Refinery Complexity Talks

This morning’s webinar on the Worldwide Refinery Survey with Complexity Analysis with Daniel Johnston was a great success.  Thank you to everyone who attended.  Just in case you didn’t catch it this morning, never fear!  I recorded it.  You can view the recording here.  There’s even a discount code for PennEnergy Research‘s refining products included at the end.

Daniel did a fantastic job, and we got some great questions from the audience.  Find out information about how it all started, primary reasons to use the refinery complexity analysis, and how it all comes together.  If you view and have questions, just let me know, and I’ll suss out the answers for you.  After the webinar, if you want a copy of the slide deck, I can hook you up there as well.  Just email me at

Enhanced by Zemanta

Preparing for The Big Crew Change

The Big Crew Change has been a topic of conversation for…a while.  As the energy sector’s workforce gets closer to retirement, the discussion centers around ramping up recruiting efforts to enhance the workforce.  What about all the information and experience that is the current workforce’s legacy?  How do we pass that on to the incoming workforce?

PennEnergy suggests that site licenses from well-known industry publications may be a solution.  The Oil & Gas Journal is one such publication.  It has extensive history, horizontal content, accessible archives, and wide readership. (Bonus: I know a lot about this one because I work with their site license program.)

The Oil & Gas Journal’s first issue was released in 1902, and it has remained a leader in the industry.

Oil & Gas Journal presents news and technical articles and statistics about a specific, vitally important business to professional workers in that business.  It selects articles and facts within articles carefully in service to one standard: usefulness to the target audience.  It anticipates readers’ questions about the subjects and events it covers and pursues and reports answers, in as much operational detail as possible – Oil & Gas Journal Media Kit 2014

The weekly issues cover the depth and breadth of the oil & gas industry with content that appeals to a broad spectrum of oil & gas professionals across the globe. A Signet Ad Study done by the Oil & Gas Journal in July 2013 confirmed their readers include professionals from the following industries:

  • ProductionOGJ
  • Exploration
  • Drilling
  • Financial/Business
  • Gas Processing
  • Pipeline/Transportation
  • Refining
  • Petrochemical

For all of its extensive history, OGJ has adapted with the times.  Oil & Gas Journal is published 4-5 times monthly, and each issue is an interactive, online magazines delivered via email.  However, they haven’t abandoned the rich tradition of the print publication.  Each month there is a print magazine released, in addition to the digital edition,that is, on average, around 140 pages.  However the reader prefers to read their industry news, OGJ is ready to provide.  They even have mobile apps available.

As the current workforce gets closer to retirement, preserving and passing on that information and experience is vital, because while much about the oil & gas industry improves and changes, there is much that stays the same as well.  More than 100 years of covering the oil & gas industry’s news in technology, policy, and comprehensive statistical information, OGJ offers a legacy of rich information the incoming work force will need during this Big Crew Change.

A benefit of the site license program is that it offers their wealth of knowledge through easily accessible archives.  As of today, the magazine has digitized the content back to 1990.  Okay, so let’s do a little math (don’t worry, I used a calculator).  That’s 24 years of issues that are archived and available at the end of 2014.  That would be 1,248 issues of the Oil & Gas Journal are at the fingertips of every site license client.  All the technical information, statistics, surveys, and special reports are right there.

The special reports and features are chosen with great thought each quarter to ensure they are applicable to what is happening right now in the industry.  Some of those features include the Worldwide Refinery Survey, Worldwide Construction Projects, and US Pipeline Economics Study.  Industry experts and editors of the Oil & Gas Journal have contributed to PennEnergy Research’s webinar content.  Sr. Pipeline Editor Christ Smith spoke at a webinar with PennEnergy Research in September and Daniel Johnston who compiles the Complexity Analysis that goes with the refinery survey will be contributing to a webinar on January 28th.

Each site license client’s site license is customized to their needs, and can even include statistical tables and research from PennEnergy Research in addition to the content from the Oil & Gas Journal.  With a current client list of 42 companies including majors, super-majors, and national oil companies, the site license program has become a go-to resource for industry leaders.

Don’t just take my word for it, the Oil & Gas Journal is recognized by B-to-B Magazine as one of the Media Power 50.

Oil & Gas Journal assumes a leadership role within the oil and gas publishing arena through dominance in digital advancement.  It is with great confidence that the OGJ brand continually excels at extending media vehicles not only for readers, but also for advertisers to reach and target global audiences.

For this reason, OGJ received recognition in B-to-B Magazine as one of the Media Power 50 in May 2013.  OGJ is also the only publication within the oil and gas industry to gas such accreditation in 2013. – Oil & gas Journal Media Kit 2014

How does your company plan to handle the Big Crew Change?  Where do you get your industry information?

‘Til next time,



Enhanced by Zemanta

Mars Rover 10 Year Anniversary

English: The MER B launch (launch of the secon...

English: The MER B launch (launch of the second Mars Exploration Rover, the Opportunity rover on July 7th 2003 at 11:18pm from Pad 17B, aboard a Delta II rocket at Cape Canaveral). More information and NASA direct video at (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Can you believe that it has been 10 years since the Mars Rovers landed on the Red Planet?  Neither can I.  However, as a kid who had a dream of seeing earth from space, and watching Space Camp way too many times (Yes, I was very disappointed to discover that becoming and astronaut would require lots of *gasp* math.  There ended the dream of heading off into space one day.), I have kept an eye on NASA.   So when it popped up that they were celebrating 10 years since Mars Explorer Rovers Spirit and Opportunity landed on Mars…of course I had to check it out!




Last night NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA invited the public to an event for the Mars Exploration Rovers.  The California Institute of Technology’s Beckman Auditorium housed the festivities, admission was free, and entry was based on a first-come, first-served basis.




Mars Exploration Rover’s Spirit and Opportunity were launched by NASA in 2003, and landed weeks apart on The Red Planet in January 2004.  Their prime missions lasted only three months ending in April 2004, but they continued to perform extended missions for years.  Discoveries made by Spirit and Opportunity indicated that the Red Planet may have been favorable for supporting microbial life due to wet environments on ancient Mars.  A few days ago, Opportunity made another startling discovery, which Steve Squyres announced at the event last night.  A “mystery rock” appeared in front of the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.  After reviewing pictures at that location from Opportunity’s panoramic camera showing just bare bedrock, the most recent picture shows a rock appearing.  Scientists at MER promptly named it “Pinnacle Island”




“It’s about the size of a jelly doughnut,” Squyres told Discovery News. “It was a total surprise, we were like ‘wait a second, that wasn’t there before, it can’t be right. Oh my god! It wasn’t there before!’ We were absolutely startled.” – Mystery Rock ‘Appears in Front of Mars Rover’, Discovery News, January 17, 2014, Ian O’Neill


Spirit's "postcard" view from the su...

Spirit’s “postcard” view from the summit of Husband Hill: a windswept plateau strewn with rocks, small exposures of outcrop, and sand dunes. The view is to the north, looking down upon the “Tennessee Valley”. This approximate true-color composite spans about 90 degrees and consists of eighteen frames captured by the rover’s panoramic camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


There’s lots of speculation as to how the rock came to be in the panoramic frame.  The most likely theory is that Opportunity executed a turn in place a meter or two from that rock, and, due to a failed actuator on the right front while, it caused enough disruption as it “chattered” to dislodge the rock.  However, other theories include a meteorite event that disturbed the rock.  At this point scientists can only guess.  The investigation will likely be ongoing for several days.  The dislodged rock offers a unique opportunity for study.  The overturned rock landed on its back, exposing a side of the rock that hasn’t seen Martian atmosphere for billions of years.  




Although Opportunity continues to transmit findings back to Earth, communications between Spirit and Earth stopped altogether in March 2010. Spirit became stuck in a sand pit and likely ran out of juice to continue transmitting.  Now it is just Opportunity and Curiosity, which landed in August 2012.




I love watching the Mars Curiosity landing.  The internet has made it so we can all share in some of these great moments in space exploration.   The landing video is out on YouTube, so whenever I get the hankering to see how far we’ve come, I can go there and check it out.  You don’t even have to go that far, you can just watch it below.








Wow, just wow.  Every time I watch that, I get goosebumps.  Just think about it.  Humans have landed stuff on another planet…another planet.  Did I mention that there are pictures from things that we landed on another planet?  I get butterflies in my stomach every time I think about it.  What’s next? 


This event also had the unexpected benefit of making NASA more appealing to a younger generation.  The appearance of  “the mohawk guy” highlights what NASA is really made of, brilliant young people who want to push the boundaries.  He’s landed guest spots on shows and speaking at conventions such as San Diego’s Comic Con.  The guy even got to meet the President of the United States.  


There’s more information online about the Mars Exploration Program here.




‘Til next time,













Enhanced by Zemanta

Offshore Achievement Awards Finalists Announced

I love to see great talent and successes recognized across all industries.  Each year the offshore industry in the UK showcases the very best in talent and remarkable successes with the Offshore Achievement Awards.  The OAA’s are hosted and organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers Aberdeen Section in conjunction with sponsor TAQA and yesterday (January 13, 2014) they announced the finalists.  The categories such as safety innovations, technology breakthroughs, and company successes are recognized in addition to individual achievements such as contribution to the offshore industry and collaborative working.

“The Offshore Achievement Awards once again highlight the pioneering work performed within the offshore oil and gas and renewables industry.  This year’s judges were extremely impressed by the talent that the UK industry has to offer,” said Ian Phillips.  Phillips is the director of energy business consultancy Pale Blue Dot Energy limited and the SPE Aberdeen board member who organizes the event. –  Oil & Gas: Finals Announced for Offshore Achievement Awards.

Offshore Achievement AwardThe ceremony will take place on March 20, 2014 at the Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre with more than 500 industry professionals from across the United Kingdom expected to attend the event.  The OAA’s will be hosted by Sean Lock, a team captain on the popular comedy panel show “8 Out of 10 Cats” and one of the most highly acclaimed comedians in the UK.

The winners will take home unique trophies designed by Kayleigh Cumming’s of Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.  Her design “split sphere” was chosen in a student competition at the university.  Kayleigh’s “split sphere” design features the award details in a glass disc concealed between two hemispheres.

To find further information about the awards or to book a table at the ceremony, you can visit the SPE’ Offshore Achievement Award website

The finalists for the 2014 Offshore Achievement Awards are:

Export Achievement (sponsored by Saltire Energy)

Safety Innovations (sponsored by Petrofac)
Stork Technical Services – ERBAS
Viper Subsea

Emerging Technology (sponsored by Nexen)
Aubin Group
Guardian Global Technologies
Ocean Power Technologies

The Innovator (sponsored by BG Group)
Paradigm Flow Services
Viper Subsea

Great Small Company (sponsored by Wood Group PSN)
Accord Energy Solutions
Coretrax Technology
Viper Subsea

Great Large Company (sponsored by Offshore Europe Partnership)
DOF Subsea
Wood Group

Working Together (sponsored by Aberdeen Business School)
Alba Power/ Petrologistics
Britannia Operator
The Underwater Centre

Young Professional (sponsored by Maersk Oil)
Liam O’Neil, AMEC
Duncan Chedburn, Maersk Oil
Raymond MacKenzie, Nexen Petroleum UK

Inspiring Leader (sponsored by DOF Subsea)
Doug Duguid, EnerMech
Steve Nicol, Halliburton
Trevor Jee, Jee

Environmentalist (sponsored by AMEC)
Cape Environmental Services Offshore
Stork Technical Services

Significant Achievement (sponsored by Aker Solutions) will be announced on the evening.

‘Til next time,



Enhanced by Zemanta

Worldwide Refinery Survey with Complexity Analysis Webinar

The Oil & Gas Journal, an organization I work for, does an annual survey of all the refineries in the world.  It contains lots of data, I’ve listed all the data fields below.  As popular as this survey has always been, PennEnergy Research decided to take it a step further and included the Complexity Analysis, and Daniel Johnston and I are doing a webinar about it on January 28th, 10:00AM CST.  This takes the Nelson Refinery Complexity Index, which is information on construction costs, product slate, replacement values, etc.  Okay, so that doesn’t begin to cover it, so here’s the summary information.

The Worldwide Refinery Survey and Complexity Analysis combines the 2014 Worldwide Refinery Survey with the Nelson Refinery Complexity Index. The Nelson Refinery Complexity Index is a cost-based index. The index provides insight into such things as refinery construction costs, replacement value, conversion capability and product slate.

The Nelson and the Equivalent indices have been improved and upgraded based on the author Daniel Johnston’s extensive research, analysis and discussions with those in the industry. Specifics are detailed in the documents enclosed with the spreadsheets. Other criteria that make an index practical include; consistency, repeatability, compatibility with the available data, and easiness to understand and access.

Both the Nelson Complexity Index (NCI) and Equivalent Distillation Capacity (EDC) are included and calculated into the regular Refinery survey spreadsheet. The Nelson Complexity Index is a pure cost-based index. It provides a relative measure of refinery construction costs based upon the distillation and upgrading capacity a refinery has. The index was developed by Wilbur L. Nelson in the 1960s to quantify the relative cost of the components that make up a refinery. The Nelson index compares the costs of various upgrading units such as a catalytic cracker, or a reformer to the cost of a crude distillation unit. NCI and EDC statistics have become widely used in industry literature to provide insight into various aspects of refinery value or operations.

For the third year in a row, the Bottom of Barrel Index is also included. The BoB index provides a means of quantifying and characterizing a refinery’s ability to process heavy crudes and produce premium refined products. It represents the combined capacity of a refineries Coking, Catalytic Cracking and Hydrocracking units relative to Distillation Capacity (expressed as a percentage). US average BoB Index is 55% (1/1/2011) Rest of the World average is 21% (excluding the US). Total World average is 28%.

Additionally the survey includes ownership percentages. Listed are the individual or multiple owners and their percentages.

So, every year I get a ton of questions on this survey and the information in the complexity analysis, and I always do my best to find the answers…Because, I don’t have all the answers.  This year, I decided to get their answers about the Complexity Analysis from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  Daniel Johnston is incredibly knowledgeable and a great speaker.   He has added real value to the responses the Oil & Gas Journal receives from the refineries, so that the user gets information on stuff like construction costs and product slates.  This is going to be the first webinar Daniel and I will do together.  (Well, I say “together”…basically I do the introduction, closing and ask the questions and he says all the important stuff.)  I’m really excited about this upcoming webinar.  If you want to check it out or if you know someone who might want to check it out, you can register here.  There’s no cost, and this will be recorded.  So if you aren’t sure if you can be there on January 28th at 10:00AM CST, register anyway.  I’ll email you a link to the recording when everything is said and done.

Data fields for the Worldwide Refinery Survey:

  • Distillation Capacity
  • Vacuum Distillation
  • Thermal Processes
  • Coking
  • Catalytic Cracking
  • Catalytic Reforming
  • Catalytic Hydrocracking
  • Catalytic Hydrorefining
  • Catalytic Hydrotreating
  • Alkylation
  • Polemerization
  • Aromatics
  • Isomerization
  • Lubes
  • Asphalt
  • Hydrogen (MCFD)
  • Oxygenates
  • Sulfur Extraction
  • Ownership Percentage

‘Til next time,



Enhanced by Zemanta

Pipeline Explosion Rocks Creek County, Oklahoma

Monday morning an explosion at a natural gas pipeline near Milfay, Oklahoma cut off gas services to several homes in the midst of the polar vortex sweeping the country.  Fortunately no one was hurt in the explosion of the 26-inch pipeline operated by Tulsa, OK based ONEOK, but investigators are still unsure about the cause of the blast.  A resident of nearby Depew saw the explosion.

Theresa McKinzie was tending to her horses near Depew when she saw a massive fireball.

She described it as shooting about 10-15 hundred feet in the air before collapsing.

“Then a few seconds following, there was a very large boom, shook everything, rattled the car everything else,” McKinzie said. – Pipeline Explosion Causes Large Fire Near Milfay, January 6, 2014 5:47PM, NewsOn6 Richard Clark and Ashlei King

ONEOK quickly turned off the gas flow, and the fire was out within the hour. But pipeline officials were forced to wait for the pipeline to cool before completing the investigation and beginning repairs to the gas pipeline.  Although no structures were damaged by the flames, natural gas service to several homes was cut off.  Temporary service is being arranged for those families.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New Year’s Resolutions and Their Impact on Your Career

It is time to say “bye-bye” to 2013 and “hello” to 2014, and for many of us that means New Year’s resolutions.  As I was thinking about my resolutions and realized that I’d left off something important.  It isn’t exactly a “resolution”, but maybe it should be.  So here for all of you…(drumroll please)


Resolution 24. Learn new stuff.


This one is something that I am passionate about, and last year I found a very practical, cost-effective, and career enhancing way to do that.  They’re called MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses).  I’m a bit of a nerd (Just check out Lifelong Goal Achieved!  Professional(ish) Student Status…Granted)anyway, so taking classes online, at no cost, and at my own pace isn’t a hardship.  I bribe myself with fun classes on personal interests when I finish a practical course that can benefit my career.  (Just because I want to know this stuff doesn’t mean that I don’t need a little incentive from time to time.)  There are no college credits awarded, but many of these courses have the opportunity for a Certificate of Achievement.  This means you did all the work and would have received a grade of 70% or higher for the class.


The platform that I like is Coursera, although I’m sure there are others.  They allow you to compile a “watchlist” of courses that you want to take.  Maybe you missed it the first go around, maybe you just didn’t have the time to squeeze out of your schedule, whatever the case, you are interested in the class and want to know when you’re next chance to take it will come around.  Right now, my “watchlist” includes career enhancers like “Energy 101”, “Foundations of Business Strategy”, “Energy the Environment and Our Future”, “Financial Markets”, and “Understanding Media” for starters.  (This is by no means a complete list.)  They have everything from engineering courses to “The History of Rock ‘n Roll” (This is a class I will be “bribing” myself with the next time it comes around!)available.  As a salesperson, I’m focused on putting together pieces of information about business strategy, media, social psychology, and communication with the information that is being discussed worldwide about energy.


The courses are set up with discussion boards, and your class may have thousands of students from around the globe contributing to the discussion.  This is where the goldmine really is, because you don’t only have the professors take on the subject.  You get your classmates point of view as well, and you’re not limited to “class time”.  Some of the best information I received in a previous business course came from the discussion boards.


Incandescent light bulb (no labels)

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Today as I reviewed the news for the energy sector, an article caught my attention.  “Best Jobs in Energy 2013“, and I started thinking about career advancement and training.  What options are there for people who need additional training and/or education to move to the next level?  What if your company doesn’t offer a reimbursement program and your budget is a bit tight for a college level course?  Student loans? (If you’re like me, you do not want to go back to that whole rigmarole!) Did the light bulb go off for you?  It sure did for me. MOOC’s.


Now, have I tried putting these certificates on a résumé and applying for a new job, well no.  I’m more of a “knowledge for knowledge sake” kind of person.  Well, and I’m a sales person…having information at my fingertips that helps me do my job better?  I’m so in!


What other options can you think of?  Do you make New Year’s Resolutions?  More importantly, do you keep them?  What steps are you taking to advance your career to the next level?


‘Til next time,




Enhanced by Zemanta