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Oil firms boost spending on personnel

San Jose Mercury News: Oil firms boost spending on personnel

27 May 2005

Major oil companies including San Ramon-based Chevron Corp. (CVX), BP Plc and Royal Dutch/Shell Group are spending more than ever for workers and equipment as surging energy consumption increases demand for geologists, drilling rigs and pipe.

Finding and pumping a barrel of oil — including labor, equipment and seismic testing — cost a record $17.12 last year, up 43 percent from a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg show. One example: A rig that can drill in mile-deep water averaged $183,217 a day in the first quarter, up from $127,990 the year before, according to Houston consultant ODS-Petrodata.

The expense has helped push petroleum prices higher through 2011, the furthest out that contracts for future deliveries trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange. While prices have fallen 13 percent from their all-time high, trading at $50.90 a barrel at 10:05 a.m. Thursday, oil futures prices for the next five years are more than double the 1990s average of $19.69.

Financing

San Leandro-based Con-Cise Contact Lens Co., a contact lens distributor, has drawn funding from Riordan, Lewis & Haden, a private equity firm based in Southern California. In addition to distributing soft contact lenses, Con-Cise manufactures rigid gas permeable lenses and owns Primary Eyecare Network, a company that works with independent optometrists.

Directors

Richmond-based Sangamo BioSciences Inc. (SGMO) appointed Steven J. Mento of Idun Pharmaceuticals to its board of directors.

Compiled by Dan Laidman from staff and company reports, the Associated Press and Bloomberg News. A new column is posted weekdays at the Business site on www.contracostatimes.com at 12:30 p.m. Got East Bay business news? Reach Laidman at 925-943-8263 or at [email protected].

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