Aaron Davis, 35
CEO, President, Fortuna Resources LLC, Houston
Aaron Davis started Fortuna Resources LLC in 2016 with three partners and received $75 million in funding commitments from Oz Management to focus on the Delaware Basin. He said one of the most important elements of a successful business plan is to have the right team. “Most of my partners had worked alongside me at one point, so I knew their strengths and weaknesses. The result was partners that fully complimented each other.”
Fortuna Resources quickly built an asset base in the Delaware Basin and sold in two separate transactions in 2016 and 2017. Davis’ second company, TNM Resources LLC, secured a new commitment from Oz Management and is focused on proving up the horizontal San Andres play on the Central Basin Platform while also remaining a Delaware nonop player.
Career path: Before cofounding Fortuna Resources, he worked as a reservoir management team leader at Occidental Petroleum Corp., where he led a multidisciplinary team with an annual capital budget that exceeded $200 million. He entered the oil and gas industry as a petroleum engineer, spending most of his career working both the Permian Basin and Middle East.
Leadership philosophy: A leader’s job is to set a vision and to exploit the strengths of team members to fulfill that vision. “An effective team is built around many individuals’ combined strengths and not just one person.”
On industry: “When I first started my career, the consensus was that U.S production was on decline and would remain on decline; it was never imaginable that the U.S. would be exporting both oil and LNG today. U.S. production increased from 5 million barrels per day in 2004 to over 9 million barrels per day today. The industry is constantly evolving and solving solutions to help increase production output to meet the energy demands of society.”
Then and now: “My short-term goal is to prove that the Permian Basin’s horizontal San Andres play has economics that compete in the top quartile in onshore U.S. My long-term goal is to continue building oil and gas companies while also mentoring and helping develop additional entrepreneurs inside and outside of the energy space.”