While speaking to a customer at my job today I came across the company Hercules Offshore. They’re an oil rig company with offices in both the US as well as in Angola, Grand Cayman, India, Malaysia, Nigeria, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. So this company is fairly wide reaching. Unfortunately upon further inspection I could not find a list of information with what they were doing to be “incident-free” as claimed in its mission statement.
The only other thing stated anywhere is under their “Your Offshore Partner,”
” With our knowledgeable, skilled workforce and a complete understanding of the demands and challenges of the offshore environment, Hercules Offshore is ready to partner with an array of customers. Our customer base ranges from independent operators and national oil companies to large, integrated exploration and production companies. We are uniquely qualified to meet the evolving needs of our customers for exploration, workover and development drilling and liftboat services around the globe.” Wow. That’s a lot of corporate jargon and verbiage.
Yet unfortunately it does not give the general person much information about how to get a hold of them, where to direct questions, or what you can do. Can you get a tour? One would certainly hope that they would be proud enough of their industry to show it off.
So while I had a few questions for the company regarding of course environmental standards and how they were making sure that THEIR rigs didn’t have spills, and that THEIR people were being environmentally responsible I also realized something very important. While big oil, and oil companies in general are guzzling through the precious commodity that is oil (and thus plastics and all the other bi-products there in) they are not likely going to stop doing what they are doing until the oil runs out, or they blow themselves up by accident due to faulty equipment.
Where does that leave every individual that is tied to the oil industry? It’s not just the oil companies such as BP that work in the oil industry or are tied to it. Oil affects a much larger and broader spectrum of jobs ranging from the entire auto industry, plastics, engineering jobs, mechanics, manufacturing for mechanics for the engineers and the plastics to be created, shipping, gas stations, construction in building the gas stations and maintaining them, trucking to get the fuel everywhere, the list goes on and on. That’s…. a lot of jobs folks. That’s a lot of people that could be out of work if the oil suddenly dried up tomorrow.
While the oil ISN’T drying up tomorrow it will eventually run out. So instead of harping on the oil industry at every chance we get should we not instead be proactive in trying to gently guide them in a new direction? If done smooth enough the transition would help to keep those people who are in business, in business, and help the environment by shifting the money making from oil to…. Well… anything really.
Some of the additional questions that I posed to Hercules Offshore were as follows.
Has Hercules Offshore considered investing in a more efficient engine design for the auto industry? With reference to the previous question, oil is only going to last for so long. No matter how you cut it, it is going to run out. What would be a more efficient way to utilize this commodity?
Has Hercules Offshore considered looking into engineering a product that will instead harness the power of the ocean herself? Utilizing the energy created by waves?
What is Hercules Offshore doing to help the world stretch the precious commodity that is oil to its farthest potential? As fossil fuels take thousands upon thousands of years to make, once it runs out that will be it. If we are to continue using oil even in the short term stretch of the future, we need to learn how to get the most out of it.
I believe that if we start to work together with these companies instead of always in constant opposition people’s “hackles” will be less likely to be raised and further progress will be more easily achieved. By actively working to find new ways to keep people in business (and thusly housed, fed, having insurance and in some cases benefits etc) you are at its core not disrupting the person’s life, simply shifting them to a profession that mirrors their original. People do it all the time. At some point, it’s just good business. Which anyone in any industry can appreciate.
The hard truth of the matter can be considered this as well: people who have money, and lots of it, aren’t going to want to give their lifestyles up just because some silly commodity or fuel runs out. So, instead of forcing them into a corner (metaphorically) why not offer them a solution that keeps them in their same position with a different solution?
It seems nuts to me that in the over 8 billion people on this planet we have not found a way to shift or redirect this sort of business and thinking.
What do you think? Would the oil industry feel less threatened if their “way of life” was unchanging? Would they be more apt to shift to hydro, wind, insert other fuel here, if it meant continuing to be a powerhouse supplier?