Keith Collins, CEO, Vestigo Petroleum
20 January 2016
What are your strategic priorities and growth targets for the next 12-24 months?
I foresee that 2016 and 17 will be tough years for the industry so our key focus areas will be to maintain the balance between revenue and cost and only invest in projects that generate near term free cashflow. Our focus will be on Malaysian projects, both greenfield and brownfield, but also actively pursue an entry into overseas projects that would benefit from the expertise we have built up over the past few years.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the O&G market and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
I believe the greatest opportunity for us is in the area of brownfield redevelopment and infill drilling to access bypassed oil. These projects have low initial CAPEX and have the ability to generate free cashflow quickly. We have positioned ourselves to benefit from these opportunities doing the basic things right, not being paralysed by process and having a sharp eye on costs.
What do you foresee as the greatest challenge to our industry's future growth?
In terms of the offshore industry’s growth, I believe the greatest challenge comes from the increasing exploitation and production capacity of onshore producing areas such as in Saudi Arabia, Russia and the USA. Also the presence of cheap LNG, primarily driven by the USA exporting over 50 million tonnes per year, will herald significant downward price pressure for some of the more established LNG suppliers limiting their growth opportunities.
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?
We have to survive in the current environment so we are reviewing what we do and paring back to the absolute safe minimum in terms of operations. In terms of projects, we are pushing our costs back down to where they were in 2004/5 so that we can undertake economically beneficial activity. If we as an industry can’t do this then it’s going to be a very long and dark winter as very few projects will be able to move forward.
If you could wave a magic wand over the global industry, what would you change and why?
I would change the way we do our business by adopting common standards and methods. My view is that differing standards and methodologies are some of the biggest contributors to inefficiency and higher costs.
How would you describe your company in once sentence to a new investor/client?
We are a niche small field development and production company staffed by people who are proud of what they do and watch every dollar and cent spent as if it were their own.
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?
My goal is to hear different perspectives on our business and in so doing test the “do-ability” of our growth strategy. I’d like to the attendees to go home knowing who Vestigo are, that we are synonymous with low cost, safe developments/operations and that we can be a trusted to deliver.
How did you come to be in the O&G industry?
I joined the industry back in 1983 straight from University as part of a grad scheme.
What is your proudest work-related achievement to date?
Being asked to run a subsidiary of a highly regarded National Oil Company
What one businessman/women do you admire most and why?
Ayman Asfari, Petrofac CEO, who built up a multi-billion dollar company in 20 years. He is able to engage with the people who work for him and inspires them to have a deep sense of loyalty.
What was the wisest advice you received from a mentor?
There are always two sides to a story. Find out what they are before forming an opinion or making a decision.
What advice would you pass onto a recent graduate embarking on a career in O&G?
Gain as much operational experience as possible early in your career and take every opportunity that is presented to you no matter how inconvenient
How and where do you prefer to spend your spare time?
In the gym or on the golf course!
What is your all-time favourite book?
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by WL Shirer
What is you all-time favourite film?
What three items would you take with you to a desert island?
A knife, a rope and a boat
About Keith Collins
Keith has considerable industry experience in management, drilling, completion and field development activities. He started his career in 1983 working for Conoco as a Drilling Engineer based in the UK. In 1990 he joined Texaco in a role as team leader for various drilling campaigns and then moved to Hess to lead the subsea completion effort on a major field development.
Since October 2013 he has been the CEO of Vestigo Petroleum. During this time the company has delivered its first offshore field development and is successfully managing a field operation for PCSB. The organisation has grown to suit the activity levels and currently consists of around 70 professional staff. A viable, value creating business plan has been formulated and is being implemented to enable small and marginal fields to be consistently developed economically.