Category: Interviews

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, 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.

Clean Gulf, You Need to Go. Interview with Greg Pollock

Click here to learn more and register.


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

Today, we’re in beautiful Austin, Texas which if you don’t know is the capital of Texas. We’re sitting here with Greg Pollock.

How are you doing today, Greg?

Greg: I am fine, Mark. Good to be with you.

Mark: Yeah. And, Greg, you are heavily involved in this conference that’s coming up the first week of December called Clean Gulf. What is Clean Gulf?

Greg: Well, Clean Gulf which we’re celebrating our 27th year – believe it or not is a show that is designed to appeal to many sectors of those operating in the oil and gas industry.

We have exhibit, we have a trade show, we have content program content for the attendees to learn about what the trends are in the oil and gas industry not only with oil spill prevention or response, but even some drilling. You know it’s a multi-faceted program. And then, of course, there are opportunities to network and the fellowship that goes along with being at a conference.

Mark: And I’ve heard your content is exquisite, it’s so good it’s so high quality that if people want to learn more about this sort of thing, this is the place to go.

Greg: Well, we have obviously we’re – this is Texas, the world’s brightest stars are here. Fortunately, we have been able to tap into such a deep talent pool over the years to bring together the folks that program the committee. They actually build the content. So, we’re using the best and brightest to build the best show we possibly can.

Mark: Yeah. And so, OGGN will be there. We will report in as press, we have all the podcasts are going to be there. This is a great show. It’s actually for the first time actually going to be in Houston this year?

Greg: Yeah. Believe it or not we’ve been doing this for – well, we’ll be twenty seven years and this is the first time we’ll be in Houston. We’ve been in Galveston before, we’ve been in San Antonio, but we thought we would bring it back to – to really the heart of where the oil and gas industry is. So, we’re very, very excited about the prospects of being at the George R. Brown Convention Center, December 5th, 6th, and 7th.

Mark: Yeah. You gave the dates. Do you know the website, so if people wanted to learn more about Clean Gulf, where should they go?

Greg: It’s pretty darn simple,

Mark: Yeah. We’ll put a link in the show notes.

And then, Greg, the other thing that I thought was really cool, y’all are actually giving away free passes to just the expo floor like people don’t have to pay if they want to go walk the floor?

Greg: Absolutely. If members of the public or maybe some folks who just don’t have the wherewithal, but they’re still interested in learning what are the best products that are out there to serve the oil and gas industry, you can get an exhibitor — a pass onto the exhibit floor where you can see all of that wonderful technology that our – that our vendors have on display.

Mark: Yeah. And so, we’re going to put that discount code in the show notes too, so you can actually watch the show for free.

All right. So, December 5th through 7th, 2017, George R. Brown in Houston. You’ll be there, right?

Greg: Absolutely, I’ll be there.

Mark: And, we’ll be there and you need to be there. So, if you want to learn more about this fascinating part of the oil and gas industry, go show up. If you go, hit us up on Twitter and if we can meet you in person we’d love to do this.

So, Greg, thank you so much for your time today.

Greg: Mark, thank you. It’s a pleasure being with you.

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


ISSA Chili Cookoff, Free Beer and Process Control. Interview with Craig Longcor


Click here to learn more about the ISSA Chili CookOff and attend for free.

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

All right. We’re sitting here in TechStar with Craig.

How are you doing today, Craig?

Craig: I’m doing great. Thanks.

Mark: And so, you and I both have an event that we love to death that you are involved with which is the ISA Chili Cookoff, but the venue got moved because of the hurricane.

Craig: That’s correct. For years we’ve been hosting out, our venue has been in Houston Farm and Ranch Club and hurricane Harvey of course devastated it like it did so many other things. So, we were able to keep the date the same at November 9th, but we pulled off a minor miracle and found a new location and it’s called the Oil Ranch Hut in Hockley, Texas

Mark: Yeah. And so, if you’ve watched the blog for any length of time, you know that every year we’re at the Chili Cookoff. This is a big event around process control, but the money actually goes to a great cause, doesn’t it?

Craig: Yeah. So, our sponsors and our members are all involved in the oil and gas industry, but the purpose of this event is to raise funds for scholarships to students.

Mark: It’s a great event with all your peers in the oil and gas industry. If you’re in that process control world or you want to learn about the process control, what’s so cool about this is all the vendors are there, but they’re not trying to sell you anything.

What they’re doing is they’re trying to win a prize because everybody cooks chilies, so you get to eat get to drink beer and you can just talk to guys about process control and they’ll show you everything behind the hood including TechStar, y’all are going to be out there, aren’t y’all?

Craig: Yes. We’re going to be out there. We’ve been out there for I don’t – before I came to work at TechStar. But, there is no fee for attendees, it’s free of charge. All the beer and chili you can stand is free. The real benefit for people who attend is that there is going to be like forty nine different companies from the oil and gas industry that will have products to display and demo and just talk about to explain to you how – how the product works and how it benefits you.

On top of that, you get to network with all the – your co-workers that are also in the industry.

Mark: Audience, you have no excuse not to show up.

Craig, if they want to learn more, what’s the website?

Craig: It’s And there’s a scrolling banner across the front that gives all the details on the event, when it starts, where it’s at and how to get there.

Mark: Yeah. And so, folks we’ll put links to the show notes, so this way you don’t have to be writing down. But, I’m telling you go and if you go, hit me up on Twitter. Craig will be there, the whole Oil and Gas Global Network will be there. We are actually probably recording some podcasts and videos, so track us down. It’s a great time, it’s worth your time going. Go.

Craig, thank you so much for your time today.

Craig: Thank you, Mark. I appreciate it.

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


OilComm You Need to Go. Interview with Rick Sperandio




Click here to learn more about the show.


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

All right. Today, we’re sitting here with Rick with Rigstar. How are you doing, Rick?

Rick: I’m doing great. Thanks.

Mark: And we’re going to talk about a conference that we go to every year, OilComm. Now, Rick you’re not just somebody that’s going to be at the conference, you’ve actually has been heavily involved with Oil Con for a long time.

Rick: Yeah, absolutely. So, I’ve been – I’ve been a member of the advisory board off and on over the last seven years, about five years on the conference advisory board. I’ve attended – worked for ExxonMobil for ten years. We were the group responsible for telecom on offshore oil rigs and land based rigs and temporary offices, so we’ve attended as a buyer.

When I made my way over to another one of the vendors at the show, I spent two years attending as a vendor. I spent a couple of years attending just as an outside person to the oil and gas industry, but not in telecom and now, I’m going to be back as – as a vendor again. So, kind of a well-rounded experience there attending from all angles.

Mark: Yeah. And so, from your experience if somebody is out there listening and they’re trying to figure out if they want to attend the OilComm, do they want to expend their travel budget, what would you tell them?

Rick: Well, so OilComm is just a two-day conference in Houston. It’s scheduled again this year back at the Houston Westchase Marriott. It’s right in the heart of the energy corridor of Houston on the west end of Houston.

It’s kind of like a one-stop shop, you are able to interface with every primary vendor in the industry from whatever telecom band you like you operate in. But, there’s folks from all the major oil and gas companies and service companies and it’s really an opportunity to get time in front of everybody that are your peers in the industry. It’s a really great value for sure.

Mark: Yeah. And so, you know we’ve been harping a lot on how technology has changed and technology continue to pour into our industry, part of that technology’s ability to work is its  ability to communicate to talk and this is what it all comes about all the different venues all the different platforms that you actually can have communications.

So, you may not have attended OilComm in the past, but if you’re involved in any type of technology you need to understand how things talk and that’s what OilComm is a great event for.

Rick: Certainly. And, in OilComm while its primary focus is the telecommunication side of the business, you’re absolutely right there are folks from the cybersecurity point of view. There is going to be folks there from the physical hardware from the overall managed service side.

OilCommBut, again, the real value comes in in the halls not just in the in the speaking sessions which I think we’ve got over 30 speakers this year from a variety of different country — countries and companies. But, going between the expo floor and the conference sessions or just on the expo floor, you’ll have an opportunity to meet and collaborate with people that are in similar roles in both competitor companies and your service companies and you don’t get a chance to get everybody in one spot very often.

Mark: Yes, that’s the part that we love about this, everybody is there. So, all three podcasts will be there. We would be there as press. We’re recording podcasts from the event.

Now, OilComm pushed out due to the hurricane Harvey, what’s the new date?

Rick: So, December 6th and 7th. Yeah, hurricane Harvey blew it out a few months, but the timing is going to be just right for everyone.

Mark: Yeah. And if people want to learn more about OilComm, where should they go?

Rick: So,, the website. Certainly you’ll find that there’s also another show at the same time called FleetComm if you’re on the fleet side of the business, but all that information is on the website a list of the speaker gallery, a list of the all the exhibitors, and a whole conference agenda as well as the networking events which are again a great way to meet industry colleagues.

Mark: Yeah. So, we’ll put links in the show notes, so you don’t need be writing anything.

Rick, thank you so much for your time today.

Rick: Certainly. Thank you very much. I hope to see everybody at the show.

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

TIBCO Energy Forum. You Need to Go!

On our must attend list, the TIBCO Energy Forum.

Click here to learn more about this great event.

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

All right. The three of us just could not get into the same town at the same time, so we’re doing this via Skype. I got Michael O’Connell and Kim Hightower here with TIBCO.

How are y’all doing today?

Michael: Great.

Kim: Thanks for having us.

Mark: Yeah. And, Kim you like you’re in car?

Kim: I am in a car. I’m always in a car or an office.

Mark: That’s the world we live in now. So, y’all have an even coming up that we go to every year that we find fascinating. It’s the TIBCO Energy Forum. Let’s talk a little bit what that is.

Michael: Sure thing. Well, we’ve got a terrific program this year. Kim and I have been rounding out folks from all across the energy sector. We’ve got folks – we got a business track with Apache and NRG and Linn Energy talking about these operations and project economics. We’ve got an abstract, we’ve got a tech track. Basically got – what is it, Kim, twelve customer speakers?

Kim: We do. Yes. And holistically it’s a great gathering place for all of our customers. We’ve got, you know, lots of the – the big oil companies are, you know, sending dozens if not more than that, you know, customers to the event where they can talk to others about use cases that we’ve got fourteen or so sponsors, companies that sponsor our TIBCO Energy Forum and talk to customers about what they have going on as well.

Big Oil and Energy Companies will be Here

Mark: And what’s cool about this is if people don’t understand who TIBCO is. Everybody’s heard the name Spotfire, right? Y’all are the leader in big data analytics and our industry as a whole has always been a big data industry, but it’s only lately like last five years or so that they started realizing the business value of mining that data. And that’s what y’all do, y’all help companies like oil and gas companies mine that data to derive good business results.

Michael: Absolutely. We’ve got in addition to that business track I was talking about, we’ve got a tech track which feature some of those big data methods, Mark.

So, we’ve got XTO and Exxon speaking about the Spotfire with Hadoop and geospatial analytics. We’ve got Chevron talking about Spotfire for performance in on conventional. We’ve got BP talking about smart decline curves. So, yeah, big data analytics across the board in the tech track as well as the abstract, business track.

TIBCO Energy ForumAnd, Kim I think one of our big sponsors is a big data application as well, right?

Kim: Yeah. MongoDB is a NoSQL database. They are our platinum sponsor at TIBCO Energy Forum and will be giving a big data use case on the main stage this year. Our first day is really all customer presentations talking about different use cases and analytics across the oil and gas industry – across the energy industry actually. We’ve got an energy, we’ve got a big utility as well.

The second day is an end user forum where we’ve got a hackathon and some training available as well.

Mark: Yeah. Big shoutout to Theo over there at MongoDB. I’ve known him for a long time. We’re going to be out there as well.

So, when in the TIBCO Energy Forum?

TIBCO Energy Forum is September 6th and 7th, 2017

Kim: September 6th and 7th. And typically we have two types of attendees. We’ve got the executive level attendees who attend just the first day for all the customer presentations and gatherings. And then, the end user or the analyst, the engineers typically attend both days so that they can take advantage of the training and the hackathon as well.

Mark: Yeah. And, we’re bringing a podcast. We will be there live. What is so cool about this, this isn’t academia, right? So, if you’re in this big data world or even curious about this big data world, this is real people in oil and gas, real users talking about real use cases. This type of information is so valuable, it’s actually really rare.

We love the TIBCO Energy Forum. We’re going to be there. If you have an interest at all, where should they go, Michael if they want to find out more about the energy forum?

Michael: Well, just go to just right there on the main page we got a link into the energy forum, you can register for the event. We’d love to see you there on September 6th and 7th. As Kim mentioned we got a business track, we’ve got tech track, we’ve got hands on hackathon whether you’re an executive, a manager, a hands on user, there’s going to  just, you know, eight hundred – eight hundred plus Spotfire enthusiasts there speaking about analyzing data for two days. It’s going to be great.

Mark: It is going to be great. And. We’ll stick a link in the show notes so you can just click, you don’t have to be writing everything down.

Well, Michael and Kim thank you very much for your time today.

Kim: Excellent. Thank you very much.

Michael: Thank you.

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

Data Driven Production Conference 4. Interview with Randy Hoppe

Go here now and enter discount code: OGGN400. This will take off $400 from the conference price for our followers. You can also click here to learn more about the DDPC conference.

To learn more about Microsoft Industry go here.


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

All right. Today, we’re sitting here with Randy with Microsoft.

How are you doing today, Randy?

Randy: I’m doing very well, Mark.

Mark: Yeah. And we have the Data Driven Production Conference coming up and I have heard through the rumor mill that y’all are actually speaking there?

Randy: We are. We are. We will be talking about digital transformation in the oil and gas industry and how our customers are looking for to leverage digital to better empower their employees, optimize their operations, and improve the overall profitability of their business.

Mark: Yeah. And so, don’t just think that Randy is some geek from Microsoft, you actually have an oil and gas background?

Randy: I do. I’m an engineer by training. I started my career in downstream in a little chemical plant and from there worked in the automation and control space. So, I consider myself an expert more or less in the OT side of the business versus IT in helping our customers actually apply technology in their business.

Mark: Yeah. And if you don’t know what he’s saying, OT is operational technology, IT is information technology. OT is the business side of technology and it’s vitally important and it’s becoming more important in this low crude price environment which is we think a very long term thing because we’re in hydrocarbon abundant world for a very long time.

So, companies like Microsoft are helping operators or anybody in the industry basically you do more with less.

Randy: That’s correct. Our customers have had a challenging time over the past couple of years with the downturn in the oil and gas industry and they’re asking the question of how do we achieve more with less. We have fewer engineers, fewer technicians on staff, fewer field operators in the field and so, our customers are increasingly more now looking at technology as the way to close that gap in order to drive – drive production, drive optimization across the well sites in midstream and also in downstream.

So, technology is where Microsoft sits and we’re very happy to have those conversations to enable them to transform their business.

Mark: Yeah. And the other thing Randy that we didn’t actually talk about, but when you start driving efficiency, you inherently drive safety metrics, right? Which is a huge driver in this industry.

Randy: That’s correct. Safety is a paramount importance to our customers and anything they do any programs they put in place has safety at the top of the list. And so, having more data to understand how the process is under operation, how can they use data to reduce inherent safety risk to reduce the risk of incidents is of high importance to our customers.

So, we’re using technology such as predictive analytics technologies to take in data to evaluate risk scenarios and then allow our customers to predict risk levels in that process whether that’d be at a well site or on a pipeline, our customers are using technology more and more to help them on their HSE metrics.

Mark: Yeah. So, this  Data Driven Production Conference coming up June 6th and 7th, we’re going to be there, Randy’s going to be there, Microsoft is speaking. We can’t wait to hear y’all speak. A bunch of good technology vendors are going to be out there as well. This is the place to go if you’re looking to drive efficiencies in your production, this is where you need to be.

So, Randy if people want to learn about more about what you and your group does at Microsoft, what – where should they go?

Randy: They should – on the website, they can go to Houston is the center of excellence for Microsoft’s oil and gas business, so we’re very happy to have a conversation with you and understand what your requirements are and help you out in your digital transformation journey.

Mark: Yeah. So, we’ll stick a link in the show notes, so you don’t have to be writing anything down.

Randy, thank you so much for your time today.

Randy: Very welcome and we look forward to seeing everybody at the digital DDP Conference. Thank you very much, Mark.

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


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Data Driven Production Conference 3. Interview with Binu Mathew


Go here now and enter discount code: OGGN400. This will take off $400 from the conference price for our followers. You can also click here to learn more about the DDPC conference.

And go here to learn more about GE Oil and Gas.


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

All right. For some reason me and Binu, we cannot get in the same town at the same time, so we’re doing this interview via Skype.

How are you doing today?

Binu: I’m pretty good, Mark. How are you?

Mark: Busy, but good.  I mean we got this Data Driven Production Conference coming up to us. I think it’s June 6th and 7th and I think you’re actually speaking there, right?

Binu: Yes, I am. It’s very, very exciting.

Mark: Yeah, it is very exciting because the oil and gas industry as a whole has always been a big data and technology industry, but it’s always been siloed and they never had learned how to use it to their advantage. And the company I know that does a really good job of helping oil and gas company to realize that is GE, of course.

Binu: Exactly. Yeah. I think from our perspective this is something that, you know, it’s particularly relevant to us because as you said there’s tons of these data silos and I think that’s grown up as both an artifact of how the industry evolved as well as some of the infrastructure issues that we had before.

But, what’s truly exciting and, you know, it’s tied to the investments that GE has made into our Predix platform. What we’ve done is we’ve taken a lot of the technology that you see coming up from the consumers Facebook, Google, and Facebook, and Amazon did, taking that technology using cloud using a lot of the big data techniques that are available right now and being able to pull of these things together. And so, we have a solution that we think is going to be unique for oil and gas.

Mark: Yeah. And so, you don’t know this because we just met, but on Oil and Gas this Week for the last year, we have been talking about GE in their Predix platform and I think y’all ahead of everybody else and I think y’all are going to hit out of the park.

So, I think it was genius in your part. You got some time to tell, right? You need to see how it gets adopted, but I think you have timed it literally almost perfect almost like you had a crystal ball five years ago. So, I’m really excited, but I’m really excited to actually come hear you speak.

So, you’re speaking June6th, we’ll be there. We’re going to bring a lot of our podcast audience with us and if it’s anybody that’s listening to this if you want to learn about what’s going on with new technology in oil and gas, you need to go to the Data Driven Production Conference. We’ll put a link in the show notes, so it makes it easier for people. And we’re also – they are nice enough to give us a discount because if you sign up use our discount code, you get $400 off.

Binu, this has been a great time, I’ve enjoyed our conversation. If people wanted to learn more about GE and what you are doing, where should they go?

Binu: They should go to

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

And so, Binu thank you so much for your time today.

Binu: Absolutely. Thanks, Mark.

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

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