Author: Mark LaCour

Business Speakers in Houston, TX. How to Find the Best

How to find the top business speakers in Houston.





All right. Today, top business speakers in Houston, Texas. You know we speak all over the country, and all over the world really in the oil and gas patch. And one of the things I get a lot from companies and organizations is how do you find the top business speakers here in Houston? The speakers in Houston that will make a difference for your event.

And we’re going to give you a couple of ideas that we’ve learned through trial and error and experience.

So this is a big one don’t look for speakers – look for ideas. And don’t look for ideas that necessarily go along with whatever your company’s culture is, think outside the box. Look for ideas that may be different that what your company culture may align with. Not adversarial, but different.

New is Awesome

Look at all the new stuff that’s coming out. These types of ideas are exciting and they’re fun and this is what an audience wants to hear. Whether they agree with it one hundred and ten percent or not, it doesn’t matter.

Think about the TED Talks. I love the TED Talks. Do I agree with most of what I hear? Not always. But it’s done very well and I love the idea. The idea is outside of the box or normal culture. So when you think about finding a business speakers in Houston think about the idea, not the speaker.

Where to Find Business Speakers in Houston?

Here’s another big thing – where to look? You can go online and find a bunch of speaker aggregate websites out there where they have a whole bunch of different speakers, that they quite honestly don’t know or don’t know very well. They just allow the speakers to submit their information, so you can go to it and have a one-stop shop.

That may be fine for big box retail or legal or medical, but for oil and gas it’s different. You need to be one of us, right? It doesn’t matter how great a speaker you are in other parts of the world, our other industries. But if you cannot relate to oil and gas, it just won’t go over very well and will most probably simple not work.

So when you start to think about places to look for business speakers in Houston, number one, look in your local communities. Look at what’s going on in the Houston area, look who’s speaking at other places. All that stuff is public and available online. You can keep track of them.

Look at Oil and Gas Events

Other thing is look at the big oil and gas events and conferences. They have a ton of speakers that after the conference is over, you can go back and listen to this speaker. Or at least watch part of it. That’s a very good way to find a speaker. Also think about publications. As much as I hate to admit it, print is still somewhat important in oil and gas. So there’s another place to find business speakers in Houston.

And then finally, ask your peers. The people that have done events in oil and gas that have brought speakers in, especially business speakers in Houston. They will  have a feel of what’s going on out there, who is good and who is not. So that’s a good place to look and find your speakers.

Speakers in Houston Need to Fit

Business Speakers in Houston

Then you need to make sure that your speaker fits. So if you’re doing a company event, and it’s a sales and marketing kickoff for the year. You’re trying to bring a speaker in that motivates your sales and marketing people, or maybe gives them a different way to look at things or some insights into what other sales and marketing people have to deal with.

That would be a perfect fit for a sales and marketing event. But that same speaker will be horrible if you’re doing a product kickoff. For a product kickoff, you want to have somebody onboard that understands about whatever that product is. Let’s say it’s new measurement while drilling, who can you bring to speak about measurement while drilling? You need to make sure the speaker fits the actual event.

If you’re doing a conference or an expo, you don’t want a downstream speaker to come speak to an upstream conference. And if you don’t know the difference between upstream and downstream, here is a link that explains the difference. Especially if you’re putting on a conference, what is your anticipated audience? You need a speaker that fits the anticipated audience.

An Emcee is a Must

Also make sure you have an emcee. This is something I see so many people mess up on. An emcee is not there to make everybody happy or joke around, although that is part of what they do. The emcee is like the director of a movie. The emcee is the one there that will cut a speaker short when they’re running over time, will ask for the last question to make sure the questions don’t run over the next speaker. If the speaker finishes early, the emcee fills in. The emcee directs the whole thing, it’s like an orchestra.

It’s actually really hard to find a good emcees in the oil and gas industry. We actually do have quite a lot. I’m not bragging, but if you need help with an emcee reach out to me. I’d be happy to help you.

Then after you have all these stuff put together, and if you known me for any length of time you know what I’m going to say. You have to have a game plan. Literally get a piece of paper, write out a dozen bullet points, where you’re going to start, where you’re going to end, and all the stuff in the middle. Then you can figure out where the slots are, that the speaker fits in.

Use the Business Speakers in Houston Twice

Lastly one of the things that’s actually really beneficial, especially if you’re doing like a small to mid size event. Have the speaker come in at whatever time you want, but don’t take any questions. Have him/her finish and let the audience know there will be questions later at the end of the conference or expo. This will help people have a motivation to stay to the very end of the event, then come back and ask questions. And for you for the same dollars that you spend on speaker, you actually get to use that money twice. Once when he/she speaks and once he/she does Q&A at the end of the session.

Share Please, for Some Great Karma

If you like everything I’ve just talked about, if it has helped you find business speakers in Houston. Can you do me a favor and share this? All it takes is a simple social share and help us get the word out. This allows you to help your peers, who also may be looking for a business speaker in Houston.

So, hopefully this helped. We will see you next time.     

Global Petroleum Show, You Have to Go. Interview with Nick Samain


To learn more about the show click here.

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. You hear me tell this crazy story all the time about how me and my guest in this case, Nick, can’t get in the same city at the same time. This was even crazier. Him and I were actually in the same city, we’re both in Houston last – was it last week?

Nick: It was last week, Mark.

Mark: At OTC, but we couldn’t get this done. So, you’re back in Canada, right? I’m back in Richmond and we’re doing this via Skype because Nick has a really awesome show. In fact, I’d like to call it the OTC of Canada coming out.

And what’s the name of the show, Nick?

Nick: That is the – it is the Global Petroleum Show. And we’re very proud to be celebrating our fiftieth anniversary. 1968, the show was founded. And these fifty years is very exciting for us not just for where we’ve come to, but also looking forward ahead to the next fifty years.

Mark: Yeah.

Nick: So, we’ve got lots of new and exciting things that are – that are happening this year up in Calgary.

Mark: And, Nick, when is the show?

Nick: So, the show is June 12th-14thand it’s at the Calgary – the very famous Calgary Stampede fairgrounds and the BMO Center which is the very large and modern exhibition and conference center that’s located right on the grounds.

Mark: So, if – so there’s still time for vendors and exhibitors to sign up and be able to get in front of all these upstream operators?

Nick: Well, I got to tell you, I mean we have had – there’s still time for vendors, that’s a really good question. So, we’re 90% sold out, that includes both the indoor and the outdoor space. We’re probably adding – this is a really busy time for us. We’re adding ten to twenty new exhibitors a week right now.

Mark: Wow.

Nick: So, we are adding and we’ve generated a tremendous amount of interest not just from here North America, but we get exhibitors coming to the show from more than fifty countries.

Mark: Yeah. And then, as attendee what is cool is I literally get to walk into a building. Literally, I get to walk from the hotel to the building and everybody is there at – so I can go talk to multiple people from different countries all in oil and gas industry in one place at one time.

Nick: Yeah. I mean it’s really a dynamic show floor and a meeting place. You know it is one of North America’s most significant events and it happens to take place obviously in the great energy hub here in Calgary. But, you know getting national oil companies obviously lots of independent oil companies participating, all the big service companies, technology companies.

In fact, we have more than one thousand companies represented on the show floor and exhibitors alone and that doesn’t count all those other great participants that are, you know, obviously participating in the other activities like the conference and so on.

Mark: Yeah. And so, if you’re out there if you’re in the oil and gas industry, if you’re looking to learn about the oil and gas industry and definitely if you’re in sales and/or marketing, you need to be there.

Now, Nick, you are kind enough to invites us as press, so we’re going to try to get up there. We have some conflicts. I’m not sure which one of us if any is going up there, but we definitely want to go to the show. This is one of the premiere events in the world.

Nick, if people wanted to learn more and sign up, where should they go?

Nick: You’d want to just go to the – to  That website has everything you need. And, Mark, we very much are looking forward to having someone from your team come up and if not, we’re going to have obviously lots of coverage. We’ve got tons of media coming, in fact, it’s unprecedented this year. It’s a whole week of activities. I mean you’ve got an awards gala that’s kicking off on the Tuesday night of the events. That’s going to be four to six hundred people recognizing the best in innovation. We have award recipients from all across North America and internationally as well and that’s in its third year, so very successful program.

On day two, of course you’ve got the exhibition that’s happening and then we have our fiftieth anniversary celebration concert. It’s going to be a fantastic event. And we expect three to four thousand people there. Registration is going through the roof on that one. Really, really exciting.

Over and above that, you know we’ve got programs like Country Markets that brings together over twenty different countries that are going to be presenting oil and gas opportunities and international investment opportunities from different oil markets all around the globe.

And of course, you know that being part of DMG events, the Global Petroleum Show is connected with the world’s largest oil and gas exhibition which  ADIPEC in Abu Dhabi and our famous Gastech event which we just announced our launch of course is coming to Houston in 2019. So, we’ve got the benefit of more than fifty energy events and attendees that we reach out to a market for this event. So, it makes a really, really dynamic not just show floor, but so many other elements. As you know I could go on and on, but, yes, it’s

And, most definitely if you can make it up, it’s I think you’ll find it a very worthwhile and fun experience as well. There’s lots of great stuff happening there.

Mark: Yeah. So, folks go. Hit me up on Twitter if you go. I’d love to come meet you in person. We’re going to get somebody up there no matter what. Hopefully, it’s me.

Nick, I really appreciate this. We’ll put a link in the show notes, so people you can just click on that link and go straight to the website.

Nick, thank you so much for your time today.

Nick: All right. Great to talk to you again, Mark. We’ll see you soon. Take care.

Mark: That’s awesome.

Nick: All right.

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


Pulled Pork, NAPE and Giving Back. Interview with Alan Day


Click here to learn more about Totaland and to contact CCG Logistics call (337) 257-5739

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. We’re sitting here in beautiful Lafayette, Louisiana and we’re going to get some boudin after this. If you don’t know what boudin is, ping me after the show, I’ll let you know.

We’re sitting here at TotaLand and we actually have some guests that actually don’t work for TotaLand. So, we have Kirk and Jarrell.

How are you doing, Jarrell?

Gerald: Pretty good. How are you?

Mark: Very good. And, what is your company?

Gerald: My company is CCG Logistics. We are a full service land oil and gas company.

Mark: And then, from what I heard, y’all actually use TotaLand’s tool  and you  use TotaLand’s tool why?

Gerald: Well, honestly we looked at a few different companies and a few different products – software products and we started off using them about five years ago in an oil and gas industry in the lease acquisition project that we started. And I personally just find that they’re one of the best companies out there as far a customer service, as far as usability of the actual product itself. I mean it’s very functional from somebody who absolutely knows everything about mapping to somebody who’s just a novice data entry person, it’s all user-friendly and that’s, I mean why we really use it.

Mark: Yeah. And so, y’all are out there basically doing a lot of brokering out there. So, if you have – if you have companies out there that are looking to acquire assets, they would ping you all and you would help them pick whatever assets they wanted to find?

Gerald: Correct. That is correct that is what we do. We do full title research, full abstracting lease acquisition, fee title, just about any – anything that you can think of, we can do it.

Mark: Yeah. So, Kirk, I got to ask you. When you’re using their tool, does it make your job easier?

Kirk: It does. It does. If you can get your agents to be proficient, you can really get some good work put out. And what I would like to see in TotaLand which helps me talk to the client is the mapping. You can give them all the words you want to give them all the reports, but the mapping is where it starts and that’s how the conversation keeps moving along.

And the development of the mapping and how you could as we know as Chris knows you can develop that as deep as you want to go, but the usability there the collaboration with the agents here in TotaLand that makes that process smooth and at the end of the day get our reports out get our e-mail transmittals out and keep the ball rolling.

Mark: Yeah. So, if you’re looking for some help with some assets, this is the company to reach – to reach out to.         So, folks we’ll put a phone number in the show notes, so you can actually ping if you need some help there.

So, Alan, you know what I think is cool with this? You have real clients here talking about your stuff while they’re in front of you.

Alan: You know and also I think they’re really being honest, right? So, you know what’s neat is that, you know, CCG is a company that they engage with us. You know often you have customers or clients and they don’t often talk to you, you know if ideas or brainstorming sessions whatever. You guys are great because you connect with us and you talk about your needs specifically.

And, one thing that we pride ourselves on is being responsive you know, so when our clients have a problem, we’re on it my team knows that. It’s like we want to make sure that our customers are taken care of. And your interaction with us has been just fantastic.

So, they talked about who our best local clients, you know, we have some, you guys are right there at the top. And so, we appreciate it.

Mark: Yeah. So, the cool thing is before we started – before we turned the video camera, we actually had lunch actually prepared by one of your people and honestly and I’m a pulled-pork aficionado, the best pulled-pork I’ve ever had.

But, Alan, you’ll take some donations and you’ll help people out with that, don’t you?

Alan: Yeah, we did. A few years ago, we decided as a team to get together and just we heard about people that have needs, right? Everybody does whether it’s a medical problem some people are going through cancer or their house fire. We had all kinds of different circumstances, but you know we saw the need in the community and we said, you know why not try to do something – something you know to help these people out.

And so, a few years ago we started the community luncheon. And, again, just a, you know, once a – once a month we kind of kept that rhythm of once a month and the names kept coming you know. So, we had – I can’t tell you how many people we’ve actually been involved and just trying to make a little difference in their life, you know not making a major difference, but you know we serve sixty, seventy meals you know over lunch and collect donations. And all of it goes to them every bit of it, so.

Mark: Yeah. And what’s so cool about this is here’s a company you’re out to make money, right? You have employees you have to support, you have customers you have to support, but you’re giving back, right? Nobody ask you to do that. We love that.

Speaking of giving back, we have an event coming up. I think it’s called NAPE, right?

Alan: So, it’s the big event to a year that we go to and NAPE is awesome. I mean it’s one of those events that, you know, everybody goes to you know. So, you’re able to as, you know, someone coming to the event, you know, looking around at different products or talking to different people. It’s an event where you get to see everything on the floor you know everything from exploration to software. And so, it’s a unique event you know that’s over the years have grown.

If you see a graph of NAPE attendance, man, it started out pretty small many years ago. And you just see that curve continue to go up. Now, we hit that rough spot, right? You know a few years ago, but that’s really stabilizes. Last NAPE we had was a great attendance. I mean the energy was there, the excitement was there on the floor. And it’s just a great event to attend.

Mark: Yeah. North American Prospect Expo, the thing I love the most about it is everybody that goes there is going there to buy something or to sell something and the energy is to the roof.

So, NAPE is coming up, I will put some dates and some links in the show notes. But, if you’re going and you should go, if you’re in that upstream world at all, you need to be at NAPE. Go check out TotaLand’s booth. We’ll put a link in the show notes to give you the actual booth number.

But, Kirk and Gerald, and Alan, and Chris you didn’t say much, but I want to thank all of you. We spent [Laughs]we spent a few minutes on microphone, a few minutes on shooting some video here, but you told a great story. So, folks reach out to them if you need some help with some properties. Go talk to TotaLand if you’re in that layman’s world, you need to look at their product. And we’ll be at NAPE as well as press, so we’ll see you all there.

Everybody, I want to thank you very much for your time.

Alan: Thank you, Mark. I appreciate you coming today, man. Thank you.

Mark: Yeah. And so, folks I hope this helped. We will see you next time.


Gold, Regassification and Russian Craft Beer. Interview with Rhod Mackenzie

Click here to learn more about rusmininfo.

Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. Today, we have Rhod Mackenzie with Rusmininfo on. If you’ve been a listener to the show any particular time, you know that Rhod and I do this every couple of months.

We actually recorded one about a month-and-a-half ago that unfortunately, Rhod, we lost. I’d like to blame it on some tech – technological problem. It just the file got handed off to be edited and somebody deleted something and just disappeared. So, it’s been a little while since we had Rhod on the show.

But, Rhod, great to have you back on the show. Here’s the deal, what is going on this damn sanctions and the conflict between the US and Russia?

Rhod: Well, I think you have to examine the cause before we actually look at the effect. Sanctions really started against Russia in 2014 after what Stratfor which is the private arm of the CIA called the most blatant coup in history and Russia decided that it was not going to stand for that and allowed the Crimea to rejoin it which had been part of Russia and the Russian Empire since 1783. That was then called an illegal acts under international law despite the fact that 90% of the people in the Crimea wanted to join Russia.

We then had the shooting down of the Ukrainian — over the Ukraine of the airline the Malaysian one MH17 which John Kelly then went on television – British television program and said, “We know who did it and we have the evidence.” Four years on – it will be four years in June, no evidence has been produced. So, Russia has been blamed for pretty much anything and everything including the presidential elections.

So, sanctions have kept on being ramped up and ramped up and Russia has just put up with it and adapted. And I think the most important thing is sanctions have had an effect the past three years, they had quite a dramatic effect on the GDP which went down by several percentage points, etc, but currently it is coming back.

Mark: Yeah. And so, this is one of the things I have an issue with with this current political climate. Our news media here and Europe as well is, you know, always report the truth, they report the stuff that is sensationalized or they report stuff that gets people’s emotions involved, but not always the truth.

So, you know I did four years of Marine Corps during the Cold War during the former Soviet Union. Once that was over, Russia and the US made really, really great allies. If you think all the way back to history to WWII, we would have not won WWII without the help of Russia, right?

And so, one the things that really bothers me about this current political climate is the fact that Russia in some ways have been kind of pushed to form alliances with OPEC, right? And that bugs the bejeebies out of me. I would much rather Russia and the US be allies in this whole energy world than Russia and OPEC.

And Russia is the top producer of oil and gas in the world right now. We’re chasing y’all, we’re getting close. But you know when you’re that much of the world’s economy that much of the prosperity because you can’t have – you can’t bring a country out of poverty out of an agricultural society without cheap abundant reliable energy and Russia supplies a lot of that to the world. Before we turn on the camera, you and I were actually talking about coal. I didn’t know that Russia was the largest exporter of coal in the world.

Rhod: Yeah. I mean it’s the largest exporter of quite a number of things. Obviously natural gas mainly pipeline gas is aiming to take 20% of the LNG market in the very near future with a number of projects currently up and running.

But, yeah, you’re absolutely right. Russia just wants to be a reliable partner.

Mark: Yeah. And so, if anybody is just first time they’ve never heard you and I talk before, you don’t sound like you’re Russian?

Rhod: No. I’m originally from Scotland, but I’ve actually lived in Russia for twenty seven years.

Mark: Yeah. And so, you have actually just a quick plug in. You have fascinating business where you gather the data around the projects the infrastructure projects whether oil and gas, mining whatever. And, if companies want to do business in Russia they can reach out to you, get the information about these projects so they can actually build the source and stuff. It’s really cool idea.

Rhod: Yeah. I have clients in all parts of the world. I even have Russian clients, so.

Mark: That’s funny. So, you actually – I didn’t know this. So you actually have Russian clients that want access to your data on the Russian projects?

Rhod: Yeah. I mean basically they want to know what the West is knowing.

Mark: Oh, no, I get it. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, if I was like an EPC an engineering procurement construction company in Russia, I would want to know what the American or European EPC companies are looking at in Russia. No, I totally get it. It makes total sense.

Rhod: Yeah. So, I basically work with both sides and I think the best way you do it yourself with your business and you try to work with both sides and bring them all together. And that’s my major objective is for a clearer understanding.

You point earlier about the media, it has a complete distorted view of pretty much anything. We’ve seen that over the last two years as soon as the Russia collusion investigation collapsed with the senate investigation, immediately you had scruple and then you had the Syria gas attack. It’s like we can’t let this go, we have to keep demonizing Russia.

Mark: Well, it’s – and what’s sad about it is the fact that nobody’s reporting the truth, right? So, I actually have a lot of friends that are Russian or – and you know you’re in that circle.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: And when I talk to you when I talk to my other Russian friends, what’s really going on versus what media reports is vastly different which is just – it’s just messed up, right? And there’s nothing we can do to correct the media.

The thing that I also find interesting though is this new younger generation that’s entering our workforce, none of them pay any attention to conventional media. They don’t read the newspapers, they don’t buy the magazines, they don’t watch the news, right? And so, they’re out there looking for their truth on their own when they want to see it which is one thing we do with these videos, right? So, anybody can watch this video anytime they want and understand what’s really going on.

So, I want to kind of go back to the sanctions because the sanctions have been a big thing politically here in the US. From the Russian side it cause some impact, but then after a year or two like Russia has a lot of conventional reservoirs speaking of oil and gas. After a year or two, Russia was able to ramp back up production. So, even if the sanctions were something that we wanted to make a difference with, they’re really not causing much effect at all now, right?

Rhod: They haven’t had an effect as yet on conventional production. What they may have is an effect in five to ten years time because we know that the cycle within oil is you find that and you extract and the time difference between the two is anything up to ten years.

Mark: Right.

Rhod: So, you’ve done all geological exploration you’ve done all the surveys etc and then you stop putting the business plan together or probably you got it out the ground and then get it to production the infrastructure, the pipelines, etc.

So, ExxonMobil is probably the classic example and it’s the local company to you. It was working in the Kara Sea with Rosneft which is obviously Russia’s largest oil company. And after sanctions they weren’t allowed to use the technology that they had joined the partnership with Rosneft to do, so that project has actually been frozen.

What they’re not taking into account is we actually have a very good oil and gas University here in Ufa where is I am based and also another major one in Moscow. These technologies are not specific to the US. China, Russia, etc are working on these technologies. They don’t have them quite yet, but they’re not that far away.

Mark: Yeah. The other thing that’s going to happen is as we talk about oil and gas when we think of Russia we think in the Middle East we tend to think of conventional reservoirs. The other thing that nobody talks about is Russia has as much if not more unconventional hydrocarbons as we do here in the US, right? You have the shale you have the geology and the technologies to get that type of hydrocarbon out of the ground economically it’s not rocket science, right?

We were the first to get there, it doesn’t mean there’s not a second and a third a fourth and a fifth and a sixth and a seventh, right? So, the amount of hydrocarbons that Russia has at its disposal is enormous and the Russian people are very good at working and getting stuff and making a dollar.

Rhod: Absolutely. I mean we have this something called the Bazhenov Suitewhich is a formation that is very similar to the Permian in Texas. And it how probably has roughly the same amount of reserves.

Mark: Yeah. And so, you’re talking about billions and billions of cubic feet of natural gas, tons and tons of the liquids, bunch of crude oil.

Rhod: Right.

Mark: And the thing that’s kind of interesting, I’ve been watching this for the last couple years, in the US and Europe the public sentiment is around the fact that oil and gas isn’t needed anymore and what they don’t realize is everything depends on hydrocarbons. The windmill blades are composites that are made from natural gas. The paint on your bicycle, you know 72% of what’s in a Tesla has hydrocarbons in it, right?

So, the world has an increasing demand and you’re looking at things like China. China’s actually I’ve been really impressed with them. It’s — they’ve had an issue with pollution with air pollutions specifically around coal-generated electricity. They’re making a switch, Rhod. They’re switching the natural gas and it’s cleaning up their air and they’re doing it quickly, right?

Europe’s doing the same thing. You see countries like Germany tried to go down the renewable side. What happens is the fact that they actually did not hit their goals and they had to actually build more coal-fired generation plants to fill in the gaps between the renewables. The solution to all of that is natural gas and Russia is the predominant natural gas supplier to — to the UK.

Rhod: That was predominant to Europe actually.

Mark: To Europe. Yeah.

Rhod: It was something like about 40%. It’s between 38 and 40%. And that is also a major issue with sanctions. I mean sanctions are now being applied to the Nord Stream 2 project on the financing of it. That’s to join Nord Stream 1 which goes direct from Russia into Germany and they’re building a second point way. That takes 55 billion cubic meters a year straight into Germany into a pipeline system that then goes all over Europe.

Now, they’re building the second one and US sanctions are now being applied to people who try and lend money to the financing of that project. But, that’s got nothing to do with the economics of the project because the first pipelines practically paid for itself in its eight years. It’s about energy security for Europe and it doesn’t want to be dependent on Russian gas. Despite the fact that the only people who’ve interrupted the supply of Russian gas to Europe would be the UK.

Mark: [Laughs]It’s just so screwed up.  And you know, you know, the US is chasing out a little bit too with some LNG exports. It could be interesting to see we’re not there from a maturity curve yet, so it would be interesting to see about ten years from now what that world looks like. But, it just makes fiscal sense for Europe to buy natural gas from Russia because it’s right there and there’s a cost to transport, right? The closer you actually have the supplier the less the cost of transport is.

The other thing people understand is the sanctions that have interfered with the finance in this pipeline, the companies and the people that want to finance this pipeline, that’s jobs. They’re not financing it because it feels good, they’re financing because they could get a return on their investment, right? That return is profit and that profit creates jobs. And it bugs me when governments interfere with the private sector to the point that it starts affecting people’s ability to have good high-paying jobs.

Rhod: I agree with you. I still remember Ronald Reagan’s quote. He said, “The most feared words in the English languages are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. It’s — my favorite president of all time by all means. And I don’t want to go too far down that road, but he really did some really cool stuff that people don’t know about.

Rhod: Yeah. I mean on the gas side not just Europe, but they’re about to look by the end of this year beginning of next,  they have actually launched what is known as the power of Siberia pipeline from Siberian gas fields directly into China. Now, that’s 3,000 kilometers long.

Mark:  That’s crazy. That’s…

Rhod: Through some of the most hostile climate on the planet.

Mark: Yes.

Rhod: Where temperatures plunge to -60.

Mark: Yeah. So, maybe they’ll actually be accidentally shipping LNG in the pipeline if they’re not careful because it’s almost cold enough to bring that gas down to liquid.

Rhod: Oh, back to your comment about LNG. It’s not just the transportation cost, it’s actually building the regasification plants. So, you take a tanker full of LNG somewhere, you’ve got to build a plant that can then regasify it.

Mark: Yeah. There’s a whole — whole other side of that infrastructure, so you’re absolutely right. So, you have to build a terminal that can outlaw – can offload that LNG and then you have to build the plant that convert that liquid back to a gas and then that plant has to put it back into the pipeline infrastructure of whatever the country is.

You’re seeing a lot of work around that all over the world. China is building a lot of regasification plants all over the place. And you’re seeing that happening and literally almost all of Asia-Pacific, right? Korea, Japan, all that sort of stuff. It is going to be interesting to see what happens with the big Chevron project in Australia once all those Asia-Pacific regasification terminals get built.

Rhod: Well, as we discussed before the Yamal LNG project is up and running. And it’s got a foreign investors, it’s got two foreign investors actually. One is Total France and the other is the CNPC which is the China National Petroleum Corporation. And that’s about 15 million tons a year. There are another three plants are in the planning and there’s also the Sakhalin project which does 10.1. And every single piece of that gas goes to the Asia-Pacific on long-term contracts

Mark: Yeah. And it just makes fiscal sense, right? It’s a good reliable way to produce electricity for the people. It’s good for the environment. It’s good for the companies and the people that actually produce the natural gas and on and on and on.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: So, it’s a different value chain in the hydrocarbon world than we’ve had before, but it’s sort along the same lines, right? We produce energy, somebody makes a profit off of it, it creates jobs. We ship it to somewhere in the world that benefits from it. They’re happy with it. So, it’s kind of a win-win for everybody.

Rhod: Yeah. And what you have to remember is in these sort of projects and these plants etc, these are highly skilled operatives. So, we’re not talking about, you know, minimum wage jobs, we’re looking at high paying highly qualified intelligent engineers, physicists, etc.

Mark: Yeah. So, it’s one of the things that we’re paying attention to here in the US, so you have that whole area of the Pennsylvania. If you drew a big circle around Pennsylvania Ohio, they have all that natural gas available.

Royal Dutch Shell – so, Shell is building a big ethylene cracker facility over there. But, one of the things that we’re paying attention to is when Shell builds the ethylene cracker, that workforce is now going to learn how to build an ethylene cracker, right? So now, you have a skilled workforce in that area of the country. What happens next that means another company can build another ethylene cracker cheaper because now you have that skilled workforce there over and over and over again.

Rhod: Right.

Mark: I think that part of the US is going to become the petrochemical Detroit, if you want to look at it that way of the US. But that petrochemical that that exporting of plastics and all that sort of stuff, that’s going on every place in the world there is oil and gas and one of those places is Russia, right?

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: So, y’all are getting into the export market in a big way.

Rhod: Yeah. I mean there’s four major petrochemical plants under construction. And I did an article today where Russia is looking at something like $15 billion worth of exports from petrochemical industry up to 2025.

Mark: Yeah. That’s awesome.

Now, I want to do a side note here because you and I talked about this before we turn over to camera on.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: You just did a big report on gold. I had no idea Russia has that much gold and is exporting that much gold and mining that much gold.

Rhod: Oh, it doesn’t export the gold. It goes into the reserves. Rather than foreign currency and buying US treasuries, Russia stockpiles gold. So, most of your average main Russian gold producers sell it direct at the market price the current market price to the Russian Central Bank. Russia has the sixth largest gold reserves in the world at the moment.

Mark: I had no idea that you back your currency with gold. We used to do that a long time ago. We stopped doing it and sometimes that’s an issue.

Rhod: That is an issue and that’s always been an issue with fiat currencies. Fiat currencies over the years have always changed. Up until the WWI, the British pound and not the US dollar was the fiat currency around the world used for trade and it was gold back. And the only reason that oil is sold in dollars was Kissinger going to Saudi Arabia in 1973 and convincing Saudis and the local farmers to sell oil only in US dollars. And that’s why the US has been able to run a twenty trillion level of debt that would have bankrupted most countries around the world.

Mark: Yeah. You’re dating yourself in this talk about Kissinger. I remember those days. [Laughs]

So, let me throw something out there. You talked about Saudi Arabia, we’re actually talking to Saudi Aramco right now for the podcast. Do you think they’d go public? Do you think they’d go IPO?

Rhod: I personally don’t think so. I don’t think its reserves are as high as it says. And I don’t think the valuation on the company by the Saudis is a fair valuation.

Mark: Yeah. It’s – we are watching that really close too. It’s — that’s the same concern I have is the fact that if you go public you have to open the books, right?

Rhod: Correct.

Mark: You have to tell the truth, right? And if you’ve done business in the Middle East specifically with Saudi Aramco, a lot of stuff that in the US and Europe would be considered unethical is a lot ways they do business. Well, now, they have to expose that.

The other thing is, right? Is the reserves. They talk about the conventional reserves they have, but now they have to prove it, right? They have to actually – it’s a legal term, barrels of reserves. So, I actually think they will go public, but if they don’t it’s for the exact reasons that you said is that they actually have to open the books and tell the truth about stuff.

Rhod: Yeah. Yeah. I mean obviously it’s been a huge oil producer for China memorial since the 1930’s you know and the House of Saudis you know lives high on the hog from that. But, every oilfield no matter how big finally comes to its end.

Mark: Yeah. There’s a life cycle, right? And depending — and the thing that’s so attractive about the reserves that Saudi Aramco has in the Middle East is they’re conventional which makes them very, very, very inexpensive to get oil around. They basically pump a gallon of seawater in the ground and a gallon oil comes up. But, you’re right, if they’re on that decline curve those conventional reservoirs, then it’s not as valuable anymore.

Rhod: Yeah. So, I mean there’s a lot of thing. Let’s go back to sanctions, I mean sanctions haven’t really harmed Russia. It’s actually made Russia a lot more self-reliant in quite a number of ways particularly from a financial perspective. It’s now got its own internet payment system and it could actually be cut off from swift without causing too many problems.

Most of the debt of the Russian companies that was dollar dominated is now in rubles and very little at that. And when the spike in oil — the last time we spoke it was 62, it’s 74-1/2. And I can’t — we’ve been talking up for a year and every time we talk about it gets up. All the doomsayers who tell us we don’t know what we’re talking about, you know we’re normally correct.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: And every single Russian company not to mention the Russian treasury are enjoying themselves. They’re making more money than they thought they did. Russia budgeted for this year oil at $50, it’s $75. So, for the first quarter of this year it’s got, you know, 25% more revenue coming in the door than it had. All the Russian companies, the [Mbita] is up because they make [0:22:02 Inaudible]. The cost is in rubles, they sell in dollars.

Mark: Right. Which is a margin right there, right? So…

Rhod: Correct.

Mark: Yeah. So, I want to kind of back you up back you up just a little bit because we talked about the sanctions. One of the reasons that the oil prices where it is is because of the cooperation between Russia and OPEC, right? To limit production so that prices go up. Do you think that cooperation is going to continue?

Rhod: I think the price of the oil when it went down to below 40 was actually artificially induced. I think it was a combination of political will from the USA and Saudi Arabia to try and hurt Russia as badly as it could. That plan actually backfired rather badly not on the Russians, but on the Saudis. And they realized that that they need oil at $70 to stop the hemorrhaging of cash. So, I think that oil is going to stay above $65 certainly $70 for the foreseeable future.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: And Russia may break ranks with that, but we’ve also got the situation with Venezuela and we’ve also got the situation with Libya. Venezuela’s oil production is falling off a cliff.

Mark: Yeah. It’s gone. Yeah. And what’s sad and we talked about this years ago, what’s sad is the people of Venezuela are suffering, right? They can’t feed their own people. They have all these tremendous hydrocarbon reserves and the government basically corruption and screwing people over got themselves a situation where they can’t produce hydrocarbons anymore.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: And the US has a big appetite for the heavy crude that Venezuela produces and literally they’re trading crude right now for rice and beans to try to feed their people and it’s not working.

Rhod: Yeah. And they’re obviously very indebted to various institutions particularly the Chinese and the Russians. And I get the impression that from just noises within the political circles in Russia that even they are beginning to run out patience with Venezuela.

Mark: Yeah. So, I firmly believe that somebody big and it’s going be a government and it’s probably going to be China and it may be China and Russia at some point will step in because it makes fiscal sense to start producing that heavy crude.           And here where it gets funny. And they’ll sell that heavy crude back to the US, right?

Do you think the US would step in and then try to prop that government or prop another government up to its own benefit, but our political climate right now is so much of this where nobody wants to get anything accomplished that we probably won’t be able to pull that off?

Rhod: Yeah. I mean that’s the biggest problem with the USA at the moment is we get all the media channels here. I’ve got 800 cable channels, right? And about 200 of them are in English through various parts of the world, the UK. So, I get CNN, I get MSNBC, I get Fox News, I get pretty much everything.

And we also cover on the Russian channels, the outpourings of people. I mean, but we have a great chuckle in an evening when, you know, you’ve got somebody like Maxine Walters on the CNN and she doesn’t know the difference between the Crimea and Korea.

Mark: It’s horrible.

Rhod: And you’ve got Nikki Haley who gets caught by two Russian pranksters telling about the island that doesn’t exist that’s a member of the UN and Binomo, right? And she will be monitoring the situation. We wonder what we’re dealing with, I mean I mean I don’t want watch the relationship between Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov etc, but when they make pronouncements they actually sound like statesmen.

Mark: [Laughs]Yeah.  I’m probably want to leave this one alone because right now I’m not real happy with the way our – the US administration sounds in the public eye. Not that I don’t support them, right? But it’s still it’s – we need some real leaders, right? And those leaders, yeah…

Rhod: Excuse me. Mark, to be honest I haven’t lived in the UK since the days of Margaret Thatcher. And since Margaret Thatcher left 10 Downing Street in the UK there’s been a succession of charlatans, idiots, and liars basically.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: There has been no politician with gravitas and a sense of statesmanship.

Mark: Yeah. And really I’m right there with you, Rhod. I really hope that that changes. I actually volunteered this year and I work for a local politician just some volunteer work. And I actually got you got to meet – I supported his position, but I got to meet his opponent. And, Rhod, I was disappointed, the incumbent the opponent of the person that I work for not a very bright person. And it’s like hopefully all our politicians aren’t like this. I mean this will — and then I started talking to some friends of mine and they go, “You know, Mark, the people that have the intelligence and the wherewithal and the drive aren’t going to get involved in politics, they’ll get involved in business.”

And it’s like, yeah, I never thought about that before, right? So, hopefully there are some changes coming both here and in Europe because we really could use some real leaders.

Rhod: Yeah. And I basically what we in Russia hope for is — and we’re actually beginning to lose patience because we keep making overtures to say, okay, guys let’s sit  down let’s talk let’s resolve these issues. Let’s work together to resolve the situation be it Syria, Iraq, North Korea, etc. But, all Russia does and is good intentions are rebuffed and then it’s reviled and the politicians and the press continue to do so.

And it’s only when I read people like Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Robert Parry, the late Robert Parry and his successors at Consortiumnews, Strategic Culture, the wonderful Stephen Cohen. I mean I don’t have to explain who Stephen Cohen is. He’s probably the living expert on Russia and United States, the professor at New York University.

People like those who actually talk sense who actually have an understanding of the global situation and understand Russia. And Winston Churchill once described Russia as a riddle inside — an enigma wrapped in a mystery, right? It can be, but it’s actually quite easy to understand. It just wants to get along and people to stop poking it and trying to provoke it into something.

Mark: Yeah. It’s — and we’re going to try to actually fix that a little bit. So, we’re still are planning to make a trip to Russia bring several of the Oil and Gas Global Network host to Russia.

I want to talk to the real Russian people. I want to report on this, I want to shoot some video I want to get some audio and bring this back to the rest of the world because what is portrayed in our media is not the reality in Russia. And like I said, you know, I have — not only do I have no animosity toward Russia, I actually like Russia. I want Russia to be our strong ally that it used to be. And me and my circle of friends feel the same way.

Unfortunately, when the media is reporting on stuff in the US back to Russia, they portray it like the Americans don’t like Russia which is not true. And I think the reverse is also not true, I think the Russian people would like to — have no animosity toward Americans and it’s our media that’s making this look like there’s something going on that’s not going on at all.

Rhod: Right. You’re absolutely correct, Mark.  The Russian people do not hate Americans per se. They laugh and they despise the politicians. They have no animosity whatsoever. There are as far as I’m aware at least 50,000 US citizens living in Moscow. And I meet some of them from time to time when I’m in various places on my travels up to Moscow and not one of them has ever, ever had anything said to them personally. They’ve had comments about your government, it’s a bit suspect shall we say. But, on a personal level the people are great.

I live in Ufa and the British Foreign Office throughout report is be careful when you’re in Russia because British citizens might be liable to an attack. I’m attacked all the time by affection.

Mark: [Laughs] I love it. I love it. Yeah. So, Rhod, we need to start winding this thing down.

Rhod: Okay.

Mark: Quick plug. If people want to find out more about you and your company, where should they go?

Rhod: You’ll put it up at the end. Now, we just got to do the craft beer section.

Mark: Okay. This is the craft beer section because craft beer has grown tremendously. Yeah.

Rhod: It’s grown exponentially all over the world and it hit Russia – hit Russia about five or six years ago, but then it’s just grown like a mushroom cloud. So, here we go.

Mark: So, that’s a craft beer in Russia? 4.9% alcohol. Geez, dude.

Rhod: That’s wheat beer.

Mark: Okay.

Rhod: They’re producing German-style wheat beer locally.

Mark: That is so cool.

Rhod: Yeah. And most of these Russians like them a bit strong.

Mark: Well, 4.9% is a very strong beer.

Rhod: Yeah. I tend to stick to 4% because that’s just about my limit you know.

Mark: So, Rhod, let me ask you this. Is the younger generation in Russia moving away from the traditional spirits because Russia has always been a  vodka spirits…

Rhod: Yeah, very much so. I mean summers here, people are in the park the pavement cafes almost every spot that has a bit of green space. So, plastic tables and chairs and a small marquee pops up with a couple of coolers and a couple of kegs and having a hotdog and a cold beer you know. And that’s wonderful, it’s just people just sit around and watch the world go by in summer evening and stuff like that.

So, yeah, so the younger people as I mentioned in one of our last broadcast do drink spirits, but it’s normally Western spirits. I mean Tequila is particularly popular here.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Craft beer is growing and these are brands just locally and very unusual bottle.

Mark: Oops. Oh, that’s cool. It’s really cool.

Rhod: Another one here. This one you’ll love the label.

Mark: Oh, I do love that. Yes. [Laughs]

You know what’s cool about this is this are entrepreneurs, right?

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: Even if they’re selling beer, they’re using the technology they’re marketing themselves they’re doing stuff with their hands they’re building a business which is awesome.

Rhod: That’s correct. I mean basically all these are small independent. Not one of them is owned by a major brewery. And last time I was in Moscow, I went to this particular bar that’s just not from Pushkinskaya which is near the center which is Pushkin being poet. And, I went in this bar and I had a twenty seven different craft beers on draft.

Mark: On draft?

Rhod: On draft.

Mark: Holy shit. Oops, excuse me. I will edit that part. [Laughs]That’s a lot of different draft beers.

Rhod: Yeah. And all of them were about 2 bucks.

Mark: 2 bucks US?

Rhod: 2 bucks US for a half liter.

Mark: God, it’s cheap. [Laughs]  All right. So, I know where you’re taking me when we come to Russia.

Rhod:Oh, I’ll take you all over the place. You’ll love it.

Mark, it’s a pleasure as always.

Mark: Yeah. So, this has been great. Rhod. We’re going to get this out. People, if you’re looking to do business in Russia and you want to know what the landscape looks like, reach out to Rhod reach to his company. Great guy.

We are planning to make a trip out there. I’m not sure when that’s going to happen, we’re still working with details. But, you know this is one of those things were we want to bring the power of the Oil and Gas Global Network to Russia so that we can report on what’s really going on. And Rhod has been gracious enough to be a friend of ours for a very long time, so we’re looking forward to actually meet you in person because you and I have never met in person.

Rhod: It seems as though we’ve been friends for years.

Mark: It does. Yeah. So, we’re going to get out of here soon.

Rhod, thank you very much for your time.

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

OilComm and Deer Hunting. Interview with Sanjay from ITC Global


To learn more about Crew Live and ITC click here.

And here for a Subsea 7 Crew Welfare Solution

Mark: Hey, folks. Let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. We’re at OilComm 2017 and we’re sitting here with Sanjay with ITC Global.

How are you doing today, Sanjay?

Sanjay: I’m doing very good, Mark. How about you?

Mark: Very good. Now, what they don’t know is this is the third time we’ve tried to do this.

Sanjay: It is. It most certainly is, but I’m getting better every – at every take.

Mark: Yeah. And so, y’all have a new offering out there that is really cool and it’s called?

Crew LiveSanjay: Crew Live. Crew Live is a pay as you go internet service that we provide to the employees on board a drilling rig or a jackup or something that allows them to connect back home. And it’s a zero cost to the oil and gas, our direct customers.

Mark: Yeah. This Crew Live product is awesome. So, basically what happens is ITC Global come out to your platform your production facility whatever set up all the infrastructure make the connections and give your crew give your employees internet connectivity that they pay for not you which then allows them to do all the stuff that a modern young people like to do Facebook, stream movies, all that sort of stuff.

Sanjay: That’s right. We’ve had customers used Netflix, Amazon, they are doing FaceTime with their families back home. We even had one person look at his deer list out in West Texas so that he could hunting when he got back to shore.

Mark: How cool is that, by using gamecams and a internet connection you can be offshore and check out your deer lease. Only in oil and gas and only in Texas.

Now, you also do much more than that. So, besides doing that sort of that which is really cool and I think an awesome offering, literally any type of communications requirements at the oil and gas industry needs y’all probably can help?

Sanjay: We do. We are part of Panasonic Avionics corporation, so Panasonic is one of the world’s largest purchaser of commercial satellite bandwidth. So, we have a lot of bandwidth and availability, so we’re able to sell capacity to customers at a very competitive rate and we have coverage globally and sometimes multiple layers of coverage for our customers. So, we are able to provide diversity on satellites as well as teleports.

Mark: Yeah. That’s awesome. So, if people wanted to learn more about ITC Global, where they should go?

Sanjay: I would recommend they go to or they could reach out directly to our marketing team, and we’ll give them any information that they need from us.

Mark: Yeah. And, we’ll put a link in the show notes so you don’t have to be writing stuff down.

Sanjay, thank you so much for your patience and for your time today.

Sanjay: Not a problem. Thanks very much, Mark. I appreciate it.

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


OilComm and Space. Interview with Ron from LeoSat

To learn more about LeoSat click here.

Mark: Hey, folks. Let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. We’re at OilComm 2017 the communications headquarters for the oil and gas industry.

And we’re sitting here the Ron of LeoSat. How are you doing, Ron?

Ron: I’m fine. Thank you. How are you?

Mark: Very good. Now, I’ve read your press release, that’s the whole reason you and I are talking and y’all are doing something that I think is revolutionary satellite communications. Do you want to talk about that a little bit?

Ron: Yeah. That would be great. I appreciate the opportunity.

Mark: Yeah. So, y’all are actually coming out with a new satellite network that works differently than anything else out there?

Ron: That’s correct. Yes. The design is effectively the other way around. Typically, satellite industry is taking satellites and bringing them closer to earth and trying to make them do a little bit more of what they’re already doing. This is the other way around. We’re taking MPLS routers. Everything is connected on the face of the earth with fiber infrastructure as you know. We consolidate them effective into 78 boxes, we bring them up in space at 1400 kilometers all the wires are gone clearly replaced that by lasers.

And now, we have an optical backbone in space and the only challenge becomes to how to plug into it because once you’re in is like with any other terrestrial network you can go anywhere you like and with speeds and latencies that, you know, far surpass the capabilities of anything satellite and fiber.

Mark: Yeah. And that’s the thing I thought was so cool because latency has always been an issue with satellites. And, this is also way more secure, we’re in a world where cyber security is more and more of a concern to oil and gas industry.

Ron: That is correct. I was at presentation this morning and it was all about, you know, how this industry is wide open to, you know, security issues and then cyber attacks. And to now be able to carry traffic in an infrastructure that is not tunneling through or not interconnecting with any third party network and is really, you know, it’s takes – it takes VPN and it takes the V off effectively. It’s really a private network.

So, that type of security on top of everything else that you do with encryption and those types of technologies really make this into a super secure network that I think this industry is really in need of.

Mark: Yeah. And this industry does have a need for this. As we grow as new technologies come to oil and gas, the one thing everybody needs is connectivity and LeoSat has connectivity that covers the globe or will cover the globe in a very secure very robust low latency environment.

So, Ron, if people want to learn more about LeoSat, where should they go?

Ron: They should go to our website, or visit us at one of these conferences. We’re going to be out here talking about the system and, you know, in the future shows, so we welcome the opportunity to meet people in person.

Mark: Yeah. So, folks we’ll put a link in the show notes so you don’t have to write down anything. Don’t mind the people just walking by not paying attention to what happens.

Ron, thank you so much for your time today.

Ron: You’re welcome. My pleasure.

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


Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018

Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018

Hey, folks it’s that time…Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018.

We’ve done this since 2014 (2015, 2016, 2017), and we went back and looked and we have about a 75% success ratio. Which is actually pretty good, considering we aren’t professional analysts. But we do get this information from our clients and also the research we do all year long. So are you ready?

Number one. Online searches. Up until recently it didn’t matter if your company made 1-inch ball valves, if you showed up on Google. Surprisingly we’ve done the research and from 2014 to the end of 2016, online supply chain searches in oil and gas globally have grown 1700%. That’s right, 1700%.

Why? The old guy in the warehouse who knew where the 1-inch ball valves were, he didn’t go online and look for anything. If his boss told him to get some, he had vendor A, B, and C because he’s played golf with them for the past twenty years. They went out drinking, dinner, hunting, fishing and so on. So he knew where to get the ball valves. And if for some reason his vendors couldn’t supply him, he had a stack of paper catalogs he’d looked through. Well now he is gone. He’s taken the package or he’s retired. The new young person right out of school that took his job, when his boss says get me 1-inch ball valves, first thing he does is look for it on Google.

If your company doesn’t have a strategy to show up in organic search — searches for whatever your company does. Whether it’s a process, a service, parts, whatever. If you don’t show up in online searches, that it’s going to start hurting your business now. And you’re going to lose large chunks of your business in the future.

Online Searches-Vital for Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018

I know several large (and I mean really large) oil and gas service companies that are aware of this, and they’re working on it right now. Now the cool thing is if you’re a small company, you can pull ahead of these larger companies. If you go online right now and search for oil and gas sales experts, you’ll see me, modalpoint dominate huge multi-billion dollar companies, because we understand the importance of this. If you want to see some really extra cool, go search for oil and gas speaker and see who comes up number one.  So that’s the first one for Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018, online searches.

Number two. This new younger workforce; they act and think differently. We talked about number one. This new younger workforce is coming in and they’re going to expect consumer grade technology. No matter how well you treat them, no matter what type of path to future success they have, they’re not work for your company for 20 or 30 years because they want different work experiences. Just the paycheck isn’t enough for them. They want to make a difference and they want to understand what’s going on, and play a part.

So this new younger workforce is coming in and it’s coming very fast. Right now, about 33% of the oil and gas workforce here and Europe are under the age of 35. In five years, this will be 70%.  You have no choice, they’re coming and that’s who’s going to be running our industry. You got to get used to it, but that’s one of our oil and gas predictions for 2018.

Labor Shortage (No Really)

And then, everybody is going to think I’m crazy. Remember, last year I called the — the inflation on land at the very end of 2017 which is going on right now, so we got that one right.

So number three. Labor shortage. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I know we’ve had a bunch of layoffs in industry especially upstream and the service companies, but we’re facing a labor shortage; skilled labor, unskilled labor, managerial, project managers, engineers. There are simply not enough young people going to school to supply the need that we have.

So, one of two things are going to happen. You will see a price war breakout, which is never good for our industry. Or we’re going to have to look at ways of running our business with less people, and that’s an interesting way to go. We think there’s going to be a technology play there so we are keeping an eye on that. So, number three is labor shortages.

Number four for Oil and  Gas Predictions for 2018. Changing buyer behavior. If you’ve been in sales in oil and gas, you’ve always looked for the “decision-maker”. Well he doesn’t exist anymore. It’s now a decision making team. And what used to be a linear track from discovery to close is now all convoluted, because all the different decisions have to be made by different groups of different people. If your sales and marketing organization doesn’t understand how that’s changing, you’re going to get left behind. So change in buyer behavior is number four.

Then, number five. We’ve hit the valley of negative public perception. We think 2018 the public perception of oil and gas (which is not good right now) will hit rock bottom. It’s interesting, of the millennials about 13% think of oil and gas in a positive way. The generation, the one right behind them, it’s a negative 3.5%. Come on people, as an industry we have to change that.

We have several oil and gas podcast and that’s our mission on the podcast. Its to help change the young people in the world’s opinion of this great industry (see bottom of this page). And we think in 2018, we’re going to hit the bottom of that negative public perception. And then we will start coming back up. We’re starting to finally understand how to use social media. And the world at large is starting to understand the prosperity that we bring with cheap, abundant, reliable energy. So rock bottom public perception and starting to reverse that trend is an Oil and  Gas Predictions for 2018.

Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018 – New Business Models

Then new business models. Come on, Schlumberger is now an operator? You have pipeline companies that are actually standing up ethylene crackers. The world of oil and gas is changing and there’s these new business model that companies are trying. If you think about Schlumberger forming joint ventures with NOCs, what they are doing is testing the waters. They do that all the time (think OneSubsea). And once they get it figured out, then they’ll go full-blown and become an operator as one of their business units.

Imagine Schlumberger is an operator. Number one they can sell their services at cutthroat prices, which reduces the overhead of those wells, which means they can make money where anybody else can’t.  Or they can keep their services the same, but make sure they provide the on time and help that operator which it would actually allow Schlumberger to produce oil in a more economical way. Either way they win, so they’re mitigating their risk by becoming an operator. That is really cool. And like I said, there’s a whole bunch of different models being tried and this is something new for oil and gas in 2018.Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018

Then finally, number seven. We’re having confidence in upstream sector. Prices are still low and prices are going to stay relatively low forever. That $50 to $65 price range, but we’ve driven so many inefficiencies out of the system that we are now comfortable with that price range. So investors, upstream companies, the NOC’s, the majors, the super majors, they’re starting to spend money again in upstream. They’re not going to do silly stuff and land still rules, but you’re seeing that confidence come back in upstream which is good for everybody.

Then, pay attention. Here in the U.S. we’re going to have a boom in midstream; pipelines, tankers, rail, etc?  Look at all the pipelines being built in the Permian. Why? Because it drives efficiencies and it’s safer for the environment. Plus it makes it a more predictable model not just to move the crude that you get out of ground, but to remove around the fresh water you need,  to move the produced water to move around natural gas.

There’s a whole Renaissance of new pipelines being built in the U.S. and you need to get ahead and understand it because it’s number eight Oil and Gas Predictions of 2018.

NGL’s Will be Huge

Then NGL (natural gas liquids) they’re going to be huge. As we increase our production the world has an appetite for our NGLs. NGLs things like butane, pentane, propane and we are producing the begebe’s out of NGL’s and we are selling it to the rest of the world at very high margins. That’s stuff we use to almost just throw away, we are now selling and making very healthy margin on. So NGLs are going to be a huge business boom and are part of our  Oil and Gas Predictions for 2018

Now I called this wrong in 2015. But I’m going to call it again and put my neck on the line. Number ten for Oil and Gas Predictions 2018, Mergers and acquisitions. I think the M&A activities will go through the roof in 2018. I think you can see large service companies combined to join forces. I think you will see a lot of independents combining. I think you’re going to see companies that just to be used thought of a technology company buying bits of oil and gas because they know they can make money out of it. I think the M&A activity for 2018 is going to be crazy and that’s just good for everybody.

All right. So, I just rattled off our ten Oil and Gas predictions for 2018. Can you do me a favor if you found it useful, can you share this? You know forward it to a friend, do the all company e-mail, post it on Twitter, whatever.

But this is our predictions for 2018. I hope you found it valuable. And like I said we have the podcast. I’ll put a link in the show notes so you can go check those out. We have a bunch more in the works. And we’re really building this Oil and Gas Global Network media super power in oil and gas. Its fun and we’re making a difference.  So, go check that out as well.


Oil and Gas This Week

Oil and Gas Industry Leaders

Oil and Gas HSE


Oil, Gas, China and Rum. Interview with Rhod MacKenzie

To learn more about Rhod’s company click here.


Mark: Hey, folks let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.

All right. It’s been awhile, but we have Rhod MacKenzie with Rusmininfo back on the show.

How are you doing today, Rhod?

Rhod:I’m good, Mark. And you?

Mark: I’m doing good.  It’s — you and I both been busy and then, we had all these storms come through and it’s just been awhile, but you know one of the things I want to talk about it if anybody’s followed us for any length of time is you and I got this oil price thing pretty darn close didn’t we?

Rhod: Well, we last spoke in December and oil was $51 and the doomsayers were saying it will go to $30 or even down to $20. Yeah, here we are sitting today and Brent’s at $58.83, WTI is at $52.05, so I think we’ve pretty much called it as it would be over $50 for the foreseeable future.

Mark: Yeah. And so, we’re getting ready to do our predictions for 2018 next month which is just a week or so away. But, we see that the price is probably going to stay around there regardless of what happens regardless of what OPEC does regardless what the United States does.

Now, the only thing is if for some reason hostilities break out into actual conflict in the Middle East, you’ll have a spike in oil prices but it’ll be a temporary spike. You know the U.S. is producing a ton of crude and gas, Russia is producing a ton of crude and gas regardless of the sanctions, both countries are exporting and I think that we’re seeing and I’ve said this before, this is the beginning of the destabilization of OPEC.

You know where Russia and the U.S. and other large producing countries once they start exporting, OPEC has less and less control over global prices.

Rhod: Well, I’d like to sort of disagree with you slightly there.

Mark: Okay.

Rhod: We recently in Russia had a visit from the king of Saudi Arabia.

Mark: That’s right.

Rhod: He went to Riyadh, the King actually came into Russia with a thousand people in four jumbo jets. He took over every five-star hotel within a 10-minute radius of the center of Moscow and they even changed the deco for him.

Anyway, what is culminating this has happened already over the last six to nine months is apart from OPEC, you know, OPEC and Russia is working hand in hand as they’re the two biggest producers of oil, Russia and Saudi Arabia to actually stabilize. As we talked last December, less is more. If you produce less, you get more money because the price stabilizes.

Russia is now working as they say hand and glove with Saudi Arabia and the other members of OPEC drawing in other people who are not part of OPED into making sure that the oil price stabilizes. Now, that’s good for everybody.

Mark: Right.

Rhod: For producers for consumers because there’s a level of stability. And I think that’s going to continue.

Mark: Yeah. So, I agree with you and this is funny because you and I usually agree upon everything. And one of the cool things about both — both of the countries we live in is it’s actually really nice you can disagree and still be friends.

So, one of the things that we saw coming when Russia started working with OPEC, you know, that’s something from United States’ point of view that from an economic point of view we shouldn’t want that to happen because now you’re looking at two biggest producers in the world partnering together which then gives them leverage over global prices.

And I’ve been saying for years is that we need to revamp our efforts to  work on our relationships with Russia because I as an American we rather Russia and the US be partners as far as oil prices than Russia and Saudi Arabia or Russia and Saudi Aramco. So, you know it’s where it is because of our politics and it’s — but I just don’t think it’s best for the U.S. And, you know hopefully in the future as we get things stabilized hopefully are relationships with — between us and Russia can improve because the Russian people are great people.

And it’s one of the things I’ve run into in one of our conferences recently is we had somebody — had a couple of delegates from Russia and they were talking about the differences in what the news reports in the relationships between us and Russia and what the Russian people believe, right? The Russian people at this point and correct me if I’m wrong, a lot of them are kind of worried that the United States the people in United States don’t like Russia and that’s not true at all, but that’s been fed by our media not by actual real people and real event.

Rhod: That’s correct. I mean I don’t run into many Americans in Ufa, but I run into quite a few on my trips up to Moscow. And, yeah, I mean the whole attitude has been ramped up by the media. I mean you might find this ironically funny, but Rex Tillerson who’s the Secretary of State when was he was CEO of ExxonMobil in 2003 received the Order of Friendship medal from Russia because of his contributions to the friendly relationship between the U.S. and Russia.

So, hopefully some sort of reset can happen. We would certainly welcome it and the Russian people would certainly not demonize and we’ll go into that later in the program and I’ll show you some when we get to the alcohol section of it.

Mark: The alcohol section. You know it’s us, we have an alcohol section which fits in perfectly, right? So, what else is going on?

Rhod: Well, basically Russia and the sanctions have pretty much failed.

Mark: Yeah, I agreed a hundred percent. We just need to remove what’s left, but, yeah, a hundred percent they haven’t done anything.

Rhod: I mean it’s record gas exports to Europe and despite everything Russia share of the market in Europe has gone from $33 to $37 this year and will continue. Russia has displaced Saudi Arabia as the largest exporter of oil into China and that’s only going to continue.

And also, from a perspective that might be slightly worrying is Russia and China are now trading oil in one.

Mark: Yeah. I’m a little worried about that too.

Rhod: Yeah. Well, obviously that’s a huge amount I mean the volume of trade is signed then the oil deal over a period of 20 years is $400 billion. That $400 billion dollars that are not going to be in dollars.

Mark: Right.

Rhod: So — plus Russia and China are two of the largest countries with gold reserves and they’re actually backing this trade with gold. So, if Russia sells China oil, it gets physical gold back in return, not pieces of paper. So, so that’s quite an interesting concept of what will go forward. Iran is now trading if — with China again in its own currency and that was only going to continue.

Mark: Yeah. So, what do you think about the LNG exports from the U.S.? We’re starting to enter the European market, is that just such a small percentage that it doesn’t really show up…?

Rhod: Very small.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Very small. Mark, basically you’re exporting a little to Lithuania and a small amount to Poland. But, basically you cannot compete in price with pipeline gap.

Mark: Right. I know that.

Rhod:  It’s just too expensive. So, basically it’s a thing that Americans won’t make any money. I mean the real place to sell LNG is the Asia Pacific.

Mark: Yeah, Asia Pacific, of course.

Rhod: Yeah. That’s the other biggest consumers of LNG because they don’t have a lot of their own gas.

Mark: Right.

Rhod: So, Japan, Thailand, other parts of Indochina, etc. Those are the places that are premium markets for LNG which is why Yamal which is the biggest project in Russian history which is going to cost about $35 billion in its three different phases is going to stop exporting almost totally its LNG to Japan to South Korea and to China.

Mark: Hey, Rhod let me stop you right here because if this is the first time anybody is watching us, let’s talk a little bit about what you do. You don’t sound like you’re Russian, so it sounds like you’re from another part of the world.

Rhod: Yeah. I am from another part of the world a place called Scotland.

Mark: Okay.

Rhod: But, I’ve been in Russia for 26 years for the last 13 of them I’ve been in a city in the Ural Mountains, an oil and gas center called Ufa which is spelt the way it sounds which is U-F-A.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: In fact, it’s the only city in the world with airline called is exactly — has exactly the same number of letters in it as the name of the city.

Mark: That makes it convenient even when you’ve been drinking you can still get home. And so, you have a company called Rusmininfo, what do y’all do?

Rhod: Basically, what we do is we gather from over 2,000 different Russian language sources from a local regional and national level in Russian concerning the oil and gas sector. We translate it from Russian into English and we fly that out to our clients. It’s so categorized, so if you’re interested in drilling or seismic surveys or petrochemicals, you only get the news that you actually require, nothing more nothing less.

We have an archive going back 10 years, so if you want to do a research paper on what has been happening in Russia. But not only Russia, we cover as Azerbaijan, we cover Uzbekistan, we cover Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan which is, again, Turkmenistan has one of the largest gas reserves in the world .

Mark: Yeah. And so, other companies if they want to do business in Russia, you actually help them figure out what projects are being started, where they are, what’s the budgets, what’s the scope of the project. So, you basically hand them the data or the information on these large projects all over Russia?

Rhod: That’s correct. I mean some of my clients for example one of my most famous and well-known clients within oil and gas industry is Wood MacKenzie.  They take a fair bit of my data and put it into all their high- priced reports.

Mark: Yeah. We know Wood Mac very well. So, yeah, if you’re a company out there and you’re looking to do business in Russia, Rhod’s company helps you shortcuts and figure out where is the best use of your time and money so you can actually go in make the deals and start making some money and start actually doing some good work out there.

All right. So, I’m sorry, anything else?

Rhod: Yeah. Basically, it’s any part of the sector. I mean my sort of catchphrase is we cover everything from finding it to refining it.

Mark: Yeah. Yeah. So, any project any company out there that’s looking to do business in Russia, reach out to Rhod. He’s a great guy.

Let’s go back. All right. So, we’re – we’re talking about this Asia Pacific LNG market. Is Russia’s starting to look at that market?  Are they starting to look to maybe export LNG and compete?

Rhod: Well, one of the major projects that was started in the 90’s and already shipped 10 million tons of LNG is on Sakhalin which is just above Japan. And Japan and China are the two biggest recipients of that. But, this project of LNG in Yamal which is one of the world’s largest gas fields is a joint venture between a Russian company called Novatek, Total, and the Chinese National Oil Corporation.

As I mentioned earlier, the total investment into it is more than $30 billion.

Mark: I didn’t even know – I didn’t even know that was even there. Wow, that’s really cool. So, they were actually kind of first to the Asia Pacific LNG market?

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: They compete directly with the Australians who obviously are a major LNG producer in that region. But Sakhalin has been going since I think 2003.

Mark: Yeah. It was interesting to watch what happen when Japan had their – tsunami and the country as a whole start to look somewhere else other than nuclear. And the thing it’s interesting to me about that is I’ve seen the data, nuclear is one of the safest ways to generate electricity there is, but when public perception runs the wrong way, then you have a shift in what you want to use to power your country and that’s where LNG is fallen in is is Asia Pacific their populations are coming out of an agriculture society, so they need more electricity. And at the same time there’s public sentiment against nuclear which is strange because it’s so safe, but it’s — it’s the way the world runs.

Rhod: Well, I think you’re correct that is relatively safe as long as you don’t build it in an earthquake zone.

Mark: Yeah. Right. Yeah.

Rhod: But, you are absolutely correct. One of the reasons that Gazprom’s exports to Europe are growing is the fact that Germany closed down its nuclear power stations.

Mark: Yeah. They’re inner wind program no matter what you read has been a dismal failure. [Laughs] And so – and, yeah, the only people that really are benefiting — the German people are suffering because their price of electricity is going up to the point that it’s driving out manufacturing which is Germany’s bread and butter you know.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: And it just benefits countries like Russia and everybody else that sells them gas. And the funny thing is they’ve actually increased coal-fired plants to fill in the gaps from the renewables which actually made CO2 emissions worst, but the public doesn’t know that.

Rhod: Yeah. I mean we’re in the process of finishing off by one of my major clients, Nord Stream the Nord Stream II pipeline which will actually double the amount of gas that goes under the North under the Baltic Sea into Germany and then to OPAL which is another interconnecting pipeline that then ships black gas down to Austria which can then be routed to Slovakia to the Czech Republic to the many southern republics.

Plus, there’s another pipeline that is going across the Black Sea and that’s called Turkish Stream and that basically will be able to gasify not only Turkey but with extra threads will goes into the Baltic States.

Mark: Yeah. That infrastructure is so important for the financial well-being of companies that export gas. It’s — people don’t realize how much pipelines are in this world. I can’t remember what the stat is, but I know here in the just in the United States if you took all the pipelines that are in the ground and connect them, you’d  go around the earth like 17 times you know and that’s just here. And that’s one of the constraints globally.

So, there’s other parts of the world have huge oil and gas fields that are recoverable, but they don’t have to infrastructure such as pipelines to move it around, so it ends up being cheaper for them to import it even though they have their own. You see that happen in Mexico.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Yeah. That’s correct. I mean Transneft which means oil transport company translated into English. Neft is the Russian word for oil, right? So, they have 68,000 kilometers of oil pipelines.

Mark: Yeah. That’s crazy. I mean that’s — and the funny thing is the general public has no idea it’s even exist because most of it is underground. It’s like an interstate system underground to move goods around.

Rhod: Yeah. You’re absolutely correct.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhos: So, basically everything in Russia is getting better. Last couple of years have been tough, obviously the oil price going down, but this year the government benefitted by around $60 billion just by the oil price stabilization because they budgeted last year for 2017 oil at $45 if they took the mean average between the previous year of $40 and $50.

And, you know now they’re looking at it from a perspective of hang on a minute maybe $50 to $55 is going to be the mean level for the future.

Mark: Yeah. And I  think so too and you’re starting to see U.S. and European companies figure out that’s the new future and so, they have to learn how to be profitable in that world. And you can be, it’s just you can’t be ridiculously wasteful like you were when oil was $140 a barrel.

Rhod: Of course. I mean what you have to understand that once you take the initial investment in Russia into the infrastructure and putting things together the average extraction even at difficult fields as we call them here is between $10 and $15 dollars a barrel.

Now, compare that with the U.S. and where even the shale oil, etc, shale gas, they really need $50, $60 even $70 to actually make money because they’re so indebted. I mean they can’t afford to invest.

Mark: Yeah. It’s interesting we’re starting to see the business models start to change. So, you have the cost to get to the oil, but the other thing a lot people don’t realize there’s a cost to get it out of the ground. It’s called lift cost.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: Then, you have to transport it and what’s traditionally happened in the U.S. is that everybody did this on credit, everything from the small mom and pop operators to the largest ones, they would borrow money go do the work and then have to pay that money back with some interest and it was this machine that they were always trying to stay ahead of have enough money to pay my loan debt my bill for that month, but I have to make more money because I know I’m going to borrow more money.

And so, we’re starting to see companies move back toward a cash basis which just makes more fiscal sense, right? And there will be times where companies have to borrow money, but you don’t want to borrow money to keep your operations running so you can borrow more money and it just it’s, you know, that just doesn’t work well especially in the volatile market. So, a lot of companies unfortunately didn’t figure that out and they went out of business, people lost their jobs.

But, we’re starting to see companies move toward more cash basis which I think makes more sense. And I think it’s going to even out these peaks and valleys a little bit. They’ll — it’s still a commodity still a global commodity it’s still up and down, but if we can just level it out so it’s not as much that, just benefits everybody.

Rhod: Well, I think you’re absolutely correct. And what you have to understand this is the last two years of the volatility of the oil prices being in the $30s then the $40s and low in the $50s is investment into new deposits, the finding of new deposits went.

Now, as you aware as I’m aware, it’s six years seven years from finding it to getting out the ground and there’s a lot of expense goes into that. Now, major companies in the West have continued to cut back on investment into being able to find new fields etc focusing cost-cutting on economies of scale that they could get in their current activities. So, they’ve actually neglected the finding of new deposits and the finding of new oil.

That’s going to come back and haunt them and the actual oil price three four or five years down the line you know. Those companies will find that their lack of investment into finding new oil and it’s going to cost them.

Mark: Yeah. So, it’s called exploration is what we call it in the U.S. Exploration’s budget has shrunk dramatically over the last five years. But, you actually bring out a point that I wanted to tell our audience. A lot of people think that companies like Rosneft or Chevron has went out and looked everywhere in the world where there’s oil. They know they only look where they could drill in the next few years.

So, the reserves the amount of oil this planet has – it grows every year because we find new oil. It’s one of those misconceptions where people think that we know where all the oil is or the big companies and they don’t, they only it  — it only makes economic sense to spend that exploration money on what you’re going to drill in the immediate future.

The other thing that’s happened is new technologies, new geosciences, new sensors allow us to find oil where previously we couldn’t. So, the amount of oil and gas in this planet is it’s not technically unlimited, but you might as well think of it as unlimited. You know nobody worries about running out of sand to make glass or run out of iron ore to make steel. It’s the same way with oil and gas, we’re not going to run out of it. We’re going to quit using it, we’re going to hit peak demand before we hit peak supply.

So, just as a good point you brought that about the whole exploration part because a lot of people don’t understand that it’s all…

Rhod: Well, also many of your people who might be watching this don’t actually understand is Siberia which is just one part of Russia makes up 60% of it has a population of 11 million people and most of those are in six cities. The rest of it has been explored to a limited extent. That’s where some of the major gas fields are some of the major oil fields, but I say some of them Gazprom extracts and basically covers its extraction with new finds every single year. So, Gazprom produces let’s say 5 billion cubic meters of gas on its balance it’s already replace that by geological exploration and finding.

So, you have to understand is you imagine a country the size of America that only had a population of 7 million.

Mark: Yeah. It’s vast amounts of nothing. [Laughs] And I say nothing as far as I mean there’s like no people at such a sparse population.

Rhod: Oh, yeah. I mean basically the majority of the Russian population are my side of the Ural Mountains you know and you have cities like Tyumen,  Tomsk, Vladivostok, etc, but very few of them are any more than a million people. And you can go a thousand miles north and there’s not a lot there.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Apart from millions and millions of trees millions and millions of reindeers and arctic foxes and leopards and all sorts of amazing wildlife. And I don’t know if any of your viewers are into salmon fishing, but forget Alaska, you can fish in rivers and – but you have to get there by helicopter.

Mark: That actually sounds like fun. So, since most of our viewers are in the oil and gas industry, most some hunt and fish. So, it’s actually one of the podcasts we’re working on is the oil and gas to outdoors podcast because this industry has so many people that appreciate nature and the outdoors.

So, Rhod we’re getting kind of close to winding this thing down, is there anything else you want to talk about that’s going on?

Rhod: I think we pretty much covered. Let’s do it again in a month when — let’s do a year and what maybe in sort of one month’s time? Talk about I look back on the year and I can actually pull up some highlights, we’ll do some stats etc.

But, one of the things you touched on really at the beginning is the attitude between Russians — the Russian people and towards Americans and stuff. Your average Russian supermarket is huge, it’s not quite like a Walmart, but it’s getting there, right? And they have everything from live fishing tanks and live crayfish that you can take home in a bag full of water that’s still alive, right?

We have all this stuff and we don’t have people complaining that these fish are being maltreated etc. But, but the alcohol that is available in Russian supermarkets, I can buy wine anywhere in the world from Chile for whatever. But, just to amuse you, I’ve just got a selection from my own collection of alcohol I like to present for my guests when they come around for either my summer party on my Christmas turkey planning.

Now, this one’s going to amuse you. I can buy this for $20.

Mark: You’re kidding me. $20?

Rhod: That’s one liter of Jack for $20.

Mark: That’s crazy. And what’s crazy is it’s made in my own country, it should be cheaper here than it is there.

Rhod: And not only that, I can buy about six different types of it.

Mark: Wow. You know what’s funny about Jack Daniels, we just came back from Tennessee which is where Jack Daniels is made. The county that it’s made in is a dry county, so the residents can’t drink the Jack Daniels that are made in their county. It’s crazy.

Rhod: It’s very crazy. I mean we get all sorts of stuff. Now, you’re in Texas and of course you’re on the Gulf of Mexico and close to Mexico and this is quite popular with young Russians.

Mark: A tequila.

Rhod: Yeah.

Mark: Yeah. That’s really cool. And so, Rhod you’re saying it’s popular with young Russians? So, tequila is not popular with older people? Something relatively new?

Rhod: No. Basically, young people have seen it in the movies and stuff and decided to have shots of it, where the older Russian prefers his vodka.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Or they are huge malt whisky aficionados.

Mark: Yeah. It’s funny, so here the younger population drinks wine and spirits not beer. And so, the beer companies are suffering from the younger generation because they don’t drink beers. It’s funny how generations have differences in what they want to consume.

Rhod: Okay. Well, next when we do it, I will pull up a selection of craft beers because that’s one of the biggest growth here is the young people drink more and more beers and less and less spirits.

Mark: Yeah.

Rhod: Right? This is quite amusing because we even get stuff like this.

Mark: I don’t even know what that is.

Rhod: It’s an aged rum.

Mark: Where’s that from? What part of the world is that from?

Rhod: That’s from Cuba.

Mark: Cuba. Okay. That’s pretty cool.

Rhod: One of the things I will amuse you with is being a British guy as you know I enjoy gin and tonic which is what I’m drinking. The actually make gin.

Mark:Wow. That is cool.

Rhod: This is actually made in Russia and it’s called Barrister because I think they thought it sounded like it was something very Eng…

Mark: That’s funny. And gin, if I remember it, gin is made from juniper berries? So, it’s something different.

Rhod: Yes.

Mark: Yeah. All right. That’s cool. So, you and I were to talk about this off the mic. We have in our budget for 2018 actually make a trip to Russia. We don’t have it approved yet, so we don’t know if we’re going to do it. But, I have been wanting to go to Russia forever and it’s, you know, it’s one of the biggest oil and gas producers or actually I think if I  — so, today’s…

Rhod: The world’s biggest oil and gas producer.

Mark: Yeah. Today, it is the biggest of all and gas producer. So, it’s, you know, it’s been a dream of mine. It’s fun to have you on the show. Any of our listeners if you’re looking to do business in Russia or if you’re curious if it makes sense to do business in Russia, reach out to Rhod. He can help you walk through all that stuff.

Rhod, I know it’s evening over there, it’s Friday you’re getting to enjoy some time with your family. Thanks for coming on the show.

Rhod: Mark, always a pleasure. By the way, I do hope you’re not reported to the congressional committee on collusion with Russians to interfere in the oil and gas industry in the USA.

Mark: Oh, don’t even get me started on that. That’s our own media just doing stupid stuff and what unfortunately people start believing that sort of stuff and it turns into snowball thing it’s like have some common sense, right? No. But, I’m not testifying there. Actually, I wish I was, but they won’t have me there.

All right, Rhod. Once you get back we’re going to put a link to your website in the show notes so if people want to check out Rusmininfo just got show notes click on link you’ll see what he’s doing.

And, Rhod we will have you back in the show in about a month.

Rhod: Excellent. Thanks, Mark.

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