Friday, 18 December 2009

Twas the Night Before Training - with apologies to Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians/Clement Clarke Moore

Andrew Infante, our Global Marketing Coordinator, got creative with the famous holiday poem to customize it for you here.

Hope you enjoy and from all of us at The Oxford Princeton Programme, have a wonderful holiday season.

Twas the day of training
Twas the day of training, when all through the building
Not a person was stirring, all too busy career building.
The booklets were put in the conference room with care,
In hopes that an energy expert soon would be there.

The employees were nestled all snug in their chairs,
While visions of success were not rare.
And my manager in her suit, and I in my tie,
Had just settled our brains for the training we could not pass by.

When in the front of the room there arose such a clatter,
I sat upright to see what was the matter.
Attention to the expert flew like a flash,
We tore open their booklets in a dash.
The trainer sprang to his feet, and offered training of all sorts,
Public, on-site and web-based of course.
A bundle of exercises and a trading game,
We all knew our careers would never be the same .
"Now Oil! Now, Gas! Now, Power and Trading!
On, Futures! On, Options! On, Risk Management and Hedging!
To the top of the company!
To the top of the industry!

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a course certificate to enhance my career.
But as he left, I heard him stress
"Happy training to all, and to all great success!"

Ready to check the 2010 Global Course Schedule? Click here.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Wild Guess - Angel (2004)

Well, the barrel price for crude oil (as seen on the right hand side here) seems to be struggling to stay in the $70s (at least during my writing of this post).

But then who really knows where things will stand tomorrow, next week, next month (yes, next year)?

We are in the midst of our annual Guess the Closing Price of Light Sweet Crude Oil Contest. Just let us know at what you think the closing price will be on December 31st 2009 by no later than Friday, December 18th.

Whoever is closest will win a voucher for a free web-based course (a US$175 value and good on any of over 25 titles; choose from oil, natural gas, power, trading, hediging, derivatives or risk maangement).

And while we are on the subject of crude oil, check out two of our bestselling courses coming in January 2010:

Overview of Physical Crude Oil Tradning and Operations (CT)
12-13 January

19-20 January

25-26 January

25-26 January

Fundamentals of Petroleum Refining - A Non-Technical Introduction (FPR)

14-15 January

21-22 January

27-28 January

27-28 January

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Things Aren't Always What They Seem - Ides of March (1966)

File this under curious ways to enter the energy sector as seen in today's The New York Times:

Zeus Energy Movement established itself as a non-profit in Texas to develop devices to harness various forms of alternative energy such as a gadget that transforms the force of ocean waves into power. Apparently, it was struggling to receive grants from the Federal Government for R&D. But once a patent application is granted, then does Zeus maintain its charity status?

To read more, click here.

Are you engaged in an energy startup looking to finance your projects? Check out our course offerings here.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

What a Year For A New Year - Dan Wilson/Semisonic (2002)

December has a funny way of flying by, even more so than most other months. The parties and get-togethers can be fast and furious and before you know it, a new year dawns.

We here at The Oxford Princeton Programme have our own version of a countdown to 2010: a Pre-Planning Sale of 15% off on all public course fees (at 2009 prices) that runs through December 31st. Our best offer all year.

If you haven't had a chance to check out our course catalogue, please do so. We have more courses across more energy capitals and as many of you know, our bestselling courses do fill up quickly.

Get a headstart today and fuel your energy career and professional potential.

Happy Holidays.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Moving On - Dream Academy (2004)

Due to an office move, you might not be able to reach our Princeton Office today and tomorrow (December 2nd and 3rd) at +1 609 520-9099. We expect to be back up and running by no later than Friday, the 4th.

If you need immediate assistance, please call our Oxford Office at, from North America, 011 44 1865 250 521 or on my mobile at +1 609 613-1636 or e-mail us at

We apoloigze for any inconvenince as we move to new facilites that will ensure better service to our clients worldwide.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

A Future Uncertain - Nevermore (2005)

The Ukraine-Russia natural gas conflict has taken another turn in the past week as Ukraine struggled to make October’s payment. They vowed and delivered on the promise to make the payment but it surely raises questions about the security of their gas supply as we move into the winter months. Take a look below at an excerpt from an article I came across.

State-owned utility Naftogaz Ukrainy is scrambling to pay Russian firm Gazprom for natural gas consumed in October, reports say.

The October bill is $460 million.

Naftogaz cited an economy mired in recession and its customers' inability to pay their bills as reasons for its late payment to Russia. As per the contract between the two nations, Ukraine has until the seventh day of the month to pay the previous month's bill. Ukranian Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuri Prodan was confident that the monies would be paid by the deadline.

To read the full article click here.

The only way to grasp this conflict is to completely understand the roots of the issue. To satisfy this need, I encourage everyone to have a look at one of our newest web-based training courses developed in response to this crisis.

European Gas: Security of Supply

This JUST-IN-TIME course was created in response to the events in January 2009 when Russia curtailed supplies into Ukraine and many parts of Europe. Even as these two nations have come to an agreement to get gas flowing again, their dispute is a long-running one that has been brewing ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union. We are unlikely to see the last of it. What are the underlying dynamics of the dispute and how prepared is Europe and the rest of the world for when this situation makes headlines in the future?

For more information click here.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Barcelona - Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballe (1987)

Next week, The Oxford Princeton Programme is in Barcelona as a return exhibitor to EMART Energy 2009 to take place 18 - 19 November at the Centre Convencions Internacional.

If you are there, be sure to visit us at Stand C25 and even try your luck at our Energy Education Wheel of Fortune for a chance to win a free web-based training course voucher.

Representing us are the friendly faces you see above: Ms. Lesley Rigg, Sales Director - Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific and S. America (on the left); and Ms. Paula Coolman, Principal Sales Executive.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Face In the Crowd - Tom Petty (1989)

Should you happen to attend next week's 25th Asia-Pacific Petroleum Conference in Singapore (November 3rd - 5th), be on the look out for our contingent (photos here for easy identification).

Ms. Lesley Rigg - Sales Director, EMEA, Asia/Pacific, Latin America
Ms. Crystal Yeo - Regional Account Manager, Asia-Pacific
Mr. Phillip Woo - Pricipal Account Executive, Asia-Pacific

Monday, 26 October 2009

What a Price to Pay - Michael Damian (1991)

We have added a crude oil price chart which you will now find on the right hand side of this blog. It will reflect 15-minute updates throughout the day so you can be assured of the latest read even as you check us out.

Having said that today seems to be one of those times when you might not want to check out as often how the commodity is doing given that gains from last week are being returned due to a strengthening of the US dollar. As of my entry it is down to just over $78 a barrel. This in turn is affecting the share prices of energy stocks.

Let's see whether the bulls will return this week...

Monday, 19 October 2009

Lie Down in the Grass (Charlie Peacock) - 1968

Today's The Wall Street Journal reports how the credit-crunched biofuels sector is being boosted by the supermajors. We've known about BP and Shell jumping into the act but with ExxonMobil's big move this year to invest in an "algae-to-fuel startup," it is more than just a fad and is perhaps now an established trend.

Among the possible explanations are Renewable Fuels Standard mandates set by governments coupled with restrictions on high-carbon fuels coming down the pike. It spells the need to diversity product portfolios.

To read the enitre article click here and to get caught up on the fundamentals and most recent developments in biofuels, consider taking any of these forthcoming courses:

A Biofuels Overview
7 - 8 December 2009
Oxford, UK

The Emerging Ethanol Energy Markets: A Comprehensive Overview
24 February 2010
Houston, TX

Thursday, 15 October 2009

I've Got Confidence (Elvis Presley) - 1971

With the Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassing the 10,000 mark yesterday, the first time in over a year, and a barrel of crude oil trading at plus $75 a barrel, it's hard not to express a bit of buoyancy with such green shoots abounding.

A day does not make a recovery but hitting these milestones certainly builds back confidence and a renewed commitment to take corporate training off the backburner and into the forefront if one hasn't done so already.

Alisha Gainer, The Oxford Princeton Programme's Houston-based Account Executive, shared with her clients in a note yesterday that, "I have witnessed a huge influx of lifted budget restraints that have allowed many to get back in the swing of things training wise. What a tremendous month we have had so far! In the ever evolving energy industry it is pertinent to stay current."

I'm with her on this and I do trust you are so as well.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Makin' It Natural (Dr. Hook) - 1971

I came across an article in the latest edition of Businessweek entitled "Betting Big on a Boom in Natural Gas."

Needless to say, it stopped in my tracks.

It seems that U.S. gas producers, thanks to technological advances in recent years, have discovered vast reserves in shale rock.

What volume are we really talking here though?

The article says, "the U.S. now holds 1,800 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, one third of it in shale, the equivalent of some 320 billion barrels of oil. That's more than Saudi Arabia's 264 billion barrels."

But gas isn't oil, so it may not fuel cars but it can be used to generate electiricty, which would mean using less (dirty) coal to do so and that would be a good thing for the environment. Moreover, prices have dropped precipitously in recent months which has businesses reconsidering their options whether it is to retrofit coal plants for gas or convert transport fleets from oil to gas.

And this phenomenon isn't limited to North America either.

Read the full Businessweek article here.

When you are done and would like to delve further into the promise of natural gas, consider these forthcoming courses:

Energy Value Chain
19 - 21 Oct 2009
London, UK

Natural Gas Sales and Marketing in a Competitive Environment
19 - 23 Oct 2009
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

LNG Shipping - A Voyage of Discovery
3 - 5 Nov 2009
Oxford, UK

Overview of the European Natural Gas Industry
9 November 2009
London, UK

Natural Gas in the Competitive Electricity Generation Market
9 - 13 Nov 2009
Oxford, UK

Exploring European Natural Gas Markets
10 - 11 Nov 2009
London, UK

Overview of the North American Natural Gas Industry
10 November 2009
Houston, TX

North American Natural Gas Transportation and Storage
11 November 2009
Houston, TX

Overview of the Global LNG Industry
12 November 2009
Houston, TX

Global LNG - The Complete Supply Chain
16 - 20 Nov 2009
London, UK

Overview of the North American Natural Gas Industry
18 November 2009
Calgary, AB

North American Natural Gas Transportation and Storage
19 November 2009
Calgary, AB

Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Natural Gas
2 - 3 Dec 2009
Houston, TX

The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk
7 - 8 Dec 2009

For details on any of these courses, click here.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Higher Ground (Stevie Wonder) - 1973

A barrel of oil is pricing near year-highs today with the US Dollar depreciating against most other major currencies. Even the rise in crude supplies might not stop investors from hedging.

Benchmark crude for November delivery jumed to $73.89 on NYMEX and even reached as high as $74.47, just short of the 2009 high of $75 reached in August.

Let's see whether the rally has any legs.

Click here for full article from The Associated Press.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Can't Get You Out of My Head (Kylie Minogue) - 2001

I have Latin America and more specifically Brazil and Rio de Janeiro stuck in my mind since last week's announcement that they will be hosting the 2016 Olympics. But then I also came across an article in the September 2009 issue of Hydrocarbon Engineering entitled "Mucho Gas" which speaks to the region's natural gas sector with country-by-country analyses. Its key message: since there is no "integrated, multinational network to move gas from source to consumption point," unique challenges certainly arise including price controls and geopolitics. Nonetheless, the investment opportunities for participants near and far remain vast.

It just so happens that The Oxford Princeton Programme will be debuting its course on Overview of and Opportunites in Latin American Natural Gas (LANG) in Houston on December 2nd and 3rd 2009.

This follows immediately after another new course on Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Crude Oil (LACO) on November 30th and December 1st also in Houston and is slated to run in Rio de Janeiro on November 12th and 13th.

With all this forthcoming activity, see why I can't get the region out of my head?

Monday, 5 October 2009

Celebration (Kool & The Gang) - 1981

I did want to congratulate Rio de Janeiro for winning its bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympics (as yours truly correctly predicted it would - phew!). I know my contacts in Brazil haven't stopped celebrating.

I did want to highlight coruses coming to Rio before 2009 is over so I invite you to read through the International edition (October issue) of our e-newsletter, The Oxford Princeton Pipeline.

Also now available, the North American edition (October issue).

Friday, 2 October 2009

Choices (Mudvayne) - 2005

In a couple of hours we shall find out which city will host the 2016 Summer Olympics in an announcement from Copenhagen. Chicago and Rio de Janeiro seem to be top contenders vs. Madrid and Tokyo. While Chicago would mean a quick plane ride for me and relatives to stay with, my sense is that it will go to Brazil.

Other than the fact that the Olympics have never run in South America, Brazil has blossomed onto the global stage with its developing economy (now commonly included in the acronym BRIC - Brazil, India, China, Russia). Recent discoveries of significant gas reserves off its coast play a major part in signalling the countries' importance.

If it goes to Chicago, then I will have underestimated the last-minute Obamas' charm offensive (with help from the likes of Oprah Winfrey).

Whether it is Rio or Chicago, it's good to know that The Oxford Princeton Programme offers courses in both locations. Chicago courses for 2010 will be announced soon but you can sign up today for courses in Rio de Janeiro.

Click here for the entire Rio De Janeiro schedule for the rest of 2009 and into 2010.

Obrigado (that's Thank you in Brazilian Portuguese).

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Coming Up - Paul McCartney (1980)

What an October surprise: oil prices jumped up yesterday after data released indicating the US economy is indeed on the rebound as its GDP shows recovery. The rally has a barrel of light sweet crude back above $70 at $70.61 from $66.71. The decrease in the US government petroleum stockpile suggests demand is one the rise too.

Read on from this article courtesy of Channel news Asia.

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Future Plans - Keith Urban (1991)

Not only have we upgraded our website's landing page, but we have also added our entire 2010 global public course schedule to the site.

We realize that many of our clients have already begun planning their training budgets for next year and it is helpful when you know which courses are being offered.

As an added incentive, we are pre-announcing our 2010 PRE-PLANNING SALE. Register for any 2010 courses between October 1st and December 31st 2009 and receive a 15% discount on the 2009 course fee (beat the 2010 price increase). All you have to do is mention PLAN2010 in your registration.

Please note this is good on course fees only (not accommodations) and there is a limit of six (6) courses per individual for this sale.

So see what we have in store and get in early:

Monday, 28 September 2009

Take A Look Around - Temptations (1972)

This week you might have already noticed something new and different about our website. Yes, we've upgraded our landing page to be more user-friendly.

How so, you ask? Allow me to count the ways:

1) Bigger, more readable fonts

2) Course Schedules by region (The Americas, EMEA, Asia/Pacific)

3) Instant translation available via Google Translate (in as many as 34 languages)

4) Enery Education Prescriptions - free confidential consultations on available training programmes

5) Links to not only our blog and e-newsletters but The Energy Education Network on Facebook, Our LinkedIn page, and our tweets on Twitter.

The new site is still in it's Beta stage but your questions and comments are welcomed.

Do take a gander (look around) and see how signing up for wrold-class energy education and training is easier thatn ever:

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Spring Summer Autumn - Style Council (1984)

First off, apologies for the recent absence: I am back from my vacation holiday ready to face a new season. And wouldn't you know it, today marks the beginning of autumn with the Autumnal Equinox (Vernal Equinox in the Southern hemisphere, and hence, spring).

Allow me to take a detour today to chat about this planetary phenomenon:

At 21:19 (or 9:19pm) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) which is 5:19 pm EDT, the sun crosses the so-called "celestial equator" and moves southward in the northern hemisphere. The location on the earth where the sun is directly overhead at solar noon is known as the subsolar point and this happens twice a year in March and September. The earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the earth and the sun. [Source:]

I always thought it meant equal parts of day and night but upon further research, this is apparaently a myth. To be exact, if you are at the equator, you have 12 hours and 6.5 minutes of sunlight and the day is longer the farther away you are from the equator.

In any case, it certainly is a transition into the busy time of year when school is in full swing, work piles on as folks start to plan for 2010 and look to finish up 2009 strong.

I do hope you will consider our many trainig avenues to help you achieve your goals this season.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Eve of Reality - Arrested Development (1992)

There is a bit of a bounce back in the price of crude oil today -- to nearly $70 -- just hours before OPEC member nations meet up in Vienna to discuss production outputs. It doesn't hurt that signs of recovery from the global recession are evident. Saudi Arabia's oil minister seems to be quite buoyant in his outlook.

Will suppliers put back on their rose-tinted glasses and not look to squeeze production any further? Can the good times roll once again? Some say we have to hit the $75 level for things to settle down. What do you think?

Read on in the AFP article.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

First Five Times - Stars (2004)

Today marks a milestone here at The Oxford Princeton Programme, Inc. It is the fifth anniversary of a management buyout completed by the company's President and CEO, Clara Lippert Glenn, making what was once FAME Education - comprised of The College of Petroleum and Energy Studies and Princeton Energy Programme, a privately-held (incorporated) entity.

The Oxford Princeton Programme had already been formed in July 2000 by the merging of The College of Petroleum and Energy Studies out of Oxford, UK and Princeton Energy Programme out of Princeton, NJ.

Since 2004, The Programme has grown and with offices today in North America, Europe, and Asia, not to mention course offerings on six continents, it is widely regarded as the world's leading provider of commercial education and training solutions to the energy industry.

Yes, we'll have some cake to commemorate the day and we look forward to offering our clients and customers even more unsurpassed training options in the next 5 x 5 years and beyond.

Monday, 31 August 2009

See You in September - Tempos (1959)

These waning days of summer are giving way to those of autumn in September when it is traditional for many young professionals to enter the workforce as full-timers. The energy sector is no exception as it, even in a recession, fills its ranks with new blood that streams up to become tomorrow's leadership and labor force.

Just as school years in many parts of the world get underway, it is only fitting that managers and business heads be reminded of the critical role corporate training plays in the orientation of new hires and in ensuring they have the commercial fundmentals under their belt early on.

Both editions of our September e-newsletter (The Oxford Princeton Pipeline), which come out this and next week, open with messages from two of our junior executives who discuss this very matter from their own perspetives.

We know you know the value of new hire training and are here ready to support you in your own programs.

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Back in History - Inmates (1979)

Tomorrow, Thursday, August 27th, marks the 150th anniversary of oil's discovery back when Edwin Laurentine Drake first extracted the substance from the ground in Titusville, PA.

He decided to drive pipe into the earth so debris wouldn't clog the drill hole and on August 27, 1859, the method proved successful when his driller struck oil 69 1/2 feet below ground.

And the rest is history.

Read more from CBS News to find out more and the fascinating story of Drake.

Image courtesy of

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Catch A Star - Men at Work (1981)

As far as new courses go, none have seen as strong a reception this year as those that comprise our Certificate in Derivatives Pricing, Hedging and Risk Management.

They are (with newly added sessions):

Energy Derivatives Markets, Instruments and Hedging (DPH1)
Calgary 2-3 November 2009
Houston 7-8 December 2009

Energy Derivatives Pricing, hedging and Risk Management (DPH2)
Anaheim 28-29 October 2009
Calgary 4-5 November 2009
Houston 9-10 December 2009

Advanced Energy Derivatives Pricing, Hedging and Risk Management (DPH3)
Calgary 16-17 November 2009

We shall continue to offer these in 2010 not only in North America but in Europe and Asia as well. For now, we do hope you can join us at any of the above scheduled sessions. We are particularly pleased to be offering it in Southern California for the first time.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Up Against The Clock - Buddy Wasisname & The Other (1996)

It is being reported by Bloomberg that oil may surpass the 2009 high as the September contract for October delivery expires today, Augsut 20th. The current level stands at $73.52 a barrel. This would then set the stage for further gains.

"Oil has risen 62 percent this year on record OPEC production cuts and speculation that a recovery in the global economy will spur a rebound in fuel demand."

Are you feeling as buoyant as the reports?

To read the entire report, click here.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Hybrid - Siouxsie & The Banshees (1980)

I just returned from Houston where I got to sit in on the debut of our newest course The Emerging Ethanol Energy Markets: A Comprehensive Overview. I am pleased to reprot that it was well-received by delegates. If this topic, as well as biofuels and biodiesel, are of interest, I highly recommend the course which is slated to run again in March 2010 though you can bring it in-house for a team of colleagues.

But what I did want to share was the article I came across in the Continental Airlines in-flight magazine entitled "Executive Ed Goes Hybrid" by Robert McGarvey which in a nutshell postulates that "a mix of online and face-to-face learning is putting a fresh focus on results that make a lasting impact". This is also known as 'blended learning' or what I like to call 'multideimensional learning', which ensures reinforcement of material being taught.

The Oxford Princton Programme is a proponent of this approach as evident in a number of our instructor-led courses which are accompanied by web-based modules as well as case studies and simulation exercises.

I managed to find the article online.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

My Up and Down - Adina Howard (1995)

So which way is the price of oil really going? Jim Crosskey, our Deputy Sales Manager in Oxford, called my attention to Duelling Fools who yes, duke it out with arguments on investment topics.

This week's boxing match has two experts arguing over whether the barrel price is indeed going up or down.

Have a read and let me know where you think it's headed in the medium term (next two to five years).

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Day After Pay Day - Bob Hadley (1973)

It seemed like a matter of time before the executive pay and stimulus money trains were bound to collide over commodity trader tracks.

Andrew J. Hall of Philbro, a small Connecticut-based commodities trading firm, (and is an ex-BP employee) is supposed to receive his bonus amounting to $100,000,000 as part of his contract for aggressively betting on oil prices. However, the Treasury Department's czar for executive pay, Kenneth Feinberg, will have to determine whether Mr. Hall should receive a bonus given that his contract is with Citigroup, who received about $45 billion in taxpayer bailout monies. Moreover, regulators are trying to cut down on speculator activity that they beleive caused oil price fluctuations of late.

There's a lot more to this story as reported in The New York Times and Yahoo!

Should Mr. Hall earn his full bonus?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Give Me News I Can Use - John Kay and Steppenwolf (1987)

The August editions, both North American and International of The Oxford Princeton Pipeline, come out tomorrow.

Our free monthly e-newsletter includes energy industry headlines, details on some of our bestselling and newest, just-in-time training titles, as well as opportunities to win free web-based courses and other prizes.

Here is an excerpt from my opening note:

Leading or Lagging?

There is much talk of indicators to help predict how quickly we are turning the economic corner.

We are experiencing our own set of leading indicators first hand as we progress in this second half of 2009. What about your own indicators?

You can subscribe here.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Anticipation - Bar-Kays (1982)

According to Arabian Oil and Gas, a leading South Korean economic think tank of the LG Group predicted earlier this week that crude oil prices may surpass the US$100 a barrel threshold in three years. Their basis: the fact that the development of new oil fields has dipped substantially, due to the global financial crisis, which will eventually lead to a serious shortage.

But why not sooner?

"The effect of reduced investment will emerge in 2012 when non-OPEC countries will not be able to provide sufficient enough oil to the global market, adding that OPEC is expected to take a decision to strategically control oil production, thereby making its presence increasingly felt."

Do you agree with this assessment as oil hovers around $66 a barrel and is trying to get passed the $70 mark once more this summer?

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Testify - Phil Collins/Genesis (2002)

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission of the U.S. Federal Government is holding hearings today and tomorrow on "Energy Postion Limits and Hedge Expectations".

The $64,000 question is whether any limits will be imposed on speculative trading of energy futures contracts which are supposed to suppress price volatility though speculators do use them to bet on market prices. Critics, on the other hand, suggest this magnifies price swings.

We'll be following along to see where the chips do fall.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Great White Hope - Styx (1978)

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu seemed to hold his own against the antics yet fair questioning of John Stewart at last night's appearance on The Daily Show (Comedy Central).

Listen in on their funny give-and-take on the cap-and-trade bill passed by Congress as well as Chu's simple ideas on how we can slowdown climate change by painiting our roads and houses white. Yes, white!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Steven Chu
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorJoke of the Day

Move Over - Janis Joplin (1971)

Looks like President Obama's live health care news conference tonight is bumping "Over The Barrel: The Truth About Oil" to Friday night as a "20/20 Special Investigation."

As noted yesterday, news anchor Charles Gibson of ABC News will attempt to explain how the price of a barrel is derived and what the future holds with increasing global thirst against what is believed to be a finite resource.

We'll still be watching (even on a Friday night) and do look forward to your comments after it airs.

For more on this, click here.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Stay Out Of Trouble - Kansas (1979)

According to the Oil & Gas Journal, Deloitte may be foreseeing trouble for the US refining industry as margins are expected to drop due to stricter fuel economy standards and rising mandates for blending ethanol and other biofuels.

Stay ahead of the curve and competition with the debut of The Emerging Ethanol Energy Markets - A Comprehensive Overview, a one-day landmark education event to be held at The Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Houston on Thursday, August 13th.

This interactive seminar/workshop is confirmed to run and seats are limited.

To read the full article, click here.

ABC - Jackson 5 (1970)

If you are in North America, you can tune into "Over a Barrel: The Truth About Oil," a new ABC documentary airing tomorrow, Wednesday, July 22 and hosted by news anchor Charles Gibson.

He will attempt to explain how the price of a barrel is derived and what the future holds with increasing global thirst against what is believed to be a finite resource. Alternative fuels will undoubtedly be part of the discussion.

U. S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Gen. Wesley Clark are among those who will partake in the news special.

We'll be watching and looking forward to your comments after it airs. If it becomes available on the Internet, we'll look to post the show on here for those of you who miss it.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Latin Theme - Carl Cox (1998)

Latin America has seen a spike in energy investment and activity part in thanks to recent gas reserve discoveries off the coast of Brazil as well as the emerging economic strength of the continent as a whole.

The Oxford Princton Programme is pleased to offer two new courses addressing this important development, both dedicatied to helping delegates take advantage of the opportunites at hand:

Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Crude Oil

Rio de Janeiro
12-13 November 2009

30 November - 1 December 2009

Overview of and Opportunities in Latin American Natural Gas

December 2-3, 2009

Join us for these landmark seminar/wrokshop events.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Word in Spanish - Elton John (1988)

Whilst English is indeed the lingua franca of the energy industry, a good bit of business is conducted in other languages.

The Oxford Princeton Programme wants to ensure training is accessible to professionals worldwide. With that in mind, we are pleased to present our very first web-based training course in Spanish.

Introducción a la Industria del Petróleo (English version of course is available: Introduction to the Oil Industry) can be acccessed on

Below are course summaries in Spanish and English.

We do hope to bring more courses in Spanish as well as in other languages. We would like to hear from you on which topics and languges we should be considering next.

En este curso introductorio, aprenderás que es el petróleo y donde se encuentra, como es extraído, y luego como es convertido en productos con los que estamos familiarizados, tal como la gasolina, antes que sea enviado a los centros de distribución donde se le facilita a los consumidores finales el acceso a dicho producto. También veremos cómo es la estructura organizativa de la Industria. Al completar el curso, tendrás una visión global del petróleo desde su inicio en el subsuelo hasta la estación de servicio donde nos surtimos de gasolina. No hay pre-requisitos para tomar este curso y tampoco es necesario de conocimiento alguno del tema. Asi mismo, tampoco se requiere una previa preparación para este curso.

In this introductory course, you will learn what oil is and where it is found, how it is extracted, and then turned into the petroleum products we're familiar with, like gasoline, before it is shipped to distribution channels where end users tap into them. We'll even take a look at how the industry is organized. By the time this course is finished, you will have a general understanding of oil from underground to the gasoline pump. There are no pre-requisites for this course and no prior knowledge on the subject is required. There is also no advanced preparation required for this course.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Great Expectations - Jurassic 5 (2000)

It is being reported today that ExxonMobil will be investing at least $600 million on the development of renewable, algae-derived biofuels through a partnership struck with San Diego-based Synthetic Genomics.

This is the supermajor's first significant foray into the biofuels market and marks a possible turning point in waht continues to be an emerging energy sector.

This, and other topics, will be touched upon in the forthcoming debut of The Oxford Princeton Programme's new course on The Emerging Ethanol Energy Markets - A Comrpehensive Overview - ETNL on Thursday, August 13th 2009, at The Magnolia Hotel in Downtown Houston.

This landmark training course is confrimed to run.

Also coming later this year to Oxford, UK is A Biofuels Overview on December 7 and 8.

Read on from this article in

Monday, 13 July 2009

Leaving On A Jet Plane - Peter, Paul and Mary (1967)

In the Sunday Business section of yesterday's The New York Times, Laura Wright, the CFO of Southwest Airlines, was quoted as saying, "to call this extreme volatility might be an understatement." She was, of course, referring to the price of oil which has indeed fluctuated quite a bit between $74 and under $60 in recent weeks.

The highly-regarded U.S. carrier has been trying to insure itself from such volatility by purchasing long-term oil contracts -- yes, futures!

Even as the price of oil and gas might indeed be baffling governments officials and policy analysts, I thought that our latest web-based course, Introduction to the Aviation Fuels Market (IAFM), released last Friday, might be of interest to those of you who seek a solid understanding of how the aviation fuels market works.

Check it out before you jet off to your next destination.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Backfired - Debbie Harry (1981)

Oops...looks like this week's auction for oil and gas contracts, already beleaguered by criticism that it was being run like the song contest Eurovision, seems to have imploded altogether.

After awarding one contract to the consortium led by BP, the reality show participants decided not to continue when they realized the terms the Oil Ministry was offering was nowhere near what had been offered for 20-year fixed contracts.

Learn more in this article courtesy of Arabian Oil & Gas.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

One More Round - Bette Midler (1990)

Round One in the Eurovision-like auctioning off of oil and gas E&P contracts in Iraq (referrred to in yesterday's posting) goes to a consortium led by BP and includes the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The Rumalia field, located by the Kuwait border, is set to produce 17 billion barrels

The bidding continues today. Read more here from

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Win Some Lose Some - Bryan Adams (1980)

A most unusual televised bidding war over who will develop Iraq's oil reserves starts this week in Baghdad. No fewer than 30 of the world's most notable players are involved in what has been likened to the Eurovision Song Contest.

As each reserve location is put on the block, bids will be torn open from their envelopes and the winner will be, well, transparent. Just when you thought reality TV ideas were, er, tapping out.

Read on from this article in

Monday, 29 June 2009

Force Ten - Rush (1987)

Quick, name the top 10 oil producers and exporters in June 2009? If you are unsure, then take a look at the latest report from the The US Energy Information Administration courtesy of Port Engineering News and Iran Daily.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

(Is This The Way To) The World Cup - Tony Christie (2006)

The following is courtesy of two of our in-company sports fanatics: Andrew Infante, our Global Marketing Coordinator out of Princeton, and Oliver Wells, Principal Sales Executive based in Oxford:

With the World Cup coming to South Africa in 2010 the home town team brought in a new coach to help lead them to success. Bafana Bafana hope that Joel Santana’s game planning abilities and new tactics will make the hosting country of World Cup 2010; the champions of World Cup 2010.

Similarly, The Oxford Princeton Programme will bring energy courses with great career planning abilities and new tactics to South Africa in 2009. We cannot guarantee South Africa success on the pitch in 2010. However, we can guarantee success in the energy industry in 2009 and beyond by seeing our special Cape Town recommendations of the week.

Fundamentals of Energy Futures
17 August 2009
Cape Town


Options I - Fundamentals of Energy Options
18 August 2009
Cape Town


Energy Risk Management
19 - 20 August 2009
Cape Town


Front to Back Office: Trading Controls and Best Practices
21 August 2009
Cape Town


Oil Trading Orientation
24 - 26 August 2009
Cape Town


Retail Marketing - Maximising Outlets and Networks
14 - 16 September 2009
Cape Town


Network Planning and Asset Management for Professional Retailers
17 - 18 September 2009
Cape Town


Overview of Physical Crude Oil Trading and Operations
2 - 3 November 2009
Cape Town


Fundamentals of Petroleum Refining - A Non-Technical Introduction
4 - 5 November 2009
Cape Town


"Success in almost any field depends more on energy and drive than it does on intelligence.” – Sloan Wilson

Monday, 22 June 2009

It's a Gas - David Frye (1969)

Andrew Infante, our Global Marketing Coordinator, just returned from the LDC Gas Forum in Boston:

This conference brings together the North American natural gas industry’s key players for three days of forecasting and analysis. There were several great speakers and presentations but one statement truly resonated with me.

Les Deman of Shell Energy North America made the point that the first half of the 20th century was the era of coal, the second half of the 20th century was the era of oil and now the first half of 21st century will the be era of natural gas.

This statement might be taken with a grain of salt because it is coming from an expert whose interest is clearly invested in natural gas. However, Mr. Deman’s forecast may be accurate so I encourage you to consider our forthcoming courses to ensure you are prepared.

Overview of North American Natural Gas

17 September 2009 – Chicago, IL (in conjunction with LDC Chicago)

10 November 2009 – Houston, TX

18 November 2009 – Calgary, AB

North American Natural Gas Transportation and Storage

18 September 2009 – Chicago, IL (in conjunction with LDC Chicago)

15 October 2009 – Savannah, GA

11 November 2009 – Houston, TX

19 November 2009 – Calgary, AB

Monday, 15 June 2009

Poor Cow - Elton John (1988)

The Cap and Trade debate has taken a, well, dietrary turn as Stonyfield Farm, the yogurt maker, and others are changing their Vermont cows' diet to plants like alfalfa and flasxeed to reduce methane emissions which have been linked to climate change. The programme has seen success already in France and farmers are hoping for the same States-side.

Read this article from The New York Times and find out how Elsie and her bovine buddies are keeping the gas burps and yes, flatulence to a minimum so to speak.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Thinking of June - Slaughter (1996)

Hello from our Oxford Office which manages Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia Pacific.

The month of May flew by. Now that GASTECH in Abu Dhabi is behind us and I have been able to recruit a new Account Executive who will start next week, I can return to my normal routine of posting on here more frequently.

June is a month of energy training possibilities. We've added more sessions to our most popular instructor-led courses in locations like Accra, Cairo and Dubai, as well as brand new courses altogether (both live workshops and web-based training titles).

Details can be found in our monthly e-newsletter which is going out this week. If you are not yet sucbsciribing to these, please do so on our homepage.

What opportunities await you this month?

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Back to Chicago - Styx (1990)

It has be awhile since we last ran courses in the Windy City. Chicago is hot for many a reason these days and we think it is high-time that we returned.

This time we are partnering with the fine folks behind LDC Gas Forums who are holding their mid-continent conference September 14-16, 2009 at the Hyatt. After you attend their conference, you can ensure your edge in the industry by attending one or both of our bestseller natural gas courses:

Overview of the North American Natural Gas Industry
Thursday, September 17th

Natural Gas Transportation and Storage
Friday, September 18th.

Get your fill of what's new in the U.S. Natural Gas Market the entire week!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Let It Grow - Eric Clapton (1974)

On Tuesday, U.S. President Obama signed a directive establishing a Biofuels Interagency Working Group while also announcing that additional funds from the federal stimulus bill would be going to biofuel-related projects, all in an effort to help the U.S. biofuel industry continue to develop in the coming years.

You can read more here.

If you would like to brush up on biofuels fundamentals and the ethanol market in particular, check out our new web-based course on the Overview of the Ethanol Market.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Found a Job - Talking Heads (1978)

For many graduates these next few months mark the close of academic chapters and the opening of corporate ones at brand new spanking jobs (and that's despite the economy).

The energy sector is sure to have its share of hires who will need to get up to speed (and that's certainly the case in times like these) on the skills and knowledge base needed to be effective employees. Training programs are on the forefront of HR and T&D (training and development) Managers' agendas.

The Oxford Princeton Programme prides itself as being the preferred provider for introductory coursework whether it is in oil, natural gas, power or derivatives and commodity trading.

Share your entering workforce's profile with us and what will be expected of them and we'll prescribe a customized program all your company's own.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

On A Little Street in Singapore - Frank Sinatra (1944)

...will you not only find our Asia-Pacific regional headquarters but venues for several courses arriving these coming months. And to entice you regsiter for them, we have a one-week only (April 20 - 24) Singapore Summer Training Sale which offers a 20% discount on all public courses running in June, July and August, 2009.

Choose from any of these today and save:

LPG Trading and Pricing - Shipping, Contracts and Price Risk Management
17 - 19 Jun 2009

Fundamentals of Technical Analysis
17 - 18 Jun 2009

Advanced Technical Analysis and Technical Trading
19 June 2009

Aviation Fuels: Supply, Trading and Risk Management
20 - 22 Jul 2009

Energy Value Chain Asia-Pacific - The Fundamentals of Oil, Gas, Coal and Power
23 - 24 Jul 2009

Total Risk Management in the International Oil and Derivatives Market
11 - 14 Aug 2009

The Synergies of Refining, Trading and Supply
17 - 20 Aug 2009

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Tiny Bubbles – Don Ho (1966)

The Oil & Gas Journal is reporting that research in nanotechnology could make a “not-so-nano” difference in the recovery of the oil and gas sectors. Supposedly, nanosensors have the potential to assess rock and fluid properties from inside the pore spaces of reservoirs albeit 5-10 years down the road.

Read on to learn more as well as how others are assessing the pace of recovery in the energy sector as a whole.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Up Where We Belong - Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes (1982)

How soon might the price of crude oil go back up to over $100? It may be a matter of understanding supply dynamics just as much, if not more so than demand ones in a downturn.

Some argue that once the global economy is back on track, perhaps in 2011, the barrel will again break the “century” barrier.

According to The Globe and Mail, OPEC’s response to curtail production which if maintained, will tighten supply by approximately 330 million barrels for 2009 and may raise the price by so much. But it is the non-OPEC countries like Canada that are postponing or curbing new oil sands and deepwater field projects which are not profitable at today’s prices. They would be more so at around the $70 mark so market forces will need to boost prices before any further investment takes place. This potential supply, or lack thereof, may factor in as well and in the end, getting to $100 might very well be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Old Atlantic Shore – Stompin’ Tom Connors (1970)

Photo: Kate Walsh

To drill or not to drill?

That was just one of many ongoing heated debates that took center stage yesterday in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the first of four federal hearings on offshore oil drilling along the outer continental shelf of the U.S. East Coast. It’s a tug of war between environmentalists who prefer renewable energy alternatives and oil producers. How far the government’s plan will sway one way or the other is, well, still up in the air.

With the need for employment atop any agenda, both sides tout job creation as the beneficial outcome. But can blue, white and green collar ones coexist? To find out more, read here.

Speaking of Atlantic City, we do have courses coming in August:

Monday, 6 April 2009

Politically Incorrect – Gord Bamford (2004)

Are petroleum facilities receding as a terrorist target for al-Qaeda? That’s what Eric Watkins, editor at Oil & Gas Journal is suggesting now that the barrel is half price of what it was a year ago. Yet local jihadi groups may still consider the disruption of supply a key objective in forwarding their own agendas. Read on here.

This and other such potential problems facing the energy sector will be discussed at our forthcoming workshop on The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk coming to London on 8-9 June 2009.

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Alberta Bound - Paul Brandt (2004)

It was noted in today's edition of The Calgary Herald that the American stimulus package along with other efforts such as interest rate cuts around the world are certainly fueling a rebound in commodity prices including that of oil. It could be a sustainable uptick too as long as the dual "stimulee" targets -- consumption and credit -- do respond .

But so far so good, with oil prices rebounding 40% since Valentine's Day. Sure there's the risk of inflation to contend with, but let's see how things play out.

To read more, click here.

In the meantime, if you are in Calgary or are able to make it there soon, consider investing a few days sharpening your skills and knowledge base with these bestselling seminar workshops (all to be held at the Calgary TELUS convention Center):

Friday, 3 April 2009

Delta Dawn – Tanya Tucker (1972)

It looks like the Nigerian government is taking the tougher steps necessary to secure the Niger Delta to stem both the spike in crude oil theft by gangs and pirates and exodus of foreign interests in the region by empowering its special military force to go on the offensive. Also in the plans is amnesty for those who turn in their weapons.

Can it finally work this time? This and other critical current issues are addressed in our forthcoming workshop on The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk coming to London on 8-9 June followed by sessions in Singapore (11-12 September) and Washington, D.C. (15-16 September).

Thursday, 2 April 2009

What’s Too Much – Smokey Robinson (1987)

10%? 15%? None? How much ethanol blend in gasoline is too much?

That’s the public debate in the U.S. that the NPRA (National Petrochemical & Refiners Association) wants to have as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) studies the impact of higher levels of ethanol content in cars, boats and power equipment on the machines themselves and environment.

If you would like more perspective on how the debate got to this point, check out Overview of the Ethanol Market, a less than two-hour web-based course that will undoubtedly round out any interested party’s understanding and enable one to come to his or her own conclusions.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Fools – Rufus Wainwright (1998)

I start out this month’s The Oxford Princeton Pipeline e-newsletter noting that today is the day the more gullible among us better look out for pranks, which in a way are welcome distractions from recessionary woes that are nothing to joke about. I continue to emphasize on how those who “stick to their guns” to ensure investment in training does not fall off in times like these will undoubtedly have the last laugh when the inevitable recovery returns.

I am upbeat about the energy education landscape from The Oxford Princeton Programme vantage point for several reasons, among them the fact that we’ve added more new courses into the worldwide schedule and we are constantly launching just-in-time web-based courses into our library. Also, we are turning around in-house (on site) training requests faster than ever thanks to a robust roster of expert faculty as well as a global team dedicated to the highest levels of customer service.

It helps, too, that I am seeing more sunlight these days and that temperatures are rising. If we have a spring storm here on the Eastern Seaboard, I’ll be the first to claim I am an April Fool.

Jobert E. Abueva
Global Marketing/North American Sales Director

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Great Leap Forward – Simple Minds (1995)

Janet Lawrence, our in-house Product Developer, found this article in The Calgary Herald from earlier in the month which provides a sound rationale for why “Hedging May be Best Strategy for Oil Producers”. A story like this sure stopped me in my tracks. It has to do with the barrel price rising back to US$75 due to a confluence of factors including OPEC's ongoing interests and behavior as well as the depth and length of the current global recession.

Once you've had a chance to read, let me know if you and others are poised to sell forward when the time is right and if your staffs have the right tools and instinct to do so?

Monday, 30 March 2009

Meet El Presidente – Duran Duran (1986)

Over the weekend, the Obama Administration announced a series of meetings with the European Union and other global players to tackle energy and climate issues including global warming, energy efficiency and security, some of the topics that we’ll be tackling in our forthcoming course on The Changing Geopolitics of Oil and Gas: Identifying and Managing Political Risk.

For details on the meetings from The New York Times, read on.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Lights Out - Lisa Marie Presley (2003)

Today many are observing Earth Hour to bring world awareness to global warming and the need for solutons that will ensure energy needs are met in a responsible manner. I have already seen lights dim in Sydney, Shanghai, Jakarta and elsewhere on television and via the Internet. In a few hours it will be Europe's Africa's and the Americas' turns to do so.

Today is also when The Oxford Princeton Programme launches its latest web-based course on Overview of the Ethanol Market. So after you do turn out your lights, log on to learn about this energy resource and the role it will play in brightening the future.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Take A Giant Step – Monkees (1978)

The fine folks at LNG Industry Magazine allowed me to share my thoughts on Stepping Up LNG Training in their Spring 2009 issue.

Have a read and let me know any of your thoughts as well as other LNG-related education and training needs.

And by the way, here are some of our forthcoming LNG courses:

Monday, 23 March 2009

Answer's In The Question - Bob Seger with Patty Loveless (2006)

The tweet below from CBOE caught my attention today. It's a fair question so I had to see what the author had to say.

Minyanville: "Can Selling Options Make You a Better Trader?"

Friday, 20 March 2009

Danger Zone – No Doubt (2004)

Tradewinds has just reported that a there has been a large fuel spill today in the busy Strait of Hormuz due to a collision between a US submarine and a US frigate. Eighty five tonnes of fuel oil was spilled and 15 sailors were injured.

This real-life case study is representative of the discussions delegates will have when they attend these forthcoming courses:

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Hold On To Your Hat – Rolling Stones (1989)

Here we go! Oil jumped over 6% today to over $50 a barrel based in part on brighter outlooks for the U.S. economy.

More details from Yahoo at:

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Downstream – Supertramp (1977)

The following is courtesy of Richard Prince, Faculty, The Oxford Princeton Programme and Course Director for the forthcoming course in Downstream Oil Products Marketing to take place 15-19 June 2009 in Oxford.
Will Low Oil Prices Give New Life to Marketing?

As the price of crude oil rose, year after year, to last summer's peak of $145, Downstream oil product marketers found themselves squeezed by ever higher costs and Upstream seemed to get all the capital investment. Hardly surprising as the best investment returns by far were in upstream while oil prices were high.

Now things look very different. In this new environment of relatively low crude prices, Downstream marketing businesses should make a much greater relative contribution to the performance of many integrated oil companies. Falling cost of product has given marketers a chance to restore margins that had been pressured when costs were much higher and enables them to make a much better case for new investment compared to last year.

But we are also in a global recession and demand for oil products has dropped. So we can expect much more competition for customers and hence new pressure on prices. Businesses with good customer relationships will expect to have more secure volumes – a critical factor in maintaining capacity utilisation from wellhead, through refinery to market. And some companies may be thinking about entering new markets or making acquisitions of weaker players.

Although there are real opportunities for marketing to capture more attention and grow profit in this new environment, only those who are really good at understanding their markets will do well.

Our "Downstream Oil Products Marketing" course (code DSP) could be just what you need to create a competitive advantage for your business. This course provides an overview of downstream oil products marketing, with a strong emphasis on understanding the demand side of the market and customer and end user expectations. It will enable you to create a marketing strategy that is right for your business in your markets. It also will give you practical tools and ideas to implement your strategy and to build profitable business in a wide range of refined oil product markets (transportation fuels, commercial fuels, lubricants and bitumen).

Friday, 13 March 2009

Vienna Calling – Falco (1985)

It looks like this week is ending on a high note with the bulls still raging down Wall Street for a fourth day now and oil hovering at around $48 as all anticipate this coming Sunday’s OPEC meeting in Vienna when a further cut in production is surely to be announced. The betting could begin with how much a cut it will be given more reports today on the persisting decline in global demand. It should be quite a gathering with a much larger-than-usual Russian delegation planning to show up. Hmm... what could that be about? And will we see $50 a barrel by Monday?

For more perspective, here is a just-released report from the Associated Press.

Jobert E. Abueva

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Trade It All - Fabolous featuring P Diddy (Puff Daddy) & Jagged Edge (2001)

The worldwide recession continues to drag down projections for oil consumption as evidenced by the latest EIA estimate drop by 1.4 million barrels per day in 2009. This translates into 200,000 fewer barrels since last month's projection and three million barrels since September 2008. Global GDP could see further declines by 0.8 percent in 2009 before growing by 2.6 percent in 2010 which, yes, means an increase in oil consumption.

So where am I going with this?

Arguably there is light at the end of the tunnel. But even as production swings and crude oil prices sway, the need for sophisticated training in oil trading is constant. My data points are the strong enrollment rates for our advanced oil trading courses, especially these two which are coming up (both confirmed to run):

International Oil Trading and Pricing to run end of this month in Oxford as well as International Oil Trading - Advanced Techniques and Strategic Risk Management which takes place in mid-April in Singapore.

I encourage you to check these out as they are great value for your money and yes, you are certain to walk away with critical strategies and tactics to weather this roller coaster ride.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Where Have All The Good People Gone? – Sam Roberts (2002)

With the economy certain to rebound, oil companies are turning to lessons learned: do not fall to the kneejerk responses of laying off workers who become well-trained resources lost forever. This is highlighted in this article courtesy of

I have been touting such wisdom for a few weeks now and the need to keep up investment in training as a competitive advantage that pays off when things do turn around. I believe this more than ever.

Jobert E. Abueva

Monday, 9 March 2009

Anywhere On Earth You Are - Alan Jackson (2006)

Ethanol producers are looking for a way out of idle refining capacity even after a slew of governmental initiatives such as tax credits, subsidies and production mandates by Congress. Will this latest effort push the Obama administration to come up with even more support?

Read further in this article from last Friday's edition of The New York Times: U.S. is Asked to Permit 15% Ethanol in Gasoline

The Oxford Princeton Programme will be launching its new web-based course on Overview of the Ethanol Market to coincide with Earth Hour 2009 (8:30 - 9:30 pm) to be observed on Saturday, March 28th, when over 80 countries and 930 cities will dim their lights in a show of support against global warming and for renewable energy.

Receive a voucher to try a second course FREE when you make your web-based purchase on this very day. Contact us for details.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Take A Look At My Face - Michael Bolton (1987)

We've started The Energy Education Network on Facebook which is quickly building a global community of individuals interested in our mission of advancing the education and training of all professionals within and related to the energy sector regardless of function or level of expereince.

The group serves as a platform for those engaging in energy education worldwide whether it be in oil, gas, power, coal, nuclear, green energy, or renewables; physical, technical or commerical; up-, mid- and downstream; and it is a friendly forum for colleagues, clients and competitors to share information and learn from one another.

Consider us unbiased and bipartisan and always willing to converse.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Marching On - The Alarm (1983)

March brings a change in seasons as we cross over an equinox (more light and warmth in the Northern Hemisphere but you wouldn't have thought so on the U.S Eastern Seaboard with yesterday's snow event). It also heralds an airer attitude now that the first quarter will soon wind down and businesses can stretch their legs. Markets remain volatile (yesterday surely proved so with the DJIA dropping to a 12-year low) and malaise still thickens the commercial landscape.

Things will get worse before they get better we're told but you are reading from an eternal optimist. I do see signs of life both in my garden (the croci have sprouted) and here at work (the CROCI* may be improving as well). Registrations are pouring in for our spring courses. Despite the recession, clients are realizing that corporate training must still go on and does remain the best investment for when we all come out on the other end.

The Oxford Princeton Programme has a lot of good news to share this time of year including the launch of our newest web-based course on European Gas: Security of Supply (Understanding the Russia-Ukraine Gas Conflict) followed by Overview of the Ethanol Market in April. Our worldwide instructor-led course schedule for March onward is full and far-reaching and includes new courses including the course series on Energy Derivatives Pricing, Hedging and Risk Management debuting in Calgary and Houston. All our latest news items can be found on our home page.

Good news begets good news and I do hope you have it coming your way.

* CROCI - Cash Return on Capital Invested

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Two Out of Three Ain't Bad - Meat Loaf (1977)

President Obama's speech last night to the joint session of the houses of Congress had its share of savory nuggets for the likes of us in the Energy Education sector:

"Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

"Now is the time to act boldly and wisely - to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jump-start job creation, re-start lending and invest in areas like energy, healthcare and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down.

"Now we must be that nation again. That is why, even as it cuts back on the programmes we don't need, the budget I submit will invest in the three areas that are absolutely critical to our economic future: energy, healthcare and education.

"It begins with energy.

"We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century.

"Thanks to our recovery plan, we will double this nation's supply of renewable energy in the next three years. We have also made the largest investment in basic research funding in American history - an investment that will spur not only new discoveries in energy, but breakthroughs in medicine, science and technology.

"We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills.

"But to truly transform our economy, protect our security and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest $15bn dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America.

"In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity - it is a pre-requisite."

Did these, or any other nuggets, resonate with you?

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Keep Your Eye on the Money - Motley Crue (1985)

Today's focus is on web-based training as a cost-efficient solution to keep training going in lean times.

These self-paced modules, which on average last two hours, are perfect for new hires who are entering an industry, support functions that require a basic understanding of the business, and even executives who need to brush up on the basics (don't we all need to do so from time to time?).

They are updated periodically to reflect the market. They also offer interactivity including quizzes and a final exam to ensure mastery of material. We rely on real subject matter experts to provide the content and a dedicated in-house team to create an effective course experience.

The Oxford Princeton Programme pioneered this method of instruction within the energy, commodities, and derivatives sectors and continues to build its library including courses that take their cue from today's energy headlines (e.g., European Gas: Security of Supply - Understanding the Russia-Ukraine Gas Conflict) as well as in various languages to meet diverse, global needs.

Check out our titles and let us know what else you would like offered in the future.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Low Budget - Kinks (1979)





These are some of the descriptors preceding the word "budget" for many in this recession.

But if you accept the truth that training remains one of the best investments to be had during a downturn as one is certain to come out the other end with a competitive advantage, then you will want to know which offerings here at The Oxford Princeton Programme fit the bill.

Today's focus is on our onsites or in-house training. As convenient as they are with our expert instructors traveling to your facility, they need not be expensive ventures. We offer many "off the shelf" courses, meaning any of our public instructor-led titles you might be familair with from our global schedule can be brought over without any customization.

There is a misconception that just because you contract to have training come to you, it has to be sliced and diced to fit what is unique to your business situation. Of course, this is what we excel at, but often, we are able to save our clients money by recommending solutions that are already pre-packaged and can get the job done just as effectively.

Some clients will look to bring team members from disparate plants or offices across the country or around the world to meet at say, headquarters, and use part of the time to educate folks who normally would otherwise not be able to do so. Perhaps you've been wanting to offer training to clients or stakeholders?

Allow us to show you The Oxford Princeton Programme In-House Advantage today.

Lonely Grain of Corn – Uncle Bonsai (1984)

Ethanol as an alternative automotive fuel made from grain and corn, and usually blended with gasoline to form gasohol, has had a bumpy road over the past couple of years. It has had to be mandated to gain market share as the economics were not attractive to investors and barriers to entry were supposedly low.

But things maybe looking up as BP and Verenium form cellulosic ethanol venture (The Boston Globe) which expects to break ground in Florida next year on a 36 million gallon-per year facility worth up to $300 million.

Perhaps the recently signed stimulus package will indeed serve as the jumpstart the sector requires. What do you think?

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Oil Well Blues – Blind Lemon Jefferson (1929)

American Idol Season 8 announced the first three of 12 finalists last night and one of them is as far as I can tell, the first energy industry contestant to make it this far. Michael Sarver from Jasper, TX, a roughneck on an oil rig, sang to Gavin McGraw’s "I Don’t Wanna Be" on Tuesday night and was voted through by the public (thanks, perhaps, to some, er, rigging, by Simon Cowell to get America to vote for Sarver).

I still need to dig further as to which specific energy enterprise owns the oil rig Sarver works on. Maybe you know and would like to share.

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Power to the People – John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band (1971)

So the $787 billion stimulus bill that the U.S. Congress passed and President Obama signed into law yesterday has several energy initiatives that favor energy efficiency and renewable energy resources. Read on further (from The New York Times) what these actually are:

Article from NYT – Sat, Feb 14th – The Bill Smiles on Power Programs

Keep the Dream Alive – Oasis (2005)

The following commentary is from Friday’s business section of The New York Times. It comes down to how far can industry players really push oil’s price up against the tide of today’s economic forces?

OPEC’s Pipe Dreams

OPEC is doing all it can to talk the price of oil back up to what it calls a "reasonable" $75 a barrel. Some analysts even expect oil prices to hit that level by the end of the year. But the idea that this would be a return to normality makes little sense.

Oil traded below $35 pretty consistently for decades up to 2004. Tony Hayward, chief executive of the oil company BP, said at a recent conference that he remembered when $40 felt like a "fantastic" price.

Why Mr. Hayward’s superlative? Because not long ago $40 was comfortably above the long-term equilibrium price at which supply theoretically cleared demand. In the late 1990s, oil companies traded on valuations that assumed a long-term oil price around $15 a barrel. And in the first two years of the new millennium, analysts estimated a long-term oil price around $20 a barrel. That had risen to $25 in 2004.

There are good reasons to suppose that the comparable figure is now higher — perhaps about $40, about $6 above its closing price on Thursday. First, the oil price should rise at the rate of global inflation, all other things being equal. Assume it was $15 in 1995. Then today it should be $21.

But production costs have risen too. Producers increasingly have to drill in tricky locations like deep water or tar sands. In the latter, the cost is about $38 a barrel, according to estimates by Royal Dutch Shell. Transportation and refining costs have also increased.

So for oil producers, $40 is no longer a fantastic price. OPEC members have real problems balancing their budgets at that level. The likes of Shell, meanwhile, have big capital expenditure plans predicated on higher prices.

But wishful thinking cannot underpin the oil price. On the fundamentals, there is little to justify the notion that its long-run equilibrium has risen by $50 in only five years.


Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Tweety Pie - Mel Blanc (1958)

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