It’s not only a workshop whose time has come – it’s a workshop whose time never leaves. It’s about history and transitions and the next generation of leaders in the profession.
And it’s about to happen.
We’re talking about “Next Generation Deal Making,” which will be held in conjunction with the APPEX Global Prospect and Property Expo in Islington, London Feb. 27-March 1.
It aims, as the name suggests, to introduce the next group of industry professionals to the whole geological schema, encompassing opportunity identification, subsurface evaluation, financing and, perhaps most importantly, closing the deal.
Specifically, according Gabriel Mynheer, the guiding light behind the concept, the Next Generation Deal Making workshop consists of four goals:
- To improve the understanding of the deal-making process within the industry from inception to closing.
- For participants to better understand and appreciate the needs and priorities of each business function involved in a deal.
- Provide the opportunity for attendees to network with a wider spectrum of next generation deal-makers.
- To prepare those who will eventually make up the future of oil and gas industry deal making.
Mynheer, who recently joined Nexen (a China National Offshore Oil Corporation subsidiary) as an analyst in the strategy, planning and economics team, has assembled a group of professionals to participate in this forward-looking workshop.
The Whole Deal
While most know seminars like these are invaluable to the seamless transfer between generations of geologists, the seminars are not always offered and even when they are, they’re not always well attended.
“Since the oil price started to fall in 2014 the oil and gas,” Mynheer said, “industry has become much more cautious with regard to its spending, and conferences like this have been some of the casualties.”
But what industry saves in the short run, he said, might cost it down the road.
“Many younger industry professionals have experienced reluctance from their respective employers to allow them to attend events such as conferences and workshops,” which, he said, is a big problem when it comes to the larger, more expensive shows like APPEX.
“It is difficult these days, especially for those starting out, especially when the industry is still recovering,” he said.
But, the past isn’t always prologue.
“I don’t know what it was like 15 or even 30 years ago,” said Mynheer, who started his career with Heritage Oil before moving Wood Mackenzie as an upstream analyst in 2013, “but, it is difficult these days, especially for those starting out. The industry has seen a lot of people lose their jobs over the last three years or so.”
“It is only just starting to pick up, with oil hitting $70 a barrel for the first time in 3 years,” he said.
The market, in fact, is flooded with very good talent.
It is a good time for such a workshop.
“The Next Generation Deal Making event aims to address this by providing an affordable conference that not only allows the younger generation of industry professionals to learn from the more experienced in the industry, but it runs in parallel with APPEX, which will allow for a great networking opportunity,” he explained.
Mynheer believes this very dynamic opens up horizons.
“More junior employees within the industry tend to be involved in specific aspects of the deal-making process, i.e. the subsurface, economics, strategy, legal, financing etc.,” he said, adding that they are rarely exposed to the whole process.
“The structure of this event will follow that of a typical deal, thus enabling the audience to learn about all the different disciplines involved in the process.”
To Mynheer, it’s a game changer, in part because it’s already in the profession’s DNA, for the past, present and future have always gotten along.
“It will allow,” he said, “for a fantastic networking event. There will be people just starting out in their career all the way through to the most senior people in the industry.”
And then the after-effects take hold.
“In years to come, those attending the Next Gen event will most likely attend the APPEX event. Having a lot of similar faces year on year should help to establish some fantastic relationships,” he said.
Mynheer said the kinds of deals made during these difficult times are necessarily more complicated than those consummated during good times. Both, however, are fascinating stories and learning opportunities that can benefit new members.
“The deal landscape is always changing. Since the oil price dropped in 2014, we have seen some incredibly innovative deals with various parties sharing risk,” he said, alluding to the recent BP/Serica deal.
“We have also seen a huge increase in the number of private equity-backed deals. The Next Generation Deal Making event will touch on deals of the past as well as recent deals. It will allow the audience insight into the structure of these and what we can learn from them. My hope for this event, along with APPEX, is to see this become the ‘place to learn’ network – an event not to be missed,” he said.