The roles of chief financial officers at energy companies are shifting rapidly, with plenty of administrative and management duties added to the traditional finance responsibilities.
At Oil and Gas Investor ’s recent Energy Capital Conference held in Houston, a CFO roundtable brought together executives to discuss top-of-mind concerns such as risk management, recruitment and retention, and capital-raising strategies.
Moderated by Oracle regional manager Bill Arend, the panel included CFOs Victor M. Perez, Glori Energy Inc.; Mike Aldridge, Saratoga Resources Inc.; Richard Robert, Vanguard Natural Resources LLC; and George Passela, Momentum/M3 Midstream LLC.
Glori, which recently filed an S-1 to go public, is a clean technology energy company that uses biotechnology to release oil in fields after conventional and traditional waterflooding have been exhausted. It has about 30 projects under way in the U.S. and internationally.
M3 is the third iteration built and backed by private-equity funder Yorktown Energy Partners, focused on the midstream. “Our business plan is to identify areas of high organic activity,” said Passela, who has been involved in three midstream companies and one upstream company built during the past decade. Today, Momentum’s assets are in the Marcellus and Utica shales. “We do a lot of work on understanding the resource, identifying the core of the play, seeing who the producers are and going after them to sign them to long-term contracts,” he said.
The company buys rights-of-way and builds gathering, processing and fractionation facilities. “Once the companies are up and running with cash flow, we take them to market and sell to MLPs who don’t want to put in capital but want the cash flow. We’ve been successful with our first two midstream companies and we hope to make this third a success as well,” he said.
Vanguard’s Robert noted the company went public in 2007 with an enterprise value of $200 million; it closed transactions just days before the Energy Capital conference that boosted its value to $2.4 billion. “We are an upstream MLP structured as an LLC with a simple model”, he said. “We buy mature assets, maintain cash flow, reduce commodity risk and seek to increase distributions over time.” Recent deals involved the Woodford and Fayetteville shales. “We drill to maintain cash flow, and acquire to increase cash flow. Our drilling inventory is our insurance policy to pay distributions regardless of commodity prices.”
Saratoga’s Aldridge also has a track record of building companies. He