Preng & Associates, the world’s leading executive search firm totally dedicated to the energy industry, today announced Steve Raben joined the firm as a Senior Consultant. He will be based in the Houston office.
Mr. Raben has led over 500 domestic and international client assignments for public and private Oil & Gas, Petroleum Equipment, Service and Hydrocarbon Processing & Transportation companies, at the Board, C-Suite and business segment leadership levels.
He joins Preng & Associates after a 30-year career in the search industry where he held leadership positions at three well-known executive search firms. Most recently, he founded and managed his own consultancy.
David Preng, President of Preng & Associates, said: “For 35 years, our practice has been built on the premise that the search process is most effective when conducted by professionals with significant industry experience. Steve’s extensive knowledge and expertise in the global energy industry is a tremendous asset to our firm and our clients. We’re excited to welcome him to the team.”
Raben said: “Preng & Associates client service, from London and Houston offices, includes conducting over 3,500 assignments with the majority completed in 90 days or less. Our consultants have previous employment with energy companies, such as: Ladd Petroleum, BHP, Shell, KBR, McDermott, Hamilton Bros., and a successful private equity E&P company. They excel in finding leadership overlooked or unknown to many competitors.”
Mr. Raben is a retired Military Intelligence Officer with decorated combat service in Viet Nam. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in (Economics and Business) from Southwestern University and completed courses toward a Master’s degree in Economics at The University of Texas. He is a Director of The Coronado Club (Houston) and Trustee of Southwestern University.
About Preng & Associates
Preng & Associates is the world’s leading executive search firm totally dedicated to the energy industry. For 35 years, Preng & Associates has assisted nearly 700 management teams and Boards attain exceptional talent who have delivered long-term value.
Preng & Associates President, David Preng, appeared on Fox Business News Opening Bell to discuss unintended consequences of the so-called U.S./OPEC market share battle, and how current management teams and boards are managing through the current commodity cycle.
Short Term Oversupply, Permian in the Pole Position
Oil & Gas 360® interviewed Stephens Inc. Senior Vice President E&P Research, Will Green, and Vice President E&P Research, Ben Wyatt, this week, in pursuit of their view of the current commodities cycle and related effect on the E&P space, looking at 2015 and beyond.
Oil and Gas 360® caught up with Will Green and Ben Wyatt by telephone at Stephens’ Fort Worth offices on Monday:
OAG360: How is the current oil price drop different from other cycles?
WILL GREEN: Today’s cycle is driven by supply/demand. This time the industry has to own up to the supply issue. The industry has to actively look at itself in the mirror in terms of admitting that it was involved in oversupplying the situation. The companies we cover are doing what they believe is the right thing for investors—growing production, growing revenues. But it’s prudent now to cut back to where hedges support you a little bit. It’s a hard decision, but they realize what needs to be shuttered and cut back. The prudent decision is definitely to cut back.
OAG360: What’s going to cause a bounce, what’s going to happen that shows the bottom?
WILL GREEN: I think one thing is this—actually getting some support from the demand side. It’s a good step in the right direction to see a reduction in production [and let some of the oversupply work itself out], but if we see continued economic strength in China, if China or other emerging markets blossom and demand remains strong, we should start to find support.
OAG360: What is Stephens’ deck calling for oil to be in 2015?
WILL GREEN: We just updated our deck today. We’re calling for WTI to average $53.75 in 2015, $67.50 in 2016 and $80 in 2017 and beyond. It’s a tad bit higher than strip. We are long term bulls on oil & gas: we believe this is a short term oversupply that fixes itself relatively quickly.
OAG360: If oil stays at today’s levels for a good while, what is going to happen to the midstream sector?
BEN WYATT: You’ll clearly see some slowdown. The midstream companies need the E&Ps to commit to capacity. They’re not going to build a spec pipeline, for example, without strong long term commitments from the E&Ps, and in this price environment it becomes more challenging. So it clearly dominoes.
OAG360: Which basins have the best upside for E&Ps?
WILL GREEN: From a wellhead economics standpoint, I’ll put the Permian in the pole position, the Eagle Ford second and the Bakken falls behind those. From an equity standpoint, the Bakken has sold off harder, so I would look at the Bakken as offering better values today. It was driven by consensus thought. The consensus thought was to shed the Bakken because of its higher differentials, so those operators have been sold way down, so there’s a lot of value there in the equities. But if you look purely at the wellhead economics in the core of the Permian, it can stand up to virtually anything in North America.
OAG360: Where does OPEC fit into the equation – how low can they let this go?
WILL GREEN: I think this downturn is really going to test their resolve. There are some troubled OPEC nations who are definitely struggling through this. It’s the Saudis’ M.O. not to cut production, and if their projects are economic they should keep producing, just like any other country or company would. If we’re still sitting here [at these prices] the next time OPEC meets, and Venezuela or some other OPEC nations can’t make their quota and if Saudi can’t take over a burden of another 1-2 million barrels a day, then you’ll see some price movement. If the planet needs 90 million barrels of oil per day, it’s the last barrel needed that sets the price. Ultimately if we have 90 MMBOPD that can be produced at $45 per barrel, then that’s the price. For now, investors are waiting until there’s more clarity around the demand side.
OAG360: What will M&A look like in 2015?
WILL GREEN: The balance sheets are center stage for this group [E&P]. On one hand you might have a more motivated seller because of their debt burden, but they’re not willing to sell unless they’re forced. From a buyer’s perspective, buyers are trying to maintain their balance sheets. If prices and activity get back on track later in the year, you could see offers, but right now there are dis-incentivized buyers and sellers.
BEN WYATT: I would add that a lot of these guys are well hedged, so you do have some time—maybe six months—but as we get closer to 2016 you might see some sellers who are more open to the idea.
Oil & Gas 360® had an opportunity to speak with John Gerdes about the oil and gas industry from his perch in Houston as KLR Group’s Managing Director and Head of Research. KLR is a merchant and investment bank, research house, institutional sales and trading firm that is focused on the natural resources and energy space. In this oil and gas interview, Gerdes brings to the table 30 years of oil and gas experience from his posts at Canaccord Genuity, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Raymond James, Salomon Brothers, Jefferies & Company, Shell and ARCO. Gerdes holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa.