January 2019 - Ernie LaFlure

I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday Season!  Now we venture forward into 2019 and one of the few things we can be certain off is that it will be another roller coaster year in the oil patch.  In the midst of this uncertainty, it is valuable to reflect on the timeless value our Society brings to help us in these times. The greatest technology and business innovations often come in times of challenge and our Society offers the opportunity to share the ideas that may spark those ideas for you.  Additionally, networking with your peers is always valuable but especially so when the business climate is difficult.  Perhaps most valuable of all, our great membership combined with fun events make our journey enjoyable and worthwhile.

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December 2018 - Ernie LaFlure

The Holidays are upon us and 2018 is wrapping up fast!  While we were enjoying our Thanksgiving, the weakness in oil markets escalated with weakened sanctions on Iranian oil output and our strong domestic production.  Fortunately, for East Texas, natural gas prices remain strong at over $4.60 per MCF and some of that strength is driven by strong exports, including strong LNG demand.  Would any of us thought 10 years ago that the United States, led by Texas, would now be a world power in the export of petroleum and Natural Gas!   While we can do little to influence short-term swings in energy markets, we can be encouraged that we now have global markets for both our oil and natural gas products.  This of course means there will be a demand for our energy projects for many years to come.  One of the greatest unconventional plays in the Gulf Coast is the Eagle Ford Shale and will be the focus of our next meeting.

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November 2018 - Ernie LaFlure

Do we still need exploration?  With recent periods of weak energy prices and such large production increases from the Permian Basin, many question the need.  I believe that several macro trends are developing to build the case for another bullish period for energy prices and the need for additional supply provided by our exploration efforts.  Several recent studies have shown the precipitous drop in exploration capital spending in the past several years is resulting in the lowest reserve adds in decades.  At the same time, OPEC does not have spare capacity. Iran, facing U.S. sanctions on its oil exports, cut production by 376,000 bpd in September versus May, and has said OPEC and Saudi Arabia are not able to make up for a total loss of its exports. “There is no spare capacity,” Iran’s OPEC governor, Hossein Kazempour Ardebili, said last month.  Among other OPEC members, production fell by 189,000 bpd in Venezuela and by 17,000 bpd in Angola.  At the same time Europe, including Germany, is now seeking greatly expanded LNG import projects to reduce dependence on Russia.  No one can predict the exact tipping point from over supply to under, but clearly we are getting close to that point and your new exploration projects will be in demand. So take heart!

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