies that do nothing but trade in commodities and the commodity traders that specialize in oil and gas.
James: At a company like Shell, how big is their trading floor?
Mark: They have multiple trading floors. We talk about their commercial aspects like at MOTIVA, their freight trading, their compliance, their power trading. It’s a business in itself. It’s a world in itself.
James: Wow. Are we talking about – you said there’s a hundred people in the room that you went into. At a company like Shell or one of the –
Mark: It’s much bigger.
James: Thousands of people in there?
Mark: Yeah. They’re scattered all over the world. They’re not in one room in Houston. It’s wherever that business needs to be.
James: Got it. Okay. That’s just extremely fascinating. I might have to ask you more about that offline. All right. Thanks for that question, software developer.
Mark: I like that. We’ll start calling them by their job title.
James: Yeah. Let’s do that. Chris from BDM. He’s a BDM, which I need you to tell me what that means. BDM for Premiere Chemical. His question is “Mark, I’m a dedicated listener of the show. I truly appreciate the time you guys invest in providing valuable content. I wanted to start by offering some clarification on a story you guys covered about Devon Energy’s acquisition in episode 41.
“The acquisition was three parts. The first part was Devon’s purchase of close to $2 billion worth of assets from Felix Energy in the STACK play which is in the Sooner Trend section of the Anadarko Basin in Oklahoma, not in the Powder River Basin, as you guys stated.
“The second part of Devon’s acquisition involves $600 million in assets from an undisclosed third party. That acquisition was in the Powder River Basin, which is in Montana and Wyoming, not Oklahoma.” That was my fault.
“The part of the deal associated with EnLink was for acquisition of Tall Oak Midstream. Also, another interesting point is that the partnership between Devon and EnLink is less of a new deal than maybe some would think. Devon previously owned 70% of EnLink, so I’m not sure if that ‘merger’ is much more than just money moving around within the same set of hands.”
Thoughts, Mr. LaCour?
Mark: BDM’s business development manager. Chris, thanks for point out where we messed up. For our audience, we actually want you to point out when we make mistakes or if we get something wrong. We like to learn, too, so this is a way for James and I to make sure that we’re learning the right things.
He’s absolutely right on every single point that he touched on. I think it’s funny how we got the geography mixed up.
James: That’s really embarrassing.
Mark: I do wonder a little bit, Chris, how often do you get out? If you’re paying that close attention to our show, and you realize that our geography was off…? I’m just joking about that.
James: He says that to me all the time, guys. Don’t worry about it.
Mark: Well, it is true about you. It’s different. That’s different. You need to get out more.
One of the things that I want to talk about this – talk about Devon and Crosstex created this EnLink midstream. If you read all the financials, and you go through the deal, what they really did is took their respective companies and formed a master limited partnership – an MLP.
I don’t want to go into all the tax stuff around MLP, but MLPs were real hot a few years ago for oil and gas companies, because we gave them some tax breaks and shifted some liability. You saw a lot of MLPs starting up.
Then you’ve seen a couple companies, most noteworthy Kinder Morgan, who dissolved an MLP because it wasn’t worthwhile to them form a fiscal point of view. The whole takeaway from this is it looks like Devon and Crosstex, when they formed EnLink, it looks like the final goal was to form an MLP, which is what they did.
Good stuff, Chris. Good stuff.
James: The reason they would do that is for taxes, or is there some operational efficiency things that are happening there, too?
Mark: No. No operational efficiency. It gives them some tax breaks that shifts the liability around. It just makes it more favorable business conditions for them.
James: All right. Good stuff. We’ve got someone looking for a certification here. “What would be one certification that you think could help almost anybody in the business get a promotion or get another job regardless of position or segment?”
Mark: Think about that, James. That’s a hard one to answer.
When I look at that, there’s two things that pop in my head. Basically, anything around process improvement. The two big ones are of course Six Sigma and lean manufacturing. Of those two, I would say lean would be my preference.
If I’m thinking about hiring a salesperson and he has a lean certification – he understands how to improve the process – think about what he could do for my sales organization. He could shorten the time from the moment that we have a prospect until we actually close the deal. He also probably could save me money.
If there was an engineer and he has a lean certification, I’ll bet he could improve our engineering process. And so on, and so on, and so on.
If I had to only pick one, regardless of where you are in the industry or what segment, I would probably pick a lean certification.
James: That’s interesting, because I thought you might say Six Sigma. The first thing that pops in my mind is MBA, but of course, that’s not a certification.
Mark: Yeah. I don’t know if I would suggest people get an MBA. That’s not as important as it used to be in this industry. It used to be if you had an MBA, you were sure of upper management. Now, what people want, especially big companies, is they want experience.
There is some education they want you to have. Once you have that education, they can make that check mark on that box. What they really look at is your experience.
James: Is lean an acronym for anything or shortened?
Mark: No. It’s two different approaches, both on process improvements. Six Sigma actually came from Motorola. It was GE who made it so popular. I think Motorola invented it. Lean actually came from Toyota.
Two different approaches, philosophies are slightly different. The new thing in the last couple years is semi combine them together. It’s called Lean Six Sigma.
James: Yeah. I’m looking at that right now.
Mark: I still think you’re better off if there’s a lean certification. Would be my number one choice. Number two would be a Six Sigma.
James: All right. Perfect. Bringing us home here, we have Sam Wilson, self-employed investor. No website. We’re going to have to work on that.
Mark: Reach out to James. He’ll help you out.
James: “First of all, I enjoy your podcast and the fact that you provide a much-needed perspective that is lost in the mainstream media. Two questions for your show.
“One, Schlumberger acquired Cameron in 2015 and has also teamed up with TNT, a German rig manufacturer, to create a new line of land drilling rigs. Is the idea for Cameron to provide the rig equipment needed for these land rigs? Cameron does not have a strong portfolio on rig equipment. NOV is the clear leader. I don’t believe the Sense Acquisition and its products are going to sit well with Schlumberger and what they are planning to do.”
Let’s just pause there because that’s enough to unpack, then we’ll go to the second one.
Mark: That’s some good questions. Sam’s obviously in the industry to ask questions with this much nuance and detail.
Sam, I’ll tell you this much. For some reason, Schlumberger and Cameron, their executives don’t call me and ask my opinions on stuff. They should, but they don’t. What I would tell you is what is going around the rumor mill. I can’t make any guarantees in this. Please don’t invest any money based on what I’m about to tell you.
The whole Schlumberger acquired Cameron and your question about the rig equipment, they absolutely are looking to start manufacturing more equipment to actually equip these rigs. They’re going after National Oil Varco right. NOV is the 800-pound gorilla in that room. I think that actually with Schlumberger’s guidance, if Cameron’s manufacturing the building, I think they can actually go after that.
Then as far as the rigs, what’s happening is Schlumberger is niching out a piece of the market with specialty rigs. They don’t want the standard whatever rig that everybody else has. They’re going after specialty rigs. Rigs that can either move themselves or highly robotic or really high horsepower. They’re trying to niche themselves in the rig market.
Really good questions, but that’s what it looks like they’re doing.
James: What’s the Sense Acquisition?
Mark: The Sense Acquisition was a Norwegian company they acquired that actually does some engineering manufacturing of rig equipment. They’re obviously going to keep that. I don’t think they’re going to roll that off, because they are going after National Oilwell‘s book of business. That’s the whole reason they acquired Sense.
James: They’re going head to head with National Oilwell Varco?
Mark: I don’t think they’re going head to head. I think that would be foolish. I think they’re going to come out sideways. I think they’re going to flake on National Oilwell, and they’ll figure out things Schlumberger can do that National Oilwell can’t.
One of the strengths of NOV is their global supply chain. They can get a pump anywhere in the world better than anybody else. I think what Schlumberger is going to do is go after its stuff that’s not so much a commodity that they have a leg-up on National Oilwell.
There’s a lot of valves that Schlumberger is now going to have access to. High quality, high-end valves that Cameron manufactures. National Oilwell just can’t really get a competitive price. There’s some stuff out there that you just can’t get, period.
It’s going to be an interesting battle to see what happens the next five or six years with that.
James: Yeah. My marketing mind is kicking in there and thinking about the difference between mass marketing and niche marketing.
Mark: Exactly. That’s exactly what I think is happening.
James: Yeah. Interesting. All right. The second part of Sam’s question: “Mark mentioned a few podcasts ago that he has some stories about Cameron around their cultural differences and operational challenges. Mark, do you mind sharing what you know? Thanks and keep up the good work.”
Mark: Yeah. Sam, I’m not going to share everything that I know, because some of it is covered under nondisclosures. Cameron‘s a big old ship. There eternally is a bunch of political fiefdoms. For a long time, their subsea manufacturing division was their money maker, and that has changed. They did that on purpose. They’ve grown a lot.
They’ve actually grown to a point where they’re awkward, where there’s a lot of fat in the system. They need that to be cleaned out and leaned out. Quite frankly, there’s a lot of – I hate to even say this, but – there’s people in that company that are retired in place. That needs to change, as well. I think with Schlumberger’s acquisition, that will.
I say all that. Let me tell you something else about Cameron. They really, sincerely, in their hearts worry about their people. I love that.
I’m not sure if they’re still doing this, but up till recently, they still gave real turkeys away to their employees for Thanksgiving. They did a lot of stuff to keep their employees happy, to keep them safe. You’ve got to respect that for a company that’s that size.
The culture there over at Cameron’s a bit old-fashioned. They do do a really good job with taking care of their employees. There is a lot of inefficiencies in their systems, a lot of fat, and I think Schlumberger’s going to clean a lot of that stuff out. It’s going to be interesting to see how that changes Cameron.
James: A follow-up on that from some conversation I’ve had with Cameron, and obviously, doing the best I can without disclosing anything proprietary here, but they do have a very siloed business model today. Maybe you can unpack what I mean by that, and then, is Schlumberger going to help to change that?
Mark: Yeah. Cameron – I don’t even know; I think it’s 13 now or so different business units – each one its own political fiefdom. Cameron’s measurement division does not know anybody in Cameron’s subsea manufacturing, who does not know anybody Cameron’s surface, who does not know anybody in Cameron valve, and so on, and so on. They all operate independently.
I think recently, they finally implemented a global supply chain. It used to be each of those business units had its own supply chain. Think how crazy that was. Yeah. But their margins were healthy enough to support that type of inefficiency.
In this little crude price market, after Schlumberger’s bought them, that’s going to have to go away. Schlumberger is really good at cleaning that sort of stuff up.
James: Yeah. In their defense, that’s not an abnormal thing.
Mark: No, no, no. Unfortunately, it’s common. What makes it even almost comical is that if you know the other subsea manufacturers, the gas, the Akers, the FMCs – they’re exactly the same. The cultures, all of them, have been sculpted by their high-margin world that we live in.
James: Right. Yeah. Another playing conversation I was having, a woman was fascinated by the industry which was fun, but yeah, explaining, she said “How do they survive, then, with this?”
I’m like “Well, everybody’s trying to figure out how to make more with less. It’s helping.”
Thus concludes our questions. My Onion of the Week, Mark says is just wrong, so I had to go with it. Slightly Overweigh Middle-aged Woman Really Carrying Rest of Church Choir.
Moving on from that, we do have this opportunity right now to talk about the opportunity that you have to win something from Red Wing. I guess I’ll mention that when we get to the LinkedIn group, Mark, but you’ve seen one of these bags. I think you have one. Whatever the case is, break it down.
Mark: I have one of these bags. In fact, hold on a second.
All right. I have one of these bags. I’m actually showing it to the video camera now. This is a really cool helicopter bag.
When I say “helicopter bag”, a lot of people go “Well, I don’t fly on a helicopter.” Trust me. This bag will look perfect behind the seat of your pickup truck. Bring it to office to bring in office supplies. It’s very well made. It’s very strong. I love this bag. It’s labeled Red Wing, but it’s very discreetly labeled Red Wing.
If you want one of these bags, pay attention. We’re giving one of these away a week.
James: One of these away a week. I forgot to mention last week. And two at the end of January. This is the January first show, 2016. If you’re coming across this in November 2016, I’m sorry. The bags are gone. But hopefully, you’re still listening, and you know what we’re doing at this point.
I’m going to hold you to this, Mark, that you’ll go ahead and take a few pictures of that thing so we can get it in the show notes at triberocket.com/tw44. Can you do that for us?
Mark: Yup. Absolutely.
James: All right. Perfect. No purchase necessary to enter or win. See official rules at redwingshoes.com/podcast. That’s a great little link they put together for us. Redwingshoes.com/podcast. Go there. Submit your information. Like Mark said, we’re going to be giving one away a week through January. This is your first opportunity to kick off the new year with a new – I’m tempted to say something, but we’ve got – let’s say kick butt helicopter bag from Red Wing.
Moving on from that, we don’t have any events yet, right?
Mark: No, but we have a new addition to our Tribe.
James: That’s right. I almost forgot. James Gordy – why don’t you introduce James Gordy? He is our new producer of the show.
Mark: Yeah. We now have a new producer for our show. Our old producer was James.
James: No. He was fired.
Mark: Yeah. James Gordy – not to be confused with James Hahn – great guy. I’ve known him for a while. He’s an engineer fresh out of school. He is coming on board as a producer of our show.
James Gordy, welcome to the family.
James: Yeah. Welcome to the family. Just to point it out, it was awesome the way that James approached us about this, because I’ve had no small amount of people come up to me or email me, reach out, basically, and ask for their own segment on our show. Right?
Mark: Yeah. We both have.
James: We both have. But it’s too sales-y. He came, and he just said “How can I help?” Boom. There you have it. We’re going to be doing a 0.5 episode with him to get his story and everything.
We love the help. Especially me, because producing these shows is no small task.
Moving on from that, I’m going to talk about reviews. I religiously watch where we show up for the word “oil”. If you just only type the word “oil” into iTunes. What happened is that Platts – all respect due to a competitor in content production, anyway – I don’t know if they had the show on here before, because I’ve never seen it, but it’s Platts Oil Markets Podcast. Suddenly, it was 36 episodes just showed up. They knocked us off of our top ranking on the front page for that.
But we got one review that kicked us up over them, and so let me go ahead and read that one as soon as I get to it. Thanks, oil and gas newbie, December 23rd, 2015.
“I love the weekly updates Mark and James provide. Good summaries of what’s going on and why in a format conversation that’s very engaging. Also enjoy listening to Mark’s 2016 outlook.”
Mark: It is a bold call.
James: It is a bold call. “Anyway, thanks for all of your time and effort in putting this together. I love it.” I stated the date there so that I could underscore the point that we always talk about that iTunes is a search engine. The more reviews we get – I’m not joking; I’m not making this up – it pushes us up. I watched it happen where Platts knocked us off. We got a review. Now, we’re back in the front when you just search the word “oil”.
Please help us out. Go to triberocket.com/twreviews and – what does it take, a minute, Mark?
Mark: Yeah. Hey, come on, audience. If you’re competitive, you play sports, you watch sports on TV, help us kick one of our competitor’s butt. It only takes a minute and a half. We want to smoke them. As many reviews as we can get, we would love to have them.
James: That’s a really good point, because it pushed us up now to where we’re visible again for the word “oil” within iTunes on a laptop, desktop, or something like that. But we wouldn’t mind being pushed a few more to the left.
Oh, I was going to mention this before about the LinkedIn group. I guess we can wrap with this.
On the LinkedIn group, our good friend Brain Mahn – he corrected me on that, because he said “Dude, you should know how to pronounce my name. It’s spelled like yours with a B.” But he goes and calls himself Oil Mahn.
Anyway, Brian just posted a question there. I think I was from Oil Pro. “What are your favorite work boots?” Is that the right question?
Mark: Yeah. It’s interesting. This has nothing to do with the Red Wings sponsoring our show. I have two pairs of Red Wings steel toes I’ve had for at least ten years way before the show even existed. They are my favorite boots when I’m out in the field, when I have to wear steel toes. I still have them.
It was cool that Brian reached out and asked that question. I can sincerely tell him Red Wing, which just happens to be our sponsor. Hats off, Red Wing, for making really good stuff.
James: Yeah. We got a couple other people coming in on that conversation as well saying Red Wing, and we do have one vote for Timberland. If you want to get in that conversation, you can go to triberocket.com/linkedin. That will take you straight in to where you can join the group and join the conversation.
All right, Mark. I’m looking around at my notes here. I think we’ve covered everything. Thank you again to our fantastic sponsor, Red Wing, and thank you to everyone for tuning in. Again, you can get all of the questions and links to the people’s websites that gave us them at triberocket.com/tw44. If you forgot any of the links that we mentioned here, they’re there as well.
All right, Mark. You ready to get out of here?
Mark: Yup. Folks, do great work. Pay it forward. We will see you next time.
James: Go find some grease, guys.