The future of oil and gas looks pretty bright today.
The Eagle Ford Shale play in South Texas sets new production records nearly every day.
The natural gas market remains relatively healthy and stable after we had the coldest winter on record in many places throughout the country.
Which, of course, only has one explanation:
David and I discussed some challenges we face in the patch today. By now, oil and gas folks are accustomed to talking about issues like road damage, fracktivists, and politicians.
But there is an even greater threat to the future of oil and gas than politicians — ourselves. Specifically, the anemic turf war culture we cling to from decades past.
The Future of Oil and Gas is Doomed if We Don’t Stick Together, Helen
In the movie Tommy Boy, Chris Farley describes why he’s such a terrible salesman to a waitress in a diner.
He picks up a dinner roll and calls his sale his little pet. He then proceeds to rip it to shreds and shout, “I KILLED MY SALE!”
This is a good model for what the oil and gas industry is doing to its future by clinging to an outdated culture that holds us all back.
I don’t think anyone could accuse me of being averse to a little friendly competition — or a lot (see this post).
However, that’s not what we have in many cases in our industry. A lot of what I see happening between companies in the patch, operators and service companies alike, is not about friendly competition. It’s about hitting the competition where it hurts because we can.
That mentality might have worked back in 1976 when you were driving your Dad’s Chevelle jamming out to Frampton Comes Alive. But there’s a reason today you sit back and wonder “I used to listen to Peter Frampton? What was I thinking?!” (Girls. You wanted to impress girls. That’s the only explanation.)
In the same way, you should look at your business mentality of the past and wonder “What the heck was I thinking?!”
Because we don’t live in a world where we can afford to be divided as an industry anymore. Yes, the opposition is an issue and it always will be. But it’s much more important to remember we have a duty to fulfill.
America needs fuel, people need jobs, and our wives need to shop.
If that’s not enough, the best practices that worked back in the old-timey days (which I consider to be anytime before 1980) are light years away from the technology we use today. In the environment that has become the great American Shale Revolution, we have to understand that playing our cards close to the vest is not the only way to do business.
Building a Bigger Pie
In my 3.5 years at Drillinginfo I never once heard Allen Gilmer say anything bad about IHS. Whenever I heard anyone bring them up in conversation, he always replied something the lines of, “They’re great competitors. We help to make them better and I hope they’re making us better.”
That is the precise paradigm shift we need throughout the industry. We have to understand that life is not about clinging onto our little sliver of pie for dear life. It’s about building a bigger pie for everyone.
But I’ve actually had conversations with guys who won’t even share their workflow with people in their own company — on their own team.
Given the amount of money on the table in this business, I can’t begin to imagine the amount of yearly lost revenue we experience because Bill refuses to share his secret sauce. Even if his secret sauce could change the way the whole industry does business.
Jim Rohn said it best:
Sharing makes you bigger than you are. The more you pour out, the more life will be able to pour in. (tweet this)
So get out there and start sharing. Let’s all drive a stake through the heart of that old culture, and have some steaks building a brand new culture.
And when you’re finished with those steaks, make sure and give your brother a hug. Because brothers don’t shake hands, brothers gotta hug!
(click here if you can’t see the video player)
What do you think? Does the culture of oil and gas needs a radical transformation? What’s one thing you would like to see happen in our industry that isn’t happening today? Holla back in the comments!