Today we’d like to introduce you to Aaron Davis.
Aaron Davis is co-founder and CEO of both Fortuna Resources and TNM Resources, each formed in 2016 and 2017 as private equity-backed E&P companies pursuing Permian Basin strategies. Davis inherited his entrepreneurial drive from growing up and working in several family-owned businesses.
Davis ventured out with three other partners to found Fortuna Resources; he was working at Occidental Petroleum Corp. when everything began to align. “I always wanted to run my own company, and the downturn was an opportunity to acquire oil and gas assets at a lower cost basis.” While earning his master of business administration (MBA) at Rice University, Davis had created a 5-year personal plan outlining steps to own his own oil and gas company. “I had not read it since I graduated,” Davis said of that plan, but it was perfect because it helped him reach his goal. The plan set Davis out on a mission to “gain more leadership and management experience, recruit a team of people he trusted, and find a strategic advantage to base a business on.”
After tallying it all up, Davis believed 2016 was “the right time”; he had been a Reservoir Management Team Leader at Occidental Petroleum and had engineering, finance, and management experience. The downturn also presented the opportunity to put together and acquire positions at favorable metrics in the Delaware Basin. Best of all, “I had people I knew and trusted that wanted to be part of the team.” One of his partners had always said, “If you ever want to start your own company, I want to go with you.”
Fortuna quickly built an asset base of 8,500 net acres with the production of 400 boepd, and in December 2016, Fortuna sold most of its Delaware Basin assets to PDC Energy, Inc. with the remaining being sold in 2017. As a follow up to Fortuna’s success, TNM Resources was established in February 2017 to once again focus on the Permian Basin.
The new company keeps some roots in the Delaware Basin with a non-op strategy but is also focused on an emerging play in the Central Basin Platform of the Permian Basin. “TNM’s goal is to prove to the investment community that the San Andres horizontal play has economics that competes in the top quartile in the onshore U.S.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Nothing in entrepreneurship is smooth. The biggest struggle was raising the money to start Fortuna in the beginning. I had originally anticipated 2-3 months to raise money when in reality it actually took 7 months. While raising money, the oil price went from $50 to $27/bbl so the timing could not have been worse.
Most companies were holding the purse strings back and in a “wait and see” mode. We were able to overcome these challenges by learning from pitches and adjusting and constantly networking to understand what the private equity community was looking for. We had to adjust our plans and ambitions to get the first funding.
Fortuna Resources – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Fortuna Resources is an independent oil and gas production company focused on value creation through acquisition and leasing, as well as the exploitation of mature oil and gas producing properties in the Permian Basin.
Current operations are focused on the Permian Basin with an emphasis on the Delaware Basin and Central Basin Platform. Our company is known to be quick in decision making and very technically competent. We spent most of 2017 in acquisition mode and we built a reputation for being reliable, easy to work with, and fast. In our business, these qualities help set you apart from the competition.
I am most proud of the team we have built at our company. Every person has equity and therefore is in the driver seat on how we perform. We have a great team that works together well and fully has each other’s backs.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
My definition of business success is building a company that a larger company ultimately wants to buy. If we do our job right, we should be able to prove up assets that others have overlooked or missed and show the value of these missed opportunities. Our business is about starting, growing, selling and then starting over. We are currently on our second company.
In life, I define success as having successful kids. If my family and kids are happy and contributing to society then I think I have been successful.
- Address: 2 Greenway Plaza, Suite 240 Houston, TX 77046
- Website: www.fortunaresourcesllc.com
- Phone: 281-404-4806
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org