Author: Mark LaCour

Oil and Gas Predictions for 2021

Hey folks, let’s learn something new about the Oil and Gas industry. All right. It’s that time? It’s the time of the year for our Oil and Gas predictions for 2021. Now let me preface this by saying this year 2020 has been insane, even though we’ve been doing these predictions for six straight years, I don’t know how much faith I’d ask you to have on my predictions for next year. But it’s our best guess based upon the data and experience that we have. But before we get into it, let’s talk about a couple of things.

Number one, there’s a lot of people out there saying that the oil and gas industry is dead in the next five years. It’ll disappear. Completely wrong, it’ll never happen. A hydrocarbon is the most valuable molecule to mankind’s existence. It will never disappear. Yes, we’ve had a decline in demand for 2020, but that was because of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Peak Oil Not Happening

You will hear a lot of people talk about peak oil demand is happening this year. Although we believe in peak oil demand, a hundred percent, we think peak oil demand is at least a hundred years out, if not 150 or 200 years out. And whenever we do get there, it’s not like we’re going to go to peak oil demand and it’s going to drop off. We’re going to peak oil demand. It’s just a level off for as long as mankind is around because of the value of the molecule.

The other thing is with our newly elected administration here in the US, you here a lot of people also talk about how they’re very anti oil and gas, which may be true. But the fact of the matter is there’s not much they can do right now. The most they could do with some executive actions is limit drilling on federal land. People, that’s only 5% of the drillable land in the US. Now two years from now, when we have the midterm elections. If they capture more seats in the houses, then maybe they can do more. But the truth is if you’re a politician, regardless of you’re on the right or left, you don’t want to lose the votes in Oklahoma, North Dakota, Louisiana and Texas, right? So there may be a lot of talk, a lot of rattling of sabers, but our industry is here to stay forever. So don’t worry about that.

$60 a barrel for WTI

The biggest thing for industry right now is not the low crude prices. It’s the slow and decline in demand for refined products. So once the vaccine gets released, what should be happening by the time you see this life will start getting back to normal. People will start flying, more people start driving more, I have high hopes for the holiday season that a whole bunch of people will shop online, which is just a bigger demand for transport fuels.All of which will drive the global demand up, which is what we need to have.

I still firmly believe by the second quarter of 2021, we’re back to $60 a barrel for WTI. And natural gas will follow suit as well, pay real close attention to NGL’s. I think they’re going to go through the roof in 2021. But anyway, with all that stuff said, let’s go ahead and get to our Oil and Gas predictions for 2021.

Number 1 Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 Loss of Downstream Dominance

Number one, refinery shutdowns. Because of the lack of demand for refined goods, you’re seeing refineries being shut down here in the US. Now the US has always led the world in refined products and we’ve done it for a couple of reasons. Probably the biggest one is our ability to refine very complex, heavy crudes, which most of the world can’t do. We get a great yield from it, but it’s a very big technology challenge. And we’re one of the few countries in the world can do it. Well, you’re seeing refineries shut down because there’s no demand for their products. Refineries were never designed to be shut down.. There’s things called a turnaround where you take a unit of the refinery offline to do planned maintenance or repair. But the refineries itself has never meant to be mothballed. Well, once they’re mothballed, couple of things can happen. Another company can come buy them and start them back up. But if you could spend that much money, wouldn’t you rather build a new refinery outside the US where you don’t have the political financial risk. And that’s what we think’s going to happen. As these refineries are shut down. You’re going to see new refinery stood up in the Middle East and Asia Pacific, that will capture a lot of that market. And unfortunately, our number one Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 is that US is going to lose its downstream dominance.

Number 2 Consolidation of Tech

Number two, consolidation. And I don’t mean consolidation of oilfield service companies, are the operators or anything really around the oil and gas industry. I mean consolidation in the large tech providers, the tech providers see the revenue they can generate from oil and gas. They’ve proven the value of the cloud to our industry. And now they’re going through their own mergers and acquisitions that needs to shake out. That’s going to take a couple of years, but the good thing is, as these acquisitions are happening with the big tech providers, our industry, is going to get better services faster and cheaper, which is just good for everybody, including the tech providers that are left. So number two Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 is consolidation in the tech space in oil and gas.

Number 3 Generation Z

Number three, move over millennials generation Z is in the house. 2021 here and in Europe, about 31, 32% of the workforce will be generation Z. Now generation Z is different than the millennial generation. Generation Z is actually much more like my generation, generation X. They’re not as collaborative they’re much more competitive, and they’re much more oriented towards safety, especial financial safety. So the millennial generation wanted new experiences, wanted to make sure that they’re doing good for themselves, their family, the planet, the local communities, and they weren’t real worried about the paycheck as long as they made good money. At the same time, they also love to work together. This new generation Z is much more competitive and they’re also much more worried, they place much more value in the financial security of a good paycheck. And they grew up with their parents, being technical nomads. And so they have totally grown up in the technology world. They’ve watched their parents get swayed by social media. You cannot fool a generation Z with social media, which is good for us. It’s actually good for everybody. And I’m telling you if I was running an oilfield service company right now, or any other type of company that had a salesforce that sold to oil and gas. I would hire as many generation Z’s as I can, because that competitive that they want and the security they get in big paychecks is perfect for a sales organization. So, I’m welcoming you generation Z. Come on in, we waited for you for a long time. Glad to see you here. It’s going to be really awesome to have you as part of the team.

Number 4 Rebirth of the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry

Number four, the rebirth of the Canadian oil and gas industry. Love my Canadian brothers and sisters. But unfortunately, because of politics, the Canadian oil and gas industry was literally on its last breath. They have the resources, they have the talent, they have the infrastructure, but politics has just about killed the Canadian oil and gas industry. Well, remember how I told you that perception may raise prices in the industry because of our newly elected administration and also some of the stuff they may be able to do in a couple of years. Well, if you raise the cost of US hydrocarbons, and I’m a refiner and I’m operating on low margins, I’m going to buy the cheapest heavy, complex crude I can buy. Guess where it’s going to come from? Canada. Right? So it’s some bizarre, strange twist of fate, the US election, I think, and the perception that the administration is going to push is going to be not a boom, but a big plus the Canadian oil and gas industry, the Canadian oil and gas industry will start selling more and more hydrocarbons to the US. Unfortunately, those tax dollars and those jobs, which should have stayed here in the US will go to Canada.

Oil and Gas predictions for 2021

But number four, for our Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 is the rebirth of Canadian oil and gas industry.

Number 5 Remote Worker

Number five, remote worker, we’ve always had remote workers, but until 2020, we didn’t take it that seriously. Up until the end of 2019, if I had to do factory assurance testing for something, a blowout preventer or whatever, I’d fly my team around the world. Usually a third party, independent inspector around the world and the manufacturers people. We’d all meet and we’d go through that FAT process. Well now in 2020, because of the lockdown we’ve learned, not only can we do that remotely, but at the same time, it’s much safer, much more efficient. You’re not sending people in confined spaces. People aren’t jumping on airplanes, but that remote worker is going to drive another layer of technology, which is another layer profit for the tech companies. So the remote worker needs different hardware, right? Different software, different processes, a different cybersecurity and all that is there. It just has to be put together the right package for the remote workers. So number five, Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 is the rise of remote workers in oil and gas.

Number 6 Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 ESG

Number six ESG, we believe in this so much that we have an ESG show that is launched by the time you’re watching this right. And ESG stands for environmental social governance. It’s sort of what the old CSR was with an added layer of that governance. And I actually think it’s a fantastic thing. So as an industry, we’ve always cared about the environment. We’ve always cared about the local communities we operate in. But after that, you know, where do we start looking at how we run our companies? Where do we look at how much we pay our people? What do we do when there’s hard times? How do we figure out who do we lay off, and who we don’t? So I think this ESG component is a wonderful thing. It’s just another layer of making sure that we’re doing right by everybody. And if you’re a company and you don’t have a focus on ESG, not only are you going to left behind, you going to disappear because ESG is driving your ability to recruit, retain talent shareholder value if you’re a public company, even your ability to operate. So the companies that get it right are going to blossom. And the ones that don’t unfortunately, are going to disappear.

Number 7 Hydrogen

Then number seven, hydrogen. Yeah, I know hydrogen has been around forever. It’s what makes the sun tick. And hydrogen as a fuel is something we’ve played around with for a long time. Think of any space mission, electricity for the spacecraft most probably came from a hydrogen fuel cell. So we’ve done this for a long time. However, have you ever thought about the word hydrocarbons? What does the hydro mean? Hydrogen? So between 10 and say 15% of hydrocarbons is hydrogen. And so hydrogen is actually very unique, but in 2021, we think it has a couple of things going for it that are going to blossom. Number one is the problem with solar and wind is how do you store excess electricity? Hydrogen is a great way to do that. So what you do when you have excess electricity from solar wind is you electrolysis seawater. You produced hydrogen, you store it and you can use it for fuel later. Problem solved. Number two, you can run hydrogen in an internal combustion engine. Once again, problem solved. Number three, it’s a great in a fuel cell for electric vehicles. So instead of a battery pack, you have a hydrogen fuel cell and your exhaust is clean water, but don’t think we have hydrogen power vehicles in the next 10 or 15 years. The critical piece is the infrastructure. Right now it’s relatively easy for me to teach you as a new driver, how to fill your car up with gasoline or diesel. Filling your car with hydrogen is going to be a totally different story. It’s unbelievably cold, under high pressure, takes special connections. We’re not going to have hydrogen infrastructure for automobiles until the robotics get to the place where the gas station fills your car for itself. And that’s at least a decade away. But the other thing about hydrogen is that it’s easy to move. It’s almost free in some cases. So you can take hydrogen mix it with natural gas in a natural gas pipeline. Now you can’t have too much hydrogen, because it damages the pipeline, but you can mix it with natural gas, move that natural gas anywhere in the world, and then separate the hydrogen at the end. And you basically have moved that hydrogen for free. So we think another Oil and Gas predictions for 2021 is hydrogen.

Number 8 Loss of the Middleman

Then number eight, loss of the middleman. If you’re an operator and you need a pump or bolt or a flange or whatever, you buy it from your service company, the service company buys it from a distributor and distributor buys it from a manufacturer. It’s how it’s been for a hundred years. Well, because the technology, the need for that middleman has disappeared. That middleman served a vital purpose for a very long time. They did inventory, quality control and large volume pricing. They were your last line of defense. If you needed something overnight, they had it. They would hot shot it to you. But now with the decreasing cost of technology like storage, connectivity, RFID tags, the role of that middleman is no longer as important. And we think in 2021, the middleman is going to start disappearing. If you think about what Sam Walton did with Walmart, that’s what he did. He realized that there was a middleman between the manufacturer of the retail products and the retail store, and he removed it and just bought the product directly from the manufacturer. That’s what we think’s going to happen in oil and gas. So if you’re a middleman, if you’re a distributor right now, you need to start looking at other sources of revenue.

Number 9 Trace Hydrocarbons From Reservoir to Consumer

Then number nine, the ability to trace a hydrocarbon molecule from the moment it came out of the reservoir to the consumer took ownership of it. Technology has been there for a while, but it’s gotten cheaper and cheaper and cheaper. And now with this concern around ESG things like environmentally properly sourced hydrocarbons are becoming a thing. It’s already starting to become a thing. In 2021, we think it’s going to be much, much bigger. So as a responsible business owner, as a responsible human on the planet, I want to make sure the hydrocarbons that I buy to fuel my vehicles are harvested in a responsible way. I can’t do that this year in 2020. I can’t tell you where that molecule of hydrocarbon came from. But very soon I will be able to. And once we can tell where the molecules come from, we can trace them. I, along with a bunch of other people will happily pay a little bit more at the pump or a little bit more for soccer balls, a little bit more for car tires. If I know those molecules have been harvested responsibly, and at the same time, it’s going to allow us to eliminate the black market for hydrocarbons. Two things our industry really needs. So number nine, the ability to trace hydrocarbons from reservoir to consumer is going to be a major driver in 2021.

Number 10 Talent

And then finally, talent. If you listen to me, you know, I’ve been talking about this lack of talent for over a decade. Well, it’s happening. Here in the US and in Europe, young people don’t want to go to school to come work in the oil and gas industry. However, there’s other parts of the world where that bias isn’t there. You look at the middle East Africa, Russia, they all love going to school to come work in the oil and gas industry. Well, we’re an industry that relies on engineers and project managers. And pretty soon we’re not going to be able to hire engineers and project managers that come from Western world, from the US and from Europe. And so we’re going to be forced to hire people from other countries like Russia, India, the middle East, and even Australia, nothing against other countries, no hate mail people. I’m just talking about the trends that we’re seeing. Well, that tells me that starting in 2021, that the culture differences between say Russia or the middle East or Australia are going to start influencing our industry more and more. And in about 10 years we think the culture is going to change dramatically because there’s less and less Western influence in the oil and gas culture. Once again, it’s not a good thing. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just a change that we’re aware of. So there you go. There’s our top 10 Oil and Gas predictions for 2021. Hopefully it was helpful to you. If it was, do me a favor, share this. Also if you don’t know, we have the top podcasts in the world in oil and gas, you might want to go give a listen or two. So folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.

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Oil and Gas Predictions for 2020

Oil and Gas Predictions for 2020


Hey, folks, let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry. First thing is my apologies. We were very busy in 2019. Plus I went through a bunch of personal stuff, so I did not put out much content at all. So my apologies to you, our audience out there. 2020 we’re gonna hit it with a bang. You’re gonna see so much great content coming up including this. This is the new modalpoint Global Studio and we’re gonna give you a behind the scenes look in about a month now in how we built this, the tools, the techniques, the cameras, the lightings used, all that stuff.

But this is the Oil and Gas predictions for 2020.So, let’s just jump right into it.

Number 1 Oil and Gas Predictions for 2020 Go Big or Go Home

If you look at what’s happening in the shale plays, you see a lot of people out there saying that shale is just a bubble. It’s going to burst. There’s a whole bunch of capital inefficiencies by the operators and basically shale is dying or on its way out the door. We don’t believe that, whatsoever. We think something’s going on in the maturity level of the shale plays. So, if you look at what’s happened in the last say 5 years, you see a lot of independent operators go into production, use those production numbers to borrow money, to borrow CAPEX to drill more wells, do more production. That’s not a long term business model.

That’s a short term business model that quite frankly has failed. We all can agree upon that. What we see happening is something bigger and better really for the entire industry. We’re seeing the major independents and the majors and the super majors come in. And a couple of things that are different about them in the shale plays, we’ll use Chevron as an example. Chevron owns the mineral rights in the Permian, right, in the shale plays. Almost all the independent operators lease them. Now, that’s a big difference that nobody ever thinks about. When you lease those mineral rights, in those contracts is certain production goals because the owner of mineral rights wants to make money, wants to get paid. And they get paid on your production. So, if you’re an independent operator and you’re leasing mineral rights, you are forced contractually to go in production.

Chevron doesn’t have to worry about that. Chevron can produce or not produce whether they want to or not depending on what the market dictates because they own the mineral rights. We think that’s the trend of the future and we’re watching the other super majors buy mineral rights instead of lease them, which verifies what we think. The other thing is the majors don’t have to borrow money. They don’t have to borrow CAPEX. They have their own funding internally. So, you take those two simple things together, the “I don’t need more money ‘cause I have enough cash in my bank to do it myself” and the fact that I own the mineral rights, those 2 things together give the major operators anywhere from $0.50 to $3 a barrel more profit than the independent operators. We think that is a sustainable business model. The mergers and acquisitions that are happening now proves that we think that’s where the future is going.

So, it’s really good for everybody. It will be some turmoil. We’re gonna have some of the service companies suffer a little bit as the prosperity from the independent operators gets transferred to the majors and the super majors. But once it gets settled and leveled out, we’ll still be in this low crude price environment for almost forever. We’ll go to that a little bit later. But now, you have the majors who are much more efficient at running capital, much more efficient running multiple large projects. And that’s gonna level everything out in the shale plays we think. So, go big or go home is #1 in our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020.

Number 2: Petrochemicals Rule

If you look at 1/3 of the growth in hydrocarbon consumptions, not what the world is consuming now, but if you look towards the future, 1/3 of that future growth is pure petrochemicals. Petrochemicals makes modern life possible. Everything from the lipstick that your wife or girlfriend wears, to the soccer balls you play with on afternoons with your kids, to the tires on your car, to the fuel of Space X, to the nylon that goes into the military protective vest, all that’s petrochemicals.

And the world wants more and more of that. And the world needs more and more of that. And so, as an industry, we’re providing more of the raw feedstock which is crude oil and natural gas. Think of things like an ethylene cracker. An ethylene cracker in simple forms coverts to natural gas to plastics. There’s a proliferation globally. In here in the U.S., we have dominated petrochemicals. So, #2, petrochemicals rule, which is really cool.

Number 3: Hello Agility

You heard me right. Agility. So, if you think of the oil and gas industry from its conception as an industry until now, it’s always been in a resource constrained environment. Resources were hard to find. It was hard to find reservoirs. It was hard to find  oil and natural gas. It was work. It was money. And so, the old style of running that type of business lends itself very well to almost like a military operation. Command and control. In that resource constrained world, command and control works extremely well. Not picking on you, Exxon. I love you to death, but you’re a perfect example of that command and control business model. Well, that’s changed. Hydrocarbons are everywhere. This geology we have, yes, we keep calling ‘em shale geology, it’s not just here in the U.S. It’s all around the world. And as the world matures as far as infrastructure, roads and pipelines, the rest of the world will be able to tap into their shale plays and even the best operator in the shale plays today in 2020 can only get maybe 15% of the hydrocarbons out the ground. At least 85% is still there. So, hydrocarbons are there forever, but the business has changed.

We’re no longer a resource constrained world. So, the old command and control business model, which served our industry so well for so long, doesn’t work. Now, it’s about being nimble. Who could be first to market? Who could be the first to figure out a different way to finance a project? Who will be the first group to figure out different talent sources to tap into? So, agility is what’s gonna make the differences between oil and gas companies that make it in the future and once it disappear. This is the 3rd part of our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020.

Number 4 Hydrocarbon Pricing

We’ve been doing these yearly predictions for I think 6 years now. And every year, people want me to give a number of what I think natural gas is going to be and I never do it. Let’s do it. What the hell, right? So, we think in 2020 Brent is gonna average $64 a barrel and we think natural gas is gonna average $2.55 per million BTU. Now, my predictions on the price of crude is a little bit higher than the other analysts. My predictions on natural gas is a little bit lower. Let’s see what happens with our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020.

Number 5 Oil and Gas predictions for 2020 Talent

As an industry, we are facing the talent shortage of epic proportions for the first time ever people around the world don’t wanna come work in our industry. Up until just recently, if you were a young man or woman in Angola, Africa, your whole village would be super happy if you get a job in the oil and gas industry because it was prosperity, medical care, money, and food. And everybody was super stoked about that. Folks, we’ve let it get to the point now where these young men and women in Africa, or China, or India don’t wanna come work in our industry because they think we’re destroying the planet. As an industry whether it’s upstream, midstream, downstream, or service. We’re an industry of engineers and project management. What happens when we can’t hire engineers and project managers?

This is real. This is serious. This is big. Now, oil and gas global network is working on something to help address this, but I need all of us to address this. We can talk about this a little bit later in the predictions, but talent is a major constraint in our industry now. It’s only gonna get worse in the future. And you look at the type of talent we need. We now need data scientists. We now need data architects. We now need drone pilots. Those are the exact ones that don’t wanna come work here, but the tech industry is going to snag them. And so, talent’s a major constraint. And whether you’re a small oil and gas company or a mega oil and gas company, if you’re able to figure out how to recruit or retain talent compared to your competitors, you could pull way ahead. And if you’re those companies that don’t wanna change the way that you deal with your talent, you’re gonna get left behind. Sorry.

Number 6 Green is Picking Up Steam

Going green Oil andGas Predictions for 2020So, when all this first started, it was amazing to watch the oil and gas companies dip their toe into the renewable world, right, the renewable market. It was really a PR stunt. Now, as an industry, we’ve looked at that and see if we make money from clean energy, can we make money from renewables? And there’s also a bit of a disparity in between what happens here in Europe, in the U.S. and the rest of the world. We’re actually spoiled by oil and gas here and in Europe. I mean, I live in a 3,000 square foot house. I probably burn 15 kilowatts of electricity a day. The only reason I can do that is because it’s dirt cheap and it’s dirt cheap because oil and gas. We have the ability to make electricity just almost free.

The rest of the world doesn’t live like that. So, the rest world is coming out of an agrarian lifestyle and they don’t need 15 kilowatts. They need 1 or 2 watts. Right? They need to run a small refrigerator, run a couple of light bulbs, and recharge their iPad. They don’t need to run central heat or air like I do, and my espresso machines, and my 3 refrigerators. They don’t need that. So in renewable energy, solar is a great fit for that. You don’t have to worry about infrastructure. You don’t have to worry about pipelines. So, the other thing is if you look at CO2 emissions, the #1 way globally to lower CO2 emissions is for the world to switch from coal to natural gas. Guess who you get natural gas from, folks? The oil and gas industry. So, going green is no longer a PR stunt. It’s now a revenue stream that we’re all trying to figure out. The majors, the super majors especially have put a lot of money and research, which is great, into renewables and we love that. We actually have an oil and gas renewable podcast coming out this year.

Number 7 Oil and Gas predictions for 2020 Regional Hydrocarbons

I know this is weird. Regional hydrocarbons. Have you ever wondered why, you know, WTI right now is going for $57 a barrel here in Houston, same exact price in Tokyo, Japan, same exact price in Rio de Janeiro? Do you ever wonder why it could be the exact same price? It’s because up until just recently, you can move those hydrocarbons, the crude natural gas for almost nothing. We have a global network of supertankers and pipelines where it costs almost nothing to move it. So, if you wanna pay the list price today here, I can move it halfway across the world for nothing and sell it for that price over there. Interesting bit of trivia: At any one time in the oceans, there’s more weight in crude oil being moved around that the weight of all the fish combined. That’s how big this is.

Well, for the first time in my lifetime, especially supertanker rates are going up. So, it used to cost $2 million to move a supertanker from here to Asia Pacific. It’s now up to $10 million. Well, that’s now affecting that ability to move stuff for almost free. Now, it’s not almost free. So here in the U.S., we love heavy complex crudes and we import those crudes from Canada, Venezuela, Middle East and then the rest of the world loves light sweet crudes. And so, we export our crudes that we develop here to the rest of the world because we can do it for almost nothing. Well, what happens when that price of transport, those logistic prices go up especially globally? Right? Not pipelines, but supertankers, which is what’s happening now. Now, all of a sudden we could be more worried about regional hydrocarbons.

Is the U.S. going to look at it using its own production, its own light sweet crudes, and switch it from using those heavy crudes in the rest of the world to our own light sweet crudes because the cost of transport is going up? It’s the same thing that happened in Europe. So, regional hydrocarbons for the first time is gonna be a major driver in 2020. We expect that trend to continue and actually get bigger and bigger. so regional hydrocarbons is in our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020

Number 8 Conflict in the Middle East

Then, and I really hope I’m wrong about this one. We think there’s gonna be a conflict in the Middle East. And when it happens or if it happens, you’re gonna see a jump in prices, right, which a lot of people are hoping to happen, but that’s going to be a temporary jump in prices. And thing is it’s gonna be different this time with the conflict in the Middle East. Its OPEC is gonna implode a little bit. They’re not gonna be able to produce as much and that’s gonna open up market share. For the first time, us and Russia will go after that OPEC market share and try to capture that. And when the war in the Middle East gets settled, they won’t be able to come back and take back that market share back. OPEC knows this. OPEC is doing everything it can to keep a conflict from breaking out, but there’s the perfect storm of what’s going on with Saudi Aramco IPO. You get Saudi Arabia paying the overhead for having U.S. troops over there to protect everything. You have everything that’s going on in Iran, you know. And you had our embassy that was just attacked.

So, this is the perfect storm and I am firmly convinced we’re gonna have a conflict in the Middle East. I don’t want it to happen. I don’t want anybody to get hurt. I don’t want American boots on foreign soil, but we think it’s going to happen in 2020. And you’ll see that spike in hydrocarbon prices and you’ll see that the global shuffle for market share. It’s gonna be an interesting time. If I am right, if we are right about the conflict, let’s hope that it ends quickly so it doesn’t get out of control.

Number 9 Politics Gets Personal

And then speaking of ending quickly and out of control, for the first time in the oil and gas industry and for me personally, politics has to get personal. Folks, we’re fighting a battle against organizations that don’t like us for various reasons. Either their after financial gain or they’re misinformed, but that battle is being fought right now. And if you’re around during the `70s, the same thing happened with Green Peace and the nuclear energy industry. Nuclear energy should be here. It’s the safest way to generate electricity that we know of, but it’s gone because of Green Peace.

Green Peace used public perception and marketing to convince the world that nuclear was bad. They’re wrong and they’ve eliminated something that was vital to mankind. The same thing is going on with oil and gas. Now, in the case of oil and gas, no organization will ever make it go away completely because it’s used for everything, but what will happen is it’s gonna increase our cost of doing business to the point that we may not be competitive with other energy sources. So, for the first time ever, I’ve always said I want to stay out of politics and the public eye, I want my company to stay out of politics and the public eye, that needs to change. You, yourself, you and your company, I don’t care if you work for super major, needs to get involved in politics.

But listen to me, you don’t need to get involved in politics by giving money to trade organizations. The big Super Bowl ads that the API runs and all the other full-page magazine ads, the Wall Street Journals, that does nothing with this new younger workforce. It needs to be real. It needs to have a big social media component. You look at the people that don’t like us. They’ve used social media very well to shut down pipelines, to shut down access to drilling, to restrict water usage. We need to do the same thing, but we need to do it in a way we’re talking about the facts, the good things of our industry.

A perfect example, I keep telling about ExxonMobil. Do you Exxon Mobil spends more money fighting malaria than anybody else in the world? Nobody knows that. Do you know that their new corporate headquarters outside of Spring, when they removed a lot of the trees for construction, they spent a ton of money to put those trees in cold storage and paid tree experts to keep those trees alive for years. And when they finished their construction, they went back and replanted those trees. Nobody knows that story. That’s the type of stuff we need to tell, but we need to tell it to our politicians and our politicians need to understand the truth about our industry, how vital it is to mankind, how many jobs we support. And if they don’t, we need to vote and get them out of office. So, for the first time ever, modalpoint, Mark LaCour, and the Oil and Gas Global Network are getting involved in politics and the public eye and you need too as well. We’re in a battle and that battle can only be won if we start influencing our politicians in a way that’s transparent and honest and it’s based upon the fact. So, politics gets personal.

Number 10 New Ways of Working

Then finally for our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020, for the first time new ways of working in oil and gas industry. Part of it is being driven by this new workforce that’s coming in. Part of it is also being driven by technology. You know, when I got started in business in the late `80s, you went to the office because that’s where the data was you needed to do your job. There was no internet. There really was no email. We had a terminal in a mainframe computer and we had internal email, but not external. And I got maybe 2 emails a week. All that’s gone now. I no longer need to go to the office to access the file cabinets with the information I need. Right? I can do it all on my phone. Same way with you. And for the first time ever, not only does the oil and gas industry recognize that and you’re seeing work from home, you’re seeing global positions where people are halfway around the world doing it, but you’re also seeing stuff like measurement while drilling being done 100% remotely. You’re seeing management of wells being done 100% remotely.

We got involved in this group called Top Coder and we got involved with them through Anadarko. And what Top Coder is is some of the best technology minds and workforce in the world and a community. It’s a gig economy type thing. Sort of like Uber. But what’s so cool about it is that you can offer them a job if you need something done, which is what Anadarko did. And you get not only the top minds of the planet, but they work together. It’s collaborative. So, it ends up being cheaper and quicker for the customer, on this case Anadarko. And then the people that work for Top Coder, they were writing the code. They’re coming up with the technology. They’re making 2 or 3 times as much as they would work for another company and they can pick and choose their job. They can pick jobs they wanna do and they don’t have to pick jobs they don’t wanna do. So, you’re looking at it that way. Entirely new ways of working. It’s changing the actual culture of oil and gas. I suspect in my lifetime that subsea engineers will spend part of the time working on a bunch of trees for, you know, Shell and then the other half they’re working on a bunch of trees for Chevron and working on a bunch of trees for Petrobras. Right? We don’t do that now, but it’s coming. That’s gonna drop efficiencies and employee satisfaction in a way that we’ve never done before. So, new ways of working is #10 of our predictions in oil and gas for 2020.

Hopefully our Oil and Gas predictions for 2020 has helped. We’ve done this in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 and will continue to do so. I hoped this helped, we will see you next time.

Oil and Gas Predictions for 2019


Oil and Gas Predictions for 2019

All right it’s that day that you all been clamoring for, it’s our oil and gas predictions for 2019. We’ve been on this little tour and done this a couple of times with some private groups. Then this came out a few days ago on the podcast. It went out to the podcast audience first, but then we are releasing right after to everybody that follows my blog and watches my YouTube videos. So, let’s just jump right into the predictions for next year, and check out the best dividend paying oil stocks for 2019 as well.

Decline of Field Sales. Where is the Jerky?

Number one, decline of field sales. And you go, “What?” You heard me, decline of field sales. Right now around the world and especially on land in the shale basins, there are these sales people that do nothing but deliver donuts and beef jerky. And don’t hate me, I know you all do way more than that. But what they are really doing is continuing the in-person relationships with the operators. That’s really important. 

That operator out in North Dakota or in West Texas needs to know the vendors he can rely on, and one way to do that is regular contact. And if you bring a gift of food (which the oil and gas industry loves), you help further strengthen those bonds. So that the operator knows that they can trust you and your company if they really need you for something.

Tools for Public Speaking, Mevo Unboxing and Personal Apology

Tools for public speaking and Mevo.

All right. We’re going to talk about a bunch of stuff today, but I want to start by apologizing for my lack of posting any new content for almost all of 2018. I went through some very big personal issues. I got divorced, I had to move, and at the exact same time my business exploded in growth. So you put those things together and I just have had not enough time to put out good content. 

But we’re setting ourselves up for 2019 to make sure we put out stuff that you find valuable and useful. So I appreciate everybody’s patience. And we’re also changing our business. So you know I have the top podcasts in the oil and gas industry, and that business is growing. But modalpoint, my old market research business has now changed and is now my speaking platform. So I now get paid to speak.

Along those lines, we’re going to start talking about some tools for public speaking. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today actually. So I appreciate everybody’s patience. I promise you come 2019 we’ll start posting more good stuff like this tools for public speaking on a much more regular basis. 

Tools for Public Speaking – Live Streaming

Tools for public speaking

So, let’s talk about life as a public speaker and let’s talk about some tools or some of things you may need to accomplish. So one of those things is live streaming. You know with the growth of social media, if you can pick and choose which one of your public speaking events that you like, it may actually help you market your public speaking business.

Now the problem with that is how do you actually do it? We have tried all kinds of tools for public speaking. I have special preamps and microphones that we plug into, dynamic audio mixers that feed into our smartphones and our tablets. We’ve done a couple of live streams like that that you’ve seen the audio is really good, the video not so much. And believe it or not, that’s the combination if you had to pick one that you would want. You never want bad audio. You can have okay video and great audio and you’re fine, people watch it and get value out of it. If you have bad audio and good video, they stop watching immediately. 

The other thing is you have to think about cost. You can get a professional crew out there. It will cost you around five grand and they will have multiple cameras and a bunch of software and good audio equipment. They will  live stream your event like a pro. If you don’t want to spend that time or money, or if you don’t have the time to find where those companies are. You need to know how to do it yourself. We have yet to figure out the magic solution.

Magic or Not – Mevo

One of the things that we’re trying, which is the subject of this video is the Mevo Plus. The Mevo Plus is basically a camera crew in a box is how they pitch it. We liked what we saw. We’re going to do some unboxing and and then show you the video and audio from the Mevo Plus. We think this might be a great tool for public speaking.

Now this video and this audio that you’re listening to right now is shot on an iPhone 8 using app called FiLMic Pro. And don’t worry, we’ll put links to all the stuff in the show notes including the Mevo stuff, so you can just click and go check it out.

If you’re watching this somewhere other than the modalpoint blog, you need to go find this post on the blog. That’s the only place that all the back links will be. It’s not going to be at YouTube or anywhere else.

Anyway the video we’re shooting right now is being done with my iPhone 8 using an app called FiLMic Pro. And then the microphone we’re using is the Samson Go Mic Mobile, a wireless lav. You can probably see the lav right here. It took me a long time to find a wireless microphone that I liked, that worked well with my iPhone. I shoot everything on my iPhone. Every video you ever watched me do, it’s all been shot in my iPhone. We’ll give you a glimpse of what that looks like as well.

Unboxing Time

So, this is perfect point, let’s move over to the unboxing of the Mevo. 

All right. So, I bought the complete Mevo Plus Kit. We’re going to go ahead and unbox it now. I got the actual camera, the Mevo boost, this really cool carrying case, and this awesome tripod. We’re going to put the tripod and the carrying case aside for now and we’re just going to actually concentrate on the camera. Very nice wrapping, reminds me of Apple the way this thing is packaged. Let’s get our handy-dandy box opener out and let’s see what’s in the box.


And there it is, the Mevo camera. Look at it compared to my hand, how small this thing is. We open up the box and we have it looks like instructions, a USB cable, battery charger and the mount. The mount is what allows the Mevo Plus to be mounted to any tripod or microphone stand, which is actually a kinda nice touch. So, we’re going to stick that back in here and now, let’s get to the boost.

The boost is more than just an extra battery for the Mevo. The boost also allows you to connect external audio, to connect via Ethernet and a whole bunch of other things. It also gives you ten hours of battery life. So when you’re thinking of tools for public speaking, having that ability to go for ten hours without you having to worry about losing a battery is huge. And it’s really was not that much more money. Once again the packaging is exquisite. And there is the boost. And then, underneath the boost is quick start guide, more cables. So, let’s get this bad boy set up. 

All right. Now, that you’ve seen me unbox, let’s see what the video actually looks like on the Mevo. So we’re going to switch to the Mevo and let you see how that video looks and sounds.

Mevo See for Yourself

Here’s what the video and the actually looks like on the Mevo and sounds like. Like I told you I would give you a glimpse of what we shoot with now. If you look over here, this is my iPhone 8 set up and this is the Samsung Go Mic mobile receiver for the lav, and there’s various microphones you can attach to that. This is what we shoot all of our videos on. We love the camera on the iPhone, it’s super easy you always have it with you. 

Let’s get back to Mevo. Now, one of the things that you may notice and I’m holding my iPad. I’m holding my iPad to control the Mevo because you’re seeing this zoomed in. But the truth is if the Mevo wants to, it can see all of these. How incredible is that? So I go back to close-up on me. We can actually set this to pan around the room, if I want you to just look at my computer. It’s all intuitive and while you’re speaking, you can have somebody else control this. It’s very easy as it’s touch and drag, you can do all kinds of cool stuff. 

But, the thing that’s going to be interesting to see is what does this look like in a live setting when there’s other people, when there’s table noise, when there’s chairs, when there’s cars driving back and forth. Like I said we’re just testing this out. We think this is a good fit if you’re looking for tools for public speaking and to live stream. When you speak publicly, business-wise or whatever, this may be something you want to look into. 

More Tools for Public Speaking on the Way

Give me a couple of weeks working with this and using it as a tools for public speaking and I’m going to update everybody and let you know what we think. But this may be something you want to look into.

All right, so this is step one. We’re going to do a whole bunch of these. We unboxed the Mevo, we showed you a little bit, we’re going to start using it. We’ll update you as we get better at it. But, as far as tools for public speaking, here’s one that maybe useful for you. We’re going to do a whole series on tools for public speaking, so stay tuned for more. 

If you like this and you found it valuable, can you do me a favor? Share it, do the all company email thing or click the social buttons or just share this with your friends.

So, folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.

Marketing in Oil and Gas has Changed

Marketing in Oil and Gas has changed.

Marketing in oil and gas has changed. Now when I say marketing let me clarify here, because when the rest of the world thinks marketing it’s how you drive leads. Either to your sales team or to your point-of-sale.

In oil and gas there’s a downstream part of the business, and they have used the word marketing for years to mean the manufacturing and selling of downstream products. So this video isn’t about how you sell your lubes or fuels. We’re not talking that type of marketing; we’re talking about driving leads with marketing.

So, marketing in oil and gas has changed from bunch of reasons. We’re going to go through them now and see if we can help you.

First one, this new younger workforce. This new younger workforce learns and buys differently than previous generations by a large margin. They don’t read print at all (even if it’s free), so quit spending money on print ads. They don’t go to trade shows, conferences or expos to learn. And they don’t go to lunch-and-learns.

Webinars – Small ROI When Marketing in Oil and Gas

If you can even get them to join a webinar, the truth is they’re multitasking. And if your lucky you maybe get 10% of their attention span. All the stuff that worked great for my generation, it’s worthless with this new younger workforce when it comes to marketing in Oil and Gas.

Next thing, there is no decision maker anymore. So if your marketing team is putting together personas of ideal buyers, stop it. It doesn’t exist. That ideal buyer isn’t there anymore. It’s now a decision-making team made up of different people. And quite honestly unless you’re into heavy big data analytics, it’s hard to model the way a decision-making team interacts and makes decisions.

What you much better off doing, is making sure that you put your offering out there in a way that’s easy to understand in a short amount of time, that’s digestible and shows the value of fixing the problem that your product or solutions solves. That’s how you reach these new younger buyers more effectively.

Stop the Whitepaper’s

Next whitepaper’s suck. I hate to tell you that whitepaper’s suck, as I know you have a lot of time and effort invested in them. Remember when I said we had this new younger workforce, and they don’t read print? Well, that includes whitepapers. You’re better off taking that same efforts and resources you would use to create a white paper and instead make a video short. And on that video short, have one of your real clients talk about how you helped them solve a problem. Nothing about you, or your solution, or your company. But how you actually helped them solve a problem. Make that video less than three minutes and that’s your new white paper and its an awesome way to be marketing in Oil and Gas.

Content is Black Gold

Then content is the new black gold. If your website and  your online presence is still doing the old magazine style approach, where it’s basically an ad or catalog showcasing your products and services. Stop it! Start thinking about all the questions that your clients and prospects asks you. Everyone of those answers and questions are the subject for your content. Create some good content marketing around this and you are now producing black gold.

And yes it’s going to feel like you’re giving away stuff for free, stuff that you could charge for. But let me tell you, we’ve been doing this for years and it pays off times a zillion. Content is now the king of marketing in Oil and Gas. Get your teams out there to start creating content that’s useful, valuable and easy to consume,  and you’ll be way ahead of everybody else.

Engagement Beats Exposure

Then engagement beats exposure every time. It used to be your marketing team would go back and look at all the likes and new page views they generated. In todays world in marketing in Oil and Gas, that doesn’t matter. Let me tell you what matters – engagement. I would rather have one person interact with my online presence and buy from me, than a hundred thousand people that come but never buy from me.

Marketing in Oil and Gas

That’s engagement, the one person that interacts and buys from me. The thousands of people that come and don’t ever reach out to me, that’s a waste of my time. So quit looking at data and numbers about driving a lot of traffic, and instead look at how much you are driving engagement. How much is your marketing in Oil and Gas helping prospects engage with your sales team. So engagement beats exposure every single time.

It Doesn’t Work When Marketing in Oil and Gas

Then here’s one you have to be really careful of. What works as far as marketing in other verticals, probably doesn’t work the same or maybe not in oil and gas. I’ll give you a great example. There’s a lot of companies out there doing a lot of really good work with paid Facebook ads, selling a lot of products and services. I’m going to tell you right now, nobody in this industry will ever buy a blowout preventer, a tree or a PLET from Facebook. It just doesn’t work.

So when you’re looking at your marketing strategy, or maybe bringing in some marketing consultants, Just know that because they’ve been successful somewhere else, don’t think they can take that same success and forklift into marketing in Oil and Gas. Because quite honestly, it doesn’t work and they will fail.

Marketing in Oil and Gas Should Rely Less on Exhibiting

Then exhibiting, actually spending your money to exhibit at a trade show, conference, expo, etc. it works less and less each year.  And we no longer recommend it when marketing in Oil and Gas. But you know what does work? Speaking. Let me give you perfect example. I was asked to speak at a technology trade show, and I gave really good value for the money (I got paid to do it). What I spoke about was how sales is changing in Oil and Gas. Well if you think about that, everybody that came to listen to me had an interest in learning why sales is changing.

Of the thirty seven people that listened to me speak, twenty of them reached back out to me. Why? Because as I was speaking I was effectively able to have twenty one sales calls in an hour,  based upon having a room full of people listing to me. Versus me trying to go set up appointments and going to meet these 20  people one on one. So getting on the speaking circle in oil and gas is awesome and can be extremely rewarding. But exhibiting every year, it’s less and less a good return on your investment.

Thought Leader is Your Goal

Then being seen as a thought leader, is way better than spending big bucks. I know a lot of oil and gas companies have spent a lot of money in their marketing efforts. And honestly they could take a tenth of that spend, figure out how to position themselves as a thought leader and be way ahead of their competitors. Now they’re no longer a vendor, they are a thought leader. That drives a totally different engagement model and the leads start pouring in.

What happens is when you’re seen as a thought leader, you’re seen as the expert. So beating you up on price, features or functionality just goes away. So being a thought leader is much better than have big dollar marketing budget spend.

Marketing Automation is a Must

Then pay attention please, marketing automation – you got to learn it and use it or you’re going to disappear. The world is speeding up. Buyers are consuming information around products and services faster and faster. You have artificial intelligence, you have bots, you have some very advanced algorithms shuffling things around. I mean look at your Facebook feed, Google, or any another social platform. Pay attention to the ads and stories it shows you. You have to learn how to do the same thing. And I don’t necessarily mean you, but your company has to learn how to do that and use it effectively. If not, you’re going to be left behind. It’s marketing automation is coming at us like a freight train.

SEO and SER is Vital When Marketing in Oil and Gas

And then the last one, search engine results is the new lead driver. Go open your browser of choice right now, and type in oil and gas keynote speaker. Type in oil and gas speakers, type in oil and gas sales experts, you’ll see me come up number one. Think about what that does. Anybody on the planet that looks at that sees me first, and they reach out to me. That drives all of my leads for my business. And it does it really well.

So just remember you can’t fool Google, you have to put good, relative, useful and easy to consume content out there. But search engine ranking is a new way to drive leads. We spoke at GeoConvention last year, and we did the research beforehand and searches online for supply chain has grown 1700% in the last four years. Why? Because the old guys that used to know who their valve vendors were, that had and used paper catalogs, they’re gone. The new guy who is part of this new younger workforce, when his manager says “Hey, give me some one-inch ball valves”, the first thing he does is he Googles it. So your search engine rankings are dramatically important.

Right now if you don’t rank well for what you’re doing, you’re in an okay place. But what’s really happening is you’re getting ready to get left behind by new, quicker and more nimble competitor of yours. One that you may not even be aware of today and that you may not even see coming. And once they grab that number one or two spot, it’s really hard for you to get it back. So SEO (search engine optimization) and  SER (search engine ranking) is a new lead driver.

I’d Love to Help You

I hope this helped. If you like what we’re doing and you would like me to come speak to your group, let me know. Just reach out by clicking here and I would be happy to share details.

Folks, I hope this helped. We will see you next time.