Another interesting year. For us it started in Panama en route back from an excellent holiday in Costa Rica. This was quickly followed by an awesome ski holiday in Japan with the usual crowd. The ski season in Norway got off to a slow start, January was especially poor, but it was also cold and the ice was in excellent condition. Had some great days out with Sandy and the guys from the UK hacking up the vertical. The skiing picked up a bit later in the season and ended with a great Easter trip to Sunmøre. April and May saw me in Utah doing what I love best, looking at rocks in the field with students and this year we were into technowank overload, playing with both the hyper spectral scanner and helicopters.
The start of the summer was nice and I took a week off while Les was over in June to play and repeat the Flåm – Godvangen kayak trip. In July and August the weather deteriorated, but I didn’t really notice because I spent most of the time in Houston. September was the company trip to Spain, Ainsa is always a blast and especially with people like that! October through to December saw nice weather in Bergen but I just seemed to be working most of the time. Spent a couple of weeks in December on a distinguished lecturer tour of the western US which saw me trek from California through Colorado to Canada and eventually Alaska. Key conclusion there was that hospitality improves with latitude. Back in Europe winter came early and both Bergen and the UK were covered in the white stuff as we headed for Christmas in the UK followed by a ski holiday in the Rockies. You would have thought I had spent enough time on planes. In fact I always thought it was an irony that airlines reward you for spending lots of time flying by giving you – free flights.
2009 was a great year for the company, we continue to grow in terms of people and reserves, hitting a net risked resource of 1 billion bbls in November without having to mine tar sands or enter any war zones. The growth was driven mainly by a success in the 20th Round (were we where pronounced the winners by the press), and a fairly aggressive entry into the Gulf of Mexico. New staff and some excellent new offices will set the scene foe next year which promises to be very exciting with a lot of that prospectivity being tested with the drill bit.
Globally – a near complete lack of moral fiber seemed to be the order of the day, while the banker induced financial crisis raged on the scum that caused the collapse took the government bail out, did everything they could to avoid regulation and then paid themselves huge bonuses. Meanwhile the people that should have been regulating the whole show were too busy fiddling there expenses, getting their moat cleaned and buying duck houses.
In the US, they finally got rid of the global nightmare that was the Bush administration. His tenure has to go down in history as one of the darkest periods since Hitler thought he needed a bit more elbow room. I still live in hope that all of his cronies, including Blair are put on trail for war crimes but I doubt it will ever happen. The tail end of the year saw numerous large oil companies scrambling over each other to be first at the Iraq trough – thus proving that the war was nothing to do with the terror and everything to do with securing energy supplies and lining the pockets of your cronies. Although it was interesting to see that the big players that did get in, did not get especially good terms.
Back in Europe the much hyped Copenhagen summit turned out to be a huge flop because the Chinese want to burn as much coal as possible to ensure that their 1.6 billion people can all live like we do in the west…
Happy New Year!