January 2016 - Dale Short

2015 has been an eventful year – to say the least – both for the industry and for me personally. Everyone is painfully aware of the precipitous fall in the price of oil and gas, and the effect that is having on all of us. While we started the year with the hope that the downturn would be short term, these prices are starting to look like the new normal. However, there are so many uncertainties out there in the market and geopolitics that, as I’ve said before, trying to predict timing is a “fool’s errand”.

The one thing of which we can be certain is that 2016 will be full of uncertainty, which is pretty common. We all try to maintain a degree of certainty, but that is pretty much an illusion. Exploration geoscientists are familiar with uncertainty – otherwise known as risk, and it is our job as geoscientists to identify and try to quantify that risk. What is often unknown is the thing or things we can’t or don’t identify that effect the risk (uncertainty) of our prospect – be it exploration or development.

This subject of uncertainty pervades all aspects of our lives. It even happens in organizations like the East Texas Geological Society. I am always anxious to have luncheon speakers lined up a couple of months in advance, and am usually successful in doing so. However, things happen that can force a change of plans at a late date, and, as in our personal and professional lives, it’s a good idea to have a fallback plan.

Our scheduled speaker for the luncheon at The Cascades Country Club on January 20th is Dr. Martin Cassidy from the University of Houston and he will be speaking about the Norphlet Desert and its Sand Dunes. This is where the theme of uncertainty comes in – I haven’t been able to contact Dr. Cassidy for the last couple of weeks. Time to implement that fallback plan! While I am hopeful that Dr. Cassidy will be the speaker for our luncheon, I do have a back-up speaker lined up, and while doing that, I was so intrigued with the subject he proposed that I plan to schedule him later this year.

Happy New Year!

Best Regards,

Dale Short

President, East Texas Geological Society