Yes, I know oil is low and "Oh, Woe is Me!" is on everyone's mind, but let's assume the prices are going to rebound at some point before we begin to drive using wind powered energy.
Let's think along the lines of how to make the TMS more of a success when the opportunity presents itself.
What do we need to move this play forward?
We Need Infrastructure!
The TMS cannot succeed without more infrastructure!
But....what the heck is infrastructure?
Hmmm...let me begin the discussion and those of you who know more on the subject chime in.
First, for any industry any where to succeed, it must have products and services.
You simply can't gear up to do it all yourself.
So the operating companies want to pick up a telephone and call someone and get things done...at a reasonable price. This sound simple enough, but when you are locating your rigs in the middle of nowhere in a rural county, it isn't quite that simple.
I was at a rig a few months ago during the middle of the summer. One of the offices on site had an air conditioner that stopped working. So, someone picked up the phone and called a repairman who was on site repairing the air conditioner. I was surprised. The dude came from Texas...500 miles away...to repair an air conditioner! (Don't you know there was a $1,000 charge just for the drive!)
This is probably a poor example. We DO have plenty of folks within a short driving distance who could have repaired the air conditioner. But, the local air conditioner folks haven't filled out the paperwork to get set up to do the work. AND, a lot of them are busy enough without the work (or the hassle regarding paperwork and lengthy time payments from oil companies, to be honest).
But, you get the point, I hope. Services....of all kinds...are needed by the oil operating companies.
Someone told me that he visited a site while fracking was going on and identified 12 separate job functions occurring. I don't doubt it and there were likely double or triple that number of service and product companies involved at the same time.
Specific products and services are especially needed. I've mentioned one of the biggest needs here in the TMS several times.
The biggest is frack sand.
Its local availability and affordability is, frankly, crucial to the success of the play.
But, providers of various fluids and gels and pipes and tanks and parts and etc....are also important.
Another big infrastructure need is transportation and facilities for supplies, products AND sales...meaning roadways and pipelines and related laydown yards and tanks and terminals.
We're not without the ability to transport oil from here. We have been producing oil in Southwest Mississippi commercially for over 60 years, after all.
The TMS is a much larger animal than what we're used to, though. For example, the Liberty terminal has 100,000 barrels per day of excess capacity. Today that sounds wonderful and it is. But, if the TMS takes off that won't be nearly enough. Moreover, this pipeline goes to the Midwest. Bigger markets lie elsewhere.
And, we need pipelines headed to more than just one place just to get the best price.
I'm aware of companies beginning to get lined up to take care of some of these needs.
And, I may be providing a little information on some of these events in the not too distant future.
In the meantime, I encourage local companies and folks to begin to cogitate on how they can better serve the operating companies in the TMS. I know many have done so. I've seen several local companies seize the opportunity to expand and profit from what is happening here.
I've also seen companies from outside the area to place at least a presence here. This is a good thing.
What else is needed?
Well, governments also need to get geared up. The water district is one way the area is trying to get better prepared for the TMS, for example. And other ways are also being contemplated.
And, better communications are needed, too...more cell towers anyone?
Yep...we need to keep getting ready. An opportunity to rejuvenate and fully develop the TMS is gonna come at some point, folks. We need to continue to get prepared.
So, while the price of oil is down and things are in a state of flux, now is the time to study the situation and plan for what could be a long lasting industry for the area.
Investigate...cogitate...motivate yourselves to look beyond today...envision what could be and make it so.
Let's get us some of that infrastructure, folks!