Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Pause For A Cause


Tuscaloosa Trenders,
This blog commenced in March 2011 for the purpose of bringing attention to oil and gas activity across Central LA with a specific focus on the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale (TMS) and the Austin Chalk plays.  Fourteen months, 255 posts, and 328,480 page views later, the TMS appears to be gaining significant momentum.  I have a feeling that the hard work has just begun.

The blog is a "pro bono" effort and I consider it my personal contribution to the cause.  While some have stated that I gain from it, my project partners believe that I've attracted competition to our efforts.  My belief is that for a shale play to succeed, you need several large, well capitalized, experienced players.  We might have just hit that critical mass.

My intention or goal has never been to make this a commercial effort.  In exchange for the information and value provided, I have asked for those who utilize the information, to make a donation to our favorite charity, Emmaus House.  The donations have been extremely underwhelming to say the least. 

Emmaus House was founded in the late 60's by the late Father David Kirk.  The non-profit organization has served the needy of Harlem for over 45 years.  Emmaus serves 2200 meals per month and also distributes clothing.  The needs have increased 100% over the past six months.  Father David was my uncle and I currently serve on the board of directors.  My main focus is fundraising. Emmaus is staffed 100% by volunteers.  Your donation will serve the needy directly.  Your donation is in good hands.

The blog is going to go on "hiatus" while we are inspired by this fundraiser.  This might resemble one of those Ron Paul "money bombs" where they raise millions of dollars in a day.

The blog appears to have served many well:
I receive numerous emails from many of you per week.  Many state that the blog is the first read in the morning while sipping coffee.  I estimate that over 2 million acres have been leased.  If you assume that average lease was for $190/acre that totals $380 million of income across the play.
Landowners, now's your time to impress us with your generosity.

Oil Companies
As you might expect, this group is very active on our websites.  The predicted players, Encana, Devon, Anadarko, Indigo, EOG, Goodrich, and Sanchez are very active.  Other frequent visitors include Conoco, Chevron, Chesapeake, Stone, and Petroquest.  Historically, oil companies have paid well for scout services.  Why not contribute a tax deductible donation instead?  Caruthers Producing gets it. They kindly donated $2000.  Very impressive for a small producer.

Service Companies
Many service company reps have stated that the Scout Report is their main tool for pursuing leads for business in the play.  This appears to be an invaluable service.  The "big boys" are very active on our websites....Schlumberger and Haliburton.  Numerous small service vendors have called me several times.  Williams (midstream) has followed the play on our websites for a long time.

The money folks are very active on the site.  They appear to be the most active group of late.  This seems to endorse the fact that the play is becoming noticable in the public market.  Pritchard, EnCap, Jefferies, and Stifel visit very often.

The landmen are probably the most active group.  Our Play Boundary Map has received the most attention with 10,230 views:
Those running the land crews have done well the past 18 months.  This is your chance to contribute to the cause.

I've visited with many from the media over the past fifteen months and typically respond quickly to meet your publishing deadlines.  Now's your chance to contribute back.

I look forward to you inspiring me to post very soon about the recent completions!!

Donate Online (An anonymous option is available):
(In the Dedication or Gift box, enter “Kirk’s Challenge”)

Donate By Mail:
Emmaus House, Inc.
PO Box 1177
New York, NY 10035

Emmaus House, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity making your gift tax deductible.

Fundraiser Update:
-Total pageviews: 346,517
-Page views per day: 2201
-Donations since 5/22/12: 45
Where are the landowners? The service companies? The landmen that printed out the play map 10,000 times?  Those equity firms that keep writing reports with all of those great facts?

The Tuscaloosa Trend "Wall of Fame"
I've added all donors since the campaign began last December.  Thank you to everyone for your generosity.  You obviously "get it".
Note our foundational member, "G.M.", who donated $10,000 after a nice minerals sale.


  1. Thanks Kirk,

    I had wondered when this would happen.Your disseminating of what could be considered privileged information by some in the industry was bound to end. I personally thank you for the information in the past that you have provided.

    I think that the "hand writing" that I see on the wall is: The Plays in this area are about to take off and the industry does not want this much information this readily available. Hope everything is going well with you.

    Thanks again. At some point in the future I will be a contributor to Emmaus House.

  2. Thank you, Kirk. I was one of the very first visitors to your site. Your information has helped me, friends, and family to make informed decisions as TMS land owners. I appreciate the time and effort you have put into this great source of information.

    I have just made a contribution to Emmaus House. They are a great organization. We used to visit NYC frequently. My father-in-law pitched for the NY Yankees for 12 years. I believe I first heard of Emmaus House through the Yankee organization.

    Thank you again for all of your hard work.

    All the best!

    Arie Byrne

  3. Arie,
    Thank you! My father was a huge Yankees fan back in the Dimagio/Gehrig era.

  4. Your project partners need to lighten up. They can't keep this genie in a bottle, forever. The information is already on the internets!