Google, Facebook 'Wouldn't Have a Clue' How to Run Oil, Gas Industry

Google, Facebook 'Wouldn't Have a Clue' How to Run Oil, Gas Industry
Companies like Google and Facebook wouldn't have a clue about how to run the oil and gas business, according to Rapidan Energy Group CEO Bob McNally.

Companies like Google and Facebook wouldn’t have a clue about how to run the oil and gas business.

That is the view of Rapidan Energy Group CEO Bob McNally, who made the statement in response to a question posed by Robert Gordon University’s Oil and Gas Institute director, Paul de Leeuw, in a panel discussion at BHGE’s annual meeting in Florence, Italy.

When asked what the sector would look like if it was run by firms like the technology giants, McNally suggested the oil and gas industry needed a particular skillset that was alien to companies like Google and Facebook.

“This is about upfront, heavy, capital expenditures to draw out toxic liquids and gas, clean it up, move it to refining centers, turn it into products that consumers need and compete in the global market. It is physical, it is dirty, I don’t think these companies know how to do that,” McNally said in the panel discussion, which was attended by Rigzone.

“I think the oil and gas industry is unto itself, it takes decades of experience to know how to do this and do it right. I think you do have to have historical perspective, you have to have lived through these boom and bust cycles,” he added.

McNally also highlighted the differences in pace between the oil and gas world and the business environments Google and Facebook are used to dealing with.

“Change doesn’t happen that fast in the oil and gas industry. It takes several decades for new entrants to take over incumbent energy systems so I think…[these companies] wouldn’t be of too much help,” McNally stated.

Rapidan Energy Group provides ‘differentiated and actionable insights on energy markets, policy and geopolitics,’ according to its website. The company has bases in New York, Washington DC and London.


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Randy Verret  |  February 26, 2018
On top of the complex "dynamics" and capital intensity of worldwide operations, I'm guessing most of these digital types are not accustomed to the rigorous regulatory environment that accompanies this line of work. A little bit different putting a floating platform in 10,000 ft. of water vs. designing a new "app"
DC  |  January 30, 2018
No offense to industry veterans for all the hard work they have put in during the last half century. The industry needs a disruption, nothing good ever came out of the same thinking for decades. Why can't the very people who have suffered the boom and bust cycles welcome any disruption that will do away with the status quo which to most is not ideal? It is for this reason we are missing a whole generation of 30 to 40 year old professionals and all 50 year old professionals are left perpetuating the status quo.
MIREK  |  January 30, 2018
Worse than that, they would not know whom to hire. But who knows? Maybe they can teach pigs fly too. Secondly, millennials in HR tend to hire millennials or recent graduates.
Stephen T Harris, CPL  |  January 30, 2018
As a third generation oilman, one of the things I learned early on is that Mother Nature has more hold cards than Vegas ever dreamed of. We can spend years preparing for a drilling prospect, do all of the right things with all of the advanced scientific tools known to man, and then some, but until that bit hits the ground, all bets are off. If you want to see how incompetents try to run a petroleum company, or national oil company, Exhibit A is Venezuela!
Anonymous  |  January 29, 2018
But wouldn't they be able to just hire or recruit people with the skillset?
Russ hopley  |  January 29, 2018
In addition to your worthy comments above I would add the following comments: I agree the companies you mentioned don't have a clue about what it takes to operate successfully in the oil and gas industry today, especially in the E&P sector.During my career I worked in oil and gas production in the USA and overseas for 41 years before retiring. What it takes to be a success is a willingness to work hard every single day on any and all types of projects. To work as a team with folks in the office as well as the field in order to create success, to be able to handle tasks on a short time frame, under stress and a tight deadline because the industry operates 24 / 7 nights, days and weekends which requires timely and accurate answers immediately under tough conditions. 'Mother nature' is very unforgiving and won't wait when solutions and decisions are required. In addition a lot of teamwork and cooperation between other departments and employees is required to help others to get the job done on time and with success. On top of that there is a lot of satisfaction and comraderie working in the "oil patch" it isn't an 8 to 5 business! Plus it is a world wide business.