Tag Archives: editors notebook

America Needs Tough Pipeline Regulations

April 2017, Vol. 244, No. 4

Ray Galvin wouldn’t be too pleased with what’s been going on in Washington, D.C. as it relates to the environment. Ray was president of Chevron U.S.A. Production Company when I interviewed him in November 1994 for my book, The Oil Makers. He was a brilliant, thoughtful man who had worked his way into a top position with the widely respected oil petroleum company. In fact, with a little more support from his bosses, he may have been the one who unlocked the hidden mysteries of fracking, writes Bryan Burrough in his excellent book, The Frackers. […]

Where America’s Pipeline Industry Currently Stands

March 2017, Vol. 244, No. 3

Just about every year I have the pleasure of discussing the state of industry with the Houston Pipeliners Association. In case you’re interested, here’s what I said. “With Donald Trump it’s anyone’s guess what can happen next. Barack Obama wasn’t popular with our industry though when he came in 2009 domestic crude production was just 5 MMbpd, we imported 10 MMbpd, and no exports were allowed. Now we produce 9 MMbpd, import 7 MMbpd and export over 600,000 bpd of crude. We’re also exporting natural gas which is a big boost to the industry, economy […]

The Oil and Gas Industry Lost a Good One

February 2017, Vol. 244, No. 2

Getting older we tend to wander to the obituary page to see who passed away that we have known. As time moves forward, there is a greater chance of making that sad connection. It happened last month when I read of the Jan. 12 death of Glenn H. McCarthy Jr., son of the legendary wildcatter/hotelier and a pretty good oilman in his own right. Glenn was 78. I had not seen him since I interviewed him in 1996 to work on a book of his late father, which never materialized. McCarthy was one of the […]

What the Dakota Access Pipeline Protesters Aren’t Telling You

January 2017, Vol. 244, No. 1

With the help of celebrities and professional activists, protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota have attracted international attention. The shouting and violence have drawn sympathy from people who are hearing only one side of the story — the one told by activists. Were the full story to be heard, much, if not all, of that sympathy would vanish. The activists tell an emotionally-charged tale of greed, racism, and misbehavior by corporate and government officials. But the real story of the Dakota Access Pipeline was revealed in court documents in September, and it […]

If You Can Make It in Pipelines, You Can Make It Anywhere

December 2016, Vol. 243, No. 12

So, what on earth is professional wrestler Gorilla Monsoon doing to the future editor of P&GJ in this 1975 photo taken at the Philadelphia Arena? It’s a compelling, somewhat poignant story that ultimately ties into the pipeline business. I will turn the story over to my alter ego, a wannabe sportswriter who met many interesting folks and hoped for a career that never happened. My first brush with sports figures occurred in 1969 at a high school baseball game I covered for my school paper. The Yankees sent a scout, a former pitcher named Randy […]

Dakota Access Pipeline Protests: Not So Peaceful

November 2016, Vol. 243, No. 11

On the weekend of Oct. 15-16, criminals using the guise of “peaceful protesters” again torched millions of dollars of equipment involved in the multi-state Dakota Pipeline construction. This time the crime took place is Reasnor, IA, along the construction route. In early September the criminals destroyed millions more in heavy equipment at a site in North Dakota, which has been the focal point of the illogic protest against the permitted pipeline. One may ask why the equipment wasn’t better protected. One might ask why the lead developer, Energy Transfer Partners, wasn’t better prepared for  potential […]

Building New Pipeline Infrastructure: Always About the Politics

October 2016, Vol. 243, No. 10

It’s always been about the politics. If only we could return to those peaceful days of yesteryear when we dutifully met all of the requirements to build a pipeline, constructed it without incident, and covered it up never to be seen again. This is no longer the case. With climate change as their mantra, a small but dedicated, well-organized and misinformed cadre of anti-fossil fuel activists has turned its attention to the pipeline industry in an effort to block future and even ongoing projects, as we’re seeing with the Dakota Access furor. Never mind that […]

Editor’s Notebook: Transporting Renewable Natural Gas Could Be in Pipelines’ Future

September 2016, Vol. 243, No. 9

Renewables and natural gas: Can it get any better than this? For President Obama, who has professed appreciation for both, this would have to be a win-win situation. As I write this column, folks are preparing to complete a unique energy experiment near St. Louis, MO. They plan to produce what they say will be the first Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) from the largest livestock manure-to-energy project of its kind. What really makes this worthwhile is that they will be able to deliver the RNG into the national pipeline grid. I haven’t asked NACE, INGAA, […]

Editor’s Notebook: Mourning the Loss of a Great Man

August 2016, Vol. 243, No. 8

During these troubled times every day when I go to work it seems our flag is at half-staff. On this day, my heart was at half-staff as I learned that Phil Burguieres died June 30. He was a very special businessman; he was a very special man. Burguieres had two careers that led him to prominence in Houston. For years he was CEO of several energy companies including Weatherford International, Panhandle Eastern Corp. and Cameron Iron Works where he became one of the youngest CEOs to lead a Fortune 500 company. It was a job […]

You Shouldn’t Have to Worry About a Structurally Sound Pipeline

June 2016, Vol. 243, No. 6

NEW HOPE, PA–“Jeff,” she whispered huskily into this sleepy head, interrupting a most pleasant dream. “Did you hear something in the room? Do you think it might be Emily?” “I really don’t know Janet,” I quietly mumbled to my jittery wife, who often awakes at the slightest touch or sound. You’d think that after 11 years of living with me, she’d be used to anything. But no….“Call Ghostbusters or go back to sleep and I’ll check it out in the morning.” “No,” she answered. “I’m scared. You need to get up right now and properly […]

Understanding Both Sides of the Infrastructure Issue

May 2016, Vol. 243, No. 5

A new book should be at the top of the reading list for everyone in the industry. It’s entitled The Green and the Black, The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight over Fracking, and the Future of Energy, by Gary Sernovitz, a managing director of an oil and gas private equity firm in New York City. Since President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline last November, opposition to proposed infrastructure projects, especially pipelines, is mounting through well-financed and well-organized efforts by the environmental lobby. April 18-22 was a very discouraging week as Kinder […]

PG&E: A Company That Has Seen the Light When it Comes to Safety

March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

In these times when we as a society and as an industry are surrounded by blatant insults, public tantrums and overdone political correctness, it’s refreshing to know there is a company that’s doing something the right way. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has not always done things the right way. It’s most notable today for the Sept. 10, 2010 pipeline explosion that leveled an entire neighborhood in the city of San Bruno, leaving eight people dead, many more injured, and a permanently scarred community. The company was found to be at fault and has been […]