January 2014

The luncheon meeting speaker this month at the Town Club (Wed. Jan. 15) will be Kevin Schepel, the EVP Exploration and Production for ZaZa Energy Corporation. His topic will be “Advanced Reservoir Characterization for Proof-of-Concept Drilling in the Eagle Ford and Eaglebine Shales.” A similar paper was presented at the DUG meeting last year in San Antonio.

Since there is not much else on the January calendar, I will use this opportunity to get on my soapbox about two political issues that do not make sense if you look at the science. I will call this segment “Bizarro World.”

  1. Climate Change – As I am writing this letter (Dec. 9), a third blast of arctic air is arriving in the Coastal Bend, creating an extended period of cold weather that forecasters are calling the coldest weather since the 1990s. Maybe next ice age predicted in the 1970’s is upon us. If so, those “carbon credits” won’t be worth much anymore. I never understood why anyone from the Midwest where it is cold most of the year and was covered in a mile thick layer of ice several times in recent geological history, would be concerned about global warming. All geologists are students of the history of the earth and understand that the earth’s climate has never been constant. We have studied the evidence of the last four ice ages and know that the earth has been “warming” and the sea level has been rising since the peak of the Wisconsin ice age 18,000 years ago. My hometown, Rockport, sits on interglacial highstand sands that were deposited thousands of years ago. Carbon Dioxide, a substance that all plant life needs to survive, has been labeled a “pollutant” by the EPA. The government can now regulate all industrial, commercial and residential buildings at a high cost to the taxpayers.
  2. Hydraulic Fracturing – Tight formations have been fractured since 1865 when gunpowder and later (1868) liquid nitroglycerin was detonated in wellbores. The process was called “shooting” a well. Sometimes huge crowds would gather in grandstands to watch the process and, if successful, the resulting gusher of oil. Modern hydraulic fracturing occurred in 1949 in Oklahoma. By 1988, a million wells were hydraulically fractured. The target formations are more than a mile below fresh water aquifers, which are protected by multiple layers of steel casing, surrounded by cement. Why then, does one documentary, Gasland, directed by an environmental activist, with no factual basis, win an academy award and convince the state of New York and the country of France to ban the process? They obviously want to marginalize and demonize the petroleum industry. These restrictions result in higher oil and gas prices.

It is amazing how easy it is to push an anti-fossil fuel agenda onto an uninformed public. An example of a classic anti-oil company movie is The Night They Saved Christmas (1984), where an oil company was the villain because their seismic crew was using dynamite shot holes which were destroying Santa’s underground North Pole City.

If anyone is interested in being the CCGS Treasurer, please let me know. Also, Dawn Bissell will soon be looking for volunteers for the 2016 GCAGS convention which will be held in Corpus Christi.

Bob Critchlow
CCGS President 2013 – 2014