THOUGHTS FROM THE TOP
From the desk of our Chairman and CEO, Rick Muncrief (12/1/17)
I hope you and those you care about had a great Thanksgiving! We’re now in the homestretch of 2017 at WPX as we work to finish strong and stay focused on achieving our next big milestone, which will be 100,000 bbl/d.
Stop and think about that for a second. In 2017, we hit two other major milestones – 50,000 bbl/d and 75,000 bbl/d. Folks, that’s 50 percent growth within the same calendar year.
I’ve been around oil and gas a long time, and I’ve worked at multiple companies, and I can’t recall ever seeing that level of growth in such a short window anywhere I’ve been.
That kind of growth opportunity is what attracted our new D&C VP Rich Downey to WPX earlier this year. He came from a much larger company, but in WPX he saw an opportunity where he could make significant personal contributions on a daily basis to our success story.
Obviously, it takes a total team effort across all of our operations and functions to keep delivering on our word. To help make that possible, some of my main responsibilities here are to support our people, build the health and sustainability of the organization and stay future-focused.
Along those lines, we issued a press release that in my mind addresses all these objectives after our board unanimously approved my recommendation to add the title of President to Clay Gaspar in addition to his role as our Chief Operating Officer.
For Clay, this formally recognizes his leadership at WPX and the responsibilities he’s already overseeing. It also challenges him to broaden his perspective like so many people here are doing by shifting to a different basin or working in a new discipline.
This is also a wonderful compliment to the nearly 400 people who rollup under Clay, tipping our hat to their progress on our oil growth while managing the extent of change we’ve seen with our portfolio transformation.
For me, this brings more capacity to focus on the optionality we believe WPX will have post-2018 as we meet our financial and deleveraging targets. As I said during our third-quarter webcast, we plan to be cash-flow positive in 2019, which gives us a lot of flexibility for growing shareholder value.
In terms of our org structure, everything stays the same. Clay, Kevin Vann, Bryan Guderian and Dennis Cameron continue to report to me.
And in case you’re wondering, I have no plans to leave or retire anytime soon. For some perspective, my own father finally just stopped working at the age of 82. For us Muncriefs, work is a healthy thing. We believe in the value of hard work, rolling up our sleeves and getting the job done.
And despite all the external honors and accolades we’ve received for our transformation, all of us would agree – the job’s not done.
What’s happening here is a shared legacy of recreating a company. You can be fully assured that we'll continue to reposition WPX for more of the sweet taste of success!