We are more than half way done with 2020 and July was yet another interesting month – oil and gas companies continued to struggle to sustain cash flows at $40/bbl while others succumbed to the market pressures and filed for bankruptcy. On the flip side, we’ve also seen the first major acquisition since the start of the pandemic with Chevron’s announcement to acquire Noble Energy in an all-stock transaction. Analysts predict that this move may set off a wave of M&A activity for the industry to gain economies of scale and become more efficient. Others predict that this deal was a one-off and that many oil and gas companies will still be reluctant to sell in such depressed commodity prices. Only time will tell how much more our industry might change in size and what effect this might have on the development of unconventional, offshore, EOR, and renewable resources going forward.
Like the industry, our section has also experienced changes related to size and growth. Many of our section members have now seen at least a few rounds of layoffs and/or furloughs. Although we can’t control market conditions and oil price fluctuations, we can control how we steer our career through the power of networking. I personally wasn’t proactive in building my network early on but as my career path meandered, I found that I was able learn more and excel by utilizing my network. In some cases, I also found that I could be helpful to others, thereby creating mutually beneficial relationships. Our YP group has done a phenomenal job transitioning our networking events to a virtual platform and I hope that you can join them in their next event which will cover tips on searching for a job during this pandemic.
In 2019, our section was able to contribute over $50,000 in scholarships to students who were pursuing a future in the oil and gas space. With the pandemic, many of our revenue generating social events like Casino Night, the golf tournament, and sporting clays tournament have been either cancelled or postponed to a later date. In light of these circumstances, we are actively pursuing plans to set up virtual fundraising events to raise money for scholarships. Some of us were fortunate enough to land jobs during an upturn in the industry but many of us have faced (and persevered) through the challenges of trying to find a job during a downturn. I hope that you can sympathize with the plight of these students and find ways to help set them up for future success. We will share more details on these fundraising events on our LinkedIn page so please be sure to follow us. Along with fundraising events, we are also actively looking for companies and sponsors who are interested in advertising with our section. Last year, advertising contributions resulted in over $4,000 towards our scholarship fund (which was a huge success considering that this concept was fairly new). Now more than ever, every little bit counts so if you are interested in advertising, please reach out to me or the advertising committee.
We are continuing to actively find speakers and line up topics for monthly meetings and educational events so please be on the lookout for event reminders. I hope that the Zoom meetings have been a fruitful effort but if you have other suggestions or general feedback, I’m all ears. This section is a large, diverse network with great resources and I hope that all of us can mutually benefit from each other. Please be safe and stay positive!