Transitions: Career, Industry, Family, Personal

Career Transition
As detailed in his career timeline, Bob's available professional opportunities followed the price of oil. Since returning to Texas in 2005, his work was then doing projects 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.

This gave opportunity for Bob to seek alternatives, set up as consultant DBA as Kiwi's Edge. Working with international career placement firms, it quickly became obvious the only senior positions available for experienced HSE Design engineers were in CIS and Middle East.

Industry Transition
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.

Opportunities still exist in the US for refining Canadian synthetic crude - if the price if crude oil stays up - and for 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 Middle East 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.

Family Transition
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.

Their daughter 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.

Personal Transition
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 teaching.

3rd Quarter 2009