Oasis Petroleum is a successful independent exploration and production company focused on oil and natural gas development in the Williston Basin. They shared thoughts on entrepreneurship and the company in a recent Q&A.
What services do you provide? When did you start?
Oasis is an independent exploration and production company focused on oil and natural gas development in the Williston Basin of North Dakota.
We were founded in March of 2007 with seven employees and about 150,000 acres of leasehold. We have since grown to over 400 employees and manage over 500,000 mineral acres in North Dakota.
What has been the secret to your success in North Dakota?
Great people, great assets and great opportunity. While that may sound like a slogan, it is absolutely true.
From the very beginning, our original seven employees set the tone and we’ve simply been able to find a lot more people like them to join us. Our culture here at Oasis challenges every one of our employees to be innovative and creative, to generate new ideas and to consider doing things differently and better at all times. This culture has been key to attracting the talent that we need to grow, to continually improve and to deliver great value to our many stakeholders.
Regarding great assets, that’s simply what we have here in the Williston region. The Bakken has proven to be a game changer for Williston, for North Dakota and even for the world oil market in many ways.
Great opportunity is what the founders of our company saw many years ago. Putting together great assets like we have in the Bakken with the great people on our team, in a great place to do business like North Dakota, is the realization of that opportunity.
And we see much more ahead here in the coming years. Just this September, we announced the initial public offering of Oasis Midstream Partners LP, which will own and manage a diversified group of midstream assets within the Williston Basin.
Tell us about your commitment to the communities where you work.
We don’t just work here, we live here too. Oasis wants to contribute to the long-term success of the region through what we do every day in our business, and also through how the business can support community goals beyond oil and gas – it’s part of our core values.
The Oasis team regularly takes on community service projects like the Williston Citywide Cleanup Days and we provide support to local organizations like the McKenzie County Hospital. Our recent focus has been projects that have a strong focus on families and children. Throughout all of our efforts we are striving to make a positive, long-term impact on the Williston community.
How do you adjust your business model in accordance with fluctuations in oil prices?
While we are a relatively young company, our team has a much longer history of acquiring and developing oil and gas assets over many decades. This experience drives the way we operate, with capital discipline and a realistic view of the market. While we have a strong track record of rapidly growing production and reserves, we don’t subscribe to the idea of growth at any cost. This ability to responsibly manage costs while responsibly developing great assets in a smart way, has allowed us to weather an ever-changing economic climate.
What would you say is the single most influential factor in your business’ success?
We believe the best way for us to generate long-term value is to grow the business by identifying, acquiring and executing large, repeatable drilling programs in known hydrocarbon-bearing areas. We call this strategy “Resource Conversion” which has four key elements:
Responsibly Develop our Williston Basin Leasehold Position. We have accumulated a multiyear inventory of drilling locations in our core Williston Basin operations, providing over a decade of production and reserves growth potential.
Enhance Returns by Focusing on Operational and Cost Efficiencies. Our team has managed early-stage resource opportunities in the past. We are applying our expertise and investing in the infrastructure needed to drive down costs and increase efficiencies at every stage of the process from drilling new wells to producing existing ones.
Adopt and Employ Leading Drilling and Completion Techniques. We are continuously evaluating what works best to maximize recoveries and returns in the most efficient way, and adopting proven technologies and techniques for building long-term value.
Pursue Strategic Acquisitions with Significant Resource Potential. Our near-term focus is on strengthening and building on our core Williston Basin leasehold, which is the foundation of our growth plan. We expect to target opportunities in other domestic basins where we can apply our Resource Conversion strategy for continued long-term growth in value.
What key factors did you consider when determining your business location?
Geology, of course, is a primary factor in the location of any oil and gas company’s activity; however, it’s not the only thing. The overall business climate of a region, state and local tax policies, a fair and sensible regulatory system and a skilled workforce are just a few of the many other factors that play heavily in the competition for capital.
Both the state of North Dakota and the city of Williston have been leaders in wisely shepherding the growth of the industry in the region, adopting policies that are complementary to responsible development and creating a climate where investment can be made.
We are excited about what the future holds.
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