As detailed in his
career timeline, Bob's available professional opportunities
price of oil.
Since returning to Texas in 2005, his work was then doing
for EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction). This EPC work
in the USA was substantially chilled by the global recession in late
2008. This ultimately resulted in major project funding being
deferred or cancelled, and many of the EPC's in
Houston laid off
hundreds of engineers.
opportunity for Bob to seek alternatives, set up as consultant DBA
Edge. Working with international career placement firms, it
quickly became obvious the only senior positions available for
HSE Design engineers were in CIS and Middle East.
Once the U.S. Congress
finally mandated an increase in
gasoline mileage, the likelihood of refinery expansions has
diminished. U.S. "Clean Fuels" projects are now over, and major
heavy oil upgrades are already in design, with no major new ones
announced in the U.S.
exist in the US for refining Canadian
synthetic crude - if the price if crude oil stays up - and
tight gas in coal beds in the US. These require additional
pipelines, now in the planning phase. From natural gas, LNG and
synthetic distillates are possibilities.
At the same time,
new refineries & chemical plants are already being built in e.g. the
and Asia. The time could come when finished products are
imported into the USA, as already happened in Australia from
Singapore. Major O&G developments are concentrated in the
Middle East and in FSU states in Central Asia. e.g.
Kashagan in the North Caspian sea.
Diane and Bob have lived in
several countries in their adult lives. Bob left N.Z. for a job with
Shell in Canada in 1971, only to remain in Houston when he met
Diane, who in turn was in the U.K. with the "FisherFolk" from 1973
to 1976. After marrying in Houston in 1977, they moved with
Bob's career to Colorado in 1982, New Zealand in 1983, Princeton NJ
in 1990, DC in 1995, back to Houston in 2005 to be close to Diane's
parents, now deceased.
Meagan and her son Brian already live in Houston, and they hope son
Colin and his fiancé Stephania will move into their Clear Lake home
after wedding in May 2010.
At this career stage, Bob is keen
on roles that include mentoring and peer review, in order to pass on
his experience and knowledge broadly. When it is finally time to
retire from full-time work, Bob still wants to do part-time
consultancy, expert witness, and
3rd Quarter 2009