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Energy Workforce & Technology Council 90th Anniversary
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Permian Chapter Hosts Steve Pruett, Elevation Resources

Board Member Leroy Law, President, LL Industrial Transmission, Council COO Molly Determan, Council SVP Government Affairs Tim Tarpley and Steve Pruett, President & CEO, Elevation Resources

The energy services and technology sector operates better when companies cooperate with each other, said Elevation Resources President & CEO Steve Pruett, who gave an overview of his company and a current market forecast during a Permian Basin Chapter luncheon on November 10.  

“We are a lot stronger together than we are separate,” he said.

The company employs hundreds of contractors, vendors and employees with well-paying jobs that are critical to both West Texas and the state as a whole.

“That’s a thing that’s lost in the discussion about oil and gas, and renewables,” he said. “State and property taxes amount to north of $10 billion a year that support Texas social programs and education. On the county level, that’s a huge contributor to social services, county hospitals and budgets.”

Moving away from oil and gas and towards renewables will cripple state funding unless governments think harder about the implications of the Green New Deal, Pruett said.

The recent REGROW Act, passed as part of the Biden Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure bill, will offer service companies the chance to participate in state orphaned well plugging programs, something that they are uniquely suited to perform.

“I hope there’s a number of you in the audience that take advantage of cleaning up orphan wells. We probably have 15-20,000 wells, in addition to undocumented wells,” he said.

Pruett also discussed the rise in methane fees and rules posed by the Biden Administration. “Oil and gas is responsible for less than 30% of methane emissions in the country,” he said. “Agriculture is the largest component, and no one’s talking about taxing other emitters of methane.”

Rising fees are going to both increase the cost of doing business and eliminate jobs, Pruett said.

Moving on to the intersection of operators and the services sector, Pruett said that when working with vendors and contractors, continuity and consistency are the keys to success.

“My theory is that our well construction, whether it’s drilling or completions, is like making music. I like to use the analogy of an orchestra where there are many different players involved. The longer you keep your orchestra together, the better music you’re going to play. And that applies not only to drilling, but completions, facility construction and even production operations. If you have continual turnover, you have lost communication between the team.”

Steve Pruett, President & CEO, Elevation Resources

The COVID-19 pandemic has also brought lessons about workforce management and flexibility in the workplace for the entire industry.

“I think we’ve all realized that there’s not much value to face time, that what we need are employees who are motivated to get the job done and that don’t have to be in the office all the time,” Pruett said. “However, there’s a lot of value in face-to-face interaction that can’t be replicated on Zoom or phone call or emails. Hopefully some of the lessons we’ve learned will go beyond the pandemic.”

To get involved in the Permian Basin Chapter or to learn more about the Council’s other chapters, contact Director of Operations Roni Ashley.

Roni Ashley, Director Operations, writes about the Council’s membership and regional chapters. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights industry practices, workforce development, Council activities and more.


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