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Oil and Gas Investor

Editor’s note: An abridged version of this “No One Asked Me, But …” column appears in the May issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.

When I sat down to write this column I kept getting stymied by the vast number of potential subjects running through my mind.

With war in Ukraine, infrastructure constraints hampering the ramp up of natural gas production, LNG cargo ships in the Gulf of Mexico waiting for directions, my own direction of this column has also been in-progress but “without orders.”

I never did figure out where I wanted to go. So how about I go to all of it.

1.There’s a lot of hype and excitement about bitcoin these days. Sure, it seems like a good way to reuse associated gas to cut down flaring. Now is probably a good time to embrace it. However, for the long term, what happens when governments start to regulate cryptocurrency, and they will.

History tells us world leaders— from the elected to dictators—aren’t going to let monetary systems fly around unchecked for very long. The biggest draw to crypto is that it is a Libertarian’s dream monetary system, free of regulation by central banks. Does the interest still survive in, say, 10 years from now if it’s just another way to hold money?

There’s a lot of factors still to be determined, but my guess is crypto currency will see plenty of corruption, separation into haves and have-nots, and thus political upheaval and attempts at government intervention as time drags on. It will still have to prove it can survive those moments before it can be safely regarded as “the future of money.”

2.Then there’s the current embrace, er, scapegoating, of U.S. fossil fuel production as a means to lower gasoline prices at the pump and heating oil prices at home. Playing the energy sector like a yo-yo to win over voters will only do more harm than good to those in power, especially in a hotly contested election season.

We’ll be in Pittsburgh this summer for the DUG East Conference, and the conversations are sure to center on the lack of infrastructure to unleash the vast natural gas resource in the region. I probably don’t have to tell anyone reading this that infrastructure buildout is something that can’t be addressed when needed. We need to always be prepared. We’re not.

3.On a non-energy-related note, I just saw an article on LinkedIn about the plight of women of a certain age in the workplace these days. First, that’s not new. Second, it’s not just women. Although, I’m sure older women have a much harder time battling ageism than men do.

This might get a few “OK, Boomer” comments. For the record I’m about as Gen X-er as you can get, so be accurate with your criticism. The business environment today celebrates youth, up-and-comers and disrupters. My own company celebrates a “Forty Under 40” list each year. There’s no doubt that the industry needs these new thought leaders to emerge. But here’s the thing, industry, and particularly energy, is still very much run by some creative and innovative people with vast amounts of experience. They were once the up-and-comers of their day.

The fact is, all of those sub-40s will be in their 50s and 60s soon enough so let’s hope they aren’t suddenly dismissed as being out of touch. We need them to be the next leaders. I know a lot of people in my age group who are leading very creative and disruptive businesses. Maybe we should start celebrating those more experienced leaders who still have it versus being focused on the next up.

4.Is it just me or does it seem like there are way too many oil and gas podcasts out there, many with the same schtick.

In a world of oversaturated markets, the oil and gas podcast market has to be near the top. Which reminds me, I should start a podcast.