September 11, 2009

EnerMax, Inc. is an independent Texas oil and natural gas company specializing in the exploration and development of fossil fuel reserves. Our operations are focused on the petroleum rich regions of Texas and Louisiana. Our motto, “Exploring today for a better tomorrow,” is more than just a tagline. It is our mission. We strive to increase proven domestic reserves, and we do this by exploring new fields and revisiting previously drilled areas to discover them anew with advanced technology.

Texas oil drilling is an historical endeavor – a necessary endeavor which we are proud to pursue. EnerMax is steeped in the culture of the Old West and the historical pursuit of one of the world’s most important natural resources. Every step of our operations, from oil drilling to recovery, is handled by experts who respect this world-renowned Texas tradition.

Oil and gas speculations have captured the focus of the investment market. This is because all sectors of business are deeply affected by the price and availability of fossil fuels. Oil and gas investments have performed well over the past several years as commodity prices continue in a steady overall uptrend, and the projected growth rate of nations such as China and India indicate a continuation of this trend. In fact, growing concerns about increasing energy demands from developing nations are causing many nations to seek more energy independence.

In this complex energy market, EnerMax is consistently developing oil and gas prospects that have a solid geological foundation and risk/reward profile. We have assembled a team of recognized experts to evaluate our projects from every angle. With our team’s ingenuity and the advantage of new technological innovations, we are developing maximum leverage for the recovery of domestic oil and gas reserves.

Mission Statement

“Exploring today for a better tomorrow.”

Company History

In 2001, Bret Boteler founded EnerMax, Inc. with a desire to set a new standard of quality for independent Texas oil and gas producers. Bret believed that communicating openly and frequently with his partners provided a better way of doing business. The partners agreed, and their support encouraged EnerMax to seek larger, more rewarding projects. As the company grew, Bret recruited talented, committed employees by creating a company profit sharing program that directly ties each employee to the success of each drilling project. As a result of his strategy, EnerMax has become an industry leader in Texas oil exploration, drilling and development.

EnerMax began by offering its partners the opportunity to participate in projects sponsored by its industry partners. This approach was well-received. However, in response to its partners’ desires for more “direct-cost” projects, EnerMax began to explore in-house prospect generation.

Today, EnerMax has operations in Texas and Louisiana.  Although future acquisitions are projected, our current holdings will provide us with enough prospects to drill consistently over the next 7-10 years. At EnerMax, we remain committed to our original vision and dedication to quality as we forge ahead to even greater success.

Guiding Principles


We treat our partners and employees as family. Our family is important to us and each member receives the respect and attention they deserve. We work diligently to ensure that our partners receive value from all that we do. We invite into our family only intelligent, motivated and ethical employees who pursue excellence and growth. We provide tools and resources for each to grow both personally and professionally and we celebrate each person’s success by rewarding them for their results.


We conduct our daily lives always mindful to treat others as we wish to be treated. Each member of our family understands the importance of conducting themselves in accordance with the highest moral and ethical standards possible at work, at home and in our community.


We demand of ourselves the open and honest communication of our actions and intentions that all our partners deserve. We strive to foster an atmosphere of openness, accessibility, responsiveness and accountability in all of our communication throughout the organization.


We commit ourselves to strengthening the value of our partners’ holdings. To accomplish this, we react quickly to trends within the industry and strategically position ourselves to take advantage of new business opportunities. By investing alongside our partners, we also ensure that our focus is continually on the most profitable means of exploration, development, and recovery.

President – Bret Boteler

Bret Boteler, founder and President of EnerMax, Inc., has a diverse background in oil & gas exploration and development as well as other business activities. Mr. Boteler graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a BBA in Management. While there he participated in a Cooperative Education Program with General Dynamics, a major defense contractor based in Fort Worth, Texas. After graduating, Bret worked there for five years as a purchaser of high performance electronics for the F-16 Fighter. From 1991 to 1995, he worked for a local oil and gas firm that was involved in drilling vertical, horizontal and offshore wells. From 1996 to 1998, Bret served as Vice President of Client Relations for TBX Resources, a publicly traded oil and gas company specializing in production acquisition. In 1999, he founded Ghivit.com, Inc., a Dallas based company specializing in prepaid fuel and gift cards. In 2003, Ghivit.com was sold to a prominent Chicago-based company that dominates the prepaid fuel card industry. In 2001, Bret founded EnerMax, Inc. to capitalize on the growing demand for natural resources. Since then, he has been responsible for directing the company to develop two proprietary filtering processes which locate major oil deposits which were previously undetected by older technologies.

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) is proud to have EnerMax, Inc. is an industry partner.



September 11, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) presents this article as part of a series of articles on understanding the energy business. We hope you enjoy this series.

Reflection Seismology (or Seismic Reflection) is a method of exploration geophysics that uses the principles of seismology to estimate the properties of the Earth’s subsurface from reflected seismic waves. The method requires a controlled seismic source of energy, such as dynamite/Tovex, a specialized air gun or vibrators, commonly known by their trademark name Vibroseis. By noting the time it takes for a reflection to arrive at a receiver, it is possible to estimate the depth of the feature that generated the reflection. In this way, reflection seismology is similar to sonar and echolocation.

Reflection Experiments

A reflection experiment is carried out by initiating a seismic source (such as a dynamite explosion) and recording the reflected waves using one or more seismometers. On land, the typical seismometer used in a reflection experiment is a small, portable instrument known as a geophone, which converts ground motion into an analog electrical signal. In water, hydrophones, which convert pressure changes into electrical signals, are used. As the seismometers detect the arrival of the seismic waves, the signals are converted to digital form and recorded; early systems recorded the analog signals directly onto magnetic tape, photographic film, or paper. The signals may then be displayed by a computer as seismograms for interpretation by a seismologist. Typically, the recorded signals are subjected to significant amounts of signal processing and various imaging processes before they are ready to be interpreted. In general, the more complex the geology of the area under study, the more sophisticated are the techniques required to perform the data processing. Modern reflection seismic surveys require large amounts of computer processing, often performed on supercomputers or on computer clusters.

Hydrocarbon exploration

Reflection seismology, or ‘seismic’ as it is more commonly referred to by the oil industry, is used to map the subsurface structure of rock formations. Seismic technology is used by geologists and geophysicists who interpret the data to map structural traps that could potentially contain hydrocarbons. Seismic exploration is the primary method of exploring for hydrocarbon deposits, on land, under the sea and in the transition zone (the interface area between the sea and land). Although the technology of exploration activities has improved exponentially in the past 20 years, the basic principles for acquiring seismic data have remained the same.

In simple terms and for all of the exploration environments, the general principle is to send sound energy waves (using an energy source like dynamite or Vibroseis) into the Earth, where the different layers within the Earth’s crust reflect back this energy. These reflected energy waves are recorded over a predetermined time period (called the record length) by using hydrophones in water and geophones on land. The reflected signals are output onto a storage medium, which is usually magnetic tape. The general principle is similar to recording voice data using a microphone onto a tape recorder for a set period of time. Once the data is recorded onto tape, it can then be processed using specialist software which will result in processed seismic profiles being produced. These profiles or data sets can then be interpreted for possible hydrocarbon reserves.

Surveying Land

Land crews tend to be quite large entities, employing anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand people. They normally require substantial logistical support to cover not only the seismic operation itself, but also to support the main camp (for catering, waste management and disposal, camp accommodations, washing facilities, water supply, laundry etc), fly camps (temporary camps set up away from the main camp on large land seismic operations, for example where the distance is too far to drive back to the main camp with vibrator trucks), all of the crews vehicles (maintenance, fuel, spares etc), security, possible helicopter operations, restocking of the explosive magazine, medical support and many other logistical and support functions.

Land surveys require crews to deploy the hundreds or thousands of geophones necessary to record the data. Most surveys today are conducted by laying out a two-dimensional array of geophones together with a two-dimensional pattern of source points. This allows the interpreter to create a three-dimensional image of the geology beneath the array, so these are called 3D surveys. Less expensive survey methods use one-dimensional lines of geophones that only allowed the interpreter to make two-dimensional cross-sections.


September 11, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) and EnerMax are excited  to inform their partners that drilling operations of the Seisma and EnerMax West  Janice #1 project will be broadcast live via video stream direct from the drill  site and derrick of the West Janice #1 Project, and then, all future Seisma and  EnerMax Projects that are forthcoming. This is all a part of the continuing efforts by Seisma and EnerMax to remain at the forefront of the oil and gas industry, fulfill their mission, and to bring in better results time and time again

Justin Solomon, President and managing partner of Seisma Energy Research AVV  had this comment when asked about the new video technology.  “By utilizing our  Drillsite Broadcast’s streaming video technology, in conjunction with our  Neofirma OperationsMaster services, we are now able to afford our partners an  unprecedented amount of time-sensitive information that they can draw on to  remain 100% up to date on the progress of their investment as drilling takes  place.”

Mr. Solomon continued to elaborate, “Other than inviting them to Texas to actually view the rigs in operation, which we ask all of our partners to do; we feel this is the very best way to get everyone ‘onsite’ so they can experience  the ongoing work and the excitement of a strike.”


September 11, 2009

Seisma Oil Research, LLC are extremely proud to announce their successful application to expand business operations from the Nation of Aruba; now fully licensed under the name: Seisma Energy Research, AVV.

Recognizing that an opportunity exists, the timing is right, and the markets are there, Seisma Oil Research, LLC transitions to become Seisma Energy Research, AVV. After having established a firm foothold in the North American region Seisma is poised to break into new markets in the Southern Hemisphere and offer new and exciting opportunities. Seisma understands that as the world’s demand for increased energy supplies keeps growing at an unchecked and vigorous pace they can now diversify and position themselves as a major player in the region by branching out and taking advantage of new found opportunities.

A spokesperson for Seisma commented on the transition recently. “By relocating our offices and facilities to Aruba we have properly positioned ourselves to take advantage of the vast quantities of resources and opportunities found in nearby South American countries, while remaining in close proximity to our proven projects in North America. We feel that as a company looking for growth we need to continue to move forward by expanding and diversifying our product range.

Aruba’s location, infrastructure and business environment only makes good business sense as the place for us to kick-start our expansion strategy. He continued to explain the move by emphasizing, “It is a responsibility and a promise we have made to ourselves and to our partners.”
Operating as Seisma Energy Research, AVV will facilitate the growth of the company’s portfolio and offerings to its existing and burgeoning client base. As new product lines come into play, and the company diversifies its holdings, Seisma anticipates their growth to occur at a much greater pace than in previous years. Seisma’s spokesperson elaborated, “Aruba has been a center of productivity and growth in the Southern region for close to a century, and it has always played a significant role in bringing the areas natural resources to market and improving the economic health of the region. We have been looking for an opportunity like this for a while and we now know that we have found it in Aruba.”

In establishing the criteria for their new headquarters, Seisma focused on location, access to available resources, functionality and image. The new offices in Aruba will enable Seisma to absorb their anticipated growth and expansion with ease. The shift enables Seisma to combine much of their corporate executive, sales and administrative team under one roof enabling them to work more efficiently and provide their partners and clients with a superior level of service. Seisma’s move to Aruba will also create a growth of internal headcount for staffing, an increased focus on managed services, and full spectrum support for their Joint Venture Partners worldwide. In addition, the surrounding amenities are exactly what were wanted for Seisma’s employees and visitors alike.


September 11, 2009


A drilling rig is a machine which creates holes (usually called boreholes) and/or shafts in the ground. Drilling rigs can be massive structures housing equipment used to drill water wells, oil wells, or natural gas extraction wells or they can be small enough to be moved manually by one person. They sample sub-surface mineral deposits, test rock, soil and groundwater physical properties, and also can be used to install sub-surface fabrications, such as underground utilities, instrumentation, tunnels or wells. Drilling rigs can be mobile equipment mounted on trucks, tracks or trailers, or more permanent land or marine-based structures (such as oil platforms, commonly called ‘offshore oil rigs’ even if they don’t contain a drilling rig). The term “rig” therefore generally refers to the complex of equipment that is used to penetrate the surface of the earth’s crust.

Drilling rigs can be:

•        Small and portable, such as those used in mineral exploration drilling, water wells and environmental investigations.

•        Huge, capable of drilling through thousands of meters of the Earth’s crust. Large “mud pumps” circulate drilling mud (slurry) through the drill bit and up the casing annulus, for cooling and removing the “cuttings” while a well is drilled. Hoists in the rig can lift hundreds of tons of pipe. Other equipment can force acid or sand into reservoirs to facilitate extraction of the oil or natural gas; and in remote locations there can be permanent living accommodation and catering for crews (which may be more than a hundred). Marine rigs may operate many hundreds of miles or kilometres distant from the supply base with infrequent crew rotation.

Petroleum Drilling Industry

Oil and Natural Gas drilling rigs can be used not only to identify geologic reservoirs but also to create holes that allow the extraction of oil or natural gas from those reservoirs. Primarily in onshore oil and gas fields once a well has been drilled, the drilling rig will be moved off of the well and a service rig (a smaller rig) that is purpose-built for completions will be moved on to the well to get the well on line. This frees up the drilling rig to drill another hole and streamlines the operation as well as allowing for specialization of certain services, i.e., completions vs. drilling.


Until internal combustion engines came in the late 19th century, the main method for drilling rock was muscle power of man or animal. Rods were turned by hand, using clamps attached to the rod. The rope and drop method invented in Zigong, China used a steel rod or piston raised and dropped vertically via a rope. Mechanised versions of this persisted until about 1970, using a cam to rapidly raise and drop what, by then, was a steel cable.

In the 1970s, outside of the oil and gas industry, roller bits using mud circulation were replaced by the first efficient pneumatic reciprocating piston Reverse Circulation RC drills, and became essentially obsolete for most shallow drilling, and are now only used in certain situations where rocks preclude other methods. RC drilling proved much faster and more efficient, and continues to improve with better metallurgy, deriving harder, more durable bits, and compressors delivering higher air pressures at higher volumes, enabling deeper and faster penetration. Diamond drilling has remained essentially unchanged since its inception.

Mobile Drilling Rigs

In early oil exploration, drilling rigs were semi-permanent in nature and the derricks were often built on site and left in place after the completion of the well. In more recent times drilling rigs are expensive custom-built machines that can be moved from well to well. Some light duty drilling rigs are like a mobile crane and are more usually used to drill water wells. Larger land rigs must be broken apart into sections and loads to move to a new place, a process which can often take weeks.

Small mobile drilling rigs are also used to drill or bore piles. Rigs can range from 100 ton continuous flight auger (CFA) rigs to small air powered rigs used to drill holes in quarries, etc. These rigs use the same technology and equipment as the oil drilling rigs, just on a smaller scale.

The drilling mechanisms outlined below differ mechanically in terms of the machinery used, but also in terms of the method by which drill cuttings are removed from the cutting face of the drill and returned to surface.

Drilling Rig Classification

There are many types and designs of drilling rigs, with many drilling rigs capable of switching or combining different drilling technologies as needed. Drilling rigs can be described using any of the following attributes:

by power used

•        mechanical – the rig uses torque converters, clutches, and transmissions powered by its own engines, often diesel

•        electric – the major items of machinery are driven by electric motors, usually with power generated on-site using internal combustion engines

•        hydraulic – the rig primarily uses hydraulic power

•        pneumatic – the rig is primarily powered by pressurized air

•        steam – the rig uses steam-powered engines and pumps (obsolescent after middle of 20th Century)

by pipe used

•        cable – a cable is used to raise and drop the drill bit

•        conventional – uses metal or plastic drill pipe of varying types

•        coil tubing – uses a giant coil of tube and a downhole drilling motor

by height

•        single – can drill only single drill pipes. The presence or absence of vertical pipe racking “fingers” varies from rig to rig.

•        double – can hold a stand of pipe in the derrick consisting of two connected drill pipes, called a “double stand”.

•        triple – can hold a stand of pipe in the derrick consisting of three connected drill pipes, called a “triple stand”.by method of rotation or drilling method

•        no rotation includes direct push rigs and most service rigs

•        rotary table – rotation is achieved by turning a square or hexagonal pipe (the kelly) at drill floor level.

•        top-drive – rotation and circulation is done at the top of the drillstring, on a motor that moves in a track along the derrick.

•        sonic – uses primarily vibratory energy to advance the drill string

•        hammer – uses rotation and percussive force

by position of derrick

•        conventional – derrick is vertical

•        slant – derrick is slanted at a 45 degree angle to facilitate horizontal drilling

Limits of the Technology

Drill technology has advanced steadily since the 19th century. However, there are several basic limiting factors which will determine the depth to which a bore hole can be sunk.

All holes must maintain outer diameter; the diameter of the hole must remain wider than the diameter of the rods or the rods cannot turn in the hole and progress cannot continue. Friction caused by the drilling operation will tend to reduce the outside diameter of the drill bit. This applies to all drilling methods, except that in diamond core drilling the use of thinner rods and casing may permit the hole to continue. Casing is simply a hollow sheath which protects the hole against collapse during drilling, and is made of metal or PVC. Often diamond holes will start off at a large diameter and when outside diameter is lost, thinner rods put down inside casing to continue, until finally the hole becomes too narrow. Alternatively, the hole can be reamed; this is the usual practice in oil well drilling where the hole size is maintained down to the next casing point.

For percussion techniques, the main limitation is air pressure. Air must be delivered to the piston at sufficient pressure to activate the reciprocating action, and in turn drive the head into the rock with sufficient strength to fracture and pulverise it. With depth, volume is added to the in-rod string, requiring larger compressors to achieve operational pressures. Secondly, groundwater is ubiquitous, and increases in pressure with depth in the ground. The air inside the rod string must be pressurised enough to overcome this water pressure at the bit face. Then, the air must be able to carry the rock fragments to surface. This is why depths in excess of 500 m for reverse circulation drilling are rarely achieved, because the cost is prohibitive and approaches the threshold at which diamond core drilling is more economic.

Diamond drilling can routinely achieve depths in excess of 1200 m. In cases where money is no issue, extreme depths have been achieved because there is no requirement to overcome water pressure. However, circulation must be maintained to return the drill cuttings to surface, and more importantly to maintain cooling and lubrication of the cutting surface. Without sufficient lubrication and cooling, the matrix of the drill bit will soften. While diamond is one of the hardest substances known, at 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, it must remain firmly in the matrix to achieve cutting. Weight on bit, the force exerted on the cutting face of the bit by the drill rods in the hole above the bit, must also be monitored.


September 10, 2009

Seisma Oil Research, Greg Gumbel Interview

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) invites you to watch this interview at the link below.   Enjoy.

Greg Gumbel



September 10, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) presents this article as part of a series of articles on understanding the energy business. We hope you enjoy this series.

Peak oil is the point in time when the maximum rate of global petroleum extraction is reached, after which the rate of production enters terminal decline.

Demand For Oil

The demand side of peak oil is concerned with the consumption over time, and the growth of this demand. World crude oil demand grew an average of 1.76% per year from 1994 to 2006, with a high of 3.4% in 2003-2004. World demand for oil is projected to increase 37% over 2006 levels by 2030.  It will rise to 118 million barrels per day from 86 million barrels, due in large part to increases in demand from the transportation sector.

Thriving economies such as China and India are quickly becoming large oil consumers. China has seen oil consumption grow by 8% yearly since 2002, doubling from 1996-2006. In 2008, auto sales in China were expected to grow by as much as 15-20%,

India’s oil imports are expected to more than triple from 2005 levels by 2020, rising to 5 million barrels per day.

Petroleum Supply


“All the easy oil and gas in the world has pretty much been found. Now comes the harder work in finding and producing oil from more challenging environments and work areas.”

— William J. Cummings, Exxon-Mobil company spokesman, December 2005

To pump oil, it first needs to be discovered. The peak of world oilfield discoveries occurred in 1965 at around 55 billion barrels per year.


Conventional crude oil reserves include all crude oil that is technically possible to produce from reservoirs through a well bore, using primary, secondary, improved, enhanced, or tertiary methods.

Reserves in effect peaked in 1980, when production first surpassed new discoveries, though creative methods of recalculating reserves have made this difficult to establish exactly.

Concerns Over Stated Reserves

“World reserves are confused and in fact inflated. Many of the so-called reserves are in fact resources. They’re not delineated, they’re not accessible, and they’re not available for production.”

— Sadad I. Al Husseini, former VP of Aramco, presentation to the Oil and Money conference, October 2007

Al-Husseini estimated that 300 billion of the world’s 1,200 billion barrels of proved reserves should be re-categorized as speculative resources.

Oil Field Decline

Of the largest 21 fields, at least 9 are in decline. In April, 2006, a Saudi Aramco spokesman admitted that its mature fields are now declining at a rate of 8% per year. This information has been used to argue that Ghawar, which is the largest oil field in the world and responsible for approximately half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production over the last 50 years, has peaked. The world’s second largest oil field, the Burgan field in Kuwait, entered decline in November 2005.

Pessimistic Predicitions Of Future Oil Production

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah told his subjects in 1998, “The oil boom is over and will not return… All of us must get used to a different lifestyle.” Since then he has implemented a series of corruption reforms and government programs intended to lower Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil revenues. The royal family was put on notice to end its history of excess and new industries were created to diversify the national economy.

Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens stated in 2005 that worldwide conventional oil production was very close to peaking. On June 17, 2008, in testimony before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Pickens stated that “I do believe you have peaked out at 85 million barrels a day globally.”

At least one oil company, French supermajor Total S.A., announced plans in 2008 to shift their focus to nuclear energy instead of oil and gas. A Total senior vice president explained that this is because they believe oil production will peak before 2020, and they would like to diversify their position in the energy markets.


September 10, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) thought you might be interested in learning a little bit about our new home.  We hope we will see you here one day soon.

Aruba is a 33 km (21 mi) long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, 27 km (17 mi) north of Venezuela. It has a land area of 193 km2 (75 sq mi) and lies outside the hurricane belt. Together with Bonaire and Curaçao it forms a group referred to as the ABC islands of the Leeward Antilles, the southern island chain of the Lesser Antilles. An autonomous region within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Aruba has no administrative subdivisions.

Unlike much of the Caribbean region, Aruba has a dry climate and an arid, cactus-strewn landscape. This climate has helped tourism as visitors to the island can reliably expect warm, sunny weather. Aruba is renowned for its white, sandy beaches on the western and southern coasts of the island, relatively sheltered from fierce ocean currents, and this is where most tourist development has taken place. Temperature varies little from 28 °C (82 °F), moderated by constant trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean. Yearly precipitation barely reaches 500 mm (20 in), most of it falling in late autumn.

Aruba’s first inhabitants are thought to have been Caquetíos Amerinds from the Arawak tribe, who migrated there from Venezuela to escape attacks by the Caribs. Fragments of the earliest known Indian settlements date back from 1,000 AD. Sea currents made canoe travel to other Caribbean islands difficult, thus Caquetio culture remained closer to that of mainland South America.

Aruba enjoys one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean region; the low unemployment rate is also positive for Aruba. About three quarters of the Aruban gross national product is earned through tourism or related activities. Most of the tourists are from Venezuela and the United States, Aruba’s largest trading partners. Before the “Status Aparte”, (a separate completely autonomous country/state within the Kingdom), oil processing was the dominant industry in Aruba. The G.D.P. per capita for Aruba is calculated to be $23,831 in 2007; among the highest in the Caribbean and the Americas. Its main trading partners are Venezuela, The U.S and the Netherlands.

Language can be seen as an important part of island culture in Aruba. The cultural mixture has given rise to a linguistic mixture known as Papiamento, the predominant language on Aruba. The two official languages are the Dutch language and Papiamento. Papiamento is a language that has been evolving through the centuries and absorbed many words from other languages like Dutch, English, French, diverse African dialects, and most importantly, from Portuguese and Spanish. However, like many islands in the region, Spanish is also often spoken.

The holiday of Carnival is an important one in Aruba, as it is in many Caribbean and Latin American countries, and, like Mardi Gras, that goes on for weeks. Its celebration in Aruba started, around the 1950s, influenced by the inhabitants from the nearby islands who came to work for the oil refinery. Over the years the Carnival Celebration has changed and now starts from the beginning of January till the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday with a large parade on the last Sunday of the festivities.

Aruba boasts the world’s third largest desalination plant which produces potable industrial water. Average daily consumption in 2005 was about 37,043 metric tons.


September 8, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) presents this article as part of a series of articles on understanding the energy business. We hope you enjoy this series.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC; is a cartel of twelve countries made up of Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela. OPEC has maintained its headquarters in Vienna since 1965, and hosts regular meetings among the oil ministers of its Member Countries. Indonesia withdrew its membership in OPEC in 2008 after it became a net importer of oil, but stated it would likely return if it became a net exporter in the world again.

According to its statutes, one of the principal goals is the determination of the best means for safeguarding the cartel’s interests, individually and collectively. It also pursues ways and means of ensuring the stabilization of prices in international oil markets with a view to eliminating harmful and unnecessary fluctuations; giving due regard at all times to the interests of the producing nations and to the necessity of securing a steady income to the producing countries; an efficient and regular supply of petroleum to consuming nations, and a fair return on their capital to those investing in the petroleum industry.

OPEC’s influence on the market has been widely criticized, since it became effective in determining production and prices. Arab members of OPEC alarmed the developed world and when they used the “oil weapon” during the Yom Kippur War by implementing oil embargoes and initiating the 1973 oil crisis. Although largely political explanations for the timing and extent of the OPEC price increases are also valid, from OPEC’s point of view, these changes were triggered largely by previous unilateral changes in the world financial system and the ensuing period of high inflation in both the developed and developing world. This explanation encompasses OPEC actions both before and after the outbreak of hostilities in October 1973, and concludes that “OPEC countries were only “staying even” by dramatically raising the dollar price of oil.

OPEC decisions have had considerable influence on international oil prices. For example, in the 1973 energy crisis OPEC refused to ship oil to western countries that had supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War or 6 Day War, which they fought against Egypt and Syria. This refusal caused a fourfold increase in the price of oil, which lasted five months, starting on October 17, 1973, and ending on March 18, 1974. OPEC nations then agreed, on January 7, 1975, to raise crude oil prices by 10%. At that time, OPEC nations — including many whom had recently nationalized their oil industries — joined the call for a new international economic order to be initiated by coalitions of primary producers. Concluding the First OPEC Summit in Algiers they called for stable and just commodity prices, an international food and agriculture program, technology transfer from North to South, and the democratization of the economic system. Overall, the evidence suggests that OPEC did act as a cartel, when it adopted output rationing in order to maintain price.


September 3, 2009

Seisma Energy Research, AVV (formerly Seisma Oil Research, LLC) presents this article as part of a series of articles on understanding the energy business. We hope you enjoy this series.


In petroleum geology and chemistry, cracking is the process whereby complex organic molecules such as kerogens or heavy hydrocarbons are broken down into simpler molecules (e.g. light hydrocarbons) by the breaking of carbon-carbon bonds in the precursors. The rate of cracking and the end products are strongly dependent on the temperature and presence of any catalysts. Cracking, also referred to as pyrolysis, is the breakdown of a large alkane into smaller, more useful alkanes and an alkene. Simply put, hydrocarbons cracking is the process of breaking long chain hydrocarbons into short ones.


In 1855, petroleum cracking methods were pioneered by American chemistry professor, Benjamin Silliman, Jr., of Sheffield Scientific School (SSS) at Yale University.

The first thermal cracking method, the Shukhov cracking process, was invented by Russian engineer Vladimir Shukhov, in the Russian empire, Patent No. 12926, November 27, 1891.

Eugene Houdry, a French mechanical engineer, pioneered catalytic cracking and developed the first commercially successful process after emigrating to the United States. The first commercial plant was built in 1936. His process doubled the amount of gasoline that could be produced from a barrel of crude oil.


Oil refinery cracking processes allow the production of “light” products such as LPG and gasoline from heavier crude oil distillation fractions such as gas oils and residues. Fluid catalytic cracking produces a high yield of gasoline and LPG, while hydrocracking is a major source of jet fuel, diesel, naphtha and LPG.

Thermal cracking is currently used to “upgrade” very heavy fractions (“upgrading”, “visbreaking”), or to produce light fractions or distillates, burner fuel and/or petroleum coke. Two extremes of the thermal cracking in terms of product range are represented by the high-temperature process called “steam cracking” or pyrolysis (ca. 750 to 900 °C or more) which produces valuable ethylene and other feedstocks for the petrochemical industry, and the milder-temperature delayed coking (ca. 500 °C) which can produce, under the right conditions, valuable needle coke, a highly crystalline petroleum coke used in the production of electrodes for the steel and aluminium industries.