PESGB July 2003
One of the first lessons j learnt when I agreed to undertake work outside of my ‘day job’ was the importance of letting people know which hat I am wearing before I speak or make comment. At the moment I wear a number of hats and it can, and has, often lead to serious misunderstandings unless people know which hat I had on.
My first hat is my EnCana MD hat (pretty much the default people assume I am wearing) . My second is President of the PESGB, third ‘Exploration Champion’ (not my words) on the UKOOA Executive Committee, and finally my own hat (No-one much cares about this one to be honest). So what’s the point of this inane ramble I hear you cry!
The Promote Round Concept and Applicants PESGB and Personal Hats: I am delighted to see the number of 21st Round applicants overall , but specifically for the promote licences. There were a large number of new names as well as some better known. I wish them all well in their endeavours.
UKOOA Hat: I do not believe that this will increase the amount of exploration drilling in the UKCS to any significant extent, if at all. [This is the UKOOA position]
EnCana Hat: “Who are these new potenti al partners and/or competitors” . Some companies I know, some I do not. As part of my ‘market research’ I asked my commercial group to find out more about who these companies are. The results made interesting reading.
As you can see, not telling people whom I am speaking on behalf of can lead to confusion. It is clear that a number of the Promote Applicants are individuals or groups who would appear to be formed simply with a view to becoming fledgling E&P companies. However, I was a little confused to see that a number of them were sizeable consultancies and service companies. Some are open about their applications, some less so. At the time of writing, one company, Troy-Ikoda did take the time to make contact to explain their position as both a supplier (or potential supplier) of services to EnCana and also as a potential competitor, i.e., as a possible direct equity holder in an exploration licence. Veritas also took time to explain their rationale for application. I know that there are also individuals who consult directly to oil companies that are also applicants.
Whilst I may find it di ffi cult to square the circle, at least companies and individuals who have openly made their position clear (that they wear more than one hat) help me to make in formed decisions for EnCana. I am also equally sure that I am not the only person in this position. However I have to admit that disclosure and transparency appears to be the exception rather
than the rule.
It would seem that some companies are less open or at least would appear to be less open about their involvement as a potential service provider and also as a potential partner/competitor. I
would strongly urge companies and individuals who are both part of the supply chain and also potential equity holders in exploration licences to be open about their position. Failure to do so could undermine the promote concept, especially in the eyes of those who feel it is a distraction rather than a useful endeavour. Failure to disclose potential conflicts of interest in the current post-Enron environment would not be a way to instil confidence in your or your company’s business ethics.