Realistic appraisal of technical strength ensures competitiveness ///

As we review this year, pre-Sept. 11 events seem to have lost some relevancy. We look back to find meaning where there is none. We seek more order than is present. We say, "It’s a small world," when we mean that the entire globe, and its population, are tightly interconnected by relationships, commerce and technology. It is smaller today, as all civilization goes forward in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 events. The future of commodity prices, technology, etc., seems even less predictable as we enter a new world. The year began with very attractive product prices, particularly for natural gas. As usual, our industry responded with unbridled enthusiasm. Untested rigs with green crews filled the marginal demand to drill wells at a breakneck pace. Efficiency suffered, as did contractor safety performance. However, everybody was making money. Didn’t we have a bumper sticker a few years ago, which said that we promised not to screw up the next oil boom.

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