Tracee Bentley on Permian Perspective Podcast PP004
Um. The Permian basin is an abundant oil and gas producing area, already one of the world's leading oil producing regions, the area in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico could nearly double crude oil production by the year, twenty twenty three but who are the leaders behind this economic powerhouse? And what is their story? This is Permian perspective. I'm your host Krista as skinny. Sponsored by Baker Hughes. A GE company, inventing smarter ways to bring energy to the world. Hello, everyone. Welcome to this week's episode. I am sitting here in Midland, Texas with Tracy Bentley the CEO of Permian, strategic partnership Tracy, thank you so much for joining us today. Krista, I'm happy to be here. Thank you. How are you doing? I'm doing very well, three weeks in Midland and were loving it so far. What a great community pan task and congratulations on the job before we get into our interview. I have to ask our listeners. We are a new podcast Permian perspective. I would love for all of you to leave a review on, I tunes, once you finish listening to Tracy. And I, I know it's going to be a wonderful interview. I can't wait to get into it. But I really love for you to share some kind words about us. Give us a big review. We would love it and then we'll talk about it in future podcasts. So all right. We've got that done. Let's talk about Tracy Tracy. You're new to Midland you mentioned. What brought you to Midland Texas shore? The permian. Strategic partnership, brought me Midland, Texas. It's the first of its kind anywhere in the country, perhaps, even in the world and the opportunity to participate in something, so unique and so amazing brought me to Texas. So tell us a little bit about your background. How you got started in oil and gas. I know that you've been in the business awhile, so tell us what brought you to it. Sure. So I'm born and raised in Colorado and over my career, I've always been heavy onto things and that's agriculture and energy. And so, my family, my dad's side of the family were farmers and ranchers, and energy was always one of our main light items when it came to paying the bills. And so it was always top of our minds. How important energy was to our families while being, I went to college this work in Washington DC, where energy was part of my portfolio came home started my own consulting business where I had some oil and gas clients. And then governor Hickenlooper at the time recruited me to come work and run his energy office in senior adviser on energy. And so I fell in love with the oil and gas base and the American. Petroleum Institute decided to open up a Colorado office in twenty fifteen. And they asked me to headed up the tastic, and then you were in charge of a big board in Colorado tells a little bit about your experience there. Sure, will Colorado is certainly it's in the top five producing oil and gas states. And so it's also kind of a bellwether state when it comes to politics. And so I've seen Colorado evolve over the years where oil and gas is always been a staple of our state and our state's economy, but with more and more people moving into Colorado and it growing at a rapid growth and people, not understanding the history of energy production as being part of the state's heritage there became some inherent conflict, and so recognizing this, and really trying to educate, folks as they came into the state to very, very challenging, and you're taking that knowledge that you've learned over the years. And we're so happy to have you apply at here in this partnership. Let's talk a little bit about it and the vision because I know there are some major corporations that are behind this. And I'm just excited as midlander of Twenty-one years. I'm so excited about what you're doing in your vision for it. Thank you. Everybody who lives in the Permian basin should be very excited about what we're doing. Our mission is to work in partnership with leaders across the regions communities to address current and future challenges to the responsible development of the vast oil and natural gas resources of the Permian, and we have five key, focus areas, and that is public education healthcare housing roads and workforce development. This is like I said before it's the first of its kind anywhere in the country. And so I'm really excited to be part of this, and we mentioned there, some big names that are behind it. I know Tim Leach recently talked about it at a state of oil and gas presentation. And he was just saying the, you know, some of the, the leaders that are behind this. Why do you think it's important for them to join a coalition like this? Sure. Well luckily, the top producers of the Permian basin came together and said, you know, we basically stole important. Not only to Texas, but to the entire country when it comes to energy independence. And so if we don't help maintain the source of our economic driver. Everybody could fill the downfalls of that. And so many of them, live and work in a raise their families here. And so they understand that they want their employees to have the best health care, the best education, the best roads. And so personally investing time and resources that they have into this, I think is going to be absolutely critical to the success of the PS PSP. Absolutely. Now, what do you think it is that makes the Permian so great? I mean I know I could go on and on, because I've been here while, so I know of would as a newcomer coming in. I would love to hear your take. Why do you think? It's so great. Absolutely. Well, first of all, the basin has become the world's most strategically important energy producing region in the country. There's no other place that can boast that second of all being here for three weeks. It has been very clear to me the people here are very, very special. They're very community minded. They're very warm, and welcoming when they also understood. Band that, it's, it's gonna take everybody's hands on deck to make the improvements that needs to be made when it comes to these top areas that I've said and everybody that I've met so far, as willing to roll up their sleeves and get it done. So the sense of community and let's go get it done has been overwhelming. That is a great way to sum up west Texans, go get it done then that we do. Let's talk a little bit about what your vision is for the next twelve months. Where do you see PSP making that impact? Sure. So our emphasis, and we're called the Permian strategic partnership for a reason our emphasis over the next twelve months is to go out and build those partnerships with the communities that we do business in all across the basin because the PS P is not in the business of building roads or building houses, or these things, but we are in the business of partnering with communities, who know how to do those things, and with other industries who, that's what they do for a living. So the next twelve months is going to be building in some cases, strengthening partnerships to really surface. Those projects who are going to make major impacts in community. Cross the base and really improve everybody's life here. I know that some of the challenges that we face here in west Texas. You mentioned them roads and medical, we, we have wonderful doctors here. We just need more of them in remember, Tim, saying, we need maybe three hundred more doctors over the next ten twelve years, what are you going to do as a partnership to encourage that growth in the medical community shore? So as we speak, we're working with the hospitals in the basin with the doctors both within Midland Odessa, and Carlsbad. But then in the more rural communities because the the needs are different as we know, when it comes to where you have the majority of the people vs communities where there's only a few hundred people, but it's equally as important. And so working, whether it's telemedicine or working to bring on how do we get more access quicker? Or do we need new facilities? All of that is on the table right now. And there's some very very thoughtful discussion being had. What do you think the biggest? Challenges are with growth right now oils over sixty dollars a barrel. That possess mile in. Everyone's face, of course, then we see growth, every time oil prices go up. What do you think is the biggest challenge being able to keep up with that growth? I think is hands down the base in summer one challenge. So a lot of people want to come live in this community, not just only for the job potential, as we've discussed, but for the feeling that I've experienced coming to Midland. But if we don't have anywhere affordable for them to live, and they don't have access to medical care like you just described for their families, or they don't have the education opportunities that they want for their families that we're not going to be able to attract and retain those workers. So this is a major part of what the PSP is set out to do is make those more create those opportunities for people who want to live here, trace Enda, there some amazing big organizations that are involved with the permit strategic partnership who are some of these big companies. Sure. We have twenty of the basins leading oil and gas operators. And they are Anadarko Apache, BP PX energy Chevron simmer. X conscio-, Conaco Phillips, Devon diamondback, Encana endeavor. E o g x t o Halliburton Oxy parsley pioneer plains, all American shumur, Jay and shell. These are big companies very big companies, how exciting to have all of them with the same goal vision. It is we like to say at the PS p that they bring all of their talents to Arteta and all work together, and these are fierce competitors, but when it comes to the Permian strategic partnership, bringing all of their best talent. So the table antastic lie can't wait to see what you do with the partnership in how it grows and changes our community, because we do love living here, and I just can't wait to see how this partnership will blossom and help our community grow, even more. What would you say to someone that is? Maybe on the outside in, you know, going. Well, how can I get involved? How can I help? I want to jump in and help these companies as well absolately, so helping people across the country, understand that the responsible development of oil and natural gas in everybody's best interest. Number one is a huge economic driver. Not only for the state of Texas, but for the entire country, at least two, energy independence. So we don't have to rely on foreign oil when it comes to our what the helps with a lot of things and third of all this industry. I cannot think of a more innovative industry than the oil and natural gas industry. We spend billions of dollars a year innovating to make sure that we are being efficient, and that we are being environmentally responsible. And so when you combine all of those things supporting those efforts, no matter what state, you live in, and certainly at the federal level, I think, is going to help the efforts of the Permian so that we can continue to produce the energy that the nation needs fantastic. Well, I think you just some of the. You've said today, I think it makes all of us think about just how important energy is in, in our day to day lives, not just here, but, but everywhere, and it really is a is something that we could focus on worldwide, not just here in the Permian basin. What would you say to other communities? Maybe to inspire them to do something similar to what you're doing. Sure, I would say it really needs to be driven by the local communities. It doesn't make sense. And I've never seen a model where it's been sustainable, where you have somebody come in and tell community how it's going to be done. It really needs to start at the local level. It needs to be partnerships. That needs to be many partnerships, who really from the ground level surface. What can be done? What's practical, the other thing that I would say is think big, I think sometimes across the country, I've seen it in rural America, and certainly it was Joan Colorado. We tend to think little projects, let's piece off. But really one of the things that makes the PSP so amazing as we are thinking big and outside of the box, probably the than it's ever been done before. Let's be creative, and there's more than one way to skin this cat. And so let's look investing at all of them. I love that. That's my motto dream big dream big and believe in yourself. You have to do this think let's talk about you. As a businesswoman, you bring so many. Wonderful tools to this organization. Cute on me. What your favorite business tool is that you've used over the years? It has helped you succeed shore. I think I kind of just touched on it, but I, I don't take no for an answer. And I've been told no probably more than I've been told. Yes in my life. And I just refused to believe that, that no is the final answer. And so pushing boundaries and saying, but what, but what if we did that and I'm not gonna settle for practices and thoughts that have been just because they have been doesn't mean they should be anymore. So pushing those boundaries and getting people to think outside the box is something that I really, really love along, those lines, one of the things that I took a lot of pride in Colorado, and that something I hope to champion here in the Permian is workforce diversity. So seeing more women in the cease tweet offices, I think, would be amazing diversifying our workforce, I think is critical. We have a ten year window to do that, as we see more folks starting to retire within our industry. And so. Acting and retaining diversity. I think is absolutely key to our success. Absolutely. I love that. And how, how do you plan on doing that, and supporting diversity and inclusion within the Permian strategic partnership shirt, so I think it starts with education, letting people know about the vast opportunities in the oil and gas industry. I think is huge. If you talk to people, and just say, hey, of you ever considered looking at the oil and gas industry, most women, a lot of minorities would say. No. And when you ask them why they say will because I don't really want to work on a rig, or I don't wanna work out in the weather. That is their idea of what it is to work in the oil and gas industry. And you and I know it is so much more than that. Our industry needs accountants and HR professionals and engineers, and chemists and management. I mean all of the above and so- letting them know about the opportunities. I found has been absolutely key. The other thing I would say in industries, getting really, really good at this is making sure or accommodating, the needs of that workforce, so making sure that there's flex. Ability when it comes to spending time with their families being full time mom and being a career woman as you and I know they go hand in hand and many, many of us, do it, very successfully, so making sure that there's those opportunities and that leeway, I think, is absolutely critical. I love that. You mentioned that, how do you find the balance because I know your mom just like me, how do you find the balance between the work and home life? The sure I found that when I'm at work, I'm at work, and I try to squeeze everything I can out of every hour that I'm there and sometimes that can be done. And sometimes work does carry over into family time in the evening, but working really hard to minimize that I found to be really key knee other part of it is, is making sure that when it comes to making your kids ballgame or something that's really, really important blocking that time off and making sure you do it. And then if you have to go back and finish work. I think those things have been really key to my success in keeping my kids, and my husband happy, I love that. Very good. What about lessons learned? I know I feel like I learned something new. Every day. What is the most important lesson that you have learned on this journey? Sure. I think I've learned while for spy, learn so much like you every day this industry never ceases to amaze me in the communities that, that we work in. But I think it goes back, I feel like I'm repeating myself. But there's no right way to do it every community every state it has to all be localized. And so some things that I saw that worked or didn't work in Colorado. Some of it could apply here, but the Permian is so unique and so special that it has to really be at that local level. And I think what I've noticed over my career is so many people try to take a, a cookie cutter. Whether it's at the federal level or at a state level and apply it to their state or across the country, and it really doesn't work communities. No bests states know best and everything should be localized and specialized to what works for that state or for that community. Very good. What about books podcast? You have a book that is really kind of changed your life or that you had. Courage, others to read that are just starting in this business. You know, it has been so long since I've read for me, personally, because you're too busy working and taking care of your family. I get that. I'm the same I now have to listen to books rather than sit down and read it. I think that's where I'm headed as well. And the last time I read for personal enjoyment. It's been a couple of years. But asked me that in like six months, I'll have an answer. You got it. You got it. How about a favorite quote? Do you have a quote, that has kind of helped you and encouraged you throughout your years, just, you know, because sometimes there's we know there's ups and downs of oil and gas business. And when you're in those downs what has gotten new backup? Sure. I think I don't know that this is a quote, but it's kind of a motto that I live by is. I think that I've been able to fight through adversity and be successful as I am right now today because of my failures, I think I failed enough to know how to recognize success. And so that's a way of saying, if you. Don't fail. You're not going to succeed or you're not gonna know it when you see it and how to build upon it. So I try to take in my failures just as much as I take in my success. And I think the most successful people, I know have failed almost as many times as they have succeeded. Absolutely. That is great advice. And I think sometimes, especially younger, people that are just starting out in the business or even kids, we have kids, they feel like they have to have all the answers right now know what they're going to do the rest of their life, and that they've got to achieve achieve, but it's not like that, as you just said, there's going to be failures, and we're going to have more failures. But then that's just going to catapult us to Nick success. So I love that. You pointed that out. What would you say to young girls that are? I know there's their stem programs. And that's huge in in trying to attain more women into our business. What would you say to a younger, girl that has may be considering oil and gas or going into engineering in college? How would you encourage them? I would strongly encourage them to find a mentor. Within the industry, even if you're going into engineering, and you, it's not an engineer find some buddy in the industry, who you think, is making an impact and shadow or keep in touch with them. I had throughout my career so many young women do that. And they got to see all aspects it helped them I think, make career choices and really have a better understanding of the industry, but selfishly it helped me a lot to see where what are these girls thinking, where are in their mind. Where are the opportunities? And how can I help shape that? So it was very mutually beneficial. That's wonderful. What about with PSP? Where do you see it five years from now? Where do you hope this amazing organization? Where do you hope that it goes, too short, so economically this base in, in the next five years is going to be up to two hundred billion dollars a year in annual revenue, which is amazing? There's nowhere else in the country who can boast that we are going to be up to fifty thousand local new. New jobs, and we're going to become ten percent of the GDP of Texas, and so, huge, huge opportunity. And we need to be ready for it. And so getting some of these partnerships that we just described and getting the base in ready to take on an amazing, hopefully diverse workforce is a tall order, but it's something that I think that we can accomplish. How would you describe the base into someone that is listening from the other side of the world? How would you describe it to them? Sure. I've done this a couple of times with my own family who's never been to the permanent. I say, it's, it's the most potential rich place I have ever visited in my entire life. It needs some infrastructure. It needs to improve on the things that we just spoke about to reach its full potential. It's also one of the most partnership driven community-based places. I have ever seen in my tire life, where people don't ask if it can get done. They say how can we contribute to it getting done? It's very, very special. I would say suggest the landscape to lends itself. Anybody who is from who grew up on a farm ranch or around it or appreciates the rule values. This is a wonderful place to be. Yes, it is. What would you say to someone is on a journey similar to yours? How would you help them in their journey? Sure. I would say keep your options open. If you would've asked me if I would be living in Midland Texas, two years ago, I would have said, no. Right. Why or where where where's Netherland but the fact that the opportunity was brought to me and I didn't say that, because my, my comfort zone was somewhere else. And I said, well, let's go look at that really brought me here, and I am forever grateful. And so keeping your options open, even when your gut, or your comfort zone, usually is telling you don't go there, I think is proved for me to be very, very important. I love that. And we've often told our kids, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because there that's when the growth. Happens. That's when something happens that to me, it's almost like a sign that this is what you're supposed to be doing. It's going to be a little comfortable at first, but then look, boom, a year later, you know, exact you're where you should be. Absolutely. Well, we are so glad you're here in west Texas. It has been fun getting to know you and I just wanted to ask you, I was like to close out an interview with asking is there anything when you're getting ready this morning, you're like, I'll chasse me this, or I hope that I can get this across today that you want everyone to know about either PS or or about you. Sure I feel like I've said everything. Okay. That's good. Thank you for sharing with us today. Tracy. I really appreciate it. And that's going to do it for this episode of Permian perspective, the story behind the oil and gas leaders in the Permian basin, just remember dream big and believe in yourself. You make it a great day. Tune in next week for another episode of Permian perspective it production of the oil and gas global network. Learn more at WWW dot ORG G, N dot com.