Oil & Gas Industry Thought Leader

George Yates
CEO, HEYCO Energy Group

40 years ago: Forty years ago, I was working with my team at HEYCO to prove the Bone Springs Sand in the Delaware Ba­sin could be commercial. We worked with some brilliant scientists with Sandia Labs (who later helped George Mitchell in the Barnett) to better understand the reservoir and drilled the first horizontal well in the 2nd Sand with their help. The horizontal was all of 300 ft and dashed our hope of finding vertical fractures. We developed the sand as a vertical play before multistage hydraulic fracturing. It has, of course, grown into one of the best hori­zontal plays in the best basin in the country.

Most impactful event: The most impact­ful event during my career was the development of technology to mine source rocks-the uncon­ventional revolution. Through innovation, independents truly changed the world. A compan­ion event was the globalization of natural gas (LNG), which is continuing to open up markets that would otherwise never be reached.

Hope will happen: My hope for the next decade is that the industry and the product we provide will be accepted as an irreplaceable source of prosperity. Reasonably priced and dependable power will continue to help lift un­told millions out of poverty. And the industry will continue to innovate and outcompete.

What change like to see: I have always been proud of the independent oil and gas in­dustry, and I’m sure that pride will endure. If I could change the industry it would be to encourage more CEOs to speak out about the virtues of oil and gas and never apologize as if hydrocarbons were a necessary evil, as some do, rather than a gift that has lifted man (and especially women) from backbreaking toil into the bountiful opportunities in the modem age. And made our planet greener and cleaner in the process.

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