- Copyright © 2004 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
The energy business is the largest in the world, and we face significant challenges. There will always be a need for talented geophysicists—bright people with curious minds exploring for oil and gas.
I was invited to provide a model of upstream oil and gas independents in the future. By providing some history and an overview of Apache today, I will make the case that our company is one good model for the future of the upstream business worldwide.
Apache was founded almost 50 years ago. We were listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1969 and we've been a member of the S&P 500 since 1997. We are fortunate to be able to say that we're the only independent that is A-rated by all the major credit ratings agencies.
At Apache, we like to say we are building to last (Figure 1). We have 49 years of culture, dating back to the days when Raymond Plank established Apache in 1954 as a fund company that put together little limited partnerships. Today, we are still small by some comparisons, but we've grown into the 17th-largest private oil and gas company in the world.
We have grown through acquisitions, exploitation, and exploration. In the late 1980s, we concluded that we needed to diversify our geographical portfolio, and today, more than half of our production is outside the United States (Figure 2). We have operations in Egypt, Canada, Australia, and the United States and recently we made our first foray into the United Kingdom North Sea. For many independents, that geographical diversification is yet to come.
We are big believers in incentive systems to motivate our employees. One important indicator is rate of return, which we measure on a monthly basis on every project we …