Ashley Dunfield

CEO & Founder, PetroFeed

Ashley has a unique and wide range of industry experience that uniquely positions him to bring meaningful innovation to the oil and gas industry. From a young age he was being mentored to take over the private family oil company. Starting in the field he worked his way into the office where he was put into strategic learning positions while backing it up with educational courses and classes.

During his time in an engineering role he created a tool that simplified the ability to run economic forecasts and evaluations of drilling and acquisition opportunities. This product became the basis of his first company, PetroQuick. Selling the product had Ashley working closely with senior executives around the industry for several years adding another layer of unique industry insight and experience.

After enjoying some of the success he decided to pursue a software project that focused on community communication and engagement. The Obama administration took notice during their initial campaign and Ashley connected with some brilliant minds from Google and around Silicon Valley. This exposure opened Ashley’s eyes to advanced technologies and new ways of thinking about data. Given Ashley’s unique oil and gas background he saw opportunities of how to adapt these advanced consumer oriented technologies and concepts and apply them to the oil and gas industry. Thus PetroFeed was born and Ashley is on a mission to usher in a new generation of tools for industry monitoring, research and communication.

We asked Ashley:

The OGM: What does sustainability mean to you?

Ashley: To me, sustainability is all about planning. That which is not growing is dying, and that which is dying gives life to something new. Therefore, the key to sustainability is to plan for the next phase and ensure a smooth transition.

The OGM: Have you had a mentor?

Ashley: I have many mentors, as I am a strong believer in modeling and learning from the success of others.

The OGM: What does success mean to you?

Ashley: Personal: Well-connected and affectionate family and friends. Business: Products that customers love so much they feel the need to tell us and their peers.

The OGM: What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in the Energy Industry?

Ashley: Get an intro to someone in the industry. Sit down with them for a coffee and get their take on things. Ask them to introduce you to someone else in the industry and go meet them too. It’s a big industry, and this will help direct you early in your exploration process.

The OGM: Describe a milestone in your career?

Ashley: The first couple days of selling an economic evaluation tool that I created changed me. I made more money in a couple days than I had ever made in a month. I was selling something I created and people were loving it. That planted the seeds for the rest of my career.

The OGM: Describe a challenge you faced in your career?

Ashley: There are no established investment channels to support software in the industry. This has made it tough for me as well as many others trying to innovate in this area.

The OGM: What impact does Technology have on your career?

Ashley: Technology is my career. Technology allows me to be more efficient in what I do, which means I can do more and do it better.

The OGM: What do the next 5 years look like in your career?

Ashley: In the next year or two, I am opening an office in Silicon Valley to expedite our ability to bring software innovation to the industry. Beyond that I hope to build an infrastructure that simplifies the ability for other developers to innovate in the industry.

The OGM: Were you always interested in a career in Energy?

Ashley: Although, I am a third-generation oil and gas entrepreneur, I didn’t always see myself staying in this industry. I left to pursue consumer-oriented software for a few years, but I soon realized how I could adapt those technologies and apply them to a domain where I have unique expertise.

The OGM: What interests you to sustain a career in the Energy industry?

Ashley: Energy is an essential component of life and always will be. It’s a huge industry with a massive amount of diversity and wealth, which equates to a giant opportunity for innovation. So longevity and the ability to support innovation are the main drivers for me.

The OGM: Do you have a role model you look up to?

Ashley: I have lots, but Jeff Bezos (the founder of Amazon) is a standout role model.

The OGM: What does Energy mean to you?

Ashley: Energy is an evolving core resource that makes the world a more comfortable place and enables us to do the things we love.

The OGM: What is your favorite APP on your phone?

Ashley: Pulse News—it’s a beautifully designed news reading app.

The OGM: What impact will the Millennial Generation have on the Energy industry?

Ashley: I think the two largest impacts will be their ability to utilize technology, which will make them far more efficient than those before them, and the awareness/desire to use non-renewable sources to fund renewable alternatives.

The OGM: What’s your take on Social Media and our ever changing digital world?

Ashley: Social media is a highly efficient method of organizing information and connecting people around data. This has already revolutionized personal communication and has only just started impacting day-to-day work in the enterprise. Give it another five years and the work place will see the same kind of revolution.

The OGM: What Social Medium do you use on a daily basis?

Ashley: Facebook.

The OGM: Do you use Social Media for work?

Ashley: I use LinkedIn for the occasional thing and sometimes Twitter, but neither really supports the kind of information I want to monitor, research or share.

The OGM: What do you think of Social Recruiting?

Ashley: Getting people to recommend friends for jobs is nothing new. People are simply making use of digital networks to do the same thing, so I guess it only makes sense to do it.

The OGM: Why do you love what you do?

Ashley: I’ve always considered myself an inventor. I see things as they could be as opposed to how they are. Software and technology allow me to bring those things to fruition. It’s an exciting process, start to finish.

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