Oct. 14–When Tim Leach arrived in Midland with a petroleum engineering degree almost 37 years ago, he was impressed with the oilmen he was meeting but doubted he would ever be on an equal footing with them.
Now as chairman-CEO of Concho Resources, the region’s leading oil and gas producer, Leach has joined several of them as the biennial honoree of the Permian Basin International Oil Show.
“It’s a huge honor, especially because of the people who have gone before, John Cox, Clayton Williams, Cyril Wagner Jr., Jack Brown and Jim Henry,” he said. “We bought Jim’s company in 2008 and John took deals from us when we first formed Concho. They were inspirational leaders.”
“This industry is a wonderful collection of people,” said Leach, 58. “You wouldn’t think it’s a people business, but it really is. I was always nervous that I was not as good as those guys. I thought I was going to have to get lucky to match up with them.”
Leach’s dad Jerry was a Shell Oil engineer and the family moved a good deal before Leach graduated from Spring High School in Houston and enrolled at Texas A&M University, where he graduated in 1982. He was an energy loan officer at Midland National Bank till going to work in 1989 as an engineer for Parker & Parsley Petroleum, where he held various positions before the company merged with the Dallas-based Mesa Inc. and formed Pioneer Natural Resources in 1997.
Leach took a master’s degree in business administration at UTPB in 1984. He is on the Texas A&M Board of Regents and chairman of the regents’ building committee. He and his wife Amy have two sons. His dad is at Fayetteville, Ark. His mother Arlene is deceased.
Reflecting on his first oil show, Leach said, “The bank gave all the employees free passes and the day off.”
“It was like when I was growing up in Houston and we all got off for the rodeo. It was a big celebration of the industry, especially the service side and technology. We walked around and saw all the companies and exhibits. It was a fun day.”
“The show highlights the accomplishments of our industry with all the different service and support companies and the people who are involved in making our region so successful.”
Asked how Concho grew after he and his partners formed it in 1997, Leach said they concentrated on building a team, applying their assets, pursuing their drilling program and monitoring their balance sheet. “Our careers were built around the success of the Permian Basin and operations here,” he said.
“Now everybody worldwide knows about the Basin. With the new shales that’ve been discovered in the last 10 years, we have the largest, most secure deposits in the whole world. The Basin is up to 3.5 million barrels in daily production and will reach six million. We’re changing the balance of power in the world.”
“With what has been discovered here, we’ll be drilling wells and manufacturing for the next 50 years. The price will go up and down, but we are now the world’s low-cost producer. My main message is how honored and proud I am to represent the oil show and the people who have gone before me. We have a great future in our industry and the Permian Basin.”
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