Oil and gas junior companies: What's their end game?
Aroway Energy CEO Chris Cooper discusses junior oil and gas companies, the Keystone XL pipeline and the future of Canadian oil and gas, in an interview with OilPrice.com.
The oil and gas game can be a tricky one for junior companies, but if played right the pay-off can be massive. At a time when juniors are risking a lot in volatile venues in the Middle East and Africa, Canada’s Aroway Energy (ARW) is planting its feet firmly in homeland soil and in conventional plays.Skip to next paragraph
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Why? Because for the smaller juniors this is not a long-term game and blowing all your capital to drill a single unconventional well in a risky frontier won’t pay off. Canada still has plenty to offer for juniors, even though you have to kiss plenty of frogs to find the prince. The end game, after all, is merger and acquisition.
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In an exclusive interview with Oilprice.com, Aroway CEO Chris Cooper discusses:
• How to make or break a junior oil and gas company
• Why rail is becoming more attractive than pipeline transit
• Why most juniors won’t make it big in risky frontiers
• Why Keystone XL will get the green light
• Why oil and gas prices will increase
• Why the smaller juniors will stick to the conventional plays
• How the asset market is heating up … and what is ideal
• Why having control of infrastructure is key to success
• Where Canada’s oil and gas industry will be in a decade
• What every junior’s goal should be
Interview by James Stafford of Oilprice.com
James Stafford: Junior oil companies have been storming the scene with some bold investments in tricky frontier areas. Where do you see this going and what will the next phase for the juniors be? Where will the action be, in conventional or unconventional plays?
Chris Cooper: I am a big believer in the conventional plays. I find that the non-conventional plays are turning into more of a game for the intermediate-size companies primarily as a result of the capital that is required to exploit the resources. Horizontal wells with multi-stage fracturing is an expensive game. I find that the conventional plays expose juniors to a less risky scenario with higher returns on investment and longer-term production more often than not.
Given the current state of the capital markets and the scarcity of funding, I think the smaller juniors will continue to play in the conventional arena.
James Stafford: What’s the ideal partner for a junior company, and what can make or break it for a junior?
Chris Cooper: As far as make or breaking a junior, I believe you need to minimize the company’s risk by drilling wells that are going to give you good internal rates of return and steady production; a good mix of development and exploration wells. It is also very good to have a good operator that is responsible in keeping a control on costs.
James Stafford: What separates the good management teams from the mediocre in the Canadian junior oilpatch?