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Posts tagged “COP”

By Robert Rapier on Oct 23, 2011 with 74 responses

Visit and Conversation With Executives at Solazyme

On October 13, 2011 I paid a visit to Solazyme’s headquarters in San Francisco. For those who are unfamiliar with Solazyme, they produce oil from genetically modified algae. The company was founded in 2003 by two college friends, Jonathan Wolfson and Harrison Dillon. I had previously visited with Dr. Dillon at the 2009 Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy in Honolulu. Harrison is Solazyme’s Chief Technology Officer, and he filled me in on some of what the company was doing at that time. This time I was going to have a chance to interview Solazyme CEO Jonathan Wolfson. A lot has happened since that meeting with Harrison in 2009. Solazyme has delivered hundreds of thousands of gallons of… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Oct 5, 2009 with no responses

Energy Potpourri

I am at the 2009 Gasification Technologies Conference this week, with a pretty full schedule. But there are three stories that I wanted to quickly hit. One is a follow-up on the previous cellulosic ethanol post, one is about Paul Sankey’s new report on peak demand, and the last is on a technology that ExxonMobil has reported on here at the conference that I felt was quite interesting. There will probably be no more new posts from me until the weekend. I only got away with this one because I decided to write instead of network (which I hate to do anyway) during free periods today.When Technologies Are Mandated I don’t care too much for mandates. I think they are… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jun 16, 2009 with no responses

Mulva on Replacing Oil

My former CEO Jim Mulva spoke today at the National Summit in Detroit, and had some newsworthy comments. Bloomberg reported on his talk: Conoco Chief Says Replacing Oil May Take a Century June 16 (Bloomberg) — ConocoPhillips, the third-largest U.S. oil company, said it may take a century for the nation to replace fossil fuels with alternative energy sources. I don’t know of too many people who think we have a century’s worth of oil left. Natural gas and coal? I also seriously doubt we have that much of either of those, especially allowing for economic growth. What I think this means – in any case – is that we have some potentially difficult times in front of us. However,… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Apr 13, 2009 with no responses

The 2009 EIA Energy Conference: Day 2

Energy and the Media This was the panel I had been asked to participate in. My fellow panelists were Steven Mufson (one of my favorite mainstream energy reporters), from the Washington Post; Eric Pooley from Harvard, (the former managing editor of Fortune); and Barbara Hagenbaugh from USA Today. The panel was moderated by John Anderson of Resources for the Future. I can only imagine that a number of people looked at the lineup, looked at my inclusion, and thought “What’s that guy doing up there?” So here’s the background on that. When I was working at the ConocoPhillips Refinery in Billings, Montana, we followed the weekly release of the EIA’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report very closely. We included this information… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Mar 8, 2009 with no responses

Fortune Says Oil Stocks are a Bargain

I certainly can’t disagree with this: Betting on big oil’s comeback The article first argues that oil prices are unlikely to stay low for too long: “Right now, the upsides in the oil sector far exceed the downside risks,” says Fadel Gheit, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co. “I am absolutely convinced that oil prices will rise.” After last year’s $100 free-fall rocked expectations, that kind of confidence is surprising. But Gheit is not alone; a strong consensus is growing for a price rebound. While crude isn’t likely to rocket back to the sky-high levels of 2008, even bearish analysts admit that oil can’t stay below $50 for long. Those are of course my sentiments as well. I believe that… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Jan 24, 2009 with no responses

What Manpower Shortage?

Much has been made of the manpower shortage in the oil industry. I have been interviewed about it, I have written about it, and I saw it first hand when I was working for ConocoPhillips in Aberdeen, Scotland. Recruiting people was very difficult, and contractors – especially process engineers – were commanding unbelievable salaries. I got so many calls from headhunters – including the companies mentioned in the story below – that I literally hated to pick up the phone for fear I was going to get tied up for 15 minutes. Well, that was then. Since oil prices have fallen, ConocoPhillips has announced they are laying off 4% of the workforce, Schlumberger is laying off 5% of their North… Continue»

By Robert Rapier on Dec 23, 2008 with no responses

Loading Up on PBR

A little over a month ago, as a result of the dramatic fall in the market capitalizations of oil companies, I opened up a brokerage account with Ameritrade to take advantage of the fire sale. Besides my ConocoPhillips (COP) stock, most of my investments are diversified in various mutual funds – often diversified into things I don’t know too much about. As I have said many times before, I am a long-term investor. Short-term volatility doesn’t impact me much; my time horizon when I buy a stock is 5-10 years out. Therefore, I see an opportunity. Do I think oil prices will be hanging around $40 in 10 years? Absolutely not. I think the OPEC cuts will begin to bite,… Continue»