American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 23

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Industry's Responses
During Bygone Eras
Offer Context, Insights
As our industry navigates its way through another big swing,
it is important to remember that we have been here before and
will come back. Recently I was reminded precisely how cyclical
and resilient the oil and gas industry is while preparing a course
for operators working in the Mid-Continent.
One of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council's objectives
is to work with industry experts, operators and academia to
identify needs in the independent oil and gas industry. Once we
have identified those needs, we provide suitable content in
ways and locations that are best suited for maximum access.
Last month I wrote about how web-based meeting technology
is changing the landscape of how the oil and gas industry-as
well as the rest of the world-manages business. During the last
several weeks, I have been working in partnership with the University of Kansas Tertiary Oil Recovery Project to provide a
web-based course to Mid-Continent operators. As part of our
process, we approached several longtime industry supporters
and advisers to seek their input for the most suitable topics. Not
surprisingly, almost everyone on the call wanted to hear about
considerations associated with temporary well shut in. Specifically,
the emphasis became, what actions should operators consider
now to bring their wells back on line later so they are likely to
produce at levels equal to what they did before being shut in.
Part of creating great new content almost always involves reviewing what has worked in the past and old papers often
surprise me by demonstrating how topics return again and
again over the years. As you may imagine, shut-in issues have
been discussed before, and in fact, they are serving as the basis
for my team in developing updated course materials for 2020.
In a 1999 program manual from a PTTC course titled "Best
Practices for Production Shut Down," one of my predecessors,
Rodney Reynolds, brought together industry experts to discuss
the considerations of shutting in a well or program of wells.
Held in three locations throughout Kansas, the course was put
on for operators in situation not so different from today. That
time was marked by record-low oil prices and a wave of industry
job losses-which sure sounds familiar. This was the state of
affairs at a time in which, some older folks may remember,
many believed the Y2K computer bug was going to set the
clocks on all the world's computers to zero, causing the world's
infrastructure to implode-which seems strikingly similar to
today's concerns about the global impact of the coronavirus
pandemic.
In an effort to help operators who had to shut in production
to survive, PTTC featured some best practices that still apply
today. The 1999 course highlighted shut-in essentials such as
the smartest ways to "pickle" a well and protect and preserve
surface equipment. It featured regulatory considerations and
offered input from Kansas Corporation Commission staff. Ad-

"During this rapidly evolving time,

information and how we use it will be the
deciding factor of success or failure in the
coming months.

"

ditionally, it featured a talk from regional attorneys who discussed
the best ways to avoid lease forfeitures. Finally, Baker Petrolite
discussed the optimum methods for shutting in a well while accounting for acid gas and microbial influenced corrosion, as
well as fluid conditioning strategies and chemical selection.
Moreover, that was not the only exciting thing I found in
these materials. Another source of hope came from the appendix,
where Reynolds cited a Feb. 4, 1999 press release from the Independent Petroleum Association of America titled "Just How
Bad Is It?" It opens with a quote from IPAA's then-President
Gil Thurm, who said, "The cumulative loss of 41,000 jobs in
the oil and natural gas industry and the shutdown of more than
136,000 oil wells and 57,000 natural gas wells since oil prices
crashed in November of 1997, should send shock waves through
the halls of the Congress and the Clinton administration . . .
America's oil and natural gas production base is eroding. And if
action is not taken immediately, the Y2K computer problem
predicted in 2000 will look like a stroll in the park compared
with what America will face without a functioning domestic oil
and gas industry."
Thurm's comments spoke to where we as an industry and
country were at the time. Thankfully, through the hard work of
our industry and industry advocates' innovations, we went on
to see unprecedented growth during the next two decades as we
embraced new technology and found ways to work safer and
smarter. Y2K proved underwhelming, and the industry and
world carried on. I am confident we will carry on and feel optimistic about the years ahead.
❒

JEREMY VISCOMI is a strategic

marketing expert for the oil and
gas industry. Among his many
roles, he serves as the MidContinent regional lead for the
Petroleum Technology Transfer
Council, providing independent
operators with access to emerging technology aimed at reducing
risk and growing profits.
JUNE 2020 23



American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020

Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Intro
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 1
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 2
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - Contents
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 4
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 5
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 6
American Oil and Gas Reporter - June 2020 - 7
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