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Jeff Miller: Interesting Times at Halliburton

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“May you live in interesting times,” goes the old Chinese curse. It’s a curse that we all would like to avoid in our lives, since history tells us the most interesting times we experience tend to be ones of conflict and chaos of one form or another.

Jeff Miller, the President and Chief Environment, Health and Safety Officer for Halliburton, knows better than most what it means to live through such times. Having spent the last two decades serving in a variety of leadership roles for one of the world’s largest oilfield service firms, he has experienced all manner of interesting times in an array of locations across the globe.

jeff-miller-3For Miller, who spent his younger years as a PRCA calf roper, this is not his first rodeo. But the last two years, as the price of crude oil has crashed on the world market, have been especially interesting for him, and for Halliburton.

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Karen Harbert: When Preparation Meets Opportunity

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“There are many, many times when we sit around a table and I’m the only one in heels. And it doesn’t go unnoticed. So I always wanted to be very confident of the facts and prepared in what I was going to say, because you don’t want to be dismissed. That’s true in any meeting, in any setting; however, it was very true in my earlier years. I think that once you prove your muster, you are given equal time and equal confidence. But it is true: You do have to prove it; you do have to earn it, not unlike in anything else.”

So says Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She’s discussing some of the challenges of being a woman in what has been a mostly male-dominated world of energy, a world that she has played a significant role in shaping throughout an accomplished career that began with an assignment at the Republican National Committee (RNC) upon her graduation from Rice University in 1988.

“And I think things are beginning to change in the energy industry: We certainly see more women in the C-suite,” says Harbert. “On the other hand, I don’t think we see enough women on boards. That’s probably across all business areas, but particularly in the energy industry, and I hope that does continue to change over time. But it is less about bringing people in from the rigs and up the headquarters ladder; the industry becomes more open to women as it evolves into more of a high-tech industry. So, it’s changing, and for me it meant doubling down and making sure I was well-prepared. But also, it’s about kicking the tires a little bit and letting them know us women can do this too.”

 

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Today’s Campaign Update (Because The Campaign Never Ends) – 3.21.2017

  • He obviously believes in the old saying, “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of narrow minds.”:  Our bi-polar FBI Director, James Comey, offered testimony yesterday before the House Intelligence Committee.  In his testimony, he offered the following very carefully worded statement:  “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets.”  That statement, of course, has been reported loud and long by every fake outlet of the fake news media.  But, true to his bi-polar nature, Mr. Comey went on to say that his initial statement does not preclude the possibility that “other surveillance methods” were used against Trump and his staff, both before and after the election.  That statement, of course, has been roundly ignored by pretty much every fake outlet of the fake news media.  Mr. Comey may have bi-polar issues, but the fake news media is purely single-minded.
  • Wait…what?:  The most hilarious part of Mr. Comey’s entire five hours on the stand came when he accused the Russians of attempting to “sow chaos…and instability” in the U.S. electoral process.  Given his own multiple gratuitous interventions into the U.S. election process during 2016, one can only wonder what it is that Mr. Comey sees when he peers into his no-doubt bi-focal bathroom mirror each morning.
  • Another poster child for term limits on display.:  On the other end of Capitol Hill, the confirmation hearing for Judge Neil Gorsuch began before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which includes luminaries like Democrat Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, who has been on the Committee for so long he actually helped organize the “high tech lynching” of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.  In his opening remarks, Sen. Leahy said “Senate Republicans made a big show last year about respecting the voice of the American people in this process.  Now they’re arguing that the Senate should rubber-stamp their nominees selected by extreme interest groups and nominated by a president who lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.”  Sen. Leahy and his fellow senate Ds were so appalled by Judge Gorsuch’s “extremism” that the unanimously voted to confirm him the U.S. Court of Appeals when he was nominated by President George W. Bush.
  • This is the only possible explanation for their silence on the matter.:  In his own opening statement, Judge Gorsuch remarked that “ours is a judiciary of honest black polyester.”  Perpetually-aggrieved snowflakes everywhere no doubt puzzled over this remark, confused about whether to attack the Judge for being a racist, or a supporter of evil big oil companies, since polyester is derived from petroleum products.
  • Meanwhile, out there in the Twitterverse…:  Social Justice Warriors went crazy on Twitter when KitchenAid introduced a new line of small kitchen appliances that were painted a bright magenta color.  SJWs immediately went on the attack, within minutes coming up with the hashtag “#EverydaySexism” as their moniker for their assault on the manufacturer.  What these perpetually-aggrieved nincompoops failed to notice is that KitchenAid introduced these appliances as their means of raising awareness about breast cancer, and is donating a portion of every sale to Breast Cancer Haven, a non-profit organization in the UK.  D’oh!

Just another day in bi-polar America.

That is all.

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A New Controversy Rises As Oil Begins To Flow Through Dakota Access Pipeline

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The Oceti Sakowin protest camp as it appeared on 3.17.2017, after cleanup operations had been completed by local officials.

Photo Credit: NDResponse.gov

The Oceti Sakowin protest camp as it appeared on 3.17.2017, after cleanup operations had been completed by local officials.

A U.S. Court of Appeals ruling rejecting the latest appeal by the Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux Tribes on Saturday means that oil could begin flowing through the completed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) this week. Once fully operational, the 30-inch pipeline will carry more than 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day out of the Bakken region in North Dakota to market, mitigating the current process of carrying the oil out of the basin via trucks and rail cars.

The commencement of flow through the DAPL represents the closure, of sorts, to one of the most hotly-contested pipeline construction projects in U.S. history, although a number of protesters remain in the area, presumably in the hopes of mounting efforts to disrupt operations in the future.  But all is quiet on the protest front for now, and the announcement early in March that cleanup of the huge mess the protesters left behind at the Oceti Sakowin protest site is complete also represents a sort of closure.

But as one source of controversy has closed, another has opened.  The question now is, with the State of North Dakota estimating that it and local authorities have incurred more than $38 million in costs related to the policing of the protesters and cleanup of the massive mess they made at Oceti Sakowin and other protest camps, who is ultimately going to pay the bill?

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Today’s Campaign Update (Because The Campaign Never Ends) – 3.20.2017

  • And don’t even get them started about Belle…:  Social Justice Warriors all across the interwebs tossed a fit over the weekend about the trailer for the new Wonder Woman flick.  Their latest source of perpetual outrage derives from the ghastly fact that Wonder Woman – gasp! – has no armpit hair!  Oh, the humanity!  I swear I don’t make this stuff up.
  • Note to self:  Time to start using Trivago…:  Based on no merit whatsoever, Expedia announced late last week that the newest member of its Board of Directors is…wait for it…wait for it…Chelsea Clinton!  The company’s management gave no justification for this appointment – which will net the talent-less younger Clinton $45k in cash and $250k in stock each year – other than presumably Chelsea’s famous last name.  For the uninitiated, corporations normally seek out professionals who have demonstrated expertise in the business world for seats on their Boards, because the role of the directors is to ensure the company’s management isn’t making god-awful decisions, like naming Chelsea Clinton to sit on the board of directors.
  • Progressive “logic” at work:  The fake news outlet The Hill published a fake op/ed by fake opinionists Lisa Graves and Arn Pearson titled, “Trump may not last a year, his Supreme Court shouldn’t last generations.”  The main thesis of the piece is that Barack Obama had higher poll ratings when he nominated Merrick Garland to fill the Supreme Court’s vacant seat than Donald Trump enjoys today; thus, Neil Gorsuch should not be confirmed.  I’m not kidding -read the piece here.
  • Ok, all you progressive suckers get your wallets out, ’cause Mama needs money!:  The Most Corrupt Woman In America announced on Saturday that she is “ready to come out of the woods” in order to “help bring people together.”  This is Clinton code speak for “our fake foundation has fallen apart now that we don’t have any influence to sell, so I’ve got to find a new racket, and I can’t do that sitting in my living room in Chappaqua.”
  • And speaking of suckers…:  …how about all those saps who worked so hard for Bernie Sanders’ campaign last year, under the thought that he was an advocate for “the little guy”?  Since making a deal with The Most Corrupt Woman to cancel his presidential campaign, Bernie has cashed in admirably.  Over the weekend, he closed on a nice $600k beach house – which the fake news media uniformly referred to as “modest” – which means he now owns no fewer than three homes, something that only a handful of his Bolshevik heroes managed to achieve.
  • He also has pro-Constitution leanings, which are totally disqualifying.:  Circa News reports that Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee “plan to grill” Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch “on his pro-corporate leanings” when his confirmation hearing begins this morning.  The Democrats’ (as is always the case) faulty reasoning is that “He expresses a lot of empathy and sympathy for the less powerful, but when it comes time to rule, when the chips are down, far too often he sides with the powerful few,” according to Cryin’ Chuckie Schumer.  See, in the mind of the perpetually aggrieved Democrats, the job of a federal judge is not to interpret the law based on the text of statutes and the Constitution, it is to issue rulings base on the relative needs of the plaintiff vs. the defendant.  Which explains why an Obama-appointed federal judge in Hawaii issued a stay on President Trump’s travel ban based not on the law, but on the judge’s concern that someone might have their feelings hurt.  This is American liberalism in a nutshell.

Just another day in Trump Derangement Syndrome America.

That is all.

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Lessons Learned Through Two Oil Busts

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“How does this bust differ from the bust in the ’80s?”

I get asked that question quite often, partly because I’m growing old and it shows on my face, and partly because I’ve been in the oil and gas industry since 1979, and people assume — rightly or wrongly — that I know some stuff because of that. I did live through that bust in the ’80s, and it wasn’t fun. I got laid off from a job in 1985 and was out of work for a few months — the only time I’ve been unemployed since I was 16 years old — and that caused me and my wife great financial hardship.

So I do remember those days all too well. To understand why that bust happened, you first have to go back to the oil shocks of the 1970s, when the Saudis and other OPEC nations implemented oil embargoes, first in 1973 and then again in 1979.

Two memories from that period of time stick with me to this day. The first is of filling my mother’s 1972 Pontiac Grand Ville up with gasoline on the day in 1974 when the price of gas at the local Circle K in Beeville, Texas, reached the then unheard of sum of 50 cents per gallon. That was the first time I had ever had to come up with 10 bucks (the aircraft carrier-size Grand Ville had a 26-gallon tank) to fill up a car with gas. I knew I was going to have to start working overtime or get another job if I was going to keep putting gas in that car. The second memory is of sitting at a long-disappeared Texaco station at the corner of Richmond Avenue and Buffalo Speedway in Houston during the summer of 1979, having to wait in a very long line of cars on an odd-numbered day to pay over $1 per gallon for my allotment of gas to fill up my Chevy Caprice. Another 26-gallon tank that was even more costly to fill.

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Culture of Innovation: Doug Suttles with Encana

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The history of the oil and natural gas industry in North America is in many ways intertwined with the history of the railroad, which in the mid-19th century became the main means of transcontinental transportation for Americans and Canadians.

As these great railroad systems were constructed across the continent, the companies building them gained ownership of great swaths of land, and, as importantly, obtained ownership of the minerals beneath the land. In the United States, as oil and natural gas began to be discovered across the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states, a good deal of it lay beneath land owned by rail companies like Burlington Northern, Union Pacific and Santa Fe.

These companies all eventually created subsidiaries to manage their oil and gas royalty holdings, and those subsidiaries eventually evolved into some of the country’s largest independent producers: Burlington Resources, Union Pacific Resources and Santa Fe Energy. Those companies are all gone today, having been merged with or acquired by ConocoPhillips, Anadarko Petroleum and Devon Energy, respectively, but their place in history is firmly established.

 

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Today’s Campaign Update (Because The Campaign Never Ends) – 3.18.2017

  • Hey, Angie, how ’bout paying your bills?:  President Trump met with Angela Merkel on Friday, in what observers described as a “tense” meeting.  Gosh, wonder why?  Reportedly, the President pressed the German Chancellor about the need for her wealthy country to actually pay its dues to NATO, which it has been under-paying for basically as long as that organization has existed.  Shockingly, the Chancellor announced during their joint presser afterwards that she is now suddenly committed to doing that.  Turns out, somebody just had to ask.  Or more likely, demand, which would explain the “tenseness”.
  • Of course, “safe” is a matter of perspective.:  Also during the presser, Ms. Merkel laughably claimed that her policy of rampant open borders has made the European Union safe.  As if on cue, a radical Islamic terrorists went on a shooting rampage in the Paris airport.
  • That noise you heard around noon Friday was fake reporters heads exploding all across the fake news media:  Finally, President Trump got a big laugh during the presser when he tripled-down on his claim that Trump Tower was wire-tapped during the campaign, stating that being wire-tapped by the Obama Administration gave him “something in common” with Chancellor Merkel, who was also famously wire-tapped by the evil Obama minions, a truth the fake media has gone out of its way to forget.
  • Google lost hundreds of UK clients yesterday as a result of its ongoing policy of allowing rank anti-Semitic videos to remain active on YouTube.  This happens because Google is owned and run by progressives, and progressives are all about Antisemitism these days.  Sad but true.
  • Hey, remember when the Secret Service was this crack team of impenetrable security?:  Yeah, those days are long gone.  Yesterday, a SS agent in New York City had his laptop stolen when he left it unattended in the seat of his car.  The laptop reportedly contained the floor plans to Trump Tower, along with information about the criminal investigation of The Most Corrupt Woman in America.  Later on Friday, we learned that the fence-jumper who was arrested on the White House grounds last week had actually been roaming around inside the “security” fence for 17 minutes before the SS even realized he was there.  If you’re not worried about the President’s safety, you should reconsider.

Just another day in Trump Derangement Syndrome America.

That is all.

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Today’s Campaign Update (Because The Campaign Never Ends) – 3.17.2017

  • Campus Stupidity of the Week:  Goes to Harvard University, where officials announced yesterday that they are eliminating the term “freshman” – because, you know, it has “man” in it – and replacing it with the far more PC term, “first year”.  As if this action weren’t stupid enough, Harvard’s leadership admitted that they had been fretting about what to do about this awful injustice “for years.” Really?  With all the education-related issues going on in America these days, this is what you spend “years” worrying about?  I swear I don’t make this stuff up.
  • Entertainment Media Stupidity of the Week:  Goes to Netflix, which, in the wake of bad comic Amy Schumer’s new special receiving almost nothing but 1-star reviews from dissatisfied viewers, is now changing its on-line reviews to only allow “thumbs-up” or “thumbs-down” ratings.  Presumably, they will change the system again after Ms. Schumer’s next not-funny-at-all special receives nothing but “thumbs-down” reviews.  Because that’s what idiots do.
  • Fake News Media Stupidity of the Week:  Goes of course to MSNBC fake host Rachel Maddow, who spent an hour on her show Tuesday night accidentally letting America know what an outstanding taxpayer President Donald Trump happens to be.  Compounding her problem, Ms. Maddow then blamed her problem on her viewers, who she said tuned in the show with “unrealistic expectations.”  It’s a safe bet many of those viewers won’t be making that mistake with her program again.
  • Congressional Stupidity of the Week:  Goes to the news media’s favorite U.S. senator, Cranky Old John McCain, who has decided that anyone who opposes anything he wants to see done is nothing but a tool of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  Spending far too many years in the nation’s capital dealing with liberals, whose favorite tactic is to pick a boogeyman to frighten the public with and refer to that boogeyman at any given opportunity, has obviously rubbed off on the Senator From the News Media.  Thanks to the short-attention-span voters of Arizona, he’s not going anywhere for six long years.
  • Conventional Wisdom Stupidity of the Week:  Goes to all those “experts” in the fake news media telling us that President Trump’s administration is in a “death spiral” (I must have heard this phrase uttered a dozen times this week) due to his low public approval ratings in all the fake polls.  Let’s all take a breath and remember that these are the very same “experts” who were wrong about literally everything during the presidential election campaign, and who obviously have learned absolutely nothing about Donald Trump from that experience.  Anyone who paid attention for the last 20 months knows that, when it comes to President Trump, the DC “conventional wisdom” is pretty much always wrong.

Just another day in Trump Derangement Syndrome America.

That is all.

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