Miguel Viramontes Nales, Managing Director, Blackrock
|What are your strategic priorities and growth targets for the next 12-24 months?|
One North Energy’s priorities are to complete our fund raising activities and to secure as many quality producing oil and gas assets as we can during the oil price trough. We would prefer to use our contacts and experience in the industry to secure direct negotiation transactions rather than getting involved in open tenders.
|Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the O&G market and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?|
The industry is suffering in this downturn and, as 2016 expenditure plans firm, we expect increased asset sales – to release cash and fund 2016 obligations. There is obviously a great opportunity on the buy side of this equation for those who are cashed up. Potentially, this interest will come from the mutli-sector players who see this current commodity price cycle low as their cue to invest in oil and gas.
|What do you foresee as the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?|
Most of us have been through multiple cycles in this industry and most of us are guilty of loosening our belts every time prices improve again. If we could only keep our financial and structural discipline throughout the good times then I believe the industry’s long term growth would be less erratic and more sustainable.
|These are tough market conditions with depressed oil prices and global reductions in capex and workforce, what
measures and practices are you putting in place to adapt to this new (but not unknown) working environment?
The cost cutting and capital programme reductions are must-do’s for the industry in these cycles. But I think the winners through these periods will be those who are creative and commercially nimble. We have to look further than our usual range of funding counter-parties and be prepared to structure unconventional deals that may need to share more of future upside.
|If you could wave a magic wand over the global industry, what would you change and why?|
The industry has become more bureaucratic, more regulated and slower moving. We risk becoming a dinosaur in the fast moving world of tech and social media. I would love to figure out a way to bring the excitement back for young graduates by making the industry more commercially nimble and creative.
|How would you describe your company in one sentence to a new investor/client?|
A team of technically competent, transaction oriented individuals with a strong track record offering a chance to investors to benefit from future commodity price rebound.
|You are attending our 2016 Asia Pacific Assembly, what is your goal at this event and what take-away(s) do you
want attendees to go home with regarding your company and your work in Asia Pacific?
I want to share knowledge of what we are doing to help us continue to raise funds from investors and make asset sellers aware of our goals. I want attendees to know that we can and do complete transactions and that we have a track record of significant value growth for investors.
|How did you come to be in the O&G industry?|
My elder brother left college to be a drilling engineer with BP and got me interested in the industry. I joined Amoco as a petroleum engineer after my studies.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
The growth and sale of Arrow Energy. My colleagues and I took it from a team of 6 with a market capitalisation of A$15 million in 2004 to a workforce of 700 and a sale value to Shell/PetroChina of A$3.5 billion in 2010.
|What one businessman/woman do you most admire and why?|
I have always been a fan of Jack Welch at GE and his 6 rules of leadership – which I have used in a number of my businesses over the years. They are succinct and worth repeating here to answer the “why”
Control your destiny, or someone else will.
Face reality as it is, not as it was or as you wish it to be.
Be candid with everyone.
Don’t manage, lead.
Change before you have to.
|What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?|
Always strive for organized chaos in your business – the risk being that you will only achieve the latter half of it.
|What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate embarking on a career in O&G?|
Get a good grounding in the basics. The big oil and gas companies are fantastic training grounds. You can decide whether you want to stay in that environment or move to the higher risk/reward end of the industry curve later on.
|How and where do you prefer to spend your spare time?|
Outdoors – fresh air – hiking. Or visiting art and culture in various cities.
|What is your all-time favourite film?|
Any Human Heart – William Boyd
“Missing” – a 1982 Costa Gavras film about the Chilean dictatorship with Jack Lemmon
|What three items would you take with you to a desert island?|
A spade, a knife and a fishing net.
About Miguel Viramontes Nales
Mr. Viramontes is a Managing Director of the Mexico Infrastructure Group at BlackRock. In this role, he is responsible for originating, structuring, financing and managing a portfolio of diversified infrastructure assets in several sectors, including transportation, water, energy and social infrastructure. He joined BlackRock in October 2015 with the acquisition of I Cuadrada, a privately owned infrastructure investment manager in Mexico. Mr. Viramontes has over 12 years of private equity investing and development experience in Real Assets, and prior to that 5 years as a management consultant. Mr. Viramontes is a Civil Engineer from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the Stern School of Business at New York University.