Starting an E&P Company for the 21st Century

Will Ulrich, Co-founder and Co-CEO at Presidio Petroleum, joined Weaver, East West Bank and Seaport Global for October’s Energy Leadership Series in Fort Worth. Ulrich led a discussion about starting an exploration and production company for the 21st century, detailing what an E&P startup entails, where Presidio is at in the energy lifecycle and how the cycle drives the company’s behavior.

Ulrich noted that in order to compete, small E&P startups need efficiency-driven leadership, culture and systems. He focused on explaining three key factors for success:

  • Contrarian thinking in which employees at all levels are empowered to take ownership and innovate.
  • Values systems over goals which consists of an intense focus on measurement, enabling all employees to have a voice, and responsibility to drive ownership and maximize profitability.
  • Technology focus is crucial - if a necessary software does not exist, the company itself must create it.

Ulrich took our audience through the three segments of the energy lifecycle, which include:

  1. Exploration: offshore drilling, regional exploration and Middle East exploration
  2. Industrial development: onshore horizontal drilling, high pressure hydraulic fracturing and factory style development
  3. Efficiency and optimization: AI-guided drilling, prescriptive analytics, AI-driven decision making in the office and in the field, and better data collection and use

A key to success for a new-age E&P start up is allowing the energy life cycle to drive the firm’s behavior. Presidio works a different operational flow than the traditional private equity E&P; by starting at the bottom and working upward, they are able to generate outsized returns.

Big companies compete with scale, while small companies compete with efficiency-driven leadership, culture and systems. By combining these three factors for success with their non-traditional, bottom up approach, Presidio maintains their competitive presence in the E&P industry.

Founded in 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas, Presidio Petroleum was created on the premise of engineering efficiency and the objective to buy oil and gas assets that allow it to apply its intense focus on optimization. The firm’s diverse network spans industry, private equity and hedge funds, law firms and investment banks allowing it to access a wide variety of deal flow.

The Energy Leadership Series focuses on providing industry insights, as well as addressing trends and challenges in an engaging, open discussion format.

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