About Andrew Haney
Mr. Haney is Co-President and Co-Founder of Nickel Road Operating LLC (“Nickel Road”). He has over 20 years of experience in technical and leadership roles, oil and gas asset management, development engineering and field production optimization. At Nickel Road, Mr. Haney has grown the upstream oil and gas producer to a significant operated position in the DJ Basin with a robust inventory of permitted horizontal drilling locations. Prior to founding Nickel Road, he previously held various roles in companies focused on the development of unconventional oil and gas resources across the Rockies region including Vice President of Development for Ursa Operating Company (2012 – 2017), Senior Reservoir Engineer – Business Development at Pioneer Natural Resources USA (2012) and as Reservoir Engineer and Completions Engineer for Encana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. (2005 –2012). He began his career with Shell Exploration & Production Company as a Reservoir Engineer (2001 – 2005). Mr. Haney has a passion for strategies that leverage technical innovation to create commercial value.
Mr. Haney received a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering with Honors from Colorado School of Mines and a M.S. in Global Energy Management from the University of Colorado Denver. He is a member of the President's Council of the Colorado School of Mines Foundation and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Under his leadership, Nickel Road was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as one of the 2022 Best Places to Work – Small Companies.
Q&A with Andrew
What made you decide to join us at this 34th Annual Energy Summit conference to participate on this panel?
The energy landscape is not only at the forefront of the current news cycle but it also is as globally dynamic as it has ever been. Many politicians see a tug-of-war between growing domestic oil and gas production capacity and achieving long-term energy transition goals. Many consumers are feeling pain at the pump due to disruptions in the global energy markets and a recent lack of capital investment in oil and gas drilling as well as refining capacity. While Americans struggle to understand the driver for this period of higher gasoline prices, what is coming into clear focus is that the U.S. has the opportunity to choose its energy future by empowering the oil and gas industry to help meet its energy needs while adhering to more protective regulatory and environmental standards than elsewhere in the world. Our industry must continue to speak up to ensure that consumers understand the important role that we play with regards to domestic energy security and global economic growth.
Why do you think your panel topic is critical in the oil and natural gas industry at this time?
The American consumer is in a very difficult situation right now. They are being squeezed by 40-year highs in inflation (CPI) across a wide array of goods and services. While the current administration has been critical of the U.S. oil and gas industry, the American consumer needs relief. There is a belief that long-term energy transition aspirations should drive today’s energy choices creating perceptions of what is ‘green.’ What is clear is that this nation and the entire world need: 1) broader access to cheaper energy; 2) energy to be developed in a manner that reduces its impact to the environment. While the domestic oil and gas industry has embraced ESG as a crucial element to continued investment, the State of Colorado has seen its entire regulatory and environmental system overhauled in the past 3 years. This has left American consumers and investors with the question of whether oil and gas development and production will remain profitable while meeting these stringent new standards put in place to protect public health, safety environment and welfare. The DJ Basin is the largest oil producing basin in Colorado which is the 5th largest oil producing state in the country. It is important to take a closer look at how the comprehensive regulatory and environmental changes in Colorado have impacted its oil and gas industry and whether operators can continue to deliver competitive returns maintaining its positive impact on Colorado’s economy. Eyes are on the DJ Basin to signal whether this new era of more stringent regulations can be navigated in order to meet America’s energy needs.
What is your personal favorite story about, or characteristic of the Colorado oil and natural gas community and those who work in it?
There are so many wonderful stories about the oil and natural gas business and how closely it touches Colorado communities and families. These stories are seldom publicized, and I certainly would encourage those in our industry and our neighboring communities to share more of these positive experiences. My favorite story involves the perception of our industry in the eyes of my children. I am fortunate to be the father to twin 13-year-old girls. They have always been curious about the industry that their parents have chosen as a profession and within which they have invested in creating small businesses. Like many parents, I have learned firsthand that the way in which our industry is discussed in the media and in learning environments is often skewed to the negative with no context on the improvements being made and the crucial impact that oil and natural gas production makes on the quality of our lives. After my daughters came home from school one evening, they told my wife and I about the criticism they faced amongst their peers for having parents in the oil and gas industry and about how much damage we do to the climate and environment. Rather than trying to share endless facts with them in an effort to persuade them, we chose to take them to one of our surface drilling locations in rural Weld County. They had the opportunity to see the operation firsthand and to talk to the incredible professionals that work in our business ensuring that we meet the high standards that our expected of us. Once they saw what truly goes on behind those soundwalls and had the chance to talk with the personnel about how we conduct operations, they felt much more informed. There was a sense of pride that emerged from them about how hard our industry works to deliver our energy needs with safety and protective measures and practices in mind with every step of the operation. They know take the initiative to share their experiences with their peers and have found more receptive ears than they originally thought. It is incumbent upon all of us to continue to educate and share knowledge with our family, friends and neighbors about the importance of the oil and gas industry. They need to know not only how much we care on making a positive impact in Colorado but that we also take accountability for our performance.
The dust is settling with Colorado’s new regulatory system
Stark contrast has emerged in terms of the feasibility of oil and gas plans and permits. Location and proximity are huge drivers as to whether projects are able to efficiently move forward.
ESG is more than a label in Colorado. It is an integral part of operating in Colorado and many oil and gas producers are putting it at the top of the list in order to distinguish the greener molecules that are produced here.
Colorado needs the oil and gas industry for the 230,000 jobs it accounts for and $31 bln of economic impact that it brings every year.
DJ Basin companies continue to find ways to add value for investors.
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