As Marx points out the two major contributions of Capitalism to the development of Socialism is the centralization of capital which demands efficiencies of planning.
In other words capitalism creates the need for a planned economy, or economic planning to maximize profits. Thus the preconditions for a socialist economy are born in the breast of capitalism as it evolves.
After years of cowboy drilling and production the Oil and Gas industry are now using centralized planning. Canadian Natural Resources CNRL, has dropped the use of contracting out of its operations, and has seen savings from cost over-runs that companies like Bechtel, KBR, Fluor, Halliburton rely on for making profits. Instead of using these companies CNRL is doing all its oil sands construction and operations in house.
Another company that is using planning, Encana still contracts out its construction and drilling operations. However it does so under direct oversight of the corporation. The contractors work according to a plan Encana has created to maximize its profits.
Welcome to the new planned economy that Thorsten Veblen wrote about a hundred years ago, and Technocracy has adovcated ever since.
Big Don' needs light touch with next-generation rig
Veteran gas industry workers say they've never seen anything resemble the speed and efficiency that EnCana is bringing to bear at its Cutbank Ridge property near Dawson Creek, close to the Alberta border.
The Cutbank Ridge project is being carried out almost entirely by independent companies working under contract to EnCana.
The contractors outnumber EnCana employees 35 to one in the field, but it is Encana's vision of managing gas development that keeps the whole thing running at peak efficiency.
There are crews running the drill, crews delivering sections of pipe, lubricating fluids, water and concrete in support of drilling operations, crews opening up roads and clearing the next drill sites in the exploration sequence, crews hauling equipment from site to site. A few kilometres away, 250 contractors are swarming each day over a former forestry cut block where a new $50-million gas processing plant is nearing completion to handle all the new gas that will come as Cutbank Ridge proceeds to full production.
Chuck Keown, a construction superintendent for Core Pipelines, started in the industry at 18 and now, 20 years later, says he's seeing something unprecedented.
"The way they have set things up, I've never seen it like this, to be honest with you," Keown says. Nobody has to wait for a truck to arrive or is idled by some overlooked logistical detail.
"There is no area where things lag, right through to production. To do things in sequence like that is an amazing thing to see -- organization is an art," Keown adds.
Find blog posts, photos, events and more off-site about:
oil, gas, natural-gas, drilling, Canada, B.C., Marx, planned-economy, planning, Encana, CNRL, Bechtel, Halliburton, KBR, drilling-rigs, Dawson-creek, Alberta,