• December 29, 2013
  • Mark LaCour
  • 0

Learn how hydraulic fracking actually conserves water, worse thing to say to a new prospect, what a semisubmersible is, how to be seen as a trusted advisor vs a salesperson, the truth about labor shortages in oil & gas, quirky Oceaneering, social strategy in oil & gas, what “nipple up” means and how to stop fighting fires.


Transcript of Session –

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


All right. My apologies, but this year we’ve just been so damn busy. This is our monthly e-mail show, but we’re going to have to condense October, November, and December e-mails in this one show. So, for next year, we’ll try not to let this happen again, but let’s go ahead and get started.

All right. First thing, number one. I don’t understand how you can support hydraulic fracking, even if it can be done safely, it depletes the precious recess, water. You can’t drink oil.

So, you’re right in the fact that hydraulic fracking does use water, but we need to put this in perspective. So let me throw some numbers out there furnished by the Department of Economic Development at the federal government level.

So, in order to get a million BTUs of energy and a BTU which is a measure of energy from hydraulic fracking, you need to use about 3 gallons of water. To get that same amount of energy from nuclear power, you use 11 gallons of water, from coal, 23 gallons of water, and from corn ethanol, you know biofuel, we use 15,800 gallons of water. So, yes, you do use water in hydraulic fracking, but it uses the least amount of water of almost all of our energy sources.

And then, the other thing is you have to figure in is because of hydraulic fracking, our electrical generating plants are switching from coal to natural gas. Now, remember the number I just [shout] back to you because we’re quitting using coal, we’re actually conserving that water. So we’re actually if you do the math end up with a surplus of fresh water by switching from coal to hydraulic fracking. So get your fact straight, understand what’s going on before you make a decision.

Number two. Quick, worse thing you say when meeting a prospect for the first time?

My favorite thing of the worse thing to say is what keeps you up at night. Come on people, stop that. When you tell somebody that, what keeps you up at night, what you’re really saying is, look, I don’t understand your business or what’s going on, so I’m hoping that you’ll tell me some hot topics. Don’t do that, that’s not what a professional salesperson does. You walk into that meeting and you tell them this is what’s keeping you up at night because you’ve done your research.

Number three. What is a semi-submersible?

All right. A semi-submersible is an oil rig that’s not anchored to the bottom of the ocean floor, it basically can float. Now, the smaller ones are self-propelled and the large ones they either put on the barge where they use a tub and when they get in position, they fill them out with water so they sink halfway hence the name semi-submersible. They’re very stable even in rough water and you get much deeper than you get with the jack-up rig. So, it’s one of the most popular rigs out there.

Number four. What would be your number one suggestion in oil and gas on how to be seen as a trusted adviser versus being seen as a salesperson?

Probably the number one thing you can do is go ahead and make up your mind that you can have difficult conversations around difficult topics. Salespeople tend to skip over that because it’s not leading directly to a sale, an adviser wants to know what are the problems that you’re dealing with, you know what are the elephants in the closet. So if you resolve it to handle these difficult topics first, you’ll be seen more as a trusted adviser than salesperson.

Number five. Do you want to answer that bench press question?

No. I wish you all would quit asking me that.

Number six. Is it true there’s a labor shortage in the energy industry?

So, first thing, it’s not energy, all right? It’s oil and gas, get it straight. Secondly, yeah, there is a huge talent shortage in oil and gas industry both in the skilled and unskilled labor. I mean they’re hiring kids out of high school at $80,000 a year just to be a general hand on the rig and they don’t have enough of them. And people like, say reservoir engineers and geologists are making five times than they’re making ten years ago. It’s crazy.

I will give you couple of pointers. So if you’re a college kid getting ready to go to school or if you’re an adult thinking about going back and getting some education, I’ll tell you what the hot jobs are right now. Number one is mechanical engineering, huge demands for those guys. And the field service tech which you wouldn’t think, but there’s a shortage of field service people. A quality assurance inspector and then a geologist. So, those things are in the highest demand right now and therefore they’re getting the highest dollars.

Number seven. Oceaneering was just added to my account list. Any pointers?

Oceaneering is a cool old company. I say little they’re about $2 billion a year service company. They predominantly do subsea stuff. Think about ROVs subsea engineering, but the funny thing is they also make amusement rides like Disney rides. That’s what makes them a fun little company. They’re about 10,000 employees globally and their business culture is pretty modern. They are quick to cease any new technology that will help them with their clients and they’re easy to get to know because they have a relatively flat org structure for the oil and gas service company. So I hope that helps with your account penetration and good luck to you.

Number eight. Is having a social strategy important in oil and gas?

Yes. And I tell you this much, forget Facebook and Twitter. I actually think those are kind of taking a nose dive than the rest of the industry with oil and gas. Nobody uses that. Your social strategies couple of things needed to think about. You need to have blog with relative good content and it could be long form content, you know the oil and gas industry is full of engineers, they love to read facts and figures and look at graphs and charts. E-mail still works in oil and gas, e-mail campaigns are important, so is cold calling believe it or not because we’re so old fashioned people still answer telephone in this industry. Events.

And then, the thing it’s growing right now is the use of mobile. So you need to make sure that you have a mobile strategy and my preference would be a responsive website, so instead of having a mobile-only website that you would link to and your mobile viewers will go to that website. If you have a responsive website, they automatically adapts to whatever screen size, that’s the best way to go. And if you don’t know what I mean when I say that, talk to your webmaster.

Number nine. I’m embarrass to ask this. Thank God for anonymous postings, but is nipple up a real term?

Yeah, that sounds like something out of a porn film, doesn’t it? But nipple up is a real term. Basically, when the crews are putting together a blowout preventer or stack BOP stack, the process of laying those parts and pieces out and putting them together is called nipple up. So they nipple it up at BOP stack.

Number ten. I’m a sales manager for large technology company and I spent so much of my time firefighting that I have little time to help my team learn more about the oil and gas industry. Help.

I could tell you what you need to do, you’re not probably don’t like to hear it. But, you constantly firefighting means that you need to work on your list of priorities and you also need to attack the underlying reason for those re-occurring problems. So it’s up to you to figure out what that is and get that straight so you can free up time to help educate your sales team.

So there we go, last three months of the year e-mails. I hope that it helps you. From our family to yours, we wish you a very New Year. 2014 is setting itself up to put – be probably one of the most prosperous New Years in the oil and gas market. So from us to you, we hope you have a great prosperous New Year.