Insights on automation, IT and management
for the process and hybrid manufacturing industries

Necessity Usually is the Mother of All Invention

Hate to rely on overused sayings but some, such as this title, are just spot on sometimes. Companies operating in upstream oil & gas are faced with an incredibly challenging environment in which prices have plummeted almost 75% since their high less than two years ago but they need to keep up production to maintain their reserves or simply to…

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Integrating “Best in Class” versus “Best System”

The seemingly age old question about whether it is best to purchase “single source” versus “best in class” solutions for operating a manufacturing plant may soon become much easier to answer. The current dominance of proprietary systems may be supplanted by a strong movement toward truly “open” automation. In the open automation strategy, more components, applications, and suppliers will be…

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The ExxonMobil 2015 Outlook for Energy: Must Read

Most of the large oil and gas companies issue some kind of outlook report that incorporates forecasts for global supply and demand of various hydrocarbon and other energy resources for the far future — 2040 or even 2050.  The ExxonMobil Outlook for Energy is a must read for those in the industry and shows major trends in supply and demand…

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BG Shareholders Overwhelmingly Approve Acquisition by Shell

BG shareholders almost unanimously approved the acquisition of BG by Shell.  This promises to be one of the biggest deals of the year and will place Shell well ahead of its rivals in the market for liquefied natural gas (LNG).  One might question such an acquisition in marketplace characterized by oversupply and low prices, but even Shell’s rivals are predicting…

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Petrobras to Cut Staff for $442 Million in Savings

More big cuts at the large integrated oil and gas companies as they continue to adjust to persistent low prices.    

Impact of Falling Oil Prices: Schlumberger lays off an additional 10,000; takes $1 billion loss

Schlumberger Ltd. posted a fourth-quarter loss as the company cut another 10,000 jobs and took a $1.46 a share charge to account for restructuring as the oil market downturn deepened. The world’s largest oilfield service provider reported a loss of $1.02 billion, or 81 cents a share, compared to profit of $302 million, or 23 cents, a year earlier. The…

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