• Paula Waggoner-Aguilar

The Inspiration for "The Shale Cliffhanger"

Updated: Jan 12, 2020

Fasten your seat belts and secure your harnesses, I have just written my first article The Shale Cliffhanger for Shale Oil & Gas Magazine. Inspired by a legendary North Texas roller coaster I rode with my dad in my youth, the Texas Cliffhanger later renamed the Wildcatter, before being closed due to excessive G-forces. My father was in the oil biz and he believed the Cliffhanger built "character" (that or turn you into an adrenaline junky). Check out the Six Flags YouTube video about one ride that could rival HUET training.
The article is intended to be a guided tour of the shale revolution and crude's rollercoaster ride from my own perspective (a GENX CFO with 20 years in the industry) and of people from all walks of life that work in the oil and gas industry. Likewise, challenge all of us to consider the consequences of denying crude producers the ability to export crude. Where is our so called free market capitalism in America's Petro politics?
Sometimes I wonder whether the media, politicians, and the general public are really aware of the true implications of this situation and its potential impact to the nation. While it may be just hurting US crude producers, their employees and their families, and the companies providing services and equipment to the industry - be careful as the full impact is only beginning to work its way through the system. I say that because I hear a lot of politicians saying - well, our economy is more diverse now and we are only talking about a 100,000 workers or so.
Consider for example, what will happen if the wave of workouts finally hits our shores as predicted back in January 2015? What about all this private equity money, pension funds, IRAs, 401Ks, etc. that invested in the shale revolution vis a via private and publicly traded exploration and production companies? Or how about the extraordinary reduction in monthly royalty checks - I know these checks contributed to quite a few home and car purchases in South Texas. Or the loss in local business as a result of families impacted by cut backs in oil and gas that are cutting back their spending (house cleaning, lawn mowing, landscaping, mani/pedi, child care, you name it). Or how about that real estate market - I hear the 400k+ market is sluggish. These were good paying jobs/nice fat royalty checks that were lost!
We all should care. It is time to lift our export ban on crude. We need to give our producers a fighting chance!


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