“Improvements, innovations, and insights” are common ingredients in this month’s array of articles. These are the full versions of the “Drilling Deeper” news items that appeared as abbreviated versions in the print edition of the October 2014 PBOG.
Texas Energy Boom Requires Improved Infrastructure
Texas’ oil boom has brought jobs and increased tax revenue, among other economic benefits, to Texas and the United States. Unfortunately, this boom may not reach its full potential as our nation’s infrastructure crumbles and threatens to slow oil and gas production around Texas and the United States.
The United States’ infrastructure, particularly its road and bridge system, has been in decline for years. According to a recent Bloomberg article, roads used for transportation to drilling sites have begun to crumble and deteriorate, which has caused road closures, accidents and delayed production. Similarly, the Washington Post reported earlier this year that 63,000 bridges require significant repairs.
Given the significant contribution the oil and gas industry has made to the economies of Texas and other states around the country, federal, state and local governments should reinvest energy-related tax revenues to repair roads, bridges and utility systems. These repairs would ensure efficient and safe production, while enabling the energy boom to reach its full potential. An unsafe infrastructure, especially one that relies on dirt roads in some instances, cannot sustain an energy boom. Our roads must be reliable, our bridges must be made safe and the utility systems must remain free from antiquation.
The oil and gas industry pays significant taxes to the state and federal government. For example, producers pay a 4.6 percent tax on all oil production in addition to regulatory taxes. The Texas Comptroller’s office reports that Texas received $2.99 billion in revenue from oil-related taxes alone. Natural gas production tax brought an additional $1.5 billion to the state in revenue. In addition to these taxes, the state of Texas received an additional $2.6 billion from the federal government State Highway Fund, which derives from a federal tax on gasoline. The state of Texas reports that $5.4 billion were spent on highway construction, maintenance and right of way compared to only $570 billion spent on capital improvements.
The oil boom has fueled tremendous job growth in Texas. This boom has brought many visitors and workers to small Texas towns and has greatly improved the Texas economy, which has made life more prosperous for many Texas residents. For the energy industry to continue to support economic growth in Texas communities, our state and federal governments must provide the necessary funding to maintain and improve our nation’s infrastructure. A well-maintained infrastructure would enable the oil boom to continue to drive economic growth while maintaining a safe road system that has fewer hazards.
Mark A. Plummer is Chestnut Exploration’s owner and Chief Executive Officer. In addition, Mark is a licensed engineer and entrepreneur with expertise in fracking and oilfield redevelopment, among other areas. To contact Mark, click the Contact Us tab at www.chestnutep.com.
Dresser-Rand, a global supplier of rotating equipment solutions to the oil, gas, petrochemical, power, and process industries, has been honored by the National Safety Council (NSC) with a 2014 Industry Leader Award for its safety performance.
A component of the Council’s member-exclusive “Safety Motivation and Recognition Awards Program” which benchmarks outstanding safety achievements, the award recognizes the top 5 percent of member companies, units and facilities that have met the criteria and qualified for the 2014 Occupational Excellence Achievement Award from the NSC.
Winners are selected based on North American Industry Classification System code, lowest total incidence rate and employee work hours.
“This recognition from the National Safety Council reaffirms our commitment to achieve operational excellence and zero injuries,” said Michael Wood, Dresser-Rand’s Vice President and Chief Safety Officer. “We have a culture at Dresser-Rand where together we hold safety discussions with our employees to ensure that we minimize at-risk behaviors and watch each other’s back. Our ultimate goal is to eliminate workplace injuries by executing disciplined processes and engaging our employees.”
Build a Thriving Work Culture
What makes a successful business thrive? That’s what eight out of 10 new entrepreneurs would like to know, because their businesses fail within the first 18 months, according to Bloomberg.
Adam Witty has managed to turn plenty of heads in the business community as founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, (http://advantagefamily.com/), an international publisher of business, self-improvement, and professional development books and online learning.
Witty, who was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011, says creating the right environment is crucial for success. The magazine also featured his company in their top 500|5000 list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in America for 2012 and 2013, when the company ranked No. 42 in Media and No. 36 for Top 100 South Carolina Companies.
“You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question,” says Witty, the author of five books and an in-demand speaker and consultant on marketing, business development, media and publishing, and entrepreneurship topics.
“Of course, you need folks with the right qualifications who are willing to bring their A-game every day – that’s crucial. But there are also character traits to look for: a positive, can-do attitude, for instance. If a person doesn’t fit in the mix, not only will he or she be less likely to bring their best, they can also compromise everyone else’s game.”
Witty talks about what it takes to get that hum every CEO wants, both in the office and in one’s respective industry.
• Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that something extra as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through. This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, “which may be a small business’s CEO,” Witty adds. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first, who have helped Advantage Media Group earn a spot on the Best Places to Work in South Carolina list for 2013 and 2014. Egomaniacs who cannot collaborate can to grind productivity to a screeching halt.
• The importance of having fun… “Having fun not only helps your team do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right,” Witty says. “Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.” Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.
• Make employees, and clients, your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial components of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.
• Direction: understanding the “why;” encourage difference makers. “Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do,” Witty says. “The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.”
• Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.
About Adam Witty: Adam Witty is the founder and CEO of Advantage Media Group, (http://advantagefamily.com/), an international publisher of business, self-improvement and professional development books and online learning. He has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, business leaders and professionals to help them write, publish, market and monetize books to grow their business. Witty has been featured on ABC and Fox, and was selected for INC Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list of “America’s coolest young entrepreneurs” in 2011.
What’s Love Got to Do With It?
In today’s sales environment, having the most product knowledge and the best pitch or presentation can only take you so far. What really makes prospects and clients eager to buy from you is the amount of love they feel from you. Yes… Love.
While most people think that love has no place in business—and especially in sales—quite the opposite is true. In reality, love is like a magnet. The more love you put out to others, the more you’ll attract positive outcomes (in this case, sales).
Realize, though, that the love required is not the romantic type, so you don’t have to date your clients or woo them with candy and flowers. Rather, love in sales is more about caring, showing compassion, and being genuinely interested in the other person. These kinds of emotional factors carry a lot of weight in today’s selling situations. Savvy salespeople know the value of love and display it to their clients daily. Here’s how you can too.
Acknowledge your prospects and clients.
It’s common for clients to go with a more expensive product or one with fewer features simply because they like the salesperson. If you think that doesn’t make sense, consider that the greatest human need is to feel appreciated. Often, the salespeople of the winning products simply made their client feel special. Especially in today’s technology age where person-to-person contact is often limited to emails or texts, developing a real bond with others and showing love by acknowledging them is more important than ever.
For example, Tina sold merchant credit card services. There was one large company she really wanted to get in with, but the decision maker continually told her no—that he was happy with their current merchant services provider. But even though he said no, Tina continued to follow up with him, always taking the time to talk with him about things other than her product. During one of those conversations she learned when his birthday was and she notated it in her calendar. When his birthday rolled around, she sent him a very funny, yet tasteful, singing telegram. He called her on the verge of tears, thanking her for the kind gesture and revealing that no one—not even his wife or kids—remembered his birthday. The next day he signed up and became one of Tina’s best clients. A little acknowledgement goes a long way.
Help others—with no strings attached.
Zig Ziglar once said, “You can get everything in life you want if you just help other people get what they want.” That sentiment holds true in sales. The more you help your clients—without expecting anything in return—the more business you’ll eventually receive. Therefore, show your love by doing things that help people in their business and in their personal life. Recommend other companies—even your competitors—if you aren’t the best fit for their needs. Make introductions to businesses and individuals your client may enjoy knowing. And above all else, do something nice for your clients just for the sake of being nice.
Phil sold radio advertising for a small station. One of his prospects owned an advertising agency who bought ad space for large national companies. Each time he approached his prospect, she told him no—that his station was too small for their large accounts which demanded higher ratings before committing to advertising. Phil knew she had an eight-year-old daughter, as did he, so when he won four tickets to a One Direction concert, he asked her if her daughter would like to join his family to the show. The prospect was thrilled, but she suspected that Phil would expect her business in exchange. He assured her that was the furthest thing from his mind; he simply thought her daughter would enjoy the concert. The prospect knew her daughter loved One Direction, but she couldn’t imagine going to the concert and listening to all the screaming girls, so she took Phil up on the offer. While the prospect didn’t buy from Phil due to her need for higher ratings, she did refer some colleagues to him who were looking for radio advertising time, and many of them bought, ultimately resulting in more business than he ever had. By giving without expecting anything in return, Phil got paid handsomely.
Treat your prospects and clients like friends.
When you hang out with your friends, do you force yourself on them and only talk about or do things that interest you? Or do you think about their likes and needs and talk about and do things you both enjoy? Chances are that you take your friends’ needs and likes into consideration and do what you can to make your time together enjoyable. The next time you meet with a prospect or client, show them love by treating them the same way you’d treat your friends. Let them talk about things that interest them, even if it’s not about what you’re selling. And when you discover something they enjoy, find a way to help them get what they want.
Chris was a successful call center technology salesperson who drove a sporty new Corvette—a gift he bought himself when he reached a major sales goal. One day he learned that a prospect he had been calling upon for the last few months would be in town for a conference. He knew this man was a car enthusiast, so he offered to pick the prospect up from the airport in his Corvette. The prospect agreed. When Chris pulled up, he immediately noticed the big smile that came across the prospect’s face. Without missing a beat, Chris asked, “Hey, would you like to drive it?” The prospect jumped at the opportunity. As the two of them drove down the highway to the prospect’s meeting spot, the conversation was about everything other than call center technology—cars, sports, food, etc. Chris treated his prospect the same way he treated his friends, and the next day the prospect called and asked Chris for a detailed proposal for his products. A few months later, the deal was closed … and Chris had not only a new client, but also a new friend.
The More You Give the More You Get
When your prospects and clients think of you, you want them to have positive feelings—to think of someone fun and friendly, not a pushy salesperson. So if you want to attract sales and become a top producer, start with love. You’ll find that the more love you give, the more sales you’ll get.
Pam Lontos and Troy Horne have written and recorded the song “Love is a Magnet” that shows how positive thinking will lead to increased sales and improved teamwork and productivity. Pam Lontos is President of Pam Lontos Consulting (www.PamLontos.com). She is a past Vice president of sales for Disney’s Shamrock Broadcasting. Troy Horne is an award-winning singer-songwriter who has appeared on Broadway, NBC’s The Sing Off, and Star Search (www.TroyHorne.com). To download “Love is a Magnet” for free and play in your next sales meeting, visit www.LoveisaMagnet.com.
Affirm Oilfield Services Launched
Select Energy Services, LLC (Select), today announced the launch of Affirm Oilfield Services, (Affirm) provides field services, wellsite construction, pipeline construction and heavy haul, aggregate, logistics and crane services. While Affirm’s various services were previously available under the Select brand, the new Affirm entity was formed to enable its management to grow the business as a standalone company. Select recently announced that it had reorganized to be 100 percent water focused.
“Affirm Oilfield Services captures key elements of an excellent business, and one in which Select will continue to invest,” said Select CEO John Schmitz. “Under the Select banner, Affirm’s services were sometimes overshadowed by Select’s water focus, and we feel this brand launch will create the opportunity for Affirm to grow exponentially.”
Jeremy Townley has been named president of Affirm and the company currently has [number] employees. Affirmsupports E & P companies across five U.S. regions.
“Our team is optimistic about the growth potential for Affirm in light of this reorganization,” said Townley. “Our customers know as us as quality oriented, adaptable and flexible to their needs. The formation of Affirm enables us to serve a whole new [group] of customers who are looking for the services we deliver.”
IHS Drilling and Completions Performance Benchmarking
IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS), a leading global source of critical information and insight, has launched the IHS Drilling and Completions Solution, a unique, operator-only membership service designed to provide oil and gas operators—and their drilling engineering teams—with detailed current and historical drilling data as well as the performance benchmarking analysis derived from that data.
Benchmarking analysis is essential to an operator’s ability to assess their performance in a particular U.S. play as compared to other operators, and to achieve operational efficiencies in their drilling program. However, it is often a costly, time-consuming process.
“Drilling engineers working in the U.S. unconventional plays or Gulf of Mexico will tell you that the sub-surface characteristics such as pressure, temperature and depth can vary significantly from one part of the field to the next,” said Chip Bailey, director of product management at IHS Energy. “Therefore, they need to be able to compare their own drilling data against existing neighboring wells to get a sense for what a new well is going to require in terms of depth, pipe, bottom-hole assembly (BHA), chemicals, mud properties and drilling time.”
With the IHS Drilling and Completions Solution, we’ve created a forum for operators to share this information with one another,” Bailey said. “But, we take it a step further and provide the critical benchmarking and data analysis, so they can assess their drilling program’s performance and efficiency much more quickly.”
The IHS Drilling and Completions Solution is organized into four regions of coverage that model the organizational structure of many operators, including the Rocky Mountain/West group, the Midcontinent Southeast group, the Northeast group, and the Gulf of Mexico group. This new offering employs a data analysis software tool that integrates two existing services – the IHS Offset Drilling Data and IHS Drilling Performance Benchmarking solutions. The solution’s robust database includes more than 26,000 historical, public offset well records with detailed, quality-controlled, drilling data (mud, chemicals, BHA ) and operational event information.
The converged data accounts for more than 9,000 operator-provided performance benchmarked wells. In addition to performing ‘well-to-well’ benchmarking, the IHS offering enables operators to assess ‘operator-to-operator’ performance as well as ‘operator-to-industry’ performance.
“This solution is a game changer for operators,” Bailey said. “Access to current data is imperative for operators to improve their effectiveness, which is why the integration of these two services is so beneficial to our customers. Many of them used to attempt to gather the data and do the performance benchmarking themselves, but it was quite costly in terms of money, time and resources—just so they could get to the point where they could evaluate the data.”
With the converged tool set from IHS, planning, design and improved AFE (authorization for expenditure) analysis can be accomplished in hours instead of weeks. IHS now performs all the capture of drilling data and events for operators and makes the analyses available through their internal business intelligence tool set by a simple download.
The new IHS offering, Bailey said, is helpful to both new entrants into plays and to play veterans seeking to assess their technical limits within the play. For example, operators in the Permian, Eagle Ford and Gulf of Mexico have used IHS Offset Drilling and Performance Benchmarking for several years to improve the drilling pre-planning and design process while reducing costly down-time through the look-back analysis and the identification of geological trouble areas and potential hazards.
“Now operators can compare their performance against other operators and can quickly adjust their strategies for further operational efficiency,” Bailey said. “For example, a director of global drilling and completions for a major offshore operator has used the IHS Benchmarking Mechanical Risk Index to measure new well complexity since the 1990’s, to validate internal and partner drilling AFE costs, and to ensure continuous improvement for existing projects.”
Debunking the Myths of Hydrofracking
By now, you’ve probably heard of the term “fracking” and have a foggy understanding that it has something to do with extracting natural gas from the ground. Unfortunately, the term has been spun to mean something new, unnatural, and rife with bad consequences, says engineer and environmentalist Greg Kozera.
“Greater independence from foreign oil, job creation, a cleaner environment and a much-needed shot of economic growth is just the beginning of what hydraulic fracturing has meant to us in recent years, yet many think of fracking as the new dirty word, associated only with corporate greed,” says Kozera, an expert in domestic energy and author of “Just the Fracks, Ma’am,” (http://www.justthefracksbook.com/).
“I want to replace the unfounded fears people have about fracking with facts. This is simply too important an issue for so many people to make decisions based on misinformation.”
Kozera, who has worked on every aspect of the process as a veteran in the oil and gas industry, debunks the five biggest myths that are hobbling honest debate in the United States.
• Myth No. 1: Fracking is a drilling technique. Actually, it’s a method to improve oil and gas production from a well after it’s drilled. From there, the well is evaluated and the geology is reviewed. Production from the well – if there’s any – is monitored with an electric evaluation log that’s run on most vertical wells and is used to help decide if and how a well should be fracked. After the evaluation is complete, then and only then is the decision made to frack a well and how it should be done.
• Myth No. 2: Fracking is new. Fracking is nothing new; in 1947, the oil and gas industry discovered the method as a way of improving production in the country’s oil wells. In fact, more than 90 percent of the wells drilled in the United States have required fracking for gas and oil, he says.
“Without fracturing, we would have no significant domestic oil industry and we’d have to rely on imports for nearly 100 percent for our fuel and transportation,” Kozera says. “If this ever happens, you will think gas at $4 per gallon is cheap!”
• Myth No. 3: Fracking is explosive. The original way that wells were stimulated, going back into the 1800s, involved a process known as “shooting,” wherein explosives were lowered into the well and set off, causing an explosion down the hole that would create a small cavern. Shooting was dangerous, involving a horse-drawn wagon filled with nitroglycerin, which can be very unstable. Hydraulic fracturing replaced shooting because it is safer and far more effective. Fracking is not explosive.
• Myth No. 4: Fracking causes earthquakes. According to the United States Geological Survey, the U.S. averages more than 1.3 million earthquakes exceeding a magnitude of 2.0 annually based on data gathered from 1900 to 1999. Remember, fracking didn’t begin until 1947. Earthquakes are very common and have occurred within Earth’s crust for as long as there has been a crust.
• Myth No. 5: Fracking contaminates groundwater. This is a major concern of the public – and understandably so! Clean drinking water is critical to life. However, if fracking contaminates drinking water, it would have done so long before now.
We simply cannot frack up thousands of feet through solid rock. We know that rock is porous and fracturing fluids leak off into the rock and naturally induced fractures. As fluid leaks off, however, the fracture eventually quits growing in height and length, and ultimately does not reach our water sources.
About Greg Kozera
Greg Kozera is an engineer with a master’s degree in environmental engineering and an environmentalist with more than 35 years of experience in the natural gas and oil industry. He is the president of the Virginia Oil and Gas Association and the author of “Just the Fracks, Ma’am,” (http://www.justthefracksbook.com/). Kozera has worked in the field on frack crews, done the engineering designs for fracks and has managed facilities with more than 200 employees. Kozera has a comprehensive understanding of the fracturing process and how important it is to our children, grandchildren and the security of our nation.
Kinder Morgan, Inc. to Purchase KMP, KMR and EPB
Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI), Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP), Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB) today announced that KMI will acquire all of the outstanding equity securities of KMP, KMR and EPB.
KMP unitholders will receive 2.1931 KMI shares and $10.77 in cash for each KMP unit. This results in a price of $89.98 per unit, a 12 percent premium based on the Aug. 8, 2014, closing prices. This is a premium of 11.4 percent based on the July 16 closing price reference date used by the parties during the negotiation of the transaction.
KMR shareholders will receive 2.4849 KMI shares for each share of KMR. This results in a price of $89.75 per share, a 16.5 percent premium based on the Aug. 8, 2014, closing prices. This is a premium of 16 percent based on the July 16 reference date used by the parties in the negotiation. The parties negotiated consideration for KMR shares equal to the consideration for KMP units, using the July 16 reference date.
EPB unitholders will receive .9451 KMI shares and $4.65 in cash for each EPB unit. This results in a price of $38.79 per unit, a 15.4 percent premium based on the Aug. 8, 2014, closing prices. This is a premium of 11.2 percent based on the July 16 reference date used by the parties in the negotiation.
Both KMP and EPB unitholders will be able to elect cash or KMI stock consideration subject to proration.
KMI has secured committed financing for the cash portion of the transaction.
“All shareholders and unitholders of the Kinder Morgan family of companies will benefit as a result of this combination,” said Chairman and CEO Richard D. Kinder. “Everyone will hold a single, publicly traded security – KMI – which will have a projected dividend of $2.00 in 2015, a 16 percent increase over the anticipated 2014 dividend of $1.72. We expect to grow the dividend by approximately 10 percent each year from 2015 through 2020, with excess coverage anticipated to be greater than $2 billion over that same period. This combined entity will be the largest energy infrastructure company in North America and the third largest energy company overall with an estimated enterprise value of approximately $140 billion. Additionally, we will have a leading position in each of our business segments and operate in the rapidly growing North American energy infrastructure sector.”
KMI has reviewed the proposed transaction with the rating agencies and expects the combined entity will be investment grade. The Kinder Morgan companies will put in place cross guarantees among and between the Kinder Morgan entities (with limited exceptions) to be effective on closing of the transaction in order to create a single creditor class and eliminate the structural subordination.
“This transaction dramatically simplifies the Kinder Morgan story, by transitioning from four separately traded equity securities today to one security going forward, and by eliminating the incentive distribution rights and structural subordination of debt,” Kinder said. “Further, we believe that KMI will be a valuable acquisition currency and have a significantly lower hurdle for accretive investments in new energy infrastructure. In the opportunity-rich environment of today’s energy infrastructure sector, we believe this transaction gives us the ability to grow KMI for years to come.” The transaction also provides significant tax benefits for KMI shareholders from depreciation deductions associated with the upfront purchase and future capital expenditures.
KMP, KMR, and EPB were represented in the negotiations by committees comprised exclusively of the independent members of the boards of the respective entities. The boards of all the Kinder Morgan companies have voted to recommend the transaction to their respective unitholders and shareholders. Each transaction is conditioned on the closing of the other transactions. Following unitholders and shareholder votes and standard regulatory notifications and approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of 2014. More information on the transaction, including the investor presentation, may be found in the Investor section of the Kinder Morgan website at www.kindermorgan.com.
Barclays and Citi acted as financial advisors to KMI, Barclays is providing committed financing for the transaction, and Weil Gotshal & Manges and Bracewell & Giuliani acted as legal counsel to KMI. Jefferies acted as financial advisor to KMP and KMR and Baker Botts acted as legal counsel to KMP and KMR. Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. acted as financial advisor to EPB and Vinson & Elkins acted as legal counsel to EPB.
The combined Kinder Morgan entities own an interest in or operate approximately 80,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. Kinder Morgan’s pipelines transport natural gas, gasoline, crude oil, CO2 and other products, and its terminals store petroleum products and chemicals and handle such products as ethanol, coal, petroleum coke and steel. Kinder Morgan, Inc. (NYSE: KMI) owns the general partner interests of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE: KMP) and El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. (NYSE: EPB), along with limited partner interests in KMP and EPB and shares in Kinder Morgan Management, LLC (NYSE: KMR).
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners is a leading pipeline transportation and energy storage company and one of the largest publicly traded pipeline limited partnerships in America. It owns an interest in or operates approximately 52,000 miles of pipelines and 180 terminals. The general partner of KMP is owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc.
El Paso Pipeline Partners is a publicly traded pipeline limited partnership. It owns an interest in or operates more than 13,000 miles of interstate natural gas transportation pipelines in the Rockies and the Southeast, natural gas storage facilities with a capacity of over 100 billion cubic feet and LNG assets in Georgia and Mississippi. The general partner of EPB is owned by Kinder Morgan, Inc.
Three Proven Management Techniques
In business, the only thing that matters is what works, says Peder Johnsen, a third-generation specialist in senior living communities.
“The people in your company who are dealing with your customers – the clerks, the caregivers, the customer service reps – are where the rubber meets the road,” says Johnsen, CEO of Concordis Senior Living,www.concordisseniorliving.com, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities.
“That’s why it’s essential for the company leaders, the men and women in the offices that are often far from the front lines, to be where the action is on a regular basis,” he says.
Concordis’ specialties include managing senior-living communities for other owners and developers, an art it has perfected, Johnsen says.
“We developed certain practices over the decades, first by building assisted-living communities and then by operating them,” he says. “These practices work in any business because they keep the leadership actively involved in what’s going well – and not – on the front lines, and provides a system for regular communication through all layers of the company.”
Johnsen offers these tips for management that produces excellent results:
• Identify the influencers in each work group. As with most businesses, senior living communities require teams of staff, from administrators to housekeepers and everyone in between. Within the various groups that make up your business, identify the key players – the people who influence others’ behavior, whether or not they hold a title or official authority. Meet with them on a regular basis so you can stay plugged in to what’s happening on the front lines.
• Identify areas that need improvement. Talk to them about systems and areas that need to be fixed, overhauled or eliminated, and about how team members are working together. They’ll often have ideas for innovations. The idea is not to look for people or problems to blame, but to work together to develop solutions and improve the team’s overall efforts.
“The information you get in speaking with these key players is invaluable,” Johnsen says. “There may be nothing at all wrong, which is great, but these meetings give you, the CEO or manager, the information you need to constantly improve. It also reinforces the message to employees that they and their ideas are valued members of the team.”
• Figure out those “wildly important goals.” You can have the best people in the field working for you, yet if they’re not specifically guided to a certain goal, they are putting their time and effort toward an end that they’re assuming is correct. CEOs and other upper-level managers have the 30,000-foot view, so it’s up to them to guide everyone beneath them.
“Short-term priorities may change slightly or drastically on a regular basis,” Johnsen says. “Your team may be self-sufficient, but their vision is limited to their daily duties. If they don’t know that a goal or objective has changed, they can’t work toward it.”
About Peder Johnsen
Peder Johnsen is the CEO of Concordis Senior Living, www.concordisseniorliving.com, which owns, operates and develops senior housing communities. He’s a third-generation assisted-living specialist whose grandfather and father built one of the first contemporary-style ALFs in Florida more than 30 years ago. Johnsen took over administration of two small facilities at age 18. Today, he runs the full spectrum of ALFs – from “ALF lites,” where most residents live very independent lifestyles but know assisted-living services are available if they should need them, to homes specializing in care for residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. He is an industry leader in staff development and training, and has overseen the development, acquisition and financing of several communities.
Public Speaking in Business: Fear and Fact
Larry’s boss was so pleased with his work performance that he asked Larry to give a fifteen-minute presentation to the entire department of twenty-five people. Larry felt confident about his work, but not about standing up and talking about it. In fact, it was the last thing he wanted to do. “Everyone will be laughing at me when they see me up there,” thought Larry, flashing back to the nightmare he had in junior high when he dreamed he gave a science report to his entire class and forgot to wear clothes.
Even Jerry Seinfeld quipped that public speaking is the number one fear for most people. “If you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy,” he joked. Unfortunately, this is the sentiment of many, including Larry.
It doesn’t seem to matter if a job is on the line or if it’s the low-stakes company picnic and you’re introducing the entertainment, most people feel a strike of fear in the chest when they know they have to stand up in front of a crowd and speak. The knees weaken, the palms sweat and palpitations rise, especially as the podium looms closer. Like the experience of many, the little gremlins (those creatures we invent to terrorize ourselves) in Larry’s head were chanting a worst case scenario: “You’ll look silly and sound stupid.” Suddenly, he felt weak and defensive rather than like the expert he was on his subject. Physiologically, his body kicked into flight or fight mode; his adrenaline rose, quickening his pulse and urging him to run out the door rather than to meet that vague, smirking aggressor: the audience.
The good news is that we are what we think we are, and, therefore, the possibility of turning down the volume on those convincing gremlins with their nagging voices, and at least appearing to be strong, comfortable and relaxed, is obtainable.
The following are some suggestions gleaned from public speakers at all levels of fear and experience. The goal is to learn the tricks of the trade that will enable you to take control of stage fright, rather than letting it control you – whether speaking at an industry conference or to a group of coworkers.
- Prepare yourself in whatever time you have. Larry had to present at the next weekly department head meeting in two days, but, if it is an impromptu speech, don’t start with an apology. Try a dash of humor to break the ice like, “Thank you very much for the warm reception – which I so richly deserve and so seldom get.” The best one-liners make fun of the deliverer, not the listeners.
- Imagine in advance how you might look in front of people and practice so that your eyes are not continually cast down. You can’t practice too much. In fact, it is the best way to drown out the gremlins. When you rehearse with your notes, practice breathing. Take in a comfortable breath, speak, pause, and breathe again. Check your posture. Are your shoulders hunched forward into a protective position? Breathing is easier when the chest is lifted because it allows the diaphragm (the horizontal muscle above the stomach) to expand freely. If you have been given time to prepare and make notes, be sure your notes are in large print and a handy format. Poor lighting at the podium when you finally arrive up front with notes in hand is one of the least expected but most frequent situations encountered by speakers. Fortunately, Larry took time to type up the highlights of what he wanted to say and enlarged the font. Finally, he cut the pages in half and pasted them on numbered index cards.
- Take your time and speak clearly. Ask the audience if they can hear you before you launch into your speech. Don’t rush. It takes one or two sentences for people to get used to the sound of your voice and understand your diction.
- Take a moment to scan the audience and thank them for the opportunity to speak. While you’re scanning, think about who they are and what might be interesting for them. Identify one important point you wish to make that will relate to this particular audience. They need to see the value in what you are going to say, and the simpler it is, the more convincing you will be. Believe that they are interested and want to hear your message. Start with a smile. Smiling disarms people and makes them think you know what you’re doing. As you take your place from which you will speak, take to make a sweeping gaze of the entire room. Look at the tops of people’s heads and people will actually feel that you are looking at them. You’ll avoid the distraction of eye-contact.
- Inspire your listeners by understanding who they are and where their interests lie. If your message is based strictly on your own needs, it will be much more difficult to connect with the audience. Some speakers start with an observation about the group or ask a question, like: “How many people spent more than an hour on the freeway to get here tonight?” Quickly, people will begin to feel that you are interested in them more than yourself. If your message is aimed at convincing an audience to buy or to consider a product, try to distill the message into its smallest size, the key point, in less than one minute. For example, if you’re selling time-shares to busy people, perhaps a key point might be: “What’s the easiest way to take a vacation?” Then elaborate and practice delivering the message in longer and longer forms. This will help you zero in on what you really want to say.
- Show the audience that you are composed and passionate about your subject. Tell them that you are happy to be there even if you feel nervous. It’s normal to experience the “jitters” when you know you have speak in front of others. Larry even became nervous when he had to say his name and introduce himself around a meeting table. He had to remind himself that many people feel the same way when the spotlight is suddenly turned on them.
- Finally, don’t raise an alarm that you might faint or somehow not survive the speech. The audience will not hear a word you say. They will be waiting for something to happen – to you. For Larry, the solution might be to find a way to laugh at himself right at the beginning. Something like, “This reminds me of the guy who was asked how he controlled a man-eating lion by whispering in the lion’s ear as he was about to devour him. His answer: ‘I just told him, as soon as you’ve finished your dinner you’ll be asked to say a few words.’”
Even the greatest orators and speech makers all started in the same place, learning how to put one foot after the other as they made their way down the aisle, behind the curtain, up to the stage and utter the first line. Turning such a formidable fear into something convincing and manageable that can help your career is a great accomplishment.
As Larry worked on his presentation and remembered his angst in junior high, he thought about his “gremlins” and how he might make them work for him rather than against him. He imagined grabbing them off his shoulder and stuffing them under his arm as he walked to the podium, saying, “C’mon you guys. You’re going with me!”
About the Author: Ruth W. Crocker, Ph.D, is an author, writing consultant, and expert on recovery from trauma and personal tragedy. Her book, Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War describes her experience following her husband’s death in Vietnam and how she found resources for healing. An excerpt has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2014. She is Writer-In-Residence at Riverlight Wellness Center in Stonington, CT where she teaches the art of writing memoir and personal stories. She is available for workshops, readings and public speaking. Contact her at www.ruthwcrocker.com.
Registration Opens for Shale Water Expo 2014 in Stafford, Texas
Registration opens today for the only national conference and exposition for the shale water management segment of the oil and gas industry, set for October 14-15 in Stafford, TX.
Produced by Shale Play Water Management magazine, the Shale Water Expo 2014 features exclusive seminars by industry leaders sharing their expertise in unconventional oil and gas water management, logistics, sourcing, recycling, market forecasting and industry trends. A two-day expo in the Stafford Convention Centre features access to the latest technology, equipment and engineering solutions in frack fluids, flowback and produced water management. The event is aimed squarely at the growing unconventional oil and gas industry.
“We have lined up the best and the brightest from across the industry,” says David Hill, Publisher and Executive Editor of SPWM. “Until now, there has not been a national convention that gathers the top engineering and business experts and puts their fluid knowledge under one roof.”
In addition to an opportunity to inspect and discuss the latest water transport, storage, recycling and disposal techniques and equipment, Shale Water Expo 2014 also offers special recognition of the oil and gas companies that are leading the way in creating sustainable water solutions.
“With technology and techniques for managing produced water and flowback fluids driven by continuing stress on supplies and increasingly constricted disposal options,” says Marcus Oliver Gay, IHS Research Director for Water and a member of the SPWM magazine Editorial Advisory Board, “industry must optimize the water value chain or face mounting resistance from both stakeholders and regulators. The Shale Water Expo 2014 provides a forum for these important discussions.”
For information about Shale Water Expo 2014, please visit their website.
Shale Play Water Management is published six times a year and includes a web version with exclusive content. It is published by RM Publications LLC, of Denver.
How Solution Providers Can Capture the North American Terminal Automation Market
An increase in oil and gas (O&G) production in North America is expected to spur investments in new terminal infrastructure and further enforce modernization and retrofit additions in existing chemical terminals. While the rise in brownfield projects will allow for more diversified product portfolios for terminal automation, including field devices, controllers and software, the development of greenfield terminals will boost demand for custom terminal automation systems that streamline operational activities, custody transfers and inventory management. However, the North American terminal automation market is likely to witness a slow compound annual growth of 5.5 percent from 2013-2020 as capital expenditure for automation is lower than for upstream exploration and downstream refinery operations.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Analysis of the North American Terminal Automation Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $110.5 million in 2013 and estimates this to reach $160.4 million in 2020. The study covers solutions used to automate terminal operations in the O&G, industrial (chemical and petrochemical) and biofuel industries.
Compared to other components in the O&G and chemical value chain, growth of automation in terminals lags behind as customers do not have a clear-cut business case to justify return on investment. A key area that solution providers can potentially target is data management for business applications, as otherwise, maintaining a local server at terminals incurs high costs.
“The advent of cloud-based technologies provides end users a cost-effective way to monitor business applications such as certification, transaction management and loading operations while still using an on-premise model for mission critical applications,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Senior Research Analyst Rahul Vijayaraghavan. “Therefore, the software and services market is expected to offer greater opportunities than the commoditized hardware segment as end users look to outsource their in-house engineering capabilities.”
To keep pace with this trend, solution providers are improving after-sales support and adding new rail and pipeline management tools to its existing software platforms. Custom-specific applications for varying terminal requirements are also making inroads in the market.
In addition, the integration of rail loading and unloading operations at the terminal, which includes utilizing various components such as real-time locating systems, global positioning satellites, ocular character recognition, and radio frequency identification, will become a standard in terminal automation systems.
A One-Two Punch for Compact Cooling
When you picture the cooling systems used in the oil, gas and petrochemical industries, the first image that might come to mind is probably a cluster of massive cooling towers perched atop a refinery or chemical plant.
But for Carl Pendola, P.E., at Penco Equipment, Inc., Pearland, Texas (www.pencoeq.com), there is also a broad range of applications in the process industries that require more compact cooling systems.
“There are many large processing plants that have remote satellite facilities, pilot plants, or research operations that require smaller, independent cooling packages that could be well served by a combination of a compact, factory-assembled cooling tower plus a small-footprint, economical heat exchanger,” Pendola explains.
A 35-year veteran in servicing the chemical, gas and oil processing industries, Pendola has been involved with equipment design and selection for many diverse applications, with specialties in heat transfer and mixing.
A recent example is a custom, compact cooling system in which Pendola was involved. The application was a mud tank designed by NRG Manufacturing (Tomball, Texas) for R&D of down-hole drilling tools manufactured by a major oil services company.
NRG is a manufacturer of custom pressure vessels, mud tanks, and well stimulation solutions, also known as FRAC equipment.
Most NRG mud systems are mobile systems designed to mechanically remove destructive solids and sediment from drilling mud, resulting in fluid retention, reduced wear on equipment, more efficient mud agitation, efficient cleanout maintenance, and a safer work environment.
However, this newly designed mud system for testing down-hole tools will accommodate a particularly abrasive mud and runs it through the tools for erosion testing and other wear factors.
“Because some drilling fluids are very abrasive, heat can build quickly and controlling mud temperature becomes an issue,” explains Chris Post, NRG Director of Engineering and Projects for Pressure Vessels and Drilling Systems. “So, our customer asked us to incorporate a cooling system that would reduce and control the heat levels.”
The system Post’s team designed was composed of a plate-type heat exchanger manufactured by Tranter (Wichita Falls, TX) plus a compact 265-ton cooling tower from Delta Cooling Towers (www.deltacooling.com).
Tranter (www.tranter.com) is a global supplier of plate, shell & plate and spiral heat exchangers that are well known for their efficiency and small footprint.
Delta, which also serves international markets, is the manufacturer that first developed the engineered HDPE plastic cooling tower technology.
As far as the specifications of the cooling system are concerned, Post says he was sure that a Tranter plate-type heat exchanger would do the job without taking up much space. He relied on Pendola’s firm, a Tranter sales agent, to specify the cooling tower.
Pendola says that a Delta tower was the obvious solution for a number of reasons, including available sizes, an economical price and engineered HDPE (high-density polyethylene) construction. He points out that the dependable performance and minimal maintenance requirements has enabled this line of seamless, factory-assembled cooling towers to gain favor over the galvanized sheet metal models that once dominated the industry.
“The engineered plastic is relatively impervious to corrosion from the environment, including ozone and the airborne contaminants that may be expelled from plants anywhere near the cooling tower installation,” Pendola says.
“In the Houston area we have a fairly damp climate, and that can lead to corrosion that will damage a galvanized cooling tower,” he adds. “So, many users want to get away from that problem and so they go with an HDPE cooling tower, which is so dependable that the shell carries a 20-year warranty.”
Post adds that ease of installation of a factory-assembled cooling tower is another plus. “The crew that I had install the cooling tower were not experienced cooling tower hands,” he says. “But they were able to get the tower assembled rather easily. So I think this is another factor that bodes well for this model of cooling tower.”
Integrating advanced resins and molding techniques, engineered-plastic cooling towers are now available in larger sizes and modular configurations that make them ideal for even higher-capacity applications (1,500 to 5,000 cooling tons) that traditionally depended on expensive field-constructed installations.
Pendola, who was a sales manager for Tranter in Houston before forming his own company, says that compact Tranter heat exchangers and Delta cooling towers have often been a winning combination.
“These Tranter plate and frame heat exchangers are a ‘natural fit’ for smaller plastic cooling tower models, which complement the compact footprint that is important to many Tranter applications,” Pendola says.
“The 265-ton TM Series cooling tower is also extremely energy efficient, using only six fan horsepower to produce the 265 cooling tons,” Pendola reports.
He adds that the compact, modular Delta cooling towers save on energy and can give smaller industrial applications the opportunity to use a relatively small cooling tower when their needs are for relatively limited cooling capacity, then add cooling tower modules to the platform in order to boost cooling capacity as their needs grow.
One series offers forced draft, counterflow models in single module capacities from 10 to 100 cooling tons.
For more information, contact Delta Cooling Towers, Inc., 185 Route 206, Roxbury Township, NJ 07836-9238; Phone (800) BUY.DELTA (289.3358); Fax 973.586.2243; E-mail: email@example.com; or visit the web site: www.deltacooling.com
Essential Personality Traits for Entrepreneurs
A first-quarter survey of start-up entrepreneurs’ confidence levels found a whopping 91 percent were “confident” or “very confident” that their companies would become more profitable in the coming 12 months.
Nearly half anticipate hiring more employees in that time, according to the April poll of nearly 2,000 CEOs by LegalZoom.
That doesn’t surprise Corrine Sandler, CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp., a global business intelligence companyranked on Profit Magazine’s list of top 50 fastest-growing companies and featured two years in a row on the W100 (top woman entrepreneurs in Canada) list.
“Any natural entrepreneur is bursting with confidence, both in him- or herself and in the conditions they control,” says Sandler, author of “Wake Up or Die” (www.wakeupordie.us), a comprehensive guide to the use of intelligence in the contemporary business environment.
In fact, she says, confidence is one of the five key traits shared by successful entrepreneurs.
“Entrepreneurs need risk to thrive, so believing in themselves and the people they’ve put in positions of responsibility is essential,” she says. “There’s no room for doubt and second-guessing yourself.”
Use your strengths to shine and hire people to handle the jobs that don’t play to your strengths, she advises. You’ll reinforce your own positive self-image and you’ll give those around you even greater confidence in you, which will help feed your belief in yourself.
Sandler, who has worked with Fortune 500 companies for more than 20 years and is a member of the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization, says true entrepreneurs (economic change agents, as she calls them) also share the following personality traits.
• Passion: It can’t be developed through leadership training, but everyone has the capacity for it, Sandler says.
“It’s the source of incredible energy that feeds on one of our most powerful emotions and compels entrepreneurs forward with excitement and enthusiasm.”
• A fighter’s instinct: The best fighters have studied their competition, identified their strengths and weaknesses, and used that knowledge to develop a strategy to beat them. They’re determined to give it their all whether they’re winning or losing.
“When things are going well, the entrepreneur who thinks the fight is over and he has won will quickly find himself knocked to the mat – just look at the Gola brand,” Sandler says. “Equally important is having the mental fortitude to keep fighting when you’re at the bottom, bruised and bloodied.”
Of course, “the fight” doesn’t involve punches or artillery. In business, it involves constantly assessing the competitive market and taking proactive measures to ensure your business holds the advantage.
• Vision: Successful entrepreneurs are always thinking ahead – planning the future with imagination and wisdom. Having a vision means being able to manifest original ideas.
Strategic coaches can help you define your vision, if that’s not your strength. Sandler relies on worksheets to crystalize and drive the vision home, such as the BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) from “Mastering the Rockefeller Habits” by Verne Harnish.
“What you visualize will materialize,” she says.
• Rebel: Entrepreneurs are agents of change; they predict the future by creating it.
“You can’t be content with maintaining the status quo, you must push the limits,” Sandler says. “Use intelligence to quickly and accurately identify – and act on – market trends. Dare to be different!”
She cites WattPad and specifically Allen Lau, founder and CEO of Wattpad. A compelling, thought-provoking entrepreneur, Lau has built the world’s largest community for reading and sharing stories.
The “big 6” publishing giants missed the idea, which Lau capitalized on, creating a social media platform that allows amateur authors to connect directly with readers. It hosts more than 5 million user-generated stories in 25 languages, with half a million new stories every month.
“Now, that’s a rebel with a cause,” Sandler says.
Not everyone was born to be an entrepreneur, she says.
“But if that’s what you believe you want, do an honest self-assessment. If you’re lacking in one of these traits, address it!”
About Corrine Sandler: Corrine Sandler is the founder and CEO of Fresh Intelligence Research Corp, a global market research agency; international professional speaker and author of “Wake Up or Die,” (www.wakeupordie.us) a new book that applies lessons from Sun Tzu’s ancient classic, “The Art of War,” to contemporary businesses. Corrine has been on Profit’s top 100 Female Entrepreneurs list two years in a row. With more than 20 years’ experience, she has established a reputation for unparalleled consumer understanding and insight development working with Fortune 500 companies.
Genscape Launches Price Assessments
Genscape’s PetroRail Report, the crude-by-rail sector’s leading newsletter publication, now features seven new price assessments for physical crude oil delivered by rail into the most significant market destinations.
The new Genscape Rail Delivered Crude Price Assessments – for railed crude delivered into Albany, NY, Philadelphia, PA, Yorktown, VA, St. James, LA, Houston, TX, and Anacortes, WA – are made using Genscape’s proprietary Crude Differential Assessments for the price of Bakken crude at rail terminals in North Dakota as well as in Western Canadian Select at Hardisty.
The Rail Delivered Crude Price Assessments show the price of Bakken and Western Canadian Select physical crude delivered into the main destination regions for railed crude using Genscape’s weekly proprietary crude-by-rail transportation cost assessments, including railroad cost and tank-car leasing rate assessments. The information and market intelligence for the assessments is gathered by surveying a wide range of crude-by-rail market participants. Further detailed methodology on the new range of assessments is available to subscribers via the Genscape dashboard.
“Genscape has always been about bringing transparency to the fundamentals behind oil and energy markets. These delivered crude prices are about bringing transparency to the massively growing crude-by-rail market,” Genscape Managing Director of Oil Chris Sternberg said.
Genscape’s Crude Differential Assessments, Rail Delivered Crude Price Assessments, Rail Cost Assessments and Rail-Car Leasing Rate Assessments are published weekly and are available to subscribers through an online dashboard, as well as in the weekly PetroRail Report. The Report also features the latest crude-by-rail loading data for 95 percent of the rail loading capacity located in the Bakken region, plus the latest rail unloading volumes at major rail unloading facilities including Global Partner’s terminal in Albany, Plains All American’s terminal in Yorktown, PBF Energy’s Bakken terminal in Delaware City, DE, and both the PAA and NuStar/EOG rail terminals located in St. James.
Genscape also published a white paper today with insight into the U.S. Department of Transportation’s recent Emergency Order related to Bakken rail traffic. Learn more about the challenges facing the young crude-by-rail industry and download the white paper here: info.genscape.com/us-regulation-on-crude-by-rail-traffic
To learn more about the Genscape PetroRail Report or request a free trial, please visit: info.genscape.com/petrorail-report