: An:taipan09 Royal-Dutch und Exxon sind ohne..
..Zweifel die Marktführer im Ölgeschäft. Aber RWE-DEA fokusiert seine Geschäftsaktivitäten neben dem Tankstellengeschäft (downstream) auf die Gasförderung (Flüssiggas).Hier wurden erst kürzlich neue Lizenzen in Norwegen und Ägypten erworben.-- Nicht zu vergessen ist auch die Abfindungsphantasie!!!!
White House Won't Help in Gas Spike The Associated Press, Mon 7 May 2001
WASHINGTON (AP) ? President Bush won't stop gasoline prices from rising this summer, the White House said Monday, even if the cost tops $3 per gallon.
``If any politician has a magic wand that they can wave over gas prices to lower them, the president ... would like to listen to them,'' White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters.
The nation's average price of gas, including all grades and taxes, increased 8.58 cents to $1.76 over the last two weeks ? with the Midwest and West experiencing the biggest jumps at the pump. USA Today reported Monday that Shell and Chevron dealers in California and Chicago say they have been told to prepare for the possibility of $3-a-gallon gasoline this summer.
Fleischer said there's not much a president can do.
``The president is very concerned about the rise of the price of gasoline. It's tantamount to a tax increase on the American people and that's one reason why it's so important for the nation to have an energy policy that reflects the challenges the nation is facing,'' he said.
But the White House energy policy, due to be released this month, deals with long-term solutions to supply shortages and won't ease problems at the pump this summer. Fleischer said Bush is opposed to price controls and did not support cutting the 18.4 cents-a-gallon federal gas tax during the presidential campaign.
``He has never sought a quick fix because quick fixes don't work,'' Fleischer said. ``The problem America has with energy is that politicians have been so enraptured with quick fixes they have forgotten the real people in the long term.''
``He will resist the siren song of moving from one short-term solution to another,'' Fleischer said.
The White House has taken a similar little-we-can-do posture as California struggles with electricity shortages. Bush has been criticized in the nation's largest state for his position.
White House advisers are aware that they will come under pressure if gasoline prices spike nationwide during summer vacations, and are trying to lay the groundwork for Bush's defense.
Fleischer said the problem is due to the lack of an energy policy the last five to 10 years, pointing a finger not only at President Clinton but also the first Bush administration.
``I picked those years carefully,'' Fleischer said. ``This is not a matter of partisan politics. This is a matter of a nation that has not had in place an energy policy to deal with the fundamental imbalances in America's supply and demand.''
He said Bush will address the lack of refineries and transportation infrastructure, along with conservation measures. But Fleischer conceded that the Bush plan won't address short-term problems.
``If politicians keep moving from one quick fix to the other, the nation will never get out of its energy crisis,'' he said.
Fleischer said Bush will focus on ``the longer term (solutions), rather than the political.''
Also, falls die Amis wirklich 3 $/gallon bezahlen müssen, stehen wir bei 3 DM - und das in zwei Monaten !!!! Also, Drahtesel schon mal putzen und fleissig Oberschenkeltraining machen.
: ... und wird auf Dauer auch nicht viel billiger
Sunday July 01 08:31 AM EDT
A Second Oil Shortage: Experienced Workers
By NEELA BANERJEE The New York Times
Now the oil industry is prospering again. But the bitter past of layoffs haunts the industry's thriving present.
For Pablo Hadzeriga to leave the profession he loved, it took a terse letter from his employer as he returned from his honeymoon.
At the time, in 1992, Mr. Hadzeriga was a seasoned petroleum engineer who had survived several rounds of layoffs that had cost thousands of highly educated people their jobs and left many friends struggling to pay their mortgages. He estimated that his employer, Maxus Energy, had whittled it staff, to about 560 people from almost 7,000, as oil prices tumbled.
Then it was his turn. Maxus Energy mailed Mr. Hadzeriga a letter that began by referring to him as "a former Maxus employee."
Mr. Hadzeriga found work again in his field with another company and eventually moved back to his hometown, Denver, from Dallas. But when the chance came in 1995 to abandon oil and the manic fate of working in a boom-and-bust industry he grabbed it. "It wasn't a decision about money: I took a pay cut coming here," said Mr. Hadzeriga, 42, who now works as a product development manager at a plastics company. "I'm leaving behind the highs and lows of the oil industry."
Now the oil industry is prospering again, thanks to a doubling of natural gas prices and a tripling of oil prices since late 1998. Companies are enjoying handsome profits and the breathing room, for the first time in years, to pursue new projects aggressively. But the bitter past of layoffs haunts the industry's thriving present.
As politicians warn of an approaching energy crisis, the oil industry is trying to avoid a severe shortage of its own. From the Gulf of Mexico to Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, from large multinationals to small specialized offshore drillers, oil companies are having trouble finding and holding on to the engineers and geologists who discover oil and the roughnecks on the rigs who pull it from the earth.
A labor shortage means that companies may have to postpone efforts to find new oil and gas fields while they wait for skilled workers.
"If we don't do anything about this labor trend over the next 36 months, things could get critical," said John Gibson, chief executive of Landmark Graphics, a unit of the Halliburton Company, the oil-field services company in Dallas.
Like Mr. Hadzeriga, many who left are staying away, and few new people are taking their places. Oil companies have had some success in attracting unskilled workers, but a hole is widening within the ranks of the petroleum engineers, geophysicists and geologists who make the crucial and costly decisions about where to drill.
That highly specialized population in the industry is aging. The average age of members of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, for example, is 49. In 1981, it was 41. Yet oil's long downturn discouraged people now in their 20's and 30's from studying petroleum engineering and geology.
Already, new oil and natural gas projects have been delayed because of a tight market for rigs and labor, industry analysts said. Oil companies say the problem is serious, though few will acknowledge that they have difficulty themselves in attracting qualified workers, for fear of looking troubled to their competitors and Wall Street.
Those willing to talk are trying to avert a crisis. Exxon Mobil is heavily recruiting engineers and geologists from universities again. BP has developed an associate degree program with the University of Alaska to train students to replace the blue- collar workers who will soon be retiring from fields in the Alaskan North Slope. And Global Marine Inc., the deepwater drilling outfit, is recruiting within the military for reliable workers.
"On the professional engineering side, there's a shortage industrywide," said Sheldon Erikson, chairman of the Cooper Cameron Corporation, a $2 billion oil-field services company in Houston. "People are feeling it because business has picked up, especially in the offshore market. We're looking at a pretty empty barrel now."
Twenty years ago, the oil industry promised good pay and bountiful work for young men and a smattering of women who had a taste for science and adventure. Mr. Hadzeriga, the son of a chemical engineer, had traveled to three continents and studied five languages by the time he was 20. And he believed that a degree in petroleum engineering might take him someday to places where he could use his Spanish, Arabic or Russian.
"I sold everything I owned, sold my car, said goodbye to everybody," he recalled of his departure for a job in Angola in 1983, just after he graduated from the Colorado School of Mines. "I was out to see the big huge world."
At that time, the oil industry was flush with cash and convinced that oil prices would stay high for years. But growing supplies and flat demand led to a depression in the industry that took hold in 1986 and only began to lift a year ago. According to the American Petroleum Institute, about 754,500 people worked in exploration and production, arguably the most crucial part of the oil industry, in 1982. As of last month, the number had almost halved, to 336,400. From 1997 to 1999, the oil and gas industry shed 60,000 exploration and production jobs, mainly because of low oil prices, said Ron Planting, an analyst at the Petroleum Institute.
Some companies bucked the trend and held on to employees. Anadarko Petroleum, a $14 billion independent exploration and production company in Houston, resisted staff cutbacks, as did the Rowan Companies, a major drilling contractor also in Houston. Global Marine chose salary cuts over layoffs. Because the company retained younger workers, the average age of its work force is 36 the same as it was 10 years ago.
"Layoffs look good to shareholders at a particular time, but they harm long-term development," said Edward E. Thiele, chief financial officer at Rowan. "You train all these people and then you lay them off, and then you have to train new people all over again."
Most companies succumbed to the pressure to pare their work forces, but many layoff victims do not return. Companies often shed a greater proportion of older engineers and geologists through early retirement packages and nurtured a younger, cheaper crop of professionals. Those people are now middle-aged, however, and many have the savings to retire by 55.
The "graying" of the oil industry has become so pronounced that in seven years, the sector could lose 40 percent to 60 percent of its work force to retirement, according to an informal survey that Mr. Gibson conducted 18 months ago of his firm's main clients, which include some of the country's biggest oil companies.
Mr. Gibson said some companies were still debating how severe the labor drought might be and remained convinced that machines would fill the gap. New technology has clearly reduced the number of people required for many jobs. Automated rig handling, for example, has cut the number of roughnecks needed to drill wells. Three-dimensional seismic studies of oil and gas reservoirs help the industry better identify the most promising places to drill. Companies now drill fewer exploratory wells, which means that they need fewer people.
But oil companies need geophysicists, geologists and petroleum engineers to use that technology and interpret its complex data. And there will be fewer of those people to go around.
"Oil and gas is first found in people's minds," said Harold M. Korell, chief executive of the Southwestern Energy Company, an independent natural gas exploration company in Houston. "You need the people to pull all the data together and figure out where to drill. Five or 10 years from now, these 50-year-olds will be 60. Who will replace them?"
Sons of oilmen once followed their fathers into the field. But a whole generation came of age in the mid- 1980's in places like Houston and Dallas and watched their fathers lose their jobs and their families lose their homes. Alumni of the Colorado School of Mines which along with Texas A&M and the University of Texas is a top school for oil-industry engineers and scientists have told Ron Brummett, the director of the college's career center, that they advise their children to avoid the industry and to choose more stable work. When Mr. Gibson recently asked a room of 400 industry middle managers how many would encourage their children to enter the oil business, he said, about five people raised their hands.
While the industry faltered in the 1990's, the rest of the American economy boomed. Young people were lured by new-economy promises of more relaxed places to work, high- technology equipment to play with, and the potential to become instant millionaires at least on paper.
"Our industry has an image problem that comes from a lack of getting the message out," said R. D. Blue, manager for domestic recruiting and employment at Exxon Mobil. Many young people dismiss the oil business as a low-tech part of the old economy, he said, but "nothing could be farther from the truth."
In 1986, 102 students graduated from the Colorado School of Mines with bachelor's degrees in petroleum engineering; in 2001, there were 34. At the University of Texas, about 180 petroleum engineering students graduated in 1982, compared with 34 this year. Ekwere J. Peters, the department chairman at Texas, estimated that a total of about 300 students nationwide graduated with bachelor of science degrees in the major last year. That, he added, would not be enough to meet demand in the oil labor market.
The tight supply of engineers and so-called geoscientists has driven up starting salaries. According to Mr. Brummett at the Colorado School of Mines, the average starting salary this year for its graduates, at $48,402, is about 8.8 percent higher than last year. The average salary for a geologist with less than two years' experience is now $59,700, versus $48,400 five years ago, according to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. University officials and recent graduates say there is a bidding war for new recruits, with companies offering signing bonuses of $5,000 to $10,000.
The overall economy has now slowed while the oil industry continues to flourish, and college enrollments in oil-related majors have increased slightly. But those who are attracted by the money now will need four years to graduate. After that, it may take up to 5 or 10 years for the geologists and engineers to amass the knowledge they need to be of use to oil companies.
And for some people, money is not the issue. For all the hard work that Janice Rego put into becoming a petroleum engineer, she is all but lost to the industry now. Raised in Dubai and witness to the wealth that oil can create, she took the bold step of leaving home to study at Texas A&M. After pulling all-nighters in the petroleum lab and toughing out the grueling course work, she was convinced when she graduated in 1997 that she wanted to be an engineer.
Ms. Rego returned home, eager to apply her knowledge. But after only a few days working as the only woman on an offshore platform, she left for a job onshore. Then, in 1998, the price of oil fell to less than $10 a barrel; with layoffs looming, she quit the industry entirely. She returned to the United States to get a master's degree in business administration and is now a junior oil analyst at the New York offices of Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, a European investment bank.
"I was the guinea pig, and I didn't want to go through that," Ms. Rego said, referring to her experience as a woman on an offshore rig. "Oil was all about learning and I didn't feel like I was learning that much."
The labor market is squeezing the oil industry just as it faces enormous pressure to produce. The United States consumes 25 percent of the world's energy, and despite the sluggish economy, demand for oil and natural gas continues to grow. Oil and gas companies are increasing their exploration and production budgets. And they look forward to President Bush's campaign to open federal lands to further production. But domestic production may not improve significantly, in part because of the dearth of workers.
Oil-field service companies, which provide the equipment and services for drilling, are turning down work because of a lack of trained rig crews, industry executives and analysts said. The problems of these businesses, in turn, can delay the projects of the major oil companies.
BJ Services, a $4.8 billion Houston company that pumps cement to shore up the walls of oil wells, has had to turn down work because of a shortage of workers. The company has recently been hiring 50 to 60 people a month, but that still has not been enough to tackle all the available work, said Jeff Smith, director for business development.
At other oil-field service companies, the lost opportunities are more subtle, though still noticeable. Cooper Cameron makes undersea equipment needed in offshore drilling. Like its competitors, it faces a shortage of engineers in some specialties. The experts in the field are retiring, and few have come along to replace them, said Mr. Erikson, Cooper Cameron's chairman.
"The number of projects you can do at any one time is limited," he said. "If we had more people, we would do more projects. There are large projects that are deepwater driven, so you have to be very selective about the projects that you want to do. You just can't go after everything like you did in the early 80's."
Companies are now looking for ways to attract people fast, and they have had some success at the rig level. The answer, in most cases, is money. Nabors Industries, one of the largest oil-field service companies, has increased entry-level pay from 1999 by almost 40 percent, to $16.38 an hour from $11.49.
The lowest-salary employees at Global Marine are roustabouts, who get $30,000 a year, full benefits and a bonus of 3 to 5 percent of their annual pay. But the company had trouble finding good people within the "shore economy" to work on their offshore rigs. So over the last year, the company hired a former Marine captain to recruit among people preparing to leave the Marine Corps, Army airborne units, or the Navy's nuclear submarine fleet.
Jon Marshall, chief operating officer of Global Marine, said people with military experience are sought out because they are accustomed to physical work and are often more mature and responsible than those coming out of the local "shore" economy.
While the company is satisfied with the caliber of its new employees, it has had to increase its safety budget by 26 percent, to about $14.5 million, because of the large number of inexperienced people on the rigs, Mr. Marshall said.
Indeed, safety is probably the greatest concern on rigs as more new people come on board, industry executives said. The number of accidents has not climbed, but most companies are spending more to keep the platforms safe.
"The problem is that you have inefficient crews, maybe because you're shifting one or two members from an existing crew onto a new one and the rest are green," said Wesley N. Maat, an oil industry analyst at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein. "These crews are like a seasoned baseball team, with their own rhythm, their own karma. They work well together, except this is a much more dangerous game.
"Because what's at risk is your fingers, your life, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and investments. There's no way on this earth that you can replicate a rig hand with 15 years' experience, despite all the technological advances in the industry."