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.