Executive Interview

Paul Taylor, Head of Reserves and Resources, ERCE

Published: May 2021

My role at ERCE and where the organisation fits into the Energy sector?

I am Head of Reserves and Resources reporting at ERCE. Our company is firmly established as a global leader in Reserves and Resources evaluation and audit and is actively involved in the definition of the standards to which we report. My job is to maintain our high standard of reporting and ensure all of our Competent People are up to speed with the latest developments and interpretations of international reporting standards. As a company, our multi-disciplinary teams make us a leading choice, not only for resources reporting for public and private markets, but also in the support of acquisitions, divestments, and for sub-surface teams that find they need some help with their reservoirs!

Tell us a bit about your career in the industry…

My own career started with Shell which provided a fantastic start to my career in the industry. We had six months of petroleum engineering courses in the Netherlands before undertaking two years as a wellsite petroleum engineer. This was a great way to learn about operations and gain a better appreciation of where the data that we rely upon comes from. I then specialised in reservoir engineering and spent time in the United Kingdom, Brunei and Oman working on a diverse range of assets. Subsequently, I worked for a number of smaller E&P independents mostly looking at new business opportunities in the Former Soviet Union, Middle East and Africa. Working on mergers and acquisitions opportunities forces you to quickly assess the critical elements associated with the asset(s) and evaluate the value potential. This is similar to consulting work which I switched over to in 2006 and have really enjoyed the variety of work that it offers. Over the years I’ve specialised in Reserves and Resources audits and evaluations and I’m now proud to be heading up this important area within ERCE.

What have you been seeing this year in your role as ‘Head of Reserves and Resources’ and how has COVID impacted what you have seen?

Over the past year, the CV-19 global pandemic has had a massive impact on the industry through suppression of demand, which has lowered commodity prices and reigned in capital budgets. It has also sharpened the global focus on energy transition.
As an employee owned company we were able to make different choices to prepare for this and still ensure we had the capacity to help clients as demand increased. Over the year, what I/we found the most encouraging is that the more enlightened/forward thinking clients continued to progress and seek acquisition opportunities despite capital constraints, and ERCE has remained very active throughout the crisis as a result. We are now coming to an end of the year-end reporting cycle busier than ever and well positioned for future growth.
Despite the turbulence of the pandemic, the past year has given the company time to consider its role in supporting the energy transition. Our recent launch of ERC Evolution has been a natural and logical progression for ERCE as a whole, applying our high reporting standards to provide support during the energy transition, from the certification of GHG emissions to the valuation of CCUS and geothermal investment opportunities.

ERCE work across the entire value chain – how do you think different profiles will respond to COVID in 2021?

The pandemic has affected the globe for over a year now, and with the global vaccination programme now underway there may be light at the end of the tunnel. However, the world still has a long way to go to reach any real sense of ‘normality’ and predicting what will happen in a continued COVID environment is difficult. There will undoubtedly be a continuation [if not increase] in asset or corporate transactions and, potentially, a firming of capital budgets to meet increased demand. That said, transition is now, [or should now be], front and centre of every energy company’s strategy and ERCE is well placed to support this.

How is ERCE positioned to support current and prospective clients in a VUCA environment?

ERCE is very used to dealing with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity – after all, that is the essence of the subsurface! By maintaining our staff base through the CV-19 pandemic we feel we are well placed to grow again as business picks up. We now have an office in Perth, Australia to support our clients in this region; this complements our existing office in Singapore. In addition, our joint venture with Ross Offshore in Norway has led to ERCE-Ross developing a stable position within that market. Critically, ERC Evolution is well placed to support energy companies developing future strategies with the energy transition at their core.

About ERCE

Independent energy consulting group specialising in subsurface, facilities, commercial evaluation and energy transition for upstream and midstream energy clients globally

  • Merger and Acquisition Evaluation
  • Field Simulation, Development and Management
  • Reserves and Resources Auditing
  • Corporate Advisory
  • Valuation and Equity
  • Exploration Prospectivity and Portfolio Analysis
  • Risk and Uncertainty Modelling
  • Expert Witness, Unitisation and Redetermination
  • Data Services
  • Unconventional and Alternative Energy

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