Chairman's Message - March 2017
What will 2017 represent for the petroleum industry? As this is written, the price of WTI crude is struggling to maintain a level around fifty dollars per barrel, and although rumors suggest some of us in the upstream business are facing another round of layoffs, most of us are hoping for the best and believe the next few years will be better than the last. With rancor in our politics and an unsettled global economy, there is undoubtedly plenty of room for uncertainty in the near term future of the oil and gas business, but if there is a common trait we all share, and have shared since the early days of the oil and gas business, it is perseverance. Perhaps that is a good word for the API Delta Chapter this year - persevere.
It is in this context that we ask for your continued support in 2017 - through participation in our traditional events (the Clay Shoot and the Golf Tournament), by paying annual dues, and by supporting API Delta Chapter corporate sponsorship. Many of you may not know this, but the API Delta Chapter has no paid staff and very little overhead - virtually all of our income is redistributed to charities we support. And what are those charities? Most of our contributions are associated with education in the greater New Orleans area, specifically education in the science and technology areas when possible. This year we are continuing our support of local area Children's Museums (the Bayou Country Children's Museum, the Louisiana Children's Museum in New Orleans, and the planned Children's Museum of St. Tammany), the Greater New Orleans Science and Engineering Fair held on the UNO Campus, and awards to teachers within an eight parish area (Teacher of the Year Award). An additional significant amount of money in the form of scholarships will be given to students from the community who are pursuing science and engineering degrees, and we are also supporting Bayou Regional robotics, NACE Camp, and BLAST.
Our focus on education-related charitable giving sets the API Delta Chapter apart, I believe, from other local petroleum industry professional societies. What else sets us apart? Unlike other local petroleum industry professional organizations which cater to specific disciplines, the API Delta Chapter solicits participation from disciplines represented by all professionals in the oil and gas business, from engineers and geoscientists, to accountants and product line specialists, in both the upstream and downstream sectors of the business. This provides a unique opportunity for industry professionals to meet others they may not be able to interact with in the normal course of business, which can be an enriching and broadening experience - this aspect of our organization is something I would like to see nurtured through additional social events in the future. Further, this interdisciplinary effort is manifest by our traditional role of enhancing communication with other allied organizations in south Louisiana and by hosting the Joint Society meeting each fall.
Finally, I would like to observe that our slate of officers and board members this year appears to be the youngest group we've had since I began being involved in the Delta Chapter four years ago. I am very encouraged by this, not only for what the enthusiasm of these newly active members represents, but for our industry as a whole - - in spite of the recent losses we have endured in our ranks, there are still younger folks willing to engage in their careers and the future - - this bodes well for our industry. Persevere indeed.