At the time of my last letter to address the WTGS members, rations were scarce, moral was low and you couldn’t find a single ply of toilet paper for a hundred miles. The events of the year continue to batter the oil and gas industry and certain aspects of COVID-19 seem to have become the new norm. However, if we should be reminded of anything by the last few months its that we need to be thankful for our health and time with family.
The WTGS executive committee has been working hard over the last few months to quickly adapt to the changes pushed upon us by the current situation. As many of you have noticed we have moved our monthly meetings to an online platform in order to keep up social distancing. I’d like to thank our sponsors for sticking by the society as we’ve made this adjustment with our lunches. Hopefully you are all enjoying the great talks that we’ve lined up for you. As 2020 comes to an end we look forward to assessing the public health situation in the new year and hopefully bring back our in-person luncheons. Zoom meetings are a great example of how technology is changing the world for the better. Although I am still of the belief that nothing can replace the handshake and smile of a colleague and friend who you haven’t seen in a while.
Hats off to the Fall Symposium Committee for making fast work to shift a huge yearly in-person event to a successful online event as well. After March the committee had to patiently wait to see how the current health situation would unfold by September. Over the course of less than three months they were able to plan a great symposium with top notch talks regarding the latest technology and ideas being put to work in the Permian Basin. Also, we were able to award Honorary Lifetime Membership to the late Steve Ruppel for his significant contributions to the society and the geologic community regarding the Permian Basin and beyond. Along with the symposium we also had another successful golf tournament. Our thanks go out to all of the sponsors who made both events possible.
It’s difficult not to address the state of the industry as we live through yet another cycle in commodity prices. Many of our colleagues and friends have lost their jobs. Some of us have seen every cycle since the 1980s and some of us our experiencing a downturn for the first time. It’s hard to believe people are writing articles about a future labor shortage in oil and gas with so many talented technical professionals out of work. Be sure to keep up your skills and perhaps even pursue some new ones. If there is any group of people who can adapt quickly, it’s those in oil and gas!
To conclude this letter, I encourage all of you to stay in touch with your networks, help others when you can and remain hopeful that better times are to come. We have taken the elevator down with commodity prices. Now it’s time for the ride up. I hope to see you all soon at a future society whiskey tasting toasting to new jobs, better wells, and higher profits.
Cole Hendrickson – 1st VP WTGS