Executive Interview

Susan Prior, CFO at Matahio Energy on Embracing Sustainable Growth and Industry Collaboration

Published 9 May 2024

Susan Prior, Matahio Energy
What are some of Matahio’s goals for the future and what do you think are the most exciting trends in the industry right now?

Our future goals at Matahio encompass both organic and inorganic growth, reflecting our commitment to sustainable expansion. While we may currently have a relatively modest footprint, our ambitions are substantial, underpinned by the need to align our growth with our deeply held values. Achieving those goals is only possible if we collaborate thoughtfully with our key stakeholders and partners. Matahio’s success will always be a collective and not an individual success.

In the current industry landscape, sustainability has emerged as a pivotal focus area. There is a growing acknowledgment of the crucial role that the oil and gas sector plays in the broader energy transition. We believe that the importance of robust and thoughtful articulation of our company’s approach to sustainability, and the ability to illustrate to stakeholders how Matahio is pursuing its sustainability objectives, including ESG, is just as important as being able to articulate the traditional measures of success such as reserves, barrels of oil produced, profit per barrel, and cost per barrel.

The other encouraging shift I see in the industry is the awareness that energy transition is a progressive journey that requires collaboration between the oil and gas industry and the emerging renewables sector. This partnership is seen as essential, with the skill sets within the oil and gas industry playing a vital role in the success of alternative energy sources. Whether it's the technical expertise needed for carbon capture or the strategic planning for renewables, these skill sets are crucial for a successful transition. The industry is embracing this transition, recognizing that collective action is key to meaningful progress.

How important do you believe partnerships and collaboration will be in the future of the energy industry?

Overcoming the multifaceted challenges of today, spanning personal, community, commercial, and geopolitical realms, demands a rich blend of skills, perspectives, work ethics, and collaborative efforts. To make meaningful contributions to progressive energy and our communities, we must cultivate partnerships and foster collaboration within and beyond our organization. Embracing this ethos of collective action is critical in navigating the complex challenges confronting the energy industry and the global landscape in the coming years.

“We believe that the importance of robust and thoughtful articulation of our company’s approach to sustainability, and the ability to illustrate to stakeholders how Matahio is pursuing its sustainability objectives, including ESG, is just as important as being able to articulate the traditional measures of success.”

How is Matahio leveraging technological advancements, such as AI and automation, to optimize efficiency and drive innovation within the sector?

We always aim to watch every barrel and closely manage every dollar to ensure operational efficiencies. Our approach is not just about meeting requirements; it's about pushing boundaries for excellence. We harness the right talent, forge strategic partnerships, and integrate the latest technologies to drive creativity and innovation across our operations. This relentless pursuit of excellence in our day-to-day operations is how we are striving for progressive energy. The use of novel ROV and subsea inspection equipment in the Philippines as well as the adoption of innovative methods for artificial lift in NZ are examples of application of new technology unlocked by working with the right partners.

What measures are Matahio taking to address the growing demand for sustainable energy solutions in Asia, and how do you see this evolving in the coming years?

We are primarily an oil and gas company and we attempt to produce oil and gas in the most safe and cost efficient way possible. But we also, like everyone else, occupy this planet and need to ensure that we are making our contribution to the energy transition.

Emissions reduction is a key focus for Matahio, and we are implementing capital projects to achieve sustainable reductions. We are also exploring innovative carbon capture initiatives
In the countries in which we operate, we look quite carefully at what alternative low carbon energy options might be available, when might be the right time to diversify into these segments and how best to prepare our company to make the leap when the time is right.

What will Matahio be addressing onstage at Energy Council’s 2024 APAC Capital Assembly and why did you choose these topics?

We enjoy being an active participant, we have been fortunate to be participating in a number of panels for the upcoming APAC. I will be on one that is focused on finance and ESG.

I think it’s incredibly important how to articulate and show our goals. The perspective finance people like myself can bring to this discussion is to focus on working out how to define, and measure progress in the areas of ESG in a way that other stakeholders, particularly financiers and investors can better appreciate. I’m particularly excited to also discuss talent and the growing talent pool as part of the panel.

Don’t miss Susan at this year's Asia Pacific Energy Capital Assembly where she’ll be discussing the critical role of ESG strategies in finance on the Finance & Investment Focus Panel alongside senior leaders from MUFG, ENGIE Impact, Seraya Partners, and Medco Energi. Find out more and book your pass here.

About Matahio

Matahio Energy is an independent energy company with a growing presence across Southeast Asia and Australasia, founded and led by an experienced team of professionals who have successfully steered other energy companies through multiple challenges.

Matahio owns 78.8% interest and operates the Galoc field in Palawan, Republic of the Philippines, and 100% of FPSO Intrepid Balanghai stationed on the Galoc field. It also owns and operates production and exploration permits onshore in the Taranaki Basin, New Zealand.

With a focus on delivering operational efficiencies and developments, Matahio makes decisions based on sound technical knowledge, embraces technology and novel commercial perspectives, and takes accountability for the safety of its people, the environment, and the well-being of the communities in which it operates.

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