Waking the resource giants ///

During periods of significant change, some things always seem to remain constant. For me, 2012 was a year of change professionally. Those who follow my editorials know that for the last several years, I have provided viewpoints from the position of an independent operator in the Gulf of Mexico. This year, I had an opportunity to once again venture back into the international arena, where I am running operations in Iraq for KOGAS, the Korean Gas Company. Therefore, I will now begin providing some insight from the UAE on issues that challenge operators in the Middle East. Even with this dramatic shift in geographic focus, it is interesting to note that many of the issues I discussed last year concerning the impact of unconventional reserves still dominate many headlines in the Mid-East. In my 2011 editorial, I cautioned about the possible coming of an X-Box shale gas economy, which just like the games, is based on a perceived, infinite supply of fuel. Such an inexhaustible fuel supply would, in turn, result in long-term downward pressure on pricing for natural gas. Perhaps the suppressed 2012 average gas pricing, ranging from $2.00 to $3.50/Mcf, suggests that we are, indeed, entering into this X-Box mind set.

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