Got 95% of my work done about 5 minutes before hopping in the car to LAX.
randomuser and I arrive in Curaçao around 2pm local time tomorrow. Then we get to mix a work a play for 10 solid days under the hot, humid Caribbean sun.
Interesting factoids that might earn you a correct question on Jeopardy one day:
- In 1915, Shell decided to establish an oil refinery. The installation became operational three years later. There were a number of geographic and political advantages to establishing a refinery on an island off the Venezuelan coast: the predicted market growth in the US, the politically troubled Mexican oil production and the expected increase of traffic through the Panama Canal. A natural deepwater harbour and a stable political climate made Curaçao the obvious choice. Shell has been the largest employer on the island since 1918. Of the 44,344 inhabitants in 1929, 10,924 worked for the oil industry. This number peaked in 1952, with 12,631 employees. The refinery was an important source of fuel for allied forces in the World War II. Economically, the refinery has been the mainstay of Curaçao since 1915: it generates currency necessary for vital imports and is thus crucial to the future economic development of the island. The refinery’s success is also its weak point. If this sector is threatened, the consequences for Curaçao would be immediate and significant.
In the early years, both Shell and Exxon held drilling concessions in Venezuela, which ensured a constant supply of crude oil to the refineries in Aruba and Curaçao. Crude oil production in Venezuela was inexpensive. The integrated companies Shell and Exxon controlled the entire industry from pumping, transporting and refining to marketing the end product. The refineries on Aruba and Curaçao operated in global markets and were profitable partly because the of margin between the production costs of crude oil and the revenues realized on products. This provided a safety net for losses incurred through inefficiency or excessive operating costs at the refineries. The nationalization of the oil industry in Venezuela in 1975 was a setback. The companies had to buy oil on the international markets at higher prices. As the Shell refinery on Curaçao was best equipped to process the Venezuelan heavy crude, the company was subject to Venezuelan oil politics when it came to price and supply. Coupled with high operating costs, these difficulties were the reasons the refinery on Curaçao continually operated at a loss
- In 2004, the Little League Baseball team from Willemstad, Curaçao, won the world title in a game against the United States champion from Thousand Oaks, California. The Willemstad lineup included Jurickson Profar, the standout shortstop prospect who now plays for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball.