Mark Papa; An American Oil Legend

Mark Papa played an important role in the establishment of the oil industry in America. He was the CEO of the Enron Oil and Gas Company from 1999 to 2013. Under his leadership, the company grew to become the largest oil company in America.

Mark left the oil industry in 2013. However, his love for the industry could not allow him to stay away, and now he is back. He stated that if the oil industry had stayed at $100 a barrel, he would have considered staying retired.

A year after his exit the oil prices dropped to nearly half of the price. This is what compelled him to get back to the business. He was convinced that the low oil prices would lead to an investment crisis.

When he decided to get back, he went to work for Riverstone as an advisor. For a period of one year, Mark was advising the company on where to look for bargains in the midst of the oil crisis. Even though he managed to provide great investment advice, the oil prices continued to drop much to his disappointment.

The co-founders of the Riverstone Company Pierre Lapeyre and David Leuschen (see David Leuschen pg. 7) helped Mark to raise $500 million for him to start a company. In 2015, the Silver Run Acquisition was born. According to Mark, the Permian Basin presented new investment opportunities.

Unfortunately, he was not the only one who had eyes for the Permian Basin. There were already other companies looking to secure a share of the acreage. He did admit that ignoring the Permian basin while he was working for the EOG was a mistake.

Mark continued to look for good assets, and he eventually found what he was looking for. He made his first acquisition; the Centennial Corp which is a portfolio company. The Centennial Corp had already purchased 43,000 acres in Delaware sub basin. The company was planning to do an IPO but Mark presented a convincing proposal, and they ended up selling to Silver Run Acquisition for $810 million in 2016. After the deal had been finalized, Silver Run Acquisition renamed the company to Centennial.

Later that year, Centennial acquired the Silverback Exploration which had 35,000 acres. The company paid off $855 million for the acres. In total, Centennial has 78,000 acres. Centennial is worth $2.9 billion.

Mark said that the initial drilling would be done targeting the Wolfcamp zones.

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