The Desert Sun Podcast #009

Another solo podcast in which I talk about two rather separate topics:

1. The startup of Total’s Egina field in Nigeria, and what it means for the future of international oil companies.

2. Sexual promiscuity, triggered by this Twitter thread.

You can listen to it on iTunes here, Player FM here, download it here, or listen on the blog by clicking the link below:

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11 thoughts on “The Desert Sun Podcast #009

  1. “Some people think that if you just scream at nature enough it will change for you.”

    Heh. Shitlord spotted. I think I’ll be using that line.

    “There is nothing wrong with being a cuck.”

    Won’t be using that.

    “A man who is secure in himself is a man who lets his woman do as she pleases and he does the same.”

    Or that.

  2. I think you’re overplaying the equality argument regarding promiscuity as people age – yes I’m sure there is a coming together from the extremes of the teens and early 20s, but I would suggest that in hard numbers a man in later life will still be viewed better by women for X previous partners than a woman would be by men for the same number, assuming a similar quality of partners on both sides.

    There is also the ‘settling down’ concept, that seems to apply more to men than women. There’s a common idea that men sow their wild oats (even in large amounts), then settle down to a committed relationship at some point in their lives, that even the serial shaggers eventually tire of it and seek domestic bliss. And women seem to accept this idea, and often hope to be the one who makes a serial shagger (who obviously has something going for him to attract so many women in the first place) settle down, with her. An aim that probably has pretty low success rate……but that doesn’t stop women trying.

    Whereas I don’t see the same view from men – I doubt there’s many men hoping to take a highly promiscuous woman and be the one to ‘tame’ her. Ride the promiscuity train for as long as he can maybe, but not looking for it to be a long term thing. As my friend (who certainly was a serial shagger before he settled down) used to say ‘She’s all right for an accident but you wouldn’t want it to be terminal’.

  3. I would suggest that in hard numbers a man in later life will still be viewed better by women for X previous partners than a woman would be by men for the same number, assuming a similar quality of partners on both sides.

    That’s true, but I don’t think the difference is that great any more.

    An aim that probably has pretty low success rate……but that doesn’t stop women trying.

    That’s my point. Some women are daft enough to try to tame a serial shagger, but sensible women wait for the chap to show some sort of self-control before committing to him. In other words, being overly promiscuous comes with a cost for both men and women over a certain age. True the cost is heavier for women, but it’s not cost-free for men.

  4. I presume the evolutionary rationale for men is that a promiscuous woman is more likely to cheat and thus stymie their man’s chances of reproducing.

    “A man who is secure in himself is a man who lets his woman do as she pleases and he does the same.”

    That doesn’t really sound like a healthy partnership to me. I mean, I have exactly that relationship with Uma Thurman, and we’ve never even met.

  5. “I presume the evolutionary rationale for men is that a promiscuous woman is more likely to cheat and thus stymie their man’s chances of reproducing.”

    Thats a very good point. A man can never be sure the kid born to his partner is his (in evolutionary terms, if not modern DNA testing) so needs to increase the odds his DNA will get passed on by choosing a woman who has shown that she doesn’t put it about.

    Whereas a woman can be sure that her baby is hers, even if the father may be one of several candidates. Thus there is less evolutionary pressure not to sleep with an obviously promiscuous man. The main factor will be power, prestige and access to resources. The ability of the man to protect and provide for her and her offspring will be the vital criteria, not whether he’s got hundreds of notches on his bedpost previously.

  6. On engineering and foreign parts – has there been an improvement in the tools that make the taks easier, or at leasst less prone to mistakes and easier to supervise, leading to deskilling?

    Something similar happened in the mobile industry. In the early days of GSM radio planning was quite difficult. Operators recruited degree level people to carry out the task – deciding how and where sites should be built. The early radio prediction tools were quite cluncky and inaccurate, which meant a lot of judgement was required as well as analysing raw data from drive tests.

    After UK launched some of the first networks lot of those planners were in high demand around the world and they commanded day rates in the order of £800+ plus expenses.

    Computing power improved as did the accuracy of planning tools, based on lots of real world data. This deskilling and a push to outsource design and build to the manufacturers quickly pushed down rates. Furthermore, 2nd and 3rd world countries had clauses in licences that operators had to employ a large percentage of locals.

    The job of radio planning quickly became nothing more than handle turning and rates dropped to £350 per day and for that you had to be one of the better ones. There was still money to be made, but that was much higher up the value chain.

  7. Yup, it seems countries slowly develop their own technical expertise, then the ability to run projects, then the ability to secure their own funding. All that’s left for outsiders is a handful of niche roles.

  8. Technology transfer is quite easy now. Send your brightes and best to universities in the west and within a generation you’ve got the start of indigenisation.

  9. Interesting views on the future of the IOC’s.

    I am much further down the supply chain, working for a contractor or probably more often as a subcontractor to an EPC contractor in oil and gas construction.
    In my 13 years in the Middle East I have certainly noticed a significant change in the make up of out client teams. When I arrived in 2006 we had probably 20-30 western expats in our yards per project with an equal number of Indians & Filipinos. Nowadays, you will be lucky to see 2 or 3.
    What I have wittnessed is a lot more very competent, very well qualified guys from Lebanon, Tunisia, Egypt etc who are willing to work a lot harder for a lot less money.
    The general perception i’ve always had of IOC’s anyway is that they were vastly over staffed and you could probably sack half the office staff without any drop in productivity (perhaps best exemplified by our host filling his working days blogging). 🙂

    I always fancied going to work for an operator for the last 10 years or so of my career for an easier life and better work / life balance. Perhaps I should start thinking about alternatives.

  10. (perhaps best exemplified by our host filling his working days blogging)

    Oi! I resemble that remark!

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