Reading the stitches on the fast ball

For those of us in the Houston area, one of the feel good stories of the week is that the Astros have clinched a play-off berth and are headed for the post-season.   This is a team of successful, aggressive hitters that take advantage of whatever the pitcher sends their way.   A little baseball mania in the fall is a great escape. Speaking of getting away from it all  – what is up with the price of oil (keyword, up)?  There are several articles out this week in anticipation of the next OPEC meeting in which the members are expected to re-affirm production cuts to support the price of oil – Brent today is $56.19 and WTI is $50.77.  These price increases over this week are counter-intuitive with the other news that Shale is back on line, Refineries were shut-in for Harvey, and Inventories are up.  Could it be that ‘timing is everything’?  Large inventories signal price softening, and  perhaps the august members of OPEC will react by continuing cuts, even in the face of recent oil price surges, to reduce those inventories. We see optimism in our fellow subsea brethren here at SET as we hear our phone ringing and see our inboxes filling with requests.   SET is committed to solutions that increase productivity and lower operating costs for our customers no matter what the market price and no matter what the mood is for OPEC.  While others are reading tea leaves, we are reading the stitches on the fast ball and are ready for the next pitch....

From Jurassic to Tertiary Periods – How the Small and Nimble Survive to Thrive

Most of us are somewhat familiar with the theory that a large asteroid cataclysmically struck the earth near modern day Yucatan and wiped out the dinosaurs almost immediately due to the hostile environment that enveloped the earth.  The sunlight that is crucial to plant growth was blocked for many months. Large reptiles that needed the warmth of the sun and the food from the plants deceased en masse.  This gave a slow rise to small mammals that could regulate their own body temperatures in the colder climates and required less plant life for food.   As the earth recovered, the Age of Reptiles (Jurassic) was replaced by the Age of Mammals (Tertiary), and the earth was now home to nimble, resourceful and adaptive animals.  Or so the story goes…… How about this theory…..   A large asteroid (shale revolution) cataclysmically strikes the earth (offshore industry) and wipes out the dinosaurs (large companies with expensive infrastructures and rigid contracts) almost immediately due to the hostile environment (low oil prices) that followed.  The sunlight (high oil price) that is crucial to plant growth (profits) may be blocked for years.  The large companies that need high oil price and the profits they produce are failing and struggling to survive through en masse layoffs and mergers.  This has given rise to small companies (operators and service companies) that can adapt to the climate and require less income to survive.   As the offshore industry recovers, the smaller companies can tap into the talent pool discarded when the large companies faltered.  This is now the age of the nimble, resourceful and adaptive company that continuously adjusts to...