But regardless of budget concerns, fracking has never had
a chance to take off in places
like France, Bulgaria, the Czech
Republic, the United Kingdom
and the Netherlands, which have
enacted nationwide or regional
moratoriums on the practice.
“It will take quite a while to see wide-scale fracking globally,” says Leo Mariani, senior analyst, RBC
Capital Markets, Austin, Texas, USA.
The fracking forecast isn’t entirely gloomy, however. Argentina has some of the biggest shale
reserves in the world and project costs there tend
be relatively low. YPF, a leading sponsor of Argentine shale projects, says it has cut its project budget
for a typical well there from more than US$11 million in 2011 to below US$7 million in 2015—just a
few million dollars more than the cost of a U.S. well.
The country’s reserves are also considered some of the world’s best when it comes to quality.
“The biggest story outside of the United States, China and Canada is definitely Argentina,” Mr.
While there’s “cautious optimism” for Argentine fracking projects, Mr. Bailey says, teams still
must get past significant obstacles, such as restrictive economic policies and inadequate infrastructure.
But once oil prices tick back up, Mr. Mariani says, the global outlook for fracking projects will
brighten. “There’s a financial squeeze right now that’s exclusively due to low commodity prices,
but I don’t think it has anything to do with the long-term viability of fracking technology,” he
says. —Novid Parsi
When a candidate for a project manager position at Chipotle arrived at the restaurant chain’s Den-
ver, Colorado, USA office for an interview, she discovered that other candidates had been called in
at the same time. “The interview process was a bit like speed dating,” she told the career site Glass-
door. “Managers moved from room to room, spending five minutes with every applicant.”
Chipotle grabbed global headlines in September while executing a massive hiring project:
build and launch a dedicated talent site for prospective applicants, deploy targeted marketing
materials and then coordinate on-site interviews at 1,700 locations across the United States. The
objective: hire 4,000 new employees in one day.
That’s a particularly striking goal considering that the average interview process globally took
about 23 days in 2014, according to a Glassdoor Economic Research report (see sidebar on next
page). But in an increasingly fluid and fast-paced labor market, organizations across a variety
of sectors are trying to acquire the right talent faster by speeding up the hiring process. For
some companies, that means skipping traditional hiring underpinnings, like reference checks
Wearable technology is going way
After completing a two-year
product development project with
technology company OmSignal,
Ralph Lauren in August introduced
its men’s Polo Tech smart shirt.
It features silver fibers that can
record a wearer’s heart rate, steps
taken, calories burned and other
data. The US$295 Bluetooth-enabled shirt streams data to an
iPhone app, which can be used to
“Being first to market had a lot
of complexities,” David Lauren,
a Ralph Lauren executive, told
Women’s Wear Daily.
To understand and master those
complexities, the organization took
an iterative approach. It unveiled
an early prototype at the 2014 U.S.
Open, where ball boys wore the
shirt. The project team then spent
another year refining product
features and creating the app.
Other U.S. companies have also
launched projects to compete
in the athletic tech clothing
space. Athos, a California-based
startup, makes sensor-filled smart
workout leggings, while Sensoria
has developed socks that use
conductive fibers and magnetic
attachments to track a
A fracking well in Loma Campana,
The project budget for a
typical well in Argentina
has been cut from more
than US$11 million
in 2011 to below
million in 2015.
Source: YPF, a leading sponsor of Argentine shale projects