Category Archives for Surviving in the Oil & Gas Industry

#025: Financial Strategies for Oil & Gas Operators with Milan Simic

How do you best set up your oil and gas business for financial success? What about if you want to avoid a personal guarantee loan or are unsure of how to navigate the challenges that come with financing drilling and producing wells?  

This week’s podcast guest is Milan Simic, a Strategic Solutions Advisor for a CPA firm who has many years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He shares how he first got into the oil and gas industry and the different positions he’s held over the course of his career. Milan and Phil chat about networking, the financial challenges of small oil and gas operators and strategies for those who want to avoid a personal guarantee loan. 

If you want to hear the in’s and out’s of cash management and finances in the oil and gas industry, you’ll want to take a listen to this episode. 

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in this episode:

  • How Milan ended up working in oil and gas
  • His experiences of working for several oil and gas companies
  • Why you need to network in any industry – but especially oil and gas
  • Financial challenges and strategies for oil and gas operators

“Every operator has a different risk profile.”

– Milan Simic

Highlights:

2:48 How Milan initially got started in the oil and gas industry
5:05 Playing basketball while in college and deciding to take a different career path
6:27 Milan’s memories of working for Halliburton and traveling for the job
8:14 Transitioning to working as the President for an Enron family office
10:39 Mentors that made an impact on Milan’s careers
11:48 Why networking is crucial in any industry
13:28 What he does in his position at Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, Chtd.
17:03 The financial challenges of small oil and gas operators
18:41 How they help those going through a growth process
21:14 Cash management strategies for operators
25:55 Strategies for avoiding a personal guarantee lender
28:03 Milan’s advice for oil and gas operators

About Milan Simic:

In 2001, Simic graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University with a bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting. He spent five years as an internal auditor at a large oilfield service company and two and a half years as a business risk services consultant with a Big Four accounting firm. Before joining the firm, Milan served as the president of a family office operation. In this role, he was responsible for growing the business, including overseeing seventeen different oil and gas project acquisitions which ranked the family office in the top 300 operators in Texas. Simic lives in Hoisington with his wife Sarah and their three daughters, Sofia, Mila, and Ana.

Connect with Milan:

LinkedIn | Call or text: 281-799-4315

About SherWare, Inc.

If you’re enjoying this episode, please subscribe to our podcast and share with a friend! We also love ratings and reviews on Apple podcasts.

SherWare creates software to simplify your accounting needs so you have more time to do the things that matter. We serve independent oil and gas operators, accountants and investors with a platform to manage their distributions and joint-interest billings on a platform — and we’re the only software on the market that can integrate with your QuickBooks company.

Click here to watch a demo of the software in action right now.

#022: New App Disproves Global Warming, Empowers Industry with Gregory Wrightstone

Have you ever had a conversation with someone about the earth and their opinion on global warming? Chances are, you probably have. On this episode, Phil sat down with Gregory Wrightstone, author and creator of Inconvenient Facts, an app and book that helps to disprove a lot of the myths that we hear about our planet and global warming. He shares what we’re not being told and how numbers are manipulated with global warming statistics. He opens up about his hopes for how his book and app will empower those working in the oil and gas industry. 

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in this episode:

  • What Gregory’s goal was for his app, Inconvenient Facts
  • How getting banned from the app store helped with book sales
  • How the app will help users, specifically those in oil and gas
  • How data gets cherry-picked and blown up to look alarming

“I want to empower people with these inconvenient facts that dispute the notion of man made catastrophic warming.”

Gregory Wrightstone

Highlights:

1:17 The release of his app, Inconvenient Facts

2:46 How the app getting banned fueled book sales

5:50 Building his business without paid advertising

6:34 What Gregory hopes his app will do for users

6:47 The effect that CO2 has on warming

9:16 What we’re not being told about the earth

12:43 Not being told the whole story about what’s going on

13:18 The correlation between temperature and civilization

14:38 How numbers are manipulated with global warming statistics

16:56 How those in oil and gas can help disprove myths

About Gregory Wrightstone:

Gregory Wrightstone is a geologist who has been investigating the Earth’s processes for more than 35 years. He received a BS and MS in geology from Waynesburg University & WVU, respectively. Gregory’s debut book Inconvenient Facts – the science that Al Gore doesn’t want you to know has received glowing reviews and has shot up the sales charts, reaching as high as #13 on Amazon best-seller list and #1 in the Environmental Field.

Greg was driven to write this book after a search for climate truth revealed that many of the supposed climate-related predicted catastrophic events were not occurring and that the most likely primary cause of our current climate change is those same forces that have been operating for many millions of years.

His science-based view of ecosystems and humanity prospering due in part to rising temperatures and increasing CO2 has led to multiple radio and TV appearances including Tucker Carlson and Fox & Friends. Gregory is a strong proponent of the scientific process and believes that climate policies should be driven by science and facts, not by a political agenda.

Connect with Gregory:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

About SherWare, Inc.

If you’re enjoying this episode, please subscribe to our podcast and share with a friend! We also love ratings and reviews on Apple podcasts.

SherWare creates software to simplify your accounting needs so you have more time to do the things that matter. We serve independent oil and gas operators, accountants and investors with a platform to manage their distributions and joint-interest billings on a platform — and we’re the only software on the market that can integrate with your QuickBooks company.

Click here to watch a demo of the software in action right now.

#019: How SherWare Software Got Started 25 Years Ago

On today’s episode of the podcast, Phil is joined by his friend and business mentor, Robert “Butch” Rogers. Butch is a CPA who has his own accounting business and also works as a consultant for other CPA’s and producers in the oil and gas industry and as a contract CFO for a few oil and gas companies. Phil and Butch share how they got to know one another, how they both ended up living in Ohio and how Phil got started with his business, SherWare software 25 years ago. They chat about how Butch helped Phil with accounting items to include in his software and how SherWare software continually evolves according to the customers’ needs. 

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in this episode:

  • How Phil and Butch met each other
  • Why Butch left Texas and started his own CPA business
  • How Butch convinced Phil to move to Ohio
  • The story of how Phil started SherWare and how Butch mentored him
  • How SherWare has grown and evolved with the help of its customers

Highlights:

3:35 How Phil and Butch got to know each other
4:07 Leaving Texas and starting his own CPA business
5:37 Finding his niche as a CPA
7:38 Butch noticing that oil and gas clients didn’t have great accounting software
9:06 How Butch helped Phil with writing the SherWare software
11:50 Phil figuring out that he needed to focus on oil and gas
13:40 How SherWare has grown organically and been tailored to customers 
16:10 The ease of reporting that comes with SherWare
19:56 What smaller, independent producers are currently facing in the oil and gas industry
24:01 Working as a contract CFO and a consultant for other CPA’s and smaller producers
25:11 What Butch’s accounting firm will be doing next
26:33 How the numbers tell a story in accounting

About Robert Rogers:

Robert “Butch” Rogers is a Certified Public Accountant with a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Texas Tech University. He is a CPA in Wooster, Ohio and is a partner in the CPA firm Rogers Accounting Solutions, Inc. 

Butch has over 35 years of experience working in and with clients in the oil and gas industry. As a college student, he worked as a roustabout in West Texas. Upon graduating from college he worked for Gulf Oil as a business administration trainee, working in the Midland, Texas district office and the Monahans, Texas field office. He gained valuable oil and gas tax experience working with Coopers and Lybrand in Lubbock, Texas. During his time as a practicing CPA, Butch served a number of small independent producers as a trusted tax and business advisor. 

His speaking experience includes conducting continuing education seminars and webinars for various state societies of CPAs, Ohio Oil and Gas Association, COPAS, and Bisk Education. 

Connect with Robert:

LinkedIn | [email protected]

Head over to our website to set up a free account with SherWare software. Please make sure to subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple podcasts.

#015: How to Retain Employees and Create a Positive Work Culture

Treating employees right and creating a positive work culture will save you thousands of dollars by simply retaining staff. Today on the podcast, Phil is joined by his friend and business coach, Scott Ballard, founder of the Confidence Coach. Scott shares why employers need to focus on employee retention and creating a workplace that people are excited about. He also discusses what he does as a business coach and shares the structure of some of his coaching programs.

Here are some of the things you can look forward to in this episode:

  • A rundown of what Scott does as a business coach
  • Why employee retention is so important for your business
  • How to create a positive work culture
  • Scott’s advice about investing in your employees

Highlights:

1:44 Scott’s background and how he got into his business coaching
5:53 What coaching is from Scott’s perspective
8:55 Learning to leverage a team in your business
10:20 How coaching is similar to brain surgery
12:31 Ditching limiting beliefs
13:14 Retaining good employees and developing underperforming employees
18:20 Finding out what motivates employees internally
22:20 The cost of hiring new employees
25:38 Scott’s coaching programs
29:12 Creating a family-like culture at the workplace
33:50 The importance of investing in your payroll

About Scott Ballard:

Scott Ballard is the founder of Confidence Coach LLC and is an author, speaker and coach for business owners with employees. He has 35 years of successful business ownership as his background. The last 10 years Scott has been coaching business owners on the strategies and tactics of engaging their employees in a fun, positive, respectful way. He has worked with everything from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and has developed five different processes/trainings that build engagement, culture and leadership within businesses.

Scott is passionate and adamant about leveraging for each company the hopes, dreams and aspirations of not only the company, but of each employee in the company; which is the greatest untapped asset in every company in the world.

Connect with Scott:

Website | LinkedIn | Facebook | Youtube | Twitter | Book

Head over to our website to set up a free account with SherWare software. Please make sure to subscribe and leave a rating and review on Apple podcasts.

#002: After 41 years, Roy Jackson has the key to surviving in the oil and gas industry


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For the past 41 years Roy Jackson, CEO at Energy OnRamp, has been involved in the oil and gas industry and made a name for himself as a someone who can make and create deals between buyers and sellers.

In today’s episode, we asked Roy what is the key to lasting so long in the industry when it’s such an up and down adventure.

As you hear Roy speak, one gets the feeling that he was born to sell, which explains how he’s made a career out of connecting buyers and sellers in any part of the industry. Beginning at Schlumberger in the 70s, and moving into the oil and gas software space in the 1990s, Roy began to notice that his role in the industry was more than connecting people to solutions.

Solutions were no longer enough. He had to help them make the best decisions for their business if they’re going to survive.

“Energy companies are generating a large amount of data,” Jackson said. “You have these entrepreneurial guys who are getting private equity capital from somewhere, buy assets and then all of a sudden, along with the closing of that deal, they realize they don’t have any assets, and in 60 days we’re going to have to do revenue distribution and joint interest billings.”

These entrepreneurs would have to go hire someone and train them on the basics of the industry, and then everything around setting up that company revolved around regulatory reporting for the state and for setting up revenue distributions, he said.

“I was discovering that people never truly got the system set up correctly years later after running into them and that they never knew how to set up the management and reporting system the way they wanted to,” Jackson said.

Now they were going to throw everything out and start over on a new system.

To expedite or stop businesses from going through the long and excruciating process, he said, he started his new consulting firm Energy OnRamp to help companies take their financial data, get it into a system that works for them and help them understand how to present that data so its “attractive for bank capital, a private investor or whatever it takes to drill and capture the kind of opportunities that come in the energy industry,” Jackson said.

“Our team gives your business the tools within your own system or another system so that you can get the info you need to get the capital you need, and to make better management decisions to manage the multi-million dollar assets.”

As we know in the industry, wells aren’t cheap to drill.

Unconventional well plays cost millions of dollars to operate, displacing many smaller independents from participating. Like what we’re seeing with our own clients in the industry, many operators are selling wells because they are reaching retirement age and there is not generation coming up behind them to take over, so they’re forced to sell.

On the flip side, a lot of wells are either combining with bigger forces to go all in on unconventional plays or picking up conventional wells that larger companies are offloading to support these unconventional drills, and find themselves suddenly with new wells to operate 30-60 days after purchase.

So what makes a company able to stay afloat, even when oil prices skyrocket above $100/bbl or plummet to $9/bbl?

Roy’s answer: “The simple answer is that you just have to stay.  I can’t tell you the number off landmen and geologists, that sacked groceries at Wal-Mart when Midland was not near as prosperous, but they’re reaping big-time benefits for being patient. Stay and find a new way to make a living during the slow down period.

“What we’ve been doing in Midland for the past 40 years is to figure out how to stay in the oil and gas business. Oil and gas people are some of the best entrepreneurs. It makes me proud to be in the oil and gas business.”

Connect with Roy Jackson: 

Based in Midland, Texas
432-253-3337
Roy Jackson is the founder of Energy OnRamp and over his 41-year career in oil and gas has demonstrated the ability to develop opportunities for his clients.

Starting his career in “the patch” in 1977, Roy started developing his energy network with tenures at Schlumberger, National Oilwell (Bowen) and Homco International. He has directed the sales and marketing efforts at energy software companies involved in upstream accounting, including Midland Southwest Software (OGAS) and WolfePak.

Mr. Jackson has extensive experience in the acquisitions & divestment of oil and gas assets. Jackson has successfully completed over 200 transactions, totaling over one half billion dollars in oil and gas upstream, midstream and service-related assets. He was the co-founder of Capital Energy Advisors and Simon Energy Advisors. Jackson also was formerly a principal partner at Simplex Energy Solutions in Midland, TX.

Roy is a member of PBPA, ADAM Permian, and SPE. He is also past chairman of FEPA, a Permian focused networking forum for the Energy Industry.

Energy OnRamp consults on accounting, production, and anything bringing data in from the field and anything that is back office related to running an operating, service or midstream company.

Listen to the previous episode: #001: How the Oil and Gas Industry Survives Year After Year

Check out the next episode: #003: How COPAS Transformed Mike Cougevan’s Career

#001: How the Oil and Gas Industry Survives Year After Year

Twenty-five years ago, co-host Phil Sherwood, started a software company called SherWare, Inc. to optimize the accounting and distribution processes for oil and gas operators to save them time and money, two things we need plenty of in the oil and gas industry.

When he started the business, the price of oil was around $15 a barrel and over the course of his career, it’s gone down to $9 and as high as $100.

Through all the ups and downs, We’re Still Here, and like so many clients and friends in the industry — so are you.

So what makes a business be able to withstand the unpredictable market conditions? What characteristics does the CEO have to have? What are the tactics and secrets they’ve used to be successful no matter what?

This is exactly what we want to uncover and inspire on this podcast.

Each episode will feature guest interviews and episodes to showcase the best and brightest in the industry and find out how they’ve thrived in a volatile market and what the future of the industry looks like to them.

We’ll also be showcasing business ideas, tips, tricks for scaling and growing — you happen to be in the oil and gas industry, but you’re running and growing a business and in order to continually expand, you have to think differently and be ready to grow with your team.

At the end of the day, we want you to be able to say, “We’re Still Here” no matter what happens around you.

Check out the next Episode: #002: After 41 years, Roy Jackson has the key to surviving in the oil and gas industry