Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 2013, This One For History

Occasionally I scroll back through the years via my blog, this one you are looking at right now, to compare this date with what was happening in my life a year prior to now...or in the same month a year ago, two years or three.
Prior Januarys' have been slow apparently. Slow as far as activity in the oil industry and I'm hoping that this is what is happening this January. Everyone in the exploration and recovery part of the oil industry is sitting around waiting...waiting on that call that they are needed to go offshore or to a land rig. Most of this crowd are the new oilfield. They have never been through an oil recession and the money that has been rolling in has not went into a savings account but into expensive trucks, boats and luxury travel trailers,  and high end homes.
We keep a low profile and a savings account. We save much more then we spend, shop sales and keep our vehicles until they no longer want to perform at a secure level and might leave us stranded in our travels. The husband just purchased a new Dodge 4X4. We don't count it as a personal purchase but as a business one. This is how he makes his living. He charges handsomely for driving this vehicle all 
 over the USA and by the time he replaces it with a new one, the mileage money it has earned would pay for 3 new ones. One is all he needs and we don't hesitate to visit the Dodge dealership. We write them a check, paid in full and are good for another 6 years....hopefully.
The husband takes excellent care of this vehicle and on trade in, the old one is in showroom condition. I'm always saddened to see the old one go and if not for the 160,000 miles on it, I might have snatched it up for my own use. It still ran perfectly.
Back to history. I scrolled back through my old posts and found historically,  this time of years is slow in the "patch".
I'm hoping this is exactly what is happening. There has been so many new homes built here lately as the oil industry has been on a huge upswing. We wait and watch and prepare for the bad times. Been there..done that. We have watched the patch disintegrate and not return for 5yrs or more. It wasn't a pretty sight.
There is a glut of natural gas on the market right now so drilling for new is at a standstill and our Gulf is mainly a producer of natural gas. Land rigs are also slowing down unless they are oil producing. The fields in North Dakota are on draw down and folks are beginning to lose their jobs there too. On the flip side, the workover rigs are booming. The only action that hasn't slowed down is keeping the wells already drilled in a time when the prices were up, operating.
It has been said that Lafayette is so diversified in the job industry that a slow down in the oilfields would not cause a disastrous economy as what happened in the late '80's but the oldtimers tread lightly. The real money in this town is still in oil from all the support companies be it trucking, transportation, rig suppliers, salesmen, etc. This is a rope, soap and dope town.
It's slow right now. I'll be watching Baker Hughes for the rig count, something everyone in the oil industry watches. The count has steadily declined in the past months and continues through January. The analyst predict 2013 a slow year. I'm watching and watching and keeping the purse strings a little tighter. This might be a lesson to the next generation of young men in the field.
If you have made it this far in this post, you are probably bored to tears. It wasn't meant to be an entertaining post so I can't apolgize for it. I'll reel back to it a year from now to determine if this January is just a slow month or the beginning of a real slow down in the industry. I'm hypersensitive to this I know but I watched the disastrous events of the '80's.
On the upside, we have time to replace the fascia board on this house and do a few house repairs in this down time.
I'll be back; maybe on a lighter tone?

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