CALGARY, Alberta – Making money in oil and gas is a complicated mix of illusion and creative mathematics.  Sophisticated engineering software and various other technical tools are purpose-built to do exactly that.  These tools help engineers and technologists execute detailed analysis of production and economic data in an effort clarify the murky depths of the data, all to assist in the decisions that turn the oil and gas industry round and round.

But for Phillipp Rigphoom, a reservoir development engineer with Goodcock Petroleum, the software eventually led to his marital demise. Although Phillipp had nothing but great intentions when he used Value Navigator to help plan his wedding, things turned out to be a disaster, much to the chagrin of his fiancé and to the shame of his family and friends.

Phillipp Rigphoom

“I use Value Navigator every day at the job, and I like the way that it keeps my entities organized, costs in order, and helps me forecast the value on projects. So I figured this would be a perfect tool to help plan my wedding – I thought it was a no brainer, but I had no idea that my fiancé would be this upset with me.” – Phillipp Rigphoom

According to reports from his colleagues, Mr. Rigphoom created entities in Value Nagivator for each of the cost centers that he had compiled for his wedding, including flowers, venue, and catering. He had built in sensitivities based on his family and friends’ societal class and what their expectations might be for a good time.

He had meticulously calculated the before tax NPV for each entity on 10%, 20%, 30%, and 40% discount rates. “You know, I figured I had all of the bases covered with sensitivities on pretty much every variable in the program, including Chance of Success, I couldn’t see how things could possibly go wrong,” Phillipp continued.

Well, things went wrong. Horribly wrong. As it turns out, Mr. Rigphoom forgot to take his wife’s family into account in his Val Nav project. Mr. Rigphoom’s family is as back country, redneck, hoedown as they come, and they take pride in having the largest double-wide trailer in Provost, Alberta. His wife’s side of the family, on the other hand, is a high-class group whose matriarch is the heiress to the popular Rockin’ Robin chain of donut stores that are scattered Western Canada. The oversight of not including data for his wife’s family skewed the results significantly, and subsequently the outputs led him astray.

Mary Upwigsley, upset Fiance

“I can’t believe that asshole. I was furious when I learned that he had relied on an engineering program at work to plan our entire wedding. When he said he was going to consult Maggie, I thought she was the wedding planner he had chosen, but that was the name that he gave his stupid Val Nav project. His friends told me that he had charts, tables, plots, and even something that calculated some percentile of us reproducing within 2 years that his idiot friends helped him with. It was some plot of liquor versus sex or something like that. I hate him. I HATE HIM! What was I thinking when I decided to marry an engineer??!!” I only have myself to blame.

At press time the latest update from legal council on both sides was that Mr. Rigphoom had proposed the couple run another ValNav simulation prior to ending the common law relationship.  The purpose of the simulation would be to see if the before tax NPV 10 was better now, or if they could wait a few years for a better economic result for the split.


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