Friday, July 21, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Individual Actions

If you compare the effort that went into the research that was prepared for the Preliminary Specification, the Preliminary Specification itself, and the work that we’ll need to do to implement it, to the theory of “market rebalancing,” and all that it entails, we can see the attraction of it for our good friends the bureaucrats. The financial condition of the producers is beyond anything that can be rehabilitated. To put the producer firms in the proper perspective you must take 75% of the property, plant and equipment account and move it to depletion in the current period to reflect a true measure of the situation at any of the producers. Then you’ll know the futility of the activities these bureaucrats have been involved in. Storing unrecognized costs of past production as property, plant and equipment has become obscene and is reflected clearly when you adjust their financial statements. These producers will argue that it’s just accounting, and I say exactly. Accounting is about performance and I certainly would not want to be responsible for this either.

Without the wholesale changes brought about by implementation of the Preliminary Specification this culture of destruction will continue. “Where is the outrage” at this performance in the industry? It only exists at People, Ideas & Objects and our user community. The bureaucrats have bought into their self serving ways and have it so good that they would never make the change. We all know that these types of situations can never continue for ever. And the end is arriving later this summer. A time when we’ll see these bureaucrats exit the scene and the chronic unprofitable overproduction finally breaks down the oil price as it did the natural gas price almost a decade ago. So how does this get fixed. If we listen to what is said today, it's business as usual. There is not a concern on the horizon and everything is going to work itself out over time as it always has. There is, and always has been, a decided lack of leadership in oil and gas. Right now the business is about drilling wells, issuing stock and spending money. What more could be involved? Outside of this there’s been no leadership whatsoever.

So where does the leadership come from in the future under the Preliminary Specification. Instead of looking to the bureaucrats to act we will have the individual actions of those within the industry with the capacity and capabilities to act. Those individuals being the user community participants and the service providers in which they own and operate. Through the user community vision they have the means in which to act to make the changes to the process in which they manage in their service provider organization. They have the ability to change the Intellectual Property that makes up the ways and means of how the industry operates. And they will have access to the People, Ideas & Objects software developers to have their changes made in the software. Therefore no one will be sitting around wondering who to contact to make the changes that are needed in a certain process. It will be the user community participant at that service provider who operates that process. And they will be willing and capable to act.

Once we’ve implemented the Preliminary Specification we will have achieved the big changes that are needed to be made in the industry. The subsequent iterative changes will be able to keep the industry in the position where it will address its opportunities and issues proactively and constructively. Providing the oil and gas producers with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. We’re now seeing how destructive the industry can be when the producers lose sight of what it is they’re doing. Without profits there is no money. Without money there are no jobs, no taxes to balance the government's budgets, no royalties and the rest of the difficulties that we are currently faced with.

The bureaucrats have been nothing but self serving for the past number of decades. This has been at the expense of the health and welfare of the oil and gas business. That is not to say that the user community participant and service provider will be living in acute poverty to serve the oil and gas industries needs for profit. Not in the least. I see these as very lucrative opportunities for those people. User community participants and service providers will be very profitable businesses. When the oil and gas industry is profitable, and profitable in the real sense, not the sense that has been contrived for the past four decades, then those that are able to provide real value for the producers will also be profitable.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Failure By Any Measure

I can suggest that I occupy an obscure corner of the Internet with my rantings and ravings about the bureaucrats. Which I do, there just are not a lot of people outside of oil and gas that come back to a website dedicated to oil and gas ERP systems. And the bureaucrats are frequent visitors who are well aware of what we’re doing and offering. They’ve known from the beginning, they must have because that’s when the beatings began. It’s also the time when other groups began publishing similar work to what we had published back in August of 2003, during our research and the Preliminary Specification. It appears that until then bureaucrats were unaware of copyright provisions and laws. However I’ve now informed and educated them. The point I’m making is that I may occupy an obscure area of the Internet but I am not unknown by the bureaucrats in the industry. It’s not that they didn’t have the opportunity, or didn’t want what People, Ideas & Objects and the user community have for themselves. Its that they don’t want to be challenged in their franchise and they don’t want to work as hard as the changes in the Preliminary Specification would dictate. They’ve had it pretty good before the Internet came along. They just wanted to keep it that way.

People, Ideas & Objects and our user community have a plan that builds the Preliminary Specification as a replacement to the current bureaucracy. Brick by brick and stick by stick. All as a result of the lack of action on the bureaucrats behalf and the destruction that they’ve caused in the oil and gas industry. There was plenty of time in which our remedy could have been implemented. Instead the only thing we’ve heard is the “market rebalancing” story that has no basis in fact or reality. It’s the lazy man’s excuse not to do any work and it has been very effective in oil and gas. Throughout the time that they have been singing in harmony about market rebalancing they’ve been fully aware of the Preliminary Specification and the fact that oil and gas commodities are subject to the characteristics of price makers. There’s has been a self serving and irresponsible mismanagement that has brought us to this point that we are in this summer.

Who knows, maybe oil and gas prices will rally in a new commodity super cycle. I’m not seeing oil and gas participating even if that were the case. Shale is a new variable in the market that requires new thinking and new actions to be taken by producers. Producing everything, always when the world has twice what it needs for the next 33 years doesn’t seem to be a viable business to me. Production discipline based on profitability is the only reasonable methodology to allocate production in a marketplace such as the North American producers. If the property is profitable, considering all of its costs, then it will produce. Otherwise it remains shut-in until some innovation can be developed by the producer to reduce the costs, increase the throughput or expand the reserves. Then it can be placed back on production profitably. But only then. This attitude of producing as long as the property breaks even is ludicrous. It maybe a tactic to be employed in the extreme short term in temporary crisis situations. It’s not a long term strategy for an industry to employ for decades. And that’s what has happened in North American oil and gas. Don’t believe me, just pull up an oil and gas producers financial statements. Look for the obscenely bloated property, plant and equipment and realize that these numbers represent the unrecognized costs of past production.

I am unaware of an industry's failure on the scope and scale of what I see the North American oil and gas producers facing in the next few months. Maybe it's just that the Internet has compressed our timelines and things happen much faster than they would pre-Internet. Faster and with more fallout. What you could maybe muddle through twenty years ago can’t be done anymore. There’s too much risk. The resiliency of the producers, the desire of the investors and bankers to step in and help the producers through the tough times will get the industry through about 15 minutes of the difficulties that we’re about to face. After that, what? What will the genius bureaucrats do when the oil price collapses and even they don’t get paid? All I can say is it’s going to be interesting. Our plan is to start developments on September 25, 2017. You should consider what you’ll be doing then?

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Participation Ribbons, All Around

The bureaucrats have found a new tool in their management toolbox. Breakeven analysis. I’ve seen the term mentioned many times over the past few days. It must be the new talking point for the upcoming second quarter reports. I would suggest that they fully explore what breakeven analysis means and the implications of what they’re saying. Breakeven takes the variable costs and deducts them from the sales price to determine the contribution margin. The contribution margin being the amount of money that the firm will use to offset the fixed and capital costs, this would also define the profit margin. So what the bureaucrats are saying is that their “breakeven is at $45” which means they're only covering their variable costs. Excellent work! Participation ribbons all around. The other problem that I have with this, which is what’s being implied by these statements, is that you can’t run an industry by just covering your variable costs for four decades at a time. At some point you will be required to earn enough money to achieve the level of what are called commercial operations.

I’m also hearing producers saying that they’re more cost competitive than the producers in OPEC. That therefore this competitiveness justifies their continued production as they consider themselves the low cost producer. However if you look at the marginal cost per barrel of oil production Saudi Arabia’s come in at around $3, UAE’s are at $7 and the U.S. shale producers are at $73. What North American producers want to show is the $104 in costs of Saudi Arabia’s society that is supported by their oil revenues, which is a specious argument. What OPEC do with their net proceeds from oil is their business. For producers to fail to identify they need to base their operations in the North American financial markets. Which are markets that are driven on profits based on standardized accounting. It is therefore within these financial markets where their focus should be on generating real profits. Comparisons to others using phoney numbers is typical of this bunch.

The last few days I’ve detailed a number of scenarios where a Chernobyl like event was going to occur this summer as a result of the inaction of the oil gas producers bureaucrats. Where oil prices would decline precipitously and the bureaucrats would seek greener pastures. Now let's assume for a moment the bureaucrats point of view that all is well and that none of the scenario’s that I’ve detailed here are of concern. Acceptance therefore of the status of the industry is the approved and general consensus by those who run the industry. How could this be? Have we lost the will to be accountable and perform. And choose instead to hide within a bureaucracy so that we are unknown, unidentifiable and most importantly unaccountable. When was this level of performance, year after year ever acceptable. And to continue on without a single initiative other than the status quo. We are leaderless and unacceptably so. We were originally told that the market would rebalance in 2016, now it's 2020, and that’s the story now for at least until 2019. Natural gas isn’t discussed anymore since it never rebalanced in 2009 or since. How would this ever be acceptable anywhere else?

Oil and gas bondholders are coming under stress again. Who cares, the bureaucrats received that money years ago. There was no shortage of Stampede spirit from the bureaucrats this year. It’s time for them to turn their attention to vacation now. Fiddling while Rome burns. With a willing media bought into the rebalancing story there is no way this gravy train could ever derail. That is the sense that I am picking up from the industry. Outside of the People, Ideas & Objects user community there is a frightful lack of concern regarding the health and welfare of the oil and gas industry. President Donald Trump gave a speech in Poland recently. In which he questions our resolve to defend our way of life. Asking specifically if western civilization can build from here? Now I see the President quite a bit different than most. I see a 70 year old man with a 757 and loads of money who can do anything he wants. And he gave that up because he was concerned. Not only concerned but did something about it. And he stands there day after day fighting for what he believes we should be doing. Setting the example, that’s leadership.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Monday, July 17, 2017

Self Preservation as Motivation

Can you sense my frustration, it's not fun adopting the chicken little stance of the sky is falling. On the Internet there are many of us who are preaching doom and gloom. It’s hard to break away from the numbers so I’ve made myself as comfortable as I can. That hasn’t stopped me from doing what I think needed to be done. Development of the Preliminary Specification and the user community are parts of that. I read late last week that OPEC’s compliance to the production sharing agreement had dipped to the lowest level in June. Reaching 78% compliance from 95% in the month of May. OPEC had been diligent in terms of their compliance to the agreement. I guess they’re giving up on making the difference. The industry executives and the IEA are also beginning to sound highly pessimistic regarding the lower for longer situation. Suggesting it will now be 2020 when rebalancing occurs.

I have to say it’s starting to get pretty crowded in the oil and gas sector of our corner of the Internet. I wanted the industry to avoid this Chernobyl situation that I’ve predicted, the one that the Preliminary Specification addresses specifically. Overproduction and oversupply are features, not a bug of the bureaucratic business model of the oil and gas producers. I think people are beginning to see how chronic and unending it really is. It never stopped in the 1980’s and 1990’s. And nothing will stop it today, other than the Preliminary Specification being implemented across the North American sector of the industry. Bold statements are my forte. It’s either we learn to live with total Chernobyl level destruction or build the Preliminary Specification. And when it comes to destruction, what do you think will be happening now as we see the optimism slipping away from the leadership of industry?

I learned late in life that things like People, Ideas & Objects didn’t get built in the normal course of business. Winston Churchill in a May 2, 1935 speech in the House of Commons stated one of his famous quotes regarding the buildup to World War II.

There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline Books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong -these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.

Self-preservation is going to be the motivation that builds the Preliminary Specification. The jarring gong will be heard this summer as a result of the Chernobyl like events that I’ve suggested were in our future. Those being the exit of the leadership of the industry, and the collapse of oil prices. But it would seem that history tells us the jarring gong is necessary and that unfortunately is where I think we’re headed this summer.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Deluded North American Producer

First of all I would never accuse a client of being deluded. That may be a hint as to what I think the North American producers should be doing. Some may think it unwise for me to call them deluded. I don’t, the bureaucrats will be skedaddling here very soon so we’ll be hearing a lot worse from everyone else about them soon enough. At some point producers need to recognize that their inaction is no longer working. If nothing is done by them the two scenarios I put forward yesterday have very high probabilities of happening. And if those scenarios do play out, then what? Is that the clear indication that we’re looking for that “market rebalancing” is a failure? To continue from this point without a plan of action is very foolish. If this comes about, to blame and accuse others for the difficulties in the industry will have more than this posts title calling them deluded.

If producers are so profitable where’s the cash? The industry has been run off the annual shareholder fleecing for over the past several decades. It didn’t necessarily matter that you were a good geologist or engineer. If you were a lawyer or someone with a rolodex of people in New York you too could run an oil and gas company. The only way to run a company was to ensure that you raised money each and every year of your existence. That way “spending like a drunken sailor” could be replaced by the “spendthrift oil and gas industry.” I was told who needs profits a thousand, million times when we adopted our claim that we provide oil and gas producers with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. People told me I was many things far worse than deluded, it gives me great pleasure to pass on some of the same sentiments now. The only thing is that I propose we generate trillions of dollars in value as opposed to their destruction of trillions of dollars in value. I also carry the welts and scars of repeated sessions with the baseball bats out back by the dumpster.

The fact of the matter is that the situation is out of hand and requires immediate remedial action by the leadership of the industry. However that leadership seems consumed in pointing the finger at OPEC’s misdeeds in not reducing enough production. This is the precursor, in my opinion, to the mass exodus that we'll be witnessing once the summer is over. To adopt the Preliminary Specification as that remedial action would be too much for the bureaucrats to do, as it eliminates them from the scene. We disintermediate them like bureaucrats are being disintermediated in so many other industries today. Therefore they’ll just leave.

Speaking of facts, the configuration of the oil and gas marketplace is one in which the North American producer has every right to criticize others for. As has been noted in many places the fact is that we have adequate supplies of oil to meet the projected global demand twice over until the year 2050. So by all means the high cost producer should go about unprofitably overproducing in order to collapse the commodity markets. North American producers produce about 10 million barrels which is equal to an amount of Russian exports and 30 million in OPEC exports. Why doesn’t Russia and OPEC who are 80% of the market just produce whatever they can until they’re 100% of the market? Who’s going to rush in to save the North American producers? The investors have had enough, besides, by then the management will have hightailed it into other industries. Seems like Russia and OPEC will be close to earning that 100% market share and they didn’t have to do a thing! In fact they look like the intelligent and reasonable people trying to remediate the market by reducing production in an oversupplied market.

The one fly in the ointment of my little scenario here is that the producers do have those glowing and well defended balance sheets. Like super hero’s they’ll be able to wield those balance sheets like shields and protect everyone from harm. Well that’s what the producers think. Bloated balance sheets are useless. They’re a ruse that has the spendaholics in the industry thinking that they build value by spending money. The bloated balance sheets are tributes to the scope and scale of the spendaholics. Nothing more, and that will become very clear when once again this quarter we hear the CEO’s stating they’ll defend their balance sheets.

I’ve been trying to put the situation in North American oil and gas into context of what it is in terms of a crisis. It’s not 2008 as the limited nature of North American oil and gas is not as significant as global banking is. I think that the perfect analogy in terms of a disaster is the Chernobyl meltdown. Completely avoidable but for the bureaucrats, and certainly not a place where anyone will be visiting soon.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Clouds on the Horizon

The Preliminary Specification changes the way the oil and gas industry operates. Moving it from the position of a price taker to one that is a price maker. The industry today is operated on the assumption that no matter how much oil or gas is produced the market will take that production and there will be no impact on prices. We should be very thankful and frankly grateful for the bureaucrats who have provided us with such good data in this area. Both during this past decade and during the late 1980’s and 1990’s. People, Ideas & Objects provide this price maker strategy by providing the oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Producers foolishly believe that producing only profitable production is collusion and will incinerate themselves to prove it. They need to get their heads around the concept of price maker and the implementation of our strategy before too much longer.

I have documented the technical differences between price maker and price taker in the Preamble of the Preliminary Specification. Please review it for further details of how the oil and gas commodities hold the characteristics of price makers. If we want to have the oil and gas commodity markets change their behavior then we’re going to have to change the behavior of the North American producers. These producer changes are going to have to be made before there will ever be any changes in the commodity markets. This will require the implementation of the Preliminary Specification. Just think of the number of years that we’ve been in this economic decline as a result of low natural gas prices. And how many years have oil prices been depressed. I can assure you, based on the history and behavior that I saw in the late 1980’s and 1990’s that there will be no changes in either the commodity markets or of the producers if we just give it more time. The level of destruction has been too severe as it stands now. If the situation is as I suspect this summer, we are about to experience a crisis of leadership and financial liquidation.

The producers have employed what could be considered strategic patience in letting the industry muddle along through this destructive phase. Now everyone sees that the North American producer has to act to deal with the situation. Everyone sees that the producers have nothing in terms of an answer for the market. Investors and bankers may form the conclusion that shale is non-commercial. There is nothing for investors in the North American sector of the industry. Except for losing their investment, joining with the bureaucrats in admiration of the producers bloated balance sheets or participating further with suicidal producer firms that require you to invest more cash, or they’ll go under. If an investor raises these points what will a producer argue? We just need more time! Enough time has been wasted watching everything go to waste. At what point will action occur?

You could argue with me about the timing of the collapse of oil prices this summer. And I agree that it may not happen this summer, but does anyone doubt that it’s in our future? Can the industry afford to lose another year due to inaction? If the investors, after employing their own strategic patience with the bureaucrats, expecting them to have done something about the situation by now, are on the verge of determining that oil and gas is uneconomic, why would it be necessary to prove it? Another year will only make it more difficult to convince the investors that you’ve subsequently obtained that old time religion of profits. Another year will also invoke that scenario of BP’s Chief Economist where the low cost producers decide to get some value for their product and just produce at whatever price. OPEC has seen what happens when they cut production. North American producers rush in to fill the void. If you wait another year, OPEC will certainly outproduce you and your investors will have lost their strategic patience. How can producers proceed forward from September 2017 without a plan in place to deal with these two highly probable scenarios?

Who will save these prices from falling further for a decade or more and who will save the industry? What can the North American producers do to prove to their investors that they have the situation in hand and will remediate it, and what actions will give OPEC the assurance that they would be premature in giving up on the undisciplined North American producer. That they indeed had become producers of profitable production and would be responsible participants in the market! To be candid I’m putting my money on Santa as being the one that saves us, because he arrives much sooner than the Easter Bunny and they call me an optimist.

We have a plan called the Preliminary Specification that the North American producers can adopt and begin developments on September 25, 2017. If they hustled they could look like they were men of action. Women too. We need our first years financing of $100 million of which, as I’ve stated many times before, I’m doing nothing about. I expect the producers to organize themselves and raise this cash. If they’re relying on me and the resources that I have, then they’ll be letting their investors and the other participants in the oil and gas marketplace down in a big way.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

And One More Thing

Yesterday I suggested that we should develop the Preliminary Specification. A little self serving and all that, however the one recommendation that People, Ideas & Objects has made for the producers to resolve these chronic and unending difficulties. Is the tripling of oil and gas revenues by tripling the price of the commodities. This is the only way in which to move forward as an industry. These higher prices will begin to reduce the capital costs of past production carried on producers balance sheets as property, plant and equipment and account for current depletion. The total of which People, Ideas & Objects have calculated at approximately $76 / barrel. These higher oil and gas revenues will help to remediate the current desperate financial position of the producers and enable them to recapitalize their organizations and develop more appropriate financial positions. Without the support of investors and bankers there is little else that will work to heal the destruction that has occurred in the marketplace and the ongoing damage of low commodity prices. Then we can approach the difficult future we have in terms of providing the energy consumer with affordable energy. This will require substantial investments in all areas of the energy infrastructure and deliverability over the next 25 years. Is it the expectation of the bureaucrats that the investment community will continue to subsidize the energy consumer for these costs over these next 25 years? It would seem so.

To suggest that we triple commodity prices and maintain affordable energy for the consumer seems to be a bit of a contradiction. I’m not so certain. Most of the cost of energy is consumed in taxes, infrastructure and delivery. The commodity itself is not a large component of the energy consumers price. A tripling of the commodity prices may see, I’m not certain of the amount, only 50% increase in the price of gasoline etc. Investors have been burned. The industry is in shambles. And the demands for capital in the next 25 years is historically high. The industry has shown no capacity to identify or deal with the pressing issues that threaten the industry. The bureaucrats are oblivious it would seem to the situation. They point the finger that it’s OPEC’s fault and responsibility, that “market rebalancing” will arrive despite their chronic overproduction and their prayers for cold winters has just not resolved the situation. I’ve seen the bureaucrats playbook, it consists of two pages, one says muddle along the other says do nothing.

The Preliminary Specification enables the producers to achieve the tripling of commodity prices by beginning the appropriate accounting of each property. Where the capital costs are recognized on a timely basis, the operations and actual detailed overhead are accounted for properly. No overhead allowances, actual overhead at each property. Then with the Preliminary Specifications reconfiguration of the producer firm to include only the C class executives, the earth science and engineering resources, some land and legal, and support staff. With the accounting and administrative resources reallocated to service providers who are focused on one specific process and have the entire industry as their client base. Using specialization and the division of labor as their key competitive advantages. Then if a property is reporting that it is profitable it continues to produce. If in the next month it is not producing a profit it is shut-in and enters the producer's inventory of shut-in properties to enable it to innovate by reducing its costs, increasing its deliverability or expanding its reserves and returning it to profitable production. No collusion, just independent business decisions being made at the property level on the basis of actual, detailed accounting information. Bureaucrats will call it collusion only to confuse the situation and avoid the work of building the software.

By using the Preliminary Specification the producer increases their profitability by only producing profitable properties. No unprofitable properties dilute the earnings of profitable properties. The commodity markets have the marginal production removed from the marketplace increasing the commodities prices. The reserves are saved for a day when they can be produced profitably and the reserves costs don’t have to carry the additional costs of successive losses on the property. These attributes are enabled through the Preliminary Specifications task and transfer network where the information that drives the work of the service providers will not have any information for those properties that are shut-in. Therefore no work will be done from an administrative or accounting perspective and as a result no billings from the service providers will be generated on those shut-in properties for that month. Creating a null operation at that property. No profit, but also no loss. Enabling the producer to scale up and down their deliverability based on the prices provided in the commodity markets. One month they may be profitable at full production of 100,000 barrel / day and another month they will be profitable at 25,000 barrels / day. The Preliminary Specification creates dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producers.

How much production needs to be scaled back and which properties are profitable are unknown at this time. In order to achieve the market equilibrium it will be dynamic and changing at all times. At this point in time none of the producers can tell which property is profitable and which one isn’t due to the overhead being lumped into corporate and then most of that being capitalized to property, plant and equipment. Today properties only have allowances for overhead that are woefully inadequate to capture the real costs of accounting and administration. I understand the bureaucrats argument that these changes will take effort and a lot of hard work. However the only ones who have ever benefited from the industry are those bureaucrats. A tripling of commodity prices will keep these products as the greatest deal ever offered to consumers. And the change to the Preliminary Specification is the only way that this industry is going to move forward. That only way starts September 25, 2017.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Contrast in Value

The implication of stuffing the balance sheet full of every conceivable cost, including royalties, has the effect of reducing the amount of cost recognized on the income statement and therefore increasing the profits of the producers. It would therefore be assumed that the producer firms were wildly profitable as a result of not recognizing the capital costs of past production. That isn’t the case. In our sample of 22 producers who produce 7.688 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. Their net property, plant and equipment at the end of the first quarter stood at $459 billion. The amount of their cumulative profits as reported in their retained earnings over the life of these firms stands at $61.9 billion. Looking at this critically from the perspective that the majority of the costs in property, plant and equipment should have been recognized in previous accounting periods. That these balances are disproportionately outsized and obscene as a result of recording everything as a capital asset and depleting those assets over the life of the reserves, in which many cases may be a 25 year lifetime. And limiting our focus to just these points, it will take 7.4 more lifetimes before these companies earn enough to retire these property, plant and equipment balances.

I did not take in consideration dividends and other matters as I find those points to be irrelevant to the argument that I am trying to make here. These producer firms are not performing and have never performed. They have diverted the recognition of their capital costs, which include the costs of the Post-It Notes and telephone service of the receptionist, to make them appear to perform better than they are. As we noted last Friday the SEC has charged Obsidian and three of its accounting people with civil accounting fraud for the extension of this logic to include royalties as property, plant and equipment. That being the final step in the process of including everything in property, plant and equipment. What I guess the SEC sees in the Obsidian case is that the royalties are much more material than Post-It Notes. I am asserting here the materiality of the $459 billion in capital assets that our sample producers continue to hold in contrast to their lifetime earnings of only $61.9 billion. That is a lot of Post-It Notes.

Those in the industry will say that this is all just accounting and numbers, who cares other than the accountants? If we employed a reasonable test to the property, plant and equipment of these producers I would suggest they would probably be in the range of $100 billion as more representative of what “normal” would look like. That would mean that $359 billion would have flowed to the income statement and these 22 producers would have collectively been responsible for $297 billion in cumulative losses. Which is what I feel is a better representation of the bureaucrats performance in this industry. A dismal performance that would have been remediated well before now. Instead what you have is an industry of spendthrift, unaccountable bureaucrats who overproduce in unhinged fashion and think they rule the world.

The destruction of $300 billion by 22 producers is an achievement. Well the world is coming to see that maybe it's not. First there was me, I knew it wasn’t working. Then the investors and bankers caught on. We also have what I can proudly say is the beginnings of a very large user community being generated here at People, Ideas & Objects. Maybe the SEC has caught on as I suggested last Friday. This loss of $300 billion is just accounting when you consider the damage that has been done to the commodity markets. How much pain and suffering, and unnecessarily so, has been incurred by the people who work, and used to work, in the oil and gas, and service industries. Add it all up and these bureaucrats really should recieve my respect and more civil tone.

The sad part of this assessment is that this is the destruction that we can account for today. As the bureaucrats strike up the band to motivate the machinery to kick into gear again. There is an emptiness in these actions. Everyone knows all is not well and saying and doing otherwise is not going to fix the problems that are pretty much obvious to everyone. As bad as it is today I think everyone can see things spinning out of control pretty soon. That is certainly what I’m seeing. The oil price can’t hold up with continued overproduction and oversupply. It took a few years for the natural gas price to precipitously fall and break down but once it did, well we know the story. Then the “cash flow” that this capital intensive industry generates, and the bureaucrats currently count on to compensate themselves, will diminish into thin air. Then the bureaucrats who have a long history of cutting and running in other industries will do as much here. What we’re left with is an industry that has experienced this level of destruction, turning steeply downwards, where management has left, and the only thing I can recommend is that we build the Preliminary Specification starting September 25, 2017.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Monday, July 10, 2017

To The Bureaucrats, We Say So Long

I’ve read many articles this past week stating that the ball is in the court of the North American producers. Expectations that OPEC and Russia will extend or expand their production cuts doesn’t exist. The focus is clearly on the North American producers to act. With oil prices about to fall precipitously as a result of the oil commodity market fundamentally breaking down from overproduction and oversupply. All the finger pointing that the North American producers have done over these past few years has encouraged others to act. And they have acted in a fashion that is above and beyond what the market expected of them, and then some. That North American producers want to now change the talking points from “market rebalancing” to the “demand side of the equation.” Which is effective in showing the world their ability to all sing in the same key and in perfect harmony to avoid any and all action. What the world really want’s to see is a response, or what is it that they’ll do, when faced with such destruction.

Natural gas prices fundamentally broke down in 2008. Partially I would suggest due to the financial crisis, but also the chronic overproduction and oversupply destroyed the commodities pricing for the short, mid and long terms. It will require extensive rehabilitation of the marketplace to have the natural gas prices return to levels that will earn producers profits. This began nine years ago! Nothing has been done, other than to initially state that the market would rebalance, and to continue operations as if nothing had happened. Bureaucrats have for almost a decade made out like bandits. Just as they are today. No one talks about natural gas markets anymore, primarily because there is no one to blame. There is no question that the decline in the natural gas market is solely as a result of North American producers overproduction. Is this a trend?

The Preliminary Specification wasn’t complete in final edited form until December 2013. There were however many elements of it that were published before then. The Preliminary Specification is 175,000 words and in 2008 I had published the Draft Specification which is for all intents and purposes the same thing. It contained 25,000 words. There was at least the opportunity throughout this period of time of depressed natural gas prices for these bureaucrats to do something about the natural gas business with the Draft Specification. Instead I was subjected to the repeated sessions with the baseball bats outback by the dumpster. I can assure you that there is nothing else in the marketplace today that deals with the issue of producer overproduction and oversupply that contains anywhere close to even 25,000 words. Bureaucrats claim to be innovative, they only punish innovators, they don’t solve problems, they only muddle along and do nothing.

Bureaucrats haven’t figured out that investors and bankers had figured them out a few years ago. They’ve been withholding new investment funds from the industry due to the issues that they see that remain unaddressed. The lack of cash for these past two years did not motivate the bureaucrats to do anything. They seemed to understand intuitively what I only came to understand recently. That a capital intensive industries cash flow will always support the industries overhead costs. Of which includes their compensation. All they had to do was to hang on, keep the paper flowing until the issues became unmanageable and then duck out en masse in a crowd of otherwise unidentifiable bureaucrats.

That is the status of the industry in the summer of 2017. No one likes to hear this type of talk especially when it's vacation time and the Stampede is in full swing. But before they go I thought that it might be worthwhile for us to take the time to thank these bureaucrats while they still occupy known space. Tell them that their efforts are not appreciated and don’t let the door hit them on the way out. These next couple of months may be the only opportunity in which to do so.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Friday, July 07, 2017

Oil and Gas Accounting Fraud

An interesting thought came to mind last week as I read the news about former PennWest, now Obsidian as they’re called, and three of its accounting employees, including the former CFO Todd Takeyasu, being charged with civil accounting fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission. There was something that was said by the SEC that reflected to me a different point of view about oil and gas accounting than the one that is operational in the industry. A point of view that is more consistent with the point of view that is expressed here by People, Ideas & Objects and our concern that the industry has over reported their property, plant and equipment and profits by substantial amounts. The quotation is as follows:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Penn West Petroleum, which changed its name earlier this week to Obsidian Energy, had moved hundreds of millions of dollars from operating expenses to capital expenditure accounts. That maneuver, the SEC said, artificially reduced the company’s costs by as much as 20 percent at times, and improved metrics of oil extraction efficiency. 

The response by Obsidian to these charges is hilarious.

The law suit is based on certain historic Penn West accounting practices, discovered by the Company and reported to the SEC in July 2014. As a result of the Company’s discovery, investigation, and correction of those practices, Penn West restated its historic financial statements and results on September 18, 2014.

I read this response as saying “accounting is a joke, we overreported by a few hundred million and then fixed it, move on.” Which is typical of the attitude in oil and gas towards the accounting profession. That royalties were capitalized to property, plant and equipment is only a further extension of the “game” that has been played in oil and gas for the past four decades. The culture of capitalizing every possible cost to property, plant and equipment only went to the obscene level of including royalties with PennWest, that we know of. However it is indicative of the level that the “game” is played. The fact that this was done over several reporting periods and was several hundred million dollars worth shows that it was a known practice within the organization. It wasn’t an innocent mistake.

The Post it Notes that the receptionist uses, are they capital or overhead. The phone service that she uses to take the calls, is that capital or overhead. In oil and gas I can say with great certainty that the majority of the companies in the industry would have capitalized 80% of these costs to property, plant and equipment. And hence the “game.” This is done through an entry to take the 80% or whatever percentage of overhead amount from the overhead total and move it to property, plant and equipment on the financial statements working papers. Fifteen seconds and it's done. The history of this is the SEC’s requirement that Full Cost and subsequently Successful Efforts being the only two acceptable methods of accounting for public oil and gas companies. Obsidian being a public company, which they should probably better understand. In the 1980’s interest began to be capitalized and then the inclusion of overhead began when the oil price dropped in the late 1980’s. Since then it has been a competition, more like a race, to capitalize the most overhead and report the most profits as a result. Does anyone think you can operate an oil and gas company on 1.48% of revenues being the total overhead incurred?

To the point regarding the thought that I had earlier. Is the SEC thick and obtuse regarding the methods of oil and gas accounting? Are they unaware of the outsized and obscene balances of property, plant and equipment within the industry? Can they not see the associated value that has eroded through the process of over reporting capital assets and profits? That the inevitable methodology that the industry has employed has distorted the accounting of the industry? That the industry is claiming to “only following the rules” of the SEC and FASB.

If we look at the point of the Obsidian lawsuit the SEC is stating that “That maneuver, the SEC said, artificially reduced the company’s costs by as much as 20 percent at times, and improved metrics of oil extraction efficiency.” It’s clear the SEC do get it. To me this also say’s something that I don’t think has been heard before. That operations are operations and not capital, just as overhead would be overhead and not capital. This capitalization “game” has gone on for a long time and has become obscene by any stretch of the imagination. In answer to my questions regarding the thought processes of the SEC, I think the days are numbered when the producers will be able to continue to get away with this hokus pokus. You can’t fool all the people all the time.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Thursday, July 06, 2017

A Sad State of Affairs

The price of oil exited the second quarter on a rather strong, dead cat bounce. Ending June 2017 at $46.04. Up from its recent low of around $42.50 and down substantially from its price at the end of the first quarter of 2017 of $54. Recall that the secret to the innovations that the bureaucrats were able to employ to bring their first quarter 2017 costs down was the ability to change the rate of depletion per barrel. Going from $26.58 to $20.72 in all of 2016 in comparison to the first quarter of 2017. What has this to do with anything? The valuation of the producer's property, plant and equipment at the end of the second quarter of 2017. The reserves themselves are dependent on the price. If the price times the reserves is less than the amount of property, plant and equipment then the ceiling test will be employed. Leading to losses being reported by these innovative, depletion reducing bureaucrats.

The number of shorts on the oil commodity markets at this time is at record levels. This is after the declines that brought the product into bear market territory. When will that rebalancing take place? Clearly no one is pointing to OPEC for action anymore. Everyone sees that the issue lies with the North American based producers who just will not, for absolutely any reason, curtail production. Losing money is their right, their obligation and their pleasure. Selling out of a short position is probably what caused the rise in the price of oil last week. There is no sense in the commodity markets, with the inventories stuffed full across the planet, that these North American producers have an idea what to do. The Preliminary Specification is going into development on September 25, 2017 but the bureaucrats won’t be part of that, they’ll jump ship before they ever sign on to that. That should be evident to all at this time.

Are the shorts predicting, as I have, a fundamental breakdown in the price of oil? Where the systemic issues remain unsolved and unsolvable by the parties running the business. Therefore the prices have nowhere to go do they? Just as natural gas prices fundamentally broke down in 2008. Hope and optimism is running rampant throughout the industry. You can just feel the energy of the industry ready to break out of its doldrums and reach for its ever broadening future. Well the bureaucrats can! When a capital intensive industry that is as capital intensive as oil and gas is. Finds itself in a situation such as it finds itself today. The proceeds from past investments, that no one questions were invested with the greatest capital discipline and integrity in modern history. Are diverted to support the self serving bureaucracy, said bureaucracy can exist off of that cash flow in peace and harmony, except for one annoying blogger, for infinite periods of time.

This industry needs to be rebuilt through the efforts of People, Ideas & Objects user community. If you haven’t been working on your application I hope today’s commentary provides you with the motivation to do so. We really do have a problem here. The Preliminary Specification is the solution and its timely. There are many people who are preparing their applications now. Our needs in the long run will be substantial, however, we are in need of people to start with our developments on September 25, 2017. If you want user community driven ERP systems in oil and gas you’ll need to build them. And this is your opportunity to do so.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

More Chances?

Bureaucrats love to read the tea leaves and determine the implications of the butterfly flapping its wings on the shoulder of the Saudi King. Bureaucrats jumping to the incorrect conclusion that this is a bullish signal. More time and energy is spent reading the markets and determining what level energy demand will be at, and the price that this will produce. The word on the street is don’t worry about supply, focus on demand. This replacing “market rebalancing” as the talking point. So much time and energy wasted. It’s all part of the game of the bureaucrats to make sure that they’re able to impart their wisdom and reflect their brilliance of how the future will unfold. Why not just look at the commodity market price, if any property can make a profit at that price, considering all of the costs of capital, operations and overhead, then keep the property producing. Otherwise shut the property in until prices rise, or develop an innovation that increases the throughput, reduces the costs or increases the volume of reserves. Predictions that the market will rebalance in the second quarter of 2017 were as wrong as they’ll be for the current predictions that it will rebalance in 2018. So why not just focus on the business at hand? Market rebalancing is bureaucratic, willful destruction of oil and gas deliverability. Deliberate waste.

Last week we discussed a scenario that I thought this lack of focus by the producers might send us. Unlike the producers I have some time and energy to spend prognosticating about the future. The three likely outcomes of the summer months were a fundamental collapse of the price of oil, bureaucrats admitting they don’t have a solution to the problems and as a result leaving the industry, and the producers losses coming back as a result of the decline in prices and continued abuse of the industry by the bureaucrats. I have detailed these points in a series entitled My Argument which is available for those who may not want to spend the unnecessary time and energy projecting when the market will rebalance.

None of the bureaucrats have called me in these past few months since we announced our September 25, 2017 start date of our software development’s. They don’t have a solution to the overproduction or oversupply issue, maybe they don’t feel the personal pain everyone else is and as such don’t see any issue. Nonetheless I want to make it clear to everyone that the opportunity for the bureaucrats to participate in these developments is open to them at any and all times. I may be abusive and in a politically correct world that would be an issue, but I don’t live in a politically correct world. The fact of the matter is that these past couple of months will provide those who are in the know, and are concerned about the oil and gas industry, that the bureaucrats will never do anything to rectify the issues brought about by their self serving ways.

The best business to be in here in Calgary is a Ferrari or other supercar dealership. Home renovations are also not a bad place to be. Calgary had record dollar volume of renovations in the first quarter of 2017. These oil and gas bureaucrats are not only comfortable, but confident. This may be a mistake. A critical look at the business model that the bureaucrats employ and it is clear that the destruction in oil and gas is comprehensive and complete. The destruction of the commodity markets, the destruction of the oil and gas financial markets and the destruction of the producer organizations themselves. All on the altar of muddling along, market rebalancing and doing nothing while bureaucrats stuff their pockets full. This has not gone unnoticed. The difficulties that People, Ideas & Objects, our user community and service providers have had to face in our attempt to remedy this situation were also not unnoticed. These difficulties brought about through the turf war between us and the bureaucrats. Nothing was or has been done. Yet the continuation of the status quo for the next 25 years is all that is implied by these bureaucrats actions. Sorry, I’m not sold on that vision.

The bureaucrats have had their chance and they didn’t take it. Were these last few months the last chance in which they were given to remedy the situation? Will they be given any more chances? There are more important things to be concerned about and the profitability of the producers is the first thing we have to approach. President Donald Trump is opening the frontier areas to oil and gas exploration and production. Setting the U.S. on the course to export oil and gas, as well as other forms of energy. This is worthwhile and appropriate. There is just no way that these bureaucrats are going to be able to take these decrepit producer organizations forward as they stand today. The objective is set, now we need to organize ourselves towards fulfilling that objective and all the promise that this industry can provide. But first we must build the Preliminary Specification beginning September 25, 2017 and organize ourselves to provide the most profitable means of oil and gas operations.

The Preliminary Specification, our user community and service providers provide the dynamic, innovative, accountable and profitable oil and gas producer with the most profitable means of oil and gas operations. Setting the foundation for North America’s energy independence. People, Ideas & Objects Revenue Model specifies the means in which investors can participate in these user defined software developments. Users are welcome to join me here. Together we can begin to meet the future demands for energy. And don’t forget to join our network on Twitter @piobiz anyone can contact me at 403-200-2302 or email here

Tuesday, July 04, 2017