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Book Chapter

The Right People for International Exploration and Production Offices

By
Marian W. Downey
Marian W. Downey
Sarkeys Energy Center, University of Oklahoma Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
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Published:
January 01, 2000

Abstract

This chapter is a personal essay limited to the problems, the difficulties, and the benefits of properly staffing foreign exploration and production offices. It does not address the physical problems of personal security, office leasing, communications, customs, and import difficulties. It does not discuss the human relations problems of the head office of an international E&P (exploration and production) company.

I have been the chief executive supervising exploration investments in 61 countries in the past 25 years; most of the investments involved establishing an in-country office. In addition, 10 of these countries received funds for field development; these country offices required assignment or hiring of a wide variety of talent, in addition to exploration staff.

Foreign offices are sometimes opened as listening posts, to provide more contact with host-country officials and local investment opportunities. Such foreign offices may be useful, but they are always costly. Look closely at whether it is really necessary to establish a foreign office. If you are not the operator, your costs are not recoverable. You should expect costs (losses) of $1 to $2 million per year for your foreign office.

If you have decided to open a foreign office, your next important decisions involve staffing. Proper staffing of new overseas ventures is a difficult challenge. Look at it as an opportunity to control the creation of a great company by your actions in providing the right expatriate and local staff.

If you are beginning an exploration project in a foreign country, always remember that something like four out of five exploration ventures are failures! What do these odds tell you about too early investment of capital and staff? They should tell you to keep capital and staff committments to an absolute minimum until you have established that you have an exploration success to develop.

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Contents

International Oil and Gas Ventures: A Business Perspective

George E. Kronman
George E. Kronman
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Don B. Felio
Don B. Felio
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Thomas E. O’Connor
Thomas E. O’Connor
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Mindy S. Kronman
Mindy S. Kronman
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
9781629810683
Publication date:
January 01, 2000

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