August 2016

Columns

Publisher's letter: The transition into a new era

These are unprecedented times in the oil and gas industry.

Watkins, C., Gulf Publishing Company

Dear Reader,

These are unprecedented times in the oil and gas industry. New technologies have produced gluts of both oil and natural gas, which have provided cheap feedstocks for the downstream processing industries. The cyclical nature of the oil and gas business has had vastly different effects on each region. To oil-exporting nations, reduced oil prices equate to low government revenues. In turn, little money is available to fund social, industrial or infrastructure projects. To other nations, low oil and natural gas prices have been a boon to the processing industries. They have seen a boost in the construction of additional downstream processing capacity, as well as cheap fuel prices for consumers, which spur consumption.

As with all cyclical industries, sometimes change is a necessity to ensure the strength and viability of an organization. Change allows a business to build on its strengths and evolve into an even more exceptional enterprise. Hydrocarbon Processing is undertaking such a transition. As of August 1, I have assumed the role of Publisher for two of Gulf Publishing Company’s exceptional brands, Hydrocarbon Processing and Gas Processing.

Most of my life has been spent in and around the oil and gas industry. I was born in Chicago, but was largely raised in the oil patches of Iran, the UAE and Texas. As a result of my upbringing, I was familiar with drill collars and Christmas trees (assemblies on surface and subsea wells) before I had heard of Barbie dolls. For the past 20 years, I have represented Gulf Publishing Company’s Hydrocarbon Processing, World Oil and Gas Processing publications in France, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and the Middle East/North Africa regions. My contributions included display and digital advertising sales, organizing industry forecast presentations and event participation, and conducting marketing seminars for clients.

During this time, I have found no other publication as highly regarded in the downstream industry as Hydrocarbon Processing. This is not arrogance or by accident; it is based on audited circulation numbers and years of industry professionals’ testimonials. Hydrocarbon Processing reached this position by applying the highest levels of editorial integrity. It is proof that, although consumer and industry publications are largely giving up on editorial standards, our industry still values and needs a trusted source of information.

As we look into the future of our industry and publications, technical content is king. This will never change. We will continue to bring our readers the highest-quality technical and operating articles in the industry. It is what we have been doing since 1922, and will continue to do now and into the future. What has, is and will continue to change is how that information is disseminated. Hydrocarbon Processing wants to engage and listen to the industry to provide editorial and data content in the most useful medium and format possible. We have already begun this change with the unveiling of the new Hydrocarbon Processing website—but it does not stop there. Hydrocarbon Processing is exploring ideas such as podcasts, data products and innovative mobile apps.

I want to thank you for your devotion to Hydrocarbon Processing. It is gratifying to hear how our publication, website and newsletters provide interesting and, more importantly, sound technical content to make your work and our industry a better place. I also want to thank all of the advertisers who support this publication. Please share your comments, ideas and news with us; we highly value your feedback. It is a dynamic time in the downstream industry, and I can guarantee that Hydrocarbon Processing will continue to be at the forefront of technology, trends and data intelligence.

Catherine Watkins
Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing and Gas Processing

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