An interview with Don Dotson

Investment in assets that will reap long-term rewards beyond the pandemic is the focus of US upstream venture Vencer Energy.

Launched last year and backed by Vitol, its Chief Executive Officer Don Dotson has been in the oil sector for 32 years.

Vencer Energy has big ambitions and Don is confident now is the right time to find suitable opportunities.

“We are looking to invest in and operate large producing assets in the US with long-life reserves and low base decline rates,” Don said.

“The sudden drop in demand in 2020 was driven by COVID-19 so, as countries’ efforts in dealing with the virus yield positive results, economic growth will pick up, as will the demand for oil.

“Much of the US shale sector struggled with the low oil prices and are still challenged with difficult decisions even as prices have improved.

“Many companies took on a lot of debt, and we anticipate there will be some good buying opportunities.

“We believe that we have the expertise to run oil and gas fields optimally.”

His decision to work with Vitol was a simple one.

“My vision for the type of US upstream business that I want to build is very much aligned with what Vitol sees as an opportunity.

“Our focus is to grow a successful company by investing in large fields with existing production

where we can generate exceptional returns through well-managed operations and low cost development projects.

“We are looking at a lot of potential investments, but we have a very clear idea of what we want

and where we think we can add value and we will be very disciplined about any investment decisions.”

 Vencer is looking beyond a possible peak in oil demand in the next 15 years.

“Oil demand may very well peak in the early 2030s, but its decline is likely to be slow,” said Don.

“We will maintain the flexibility to monetize assets at the right times and/or produce assets to the end of their economic  life.

“Vencer will stay well positioned and generate superior returns by valuing the expertise of our people and by leaning forward into technologies that will achieve our core objectives.”

Don, who grew up on a family run ranch, has spent more than three decades in the sector.

“I’m a petroleum engineer by profession and I began working at Amoco Production Company before moving to Samson Resources and Samson International.”

It was at Samson where he went from engineering into management. “After Samson, I partnered with other executives where we built and monetized several private equity backed companies.

“I was President and CEO for Sable Bay Energy and held President and COO roles for several Plantation Petroleum companies.

“I’m grateful to Vitol for this new opportunity.”


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