Energy Workforce & Technology Council wrapped up its 2023 Annual Meeting after a week of executives from all sectors of the oil and gas industry discussing how the service industry has answered the call to produce more energy while navigating through geopolitical, market and workforce challenges.
The Annual Meeting, held in Austin, highlighted the theme Answering the Call: Delivering Through Headwinds. Keynote speakers Eric Traupe and Bob Anderson, Jr. offered an in-depth look at geopolitics and cyber threats, while panels focused on an onshore operators outlook for coming years, recruitment and retraining the workforce, the availability of capital, mergers and acquisitions, sustainability and focusing on lowering emissions while recognizing that oil and gas will be needed for decades to come.
CHAMPION OF THE OILFIELD AWARD: GOV. GREG ABBOTT
Texas Governor Greg Abbott was awarded 2023 Champion of the Oilfield for his outstanding dedication to supporting the energy technology services sector. Texas is the top oil and natural gas producing state in the nation. In 2021, Texas accounted for 43% of the nation’s crude oil production and 25% of its marketed natural gas production. If Texas were a country, it would be the fourth largest oil-producing country in the world.
“Ever since Spindletop first blew, Texas has been supplying the world with the energy they need to fuel their cars, power their homes, and energize the innovation that changes the world. The hardworking men and women of the Texas energy industry and the people in this room today are the very lifeblood of our economy. As the legislature meets in Austin this session, we are ensuring Texas continues to defend this critical industry and protect the hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs it creates for Texans. Thank you to the Energy Workforce & Technology Council for this prestigious award. As long as I am your Governor, you will always have a champion in the oilfield.”Gov. Greg Abbott
INCOMING CHAIRS ADDRESS
Participants were welcomed to the meeting by incoming Board Chairs Brian Groody, Vice President – OFS North America, Baker Hughes, and Daniel Hindes, Vice President – Well Servicing, ClearWell Dynamics.
The new leaders for the Board of Directors discussed their vision for the next year, and the future of the sector.
“Our Member Companies are positioned to build on the many new, innovative technologies being developed by this sector. Oil and gas is our bread and butter, and we will continue to focus on our core industry, but as we continue to expand energy resources, it is an exciting time to be in this sector. We will revolutionize the industry through the 21st century much like our founders did in the 20th century.”Brian Groody, Vice President – OFS North America, Baker Hughes
“Together, through this Association and with your engagement, we are strengthening our companies and elevating the sector. We are also cooperatively addressing critical issues our industry is facing and managing the ever-changing energy landscape. Our sector is home to a never-ending quest for continuous improvement through innovation. ”Daniel Hindes, Vice President – Well Servicing, ClearWell Dynamics
KEYNOTE: ERIC TRAUPE, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE LEADER & FORMER CIA ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Following the welcoming remarks, Eric Traupe, a national intelligence leader and former CIA Assistant Director, provided a keynote address outlining the geopolitical landscape facing the industry and our nation as a whole.
“You can’t start a conversation about geopolitics without first jumping headlong into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”Eric Traupe, Former CIA Assistant Director
“This is probably one of this generation’s most significant and far-reaching geopolitical events. Completely caused a destabilization of Europe security. Russia would prefer the United States not be at the top of the heap. It would prefer to have several people all vying for that top role, China being one of them.”
CAPITAL MARKETS PANEL
After being provided a current geopolitical landscape, James West, Senior Managing Director, Evercore ISI moderated the Capital Markets panel, with panelists Salvador Pareja, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; Jonathan Regan, Partner, Quantum Energy Partners; and Mike Scott, Managing Partner, Pelican Energy Partners.
The panel discussed the availability of capital, the current merger and acquisition landscape, how companies are responding to regulators prioritization of ESG considerations and how oil and gas companies are investing in and deploying clean energy technologies.
“Oilfield services and E&Ps are some of the cheapest cash flows you can buy today in energy. The oilfield service industry will be around for the long term and that’s why I think it’s actually a very good buying opportunity.”Mike Scott, Pelican Energy Partners
Jonathan Regan added, “I think its really a bifurcated market. The best case that I can see is really driven by the dynamic and settlements on access to capital. Companies need to find a way to produce a return during the whole period, meaning you need to turn the business into a cash flow producing asset.”
FIRESIDE CHAT: HANS SCHROEDER, NFL MEDIA
Wednesday’s session wrapped with a fireside chat facilitated by Groody and Hans Schroeder, EVP & Chief Operating Officer, NFL Media.
The two discussed the similarities between the NFL and the energy services sector and the business of the NFL.
“The NFL is somewhat like a trade association with the NFL as the thirty-third club, with 32 different owners that really own and manage the league. We are also an operations business with all the revenues and income that we generate at the league level gets passed through to the 32 different clubs. We are also in some ways a public trust.”Hans Schroeder, NFL Media
He also touched on expanding the audience and reaching new and growing demographics,
“We have 20 million people playing flag football around the world in more than 80 countries. We returned to playing in Europe, we played in Germany last year. We are also growing our Hispanic audience, that’s where a lot of growth is and it led us to having the Superbowl being aired on the domestic US Spanish broadcaster. We also have more and more women taking all different leadership jobs across the League.”
INDUSTRY SERVICE AWARDS
The Awards Breakfast kicked off with welcoming remarks by Austin Harbour, Managing Director, Piper Sandler, where he gave a brief overview of the state of the industry.
“I think the industry is much healthier than it was four, five or six years ago,” Harbour said. “I also fundamentally believe that there still needs to be more consolidation across the sector.”
Energy Workforce announced the Chapter Champion Award winner, Dustin Anderson, Energy Workforce Oklahoma Chapter Chair and Vice President of Sale and Marketing, Kimray, Inc.
“I really want to thank Leslie and Molly and the entire Energy Workforce staff and team for really helping make the Oklahoma Chapter kickoff a success,” Anderson said. “We also have a great team in Oklahoma, and I know we are all really working hard to get more people involved in the community and industry.”
The Emerging Executive Award went to Anthony Thomas II, Director, Energy & Power Investment Banking, Piper Sandler.
“It is a great honor to be a part of this organization,” Thomas said. “I came in as a program participant. I have mentored participants in Energy Workforce programs, and I’ve been a speaker at events. This is sort of an example of what you can do in the organization over time. I’m looking forward to many more years of being engaged. I’m looking forward to many more years of engagement, service and thought leadership.”
The DEI Champion Award recipient is Mike Reeves, outgoing Co-Chair, Energy Workforce Board of Directors, and President & CEO, Shawcor.
“When I think about diversity, equity and inclusion, it’s through the lens of what’s really important for our industry and for the population we represent. We have decades ahead of us and we will always be dependent on creative, capable, intelligent, hardworking people in every corner of our industry. The critical piece is that we are able to recruit and retain talent from all walks of life, from all backgrounds, from all ethnicities and provide the resources for Member Companies to have access to that broad talent pool.”Mike Reeves, Shawcor
SPEAKER: COMMISSIONER JIM WRIGHT, RAILROAD COMMISSION OF TEXAS
Commissioner Jim Wright, Texas Railroad Commission, discussed the current state of energy production. In his remarks, he highlighted the significance of the energy industry in the State of Texas, to our overall economy and the importance of the energy workforce.
“The success of the industry is directly tied to our ability to recruit, train and maintain a stable workforce, and market sustainability is key to attracting talent”Commissioner Jim Wright, Railroad Commission of Texas
He also discussed the importance of certainty in the regulatory process, the need for permitting reform, and working with state and federal regulators.
“We face a number of regulatory burdens, especially at the federal level. For example, the federal orphan well grant guidance has numerous reporting requirements that increase costs and places an undue burden on companies.
“For the success of CCUS, having state primacy over carbon sequestration matters will be key” he said. “The Texas Railroad Commission is the most capable, best equipped agency to ensure CCUS is implemented properly and safe.”
STATE OF THE ASSOCIATION
Energy Workforce Presidents Molly Determan and Tim Tarpley addressed members with a State of the Energy Workforce update.
In their presentation, Determan and Tarpley highlighted Energy Workforce accomplishments while laying out their direction of the organization moving forward.
“The energy services and technology sector is the solutions provider to deliver energy security by overcoming challenges and meeting growing demand. We provide the workforce, we provide the technology that will allow us to continue to meet the demand and we have the experience and expertise to continue to provide affordable, reliable energy while reducing emissions.”Molly Determan, President, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
““Energy Security is national security. You can’t have national security in the U.S. without energy security and in order for our allies to have national security they need energy security as well. If we put barriers in front of our ability to obtain energy security, it bolsters our enemies abroad. Oil and gas is a big part of this picture to provide that energy security.””Tim Tarpley, President, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
KEYNOTE: BOB ANDERSON, JR., CYBER DEFENSE LABS
Following their presentation, Determan introduced the days keynote speaker, Bob Anderson, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Cyber Defense Labs. In his address, he discussed cyber threats across the industry and how they have become more frequent and more sophisticated.
“Cyber has changed so much in the last 10 years, its unimaginable,” Anderson said. “The sophistication of the attacks, the way they infiltrate companies, and the way they ransomware companies, the way they watch hexadecimal codes, you can’t recover your data.”
He added that Russia’s attack on Ukraine has made the energy sector even more vulnerable.
“Unfortunately, because of what’s going on in Ukraine, I would say every one of you is a target of the nation state right now.”Bob Anderson, Jr., Cyber Defense Labs
PANEL: ONSHORE NORTH AMERIA OPERATORS PERSPECTIVE
Moderated by Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Jim Wicklund, Managing Director, Client Relations & Business Development, PPHB, the Onshore North America Operators panelists included Michael DeShazer, VP Business Unites, Coterra Energy; Julia Gwaltney, SVP & COO Ranger Oil Corporation; Steve Pruett, President & CEO, Elevation Resources; and Mohit Singh, EVP & CFO, Chesapeake Energy Corporation.
The operators discussed the state of E&P’s, recruiting and retaining the workforce, capital allocation, oil and gas production, regulatory impediments to delivering product, and working with the services sector.
“The need for stability and deployment in our industry is so important,” Pruett said. “That is why it is important to ensure we invest in the relationships with our service partners who execute everything we do.”
“The beauty of our business is that it’s a very entrepreneurial business. We can stand side by side with multinational companies as well as mom and pop shop. It’s more challenging as more regulations come into play. Access to capital is limited and its more difficult for smaller companies.”Julia Gwaltney, Ranger Oil Corporation
DeShazar discussed recruiting new talent to the industry and perceived risks, but also the opportunities.
“The industry is developing in different ways. For instance, in digitalization and data sciences, and I believe that is an area of recruitment,” he said. “Also, I think that the tech cycles that we are currently seeing with layoffs at Google, Facebook, and Amazon will have an impact. There is the potential for volatility in every industry, and with what is going on in tech right now, gives us an opportunity to recruit and attract great talent.”
When looking at depth of inventory, Mohit Singh said, “Consolidation has to happen. The reason why it is important is when you put two portfolios together, the synergies in terms of capital allocations changes. When you have combined assets, it allows for reallocating to the best locations and project.”
PANEL: BUSINESS OF CARBON
The final panel of the meeting focused on the business of carbon, moderated by Maynard Holt, Founder & CEO, Veriten. Panelists included Robin Fielder, EVP, Low Carbon Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer, Talos Energy; Warwick King, Vice President Low Carbon Technologies, ConocoPhillips; and Molly Smith, Vice President Drilling & Completions, Murphy Oil Corporation.
The panel discussed what their business is doing to lower emissions and their definition of sustainable. Recognizing oil and gas will be necessary for decades to come, they are focusing on how to do what they do best, but with lower greenhouse gas intensity.
“Sustainability for me is about strategy. It’s about how are we going to position the business to be successful to attract additional investors to navigate through changing demand for our product over a longer period of time. But it’s also about attracting the right talent for us to be a successful energy company.”Robin Fielder, Talos Energy
Warwick King said, “We believe fossil fuels will be needed for decades and maybe well into the next century. We believe we are very good at what we do, and that we should focus on making sure that our products are both the lowest cost of supply and the lowest GHG intensity. Our primary goal of our team is to work with our business units across the globe to help them decarbonize.”
Molly Smith touched on the need to partner with the services sector to meet emissions reducing goals.
“We have committed to reducing our emissions by 20% by 2030,” she said. “But we want to provide affordable energy. We will look to our service providers to help with new technology and where and how to deploy. We are definitely open to trying new things when they prove to show tangible improvements.”
PLATINUM AWARD: HAROLD HAMM, CONTINENTAL RESOURCES
The Platinum Award went to Harold Hamm, Executive Chairman of Continental Resources, for his considerable leadership in the energy industry. As a voice for American’s oil and natural gas industry and as the leader of one of America’s top E&P companies, Hamm has helped to make America energy independent.
“I am grateful to be recognized with this award, but the true backbone of America’s oil and gas industry are the hardworking men and women who work tirelessly to keep our lights on and our country moving. Thanks to the innovation and ingenuity of this industry we were able to bring about Horizontal Drilling, resulting in the American Energy Renaissance and American Energy Independence. Thank you to Leslie and the Council for this tremendous honor, and I also want to thank Leslie for her leadership of this organization.”Harold Hamm, Continental Resources
ESG EXCELLENCE AWARD: EXXONMOBIL UNCONVENTIONALS
The ESG Excellence Award was awarded to the ExxonMobil Unconventional team for its successful elimination of routine flaring in the Permian at the end of 2022. By ending routine flaring in the Permian, home to roughly half of the Company’s U.S. production, ExxonMobil is making progress toward net zero emissions in the basin by 2030 while continuing to grow producing in America’s most prolific oil patch, and showing how the industry can achieve zero routine flaring both cost-effectively and at scale. Cory Quarles, XTO Vice President and his team accepted the award.
The ExxonMobil team is humbled and honored to receive this recognition, and I’m especially proud to work alongside these men and women whose dedication and ingenuity made it possible for us to end routine flaring in the Permian. At ExxonMobil, we are proud to be a leader in meeting the world’s growing need for reliable energy supplies while helping society to reduce its emissions. The focal point for that leadership is right here in Texas, home to nearly one-fourth of America’s energy production and where the industry continues to make significant strides in lowering emissions.”Cory Quarles, XTO Vice President
Paul Coppinger, Chair Emeritus and Board of Directors, DistributionNOW, honored longtime CEO Leslie Beyer, highlighting her many accomplishments during her nine years as the leader of Energy Workforce. He also presented Leslie with a special gift.
Earlier this year, Beyer announced her plans to step down as CEO in July 2023. In her outgoing remarks, she reflected on her nine years leading the association, managing change and growth while building the largest trade association for the energy services and technology sector.
“What gives me a lot of pride as I look back at my time is the goals we set out to accomplish on behalf of the sector and the industry, we are doing now. I’m also extremely proud of the leadership team taking the organization and the energy workforce to its next level of potential. Molly and Tim are outstanding leaders that will continue to push this association and sector forward.”Leslie Beyer, CEO, Energy Workforce & Technology Council
OUTGOING CHAIR ADDRESS
Outgoing Board Chair Mike Reeves, President & CEO, Shawcor, delivered inspiring remarks thanking the leadership, the Membership, and highlighting the sector’s future.
“This is an organization that now stands as clearly the preeminent voice of our sector, of this industry,” Reeves said. “This sector does a very large proportion of the work that is required to produce safe and efficient and responsible for the oil and gas that allows this country our communities, our families, our selves to have the lives.”
Reeves noted that the sector needs the passion and advocacy of their voices more than ever before.
“We need to ensure this industry gets the respect it deserves,” he said. “One face will not do it. Our voices together is the only way we have a chance, and this is the forum from which to do so. We represent more than 650,000 men and women across this country, and I can’t believe how lcuky I am to be able to speak on their behalf. Help this voice get bigger.”
MEMBER ENGAGEMENT AWARD: VALLOUREC
Energy Workforce Advisory Board Member Gary Hauck, Vice President Marketing, Communications, Business Development and Innovation, Vallourec was presented with the Member Engagement Award, presented each year to the Member Company who has made extraordinary strides in engagement, including serving in leadership positions, on Energy Workforce committees, garnering company-wide involvement and providing thought leadership.
“I am humbled and honored to accept this award,” Hauck said. “I have found our time engaging with Energy Workforce, participating in workforce development, the sharing of best practices, and the advocacy initiatives, have all been extremely valuable to myself and our team at Vallourec. I encourage others to get involved and participate in what the Association has to offer. Through our involvement we are better positioned to lead our business today and into the future.”
Energy Workforce would like to thank all participants, speakers and sponsors. Plans are under way for the 2023 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ, and registration is open.
The 2023 Annual Meeting would not have been possible without the generous support of the following sponsors.
Corry Schiermeyer, Senior Director Communications, writes about governmental policies for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council. Click here to subscribe to the Energy Workforce newsletter, which highlights sector-specific issues, best practices, activities and more.