Blog & News

Surviving the Downturn…with Jerry Chessell

Thu 14 April 2016

Category: Pearls of Wisdom, Surviving the downturn

Jerry MugshotIn December 2015, Jerry Chessell, Managing Director of Two Seas Oil & Gas Ltd. presented a talk on the topic of ‘Surviving the Downturn’ hosted at the PESGB Offices in Croydon…

Jerry opened his talk with a slide from the 2014 PESGB Salary Survey indicating that a higher percentage (40%) of jobs in our Industry are found primarily through personal referral than any other method. This illustrates the importance of having a strong network of contacts (PESGB membership etc.)

He showed a timeline of his own career (including 4 lay-offs!)  against a backdrop of the oil price over time as a full cycle example. Historically the oil price and job prospects always recover after downturns. Jerry was out of work for 18 months in 1986/7 (back filling as a landscape gardener) before gradually picking up contract work. Most of his jobs came through personal referral.

Jerry then discussed the generalities of setting up a “Promote” company and used Two Seas as a specific case study. There is a spectrum of business models that have succeeded in this niche. This one was low on financial investment but the founders retained control.

Pros: Low cost and risk, direct control, potentially high reward (Reach sold out for ~£30mm).

Cons: No guaranteed income, no guaranteed payday at the end, hard work.

Some Lessons Learnt

  • Experience, ideas and contacts can be more important than funding
  • Contracting in non-G&G support can be efficient and cost effective (mate’s rates)
  • Don’t dilute too early (maintain control and protect value)
  • Corporate structure – plan for success (multiple entities?)
  • Full time commitment essential (“stay up all night to get lucky!”)
  • Keep feeding the “hopper”
  • Prioritise partnering for “Traditional” bids if possible
  • Stay commercially aware
  • Focus efforts on closing any deal in good time (heads up from the workstation before the Licence expires!)
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