Point of View: California veteran cites challenges for independents

Two large, flapping signs outside Holmes Western Oil Corp.'s Taft, Calif., office proclaim: NOW HIRING.The signs reveal a shortage of oil-field workers, just one of many challenges California independent producers face today, even with revenues fortified by high oil prices.Veteran California independent oil producer Fred Holmes, president of Holmes Western, says that despite strong oil prices, these are challenging times for California independents. Like mom-and-pop grocers, he says, traditional mom-and-pop oil producers are becoming extinct. To survive, small and medium-sized independents need to be excellent operators—professional, resourceful, and modern.Holmes is in a positi...

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