A collection to help you learn the oil and gas industry, and get up to speed on the business drivers.

Our overview of the oil & gas industry. One of our first videos (as you can tell), but our most popular one to date.

The business drivers for 2017 in less than 6 minutes

Books we recommend

The Oil & Gas Industry: A Nontechnical Guide

The Global Oil & Gas Industry: Management, Strategy and Finance

Oil 101

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Podcasts we recommend

Oil and Gas This Week The #1 podcast in Oil & Gas with Jake Corley & myself, this is the podcast for oil pros who quickly want to keep their finger on the pulse of the industry.

Oil and Gas Industry Leaders Hear the real backstories from the men and woman who run our industry. Insightful, thought-provoking and entertaining. Paige Wilson records the #2 podcast at The Capitol Grill every week.

Oil and Gas HSE The #3 podcast in Oil & Gas with Patrick Pistor and myself. Everything around Health, Safety and the Environment with tons of interviews from leaders in the O&G industry.

Oil and Gas IQ One-on-one interview or panel discussion with Oil and Gas experts.

Platts High level well researched information about the oil & gas industry and others.

Publications you should subscribe to (free for my readers)



Oilfield Technology

World Pipeline


API SmartBrief newsletter 



BP’s Energy Outlook 2035

ExxonMobil’s Energy Outlook to 2040

BP’s Technology Outlook



Oil and Gas Global Network OGGN is the world’s first network built by industry experts, for industry experts. If you’re looking for quality oil and gas commentary you can trust, you’re in the right place!

What Oil and Gas workers in the US should know. A great resource by Kathryn Karam a Board Certified Immigration and Nationality Law attorney based in Houston, Texas and serving clientele around the United States and the world. In her new guide on What Oil and Gas Workers in the U.S. need to know, she offers guidance for anyone concerned about how a layoffs might affect their Immigration status and shares her firm’s expertise in helping highly skilled oil and gas professionals remain in the United States.

List of Oil and Gas Companies

BSEEC just the facts on the Barnett Shale region in North Texas

LNG Projects (map) by clicking on a location you will see summary of anticipated capital investments, jobs, and export volumes associated with each site.

How Oil Drilling Works by How Stuff Works

Interactive look at Oil & Gas by Adventures in Energy

Switch Energy Labs see Dr. Scott Tinker demystifies the complex world of energy and gets to the core of concepts, through unexpected experiments and fieldwork.

Energy in Depth just the facts on America’s onshore energy resources

FracFocus an online resource managed by the Ground Water Protection Council to provide the public access to reported chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing.


Apps (sorry just iOS)

Baker Hughes Rig Counts

Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary

Energent Oilfield data Shale plays


Video Transcripts

Oil & Gas Overview

Hey. It’s Mark LaCour. Ready to learn about the oil and gas industry?  Today, we can learn that even though you may be buying Chevron Gas, Chevron may not have much to do with it. Welcome to our overview of the oil and gas vertical. You know most people think they know the oil and gas industry, but they really don’t. So we’re going to see if we can give you some useful information and clear up some common misconceptions. So most people think of companies like ExxonMobil and just assumed they get oil in the ground somewhere in the world, ship that crude in ExxonMobil pipelines to an ExxonMobil refinery, sell it in ExxonMobil gas station. But guess what? That is absolutely wrong, that is not how this industry works. This is how it works. The industry is composed of four main segments; upstream, midstream, downstream, and service. Upstream is actually getting the crude out of the ground. You often hear it called E&P or Exploration and Production. This is upstream, this is upstream, this is upstream, this is actually and FPSO. The next segment is midstream. Midstream is basically moving that crude oil in natural gas. So midstream stuff such as pipelines, supertankers, rail cars. Then, we move to downstream. Downstream is actually the refinery, the refining manufacturing and selling of the products from crude oil and natural gas. So downstream things such a refineries, retail loop stations, fertilizer which is big product of petrochemical refining, lubricants, motor oils, retail gas stations, and plastic which is another large product of crude oil. Then, we move to the service companies. Service are companies that actually provide manpower and help in services the oil and gas industry, but they don’t produce any petroleum or petroleum products themselves. So you have everything from the guys that out there designing the rigs to the crew boats that move men and equipment back and forth to the actual roughnecks that do the drilling, to the manufacturer of drill stem, and things like subsea installations. Every bit of this is service. Then, you also hear the word Super Majors or Combined. What is that? That are companies that do everything; upstream, midstream, downstream, and some service. And right now in 2013, there’s only five of them. This is it. These are the five Super Majors. So what does that mean? We’re going to talk you through literally from cradle to grave a drop the crude oil to the point where it gets into the gas tank of your car. So, the US government auctions off a block of land the highest bidder. After checking my last auction facts in the Gulf of Mexico, $2 billion somebody paid for rights to drill on a piece of land for ten years. That’s it. Think about that for a second. You write a check for $2 billion to have ten years to make that money back and hopefully some profit, but there’s no guarantees. So this case it was BP who spent that $2 billion for a deep Gulf of Mexico lease. BP then needs to drill, right? BP does not have its own drill rigs. BP contracts a drill rig basically rents it from companies such as Transocean. That drill rigs needs to be staffed by people, so you have companies such as Halliburton and Baker Hughes to actually help them operate that drill rig. The crude that gets produced on the drill rig needs to be transported. Guess what? BP puts out to open bid to all the different industries all the different companies in the world who will move this crude oil at the bets price. In this case, it was a supertanker and the win was won by Chevron. So Chevron has the crude oil in supertanker and it’s in transport to refinery, but halfway there, ConocoPhilips on their trading floor buys that crude and it turns around and sells it for few cents profit per barrel. And it was sold to Shell refinery who then refines that fuel at a profit, ships it in Kinder Morgan pipeline to a 76 gas station as owned by who? No, not 76. It’s owned by one of your neighbors which is called the Jobber. So there you go. There it is from literally getting out of the ground into being burning your gas tank as a fuel. And you look at how many different people are involved and how many different layers of profits are involved and this is a very complex industry. So hopefully this helps you understand at least at a high level what goes on in the oil and gas industry.




Top 10 Oil and Gas Business Drivers for 2015

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

Today’s show is when we predict what’s going to happen next year in the oil and gas industry. So today’s show is top ten business drivers in oil and gas for 2015. Let’s jump right into it.

Number one. Low Crude Prices. And when I say low crude prices, we’re predicting that the crude gets below $50 a barrel. Now, a lot of people don’t understand what’s going on and they think that OPEC is trying to punish the US Shell players and that’s not it at all. OPEC did nothing, nothing, they just didn’t cut production and they’re doing it for two very important reasons.

Number one, they’re sticking a knife in Russia’s back while Russia’s down because they got really upset over the whole Ukraine thing. Number two is they’re punishing the other OPEC members that went rogue that didn’t cut production eight months ago when they asked them to like Brazil and Venezuela.

So, keeping oil below $85 a barrel is destroying Russia’s economy and it’s destroying Venezuela and Brazil as well, so that’s what’s going on. We are predicting that those crude prices will stay low all through 2015 and about mid-2016, it will get back up to $85 a barrel.

Because of the low crude price, there’s a bunch of things happening. So, all the ultra-deep water and deep water projects are getting pushed out because they’re expensive. All the deepwater and ultra-deepwater projects are getting pushed out and you can see workovers increases, it’s much cheaper to go get more oil out of an existing well than to drill a new well. So, that in itself is going to be a bunch of business drivers all hinged on the low crude prices.

Number two. New Geo Political Risk. So, you have changing laws in Mexico and Argentina. We’re predicting that Venezuela economy is going to collapse completely and Russia’s almost collapsed. And you have political unrest in both Nigeria and Libya. All of that is new to the oil and gas industry who’s used to having political risk in the Middle East, but not the rest of the world.

Number three. Technology. And, oh, boy, when I say technology, it is everywhere; big data, digital oil field, fiber security, and analytics. All stuff is being adapted by the oil and gas industry at a record place so they can be more competitive.

Number four. Shortage of talent. And we talk about this all the time, the great crew change. But it’s to the point now where the oil and gas company six years ago started working with local universities so they could grow talents because they can’t find the talent they need anymore. And when I say talent, it’s everything from frontline, supervisors, to welders, to management, to geologists, to accounting people. So we reach out the oil and gas industry to start partnering with colleges to grow that talent. Now, we’re at the point where partnering with high schools and I’m part of that. So through the Society of Petroleum Engineers, I go teach STEM which is Science Technology Engineer and Mathematics in my local high school half a day each Friday to help grow that pool of talent. If this keeps up, I’ll probably out teaching kindergarten about the oil and gas industry.

Mergers and Acquisitions. It is a right market for mergers and acquisitions. It is a right market for mergers and acquisitions and we’re going to make a couple of predictions. Somebody’s going to buy BP, it’s either going to be Exxon or Shell. I think somebody is going to buy National Oilwell Varco. But there’s a lot of small players out there that are over leverage and because of the low crude prices, it’s prime time for bunch of mergers and acquisitions.

Number six. Rising Emerging Market Demands. India for the first time surpassed China for the consumption of crude. That’s totally different, it’s going to drop some different metrics in oil and gas industry.

Number seven. Gas. And what else can I say, it is all over the place. Electric companies are switching to gas for their feedstock which is lowering the price of electricity. You can use gas in plastics manufacturing. We’re building the facilities to ship it all over the world. Gas is still a major business driver.

Number eight. Low Interest Rates. And what does that mean? That means that companies can now borrow money very effectively, so these large CAPEX projects will get kicked off; the LNG plants, the compressed natural gas plants, pipelines, rail expansion, all that should be another driver in oil and gas.

Number nine. Longer Term Project Planning. So the big oil companies and even the independents are now instead of looking at their projects from a five or ten-year view, have to look at it from a thirty to fifty-year view. When you’re out there and getting the ultra-deep water projects going, that project alone may take ten years to actually start production, they may produce for another forty years. One thing that’s new in the oil and gas industry.

And then, number ten. Uncertain Energy Policies Here in the U.S. Let me tell you. A typical – we have talked about this, a typical project deep-water is a thirty-year project, but we change political administrations every four years. Those two do not go together, so the oil and gas industry has to really look at what’s happening politically.

We got a couple of predictions. Number one, we think that the U.S. is going to lift its import ban partially so we can also stick a knife on Russia’s back, but it’s also the right thing to do from a business point of view. Keystone will not get approved in 2015, it will get approved in 2016 at the end of Obama’s administration so they can take credit for jobs created.

So, there you go, top ten business drivers in oil and gas in 2015. I hope this helped. We will see you next time.