Last month, one of the biggest stories for the UK North Sea was botched.
I have long warned that China's so-called national oil companies - China National Offshore Oil Corporation, China National Petroleum Corporation and Sinopec - are scouring the globe, seeking access to high-quality oil andgas resources pretty much anywhere.
Any North Sea hydro-carbons seep has the potential to be extremely dangerous - in the case of the leaking well at Total's hugely important Elgin-Franklin, an explosion could prove devastating.
Turn on the box or radio and, just now, you will find it hard to escape reportage on the environment, especially last month's UN conference on climate change in New York. This event is basically the precursor to the Copenhagen summit at the end of the year and already the heavyweights are sparring, with both China and India stealing a march on the gas-guzzling US.
Offshore Europe traditionally attracts a huge influx of overseas visitors to Aberdeen, many of them organised into national and regional delegations.
As I talk to more and more people, the reality is beginning to sink in that a full-blown recession is upon us and highly likely to add to the indigestion we are expecting to impose upon our bodies as we enjoy the excesses of Christmas.