OUR GREAT MINDS

Michael Hebert

Michael Hebert

Research Associate, Wood Mackenzie

Michael’s career began with Copal Partners in London, England as a summer analyst in their Business Development group. He joined the Wood Mackenzie team in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta. As an associate with Wood Mackenzie, Michael is responsible for providing financial asset valuation and objective commercial analysis on company and oil play activity throughout Canada. His discipline covers regions from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin and Oil Sands all the way to the Arctic shelf and offshore Atlantic Canada.

What does a day in the life of Michael Hebert consist of at Wood Mackenzie’s upstream research division?

Michael: My primary focus at Wood Mackenzie is upstream asset valuation. I cover offshore Atlantic Canada, Arctic, western Canada, and Oil Sands – so the nature of my work is constantly changing. Currently, I am developing our Key Play Service (KPS) through improvements in our Duvernay coverage. The KPS provides highly granular analysis on the sub-plays of high profile plays throughout North America.

Research is a largely relationship driven business. To ensure accurate assumptions in our analysis it is critical that I get out and meet with operators on a regular basis. These meetings are necessary to get the perspective of people working on the ground level of the assets that we are modelling.       

What is your focus for young professionals in Calgary?

Michael: organizations like the Young Professionals in Energy provide a forum for up-and-coming energy leaders to learn from, debate, and network with their peers and mentors in the oil and gas industry. My focus has been, and will continue to be, providing the highest quality opportunities for our members to engage with game-changing energy leaders, politicians and community leaders.   

What are your top three indicators of success?

Michael: Community impact, ability to give back and mentorship.

What do you predict will be our oil and gas destiny in Canada, with the price of oil as it stands?

Michael: Our future as an influential oil and gas producer is firmly in place. We have tremendous resource potential that will be needed to support the world’s growing demand for energy. Companies active in the oil sands have 25 to 35-year views of the long-term resource potential. Given such a long horizon, short-term fluctuations in commodity prices are to be expected. Due to the large initial investments required, oil sands companies are generally very large and well-capitalized companies capable of riding out price volatility.

New frontiers of exploration will continue to generate interest for producers who seek to diversify their resource base. I think one area of particular interest is offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. Interest in the region was particularly evident by the November 2015 C-NLOPB lease sale results which saw $1.2 billion in work commitments on seven of the eleven parcels on offer.

What do you think will be the primary solutions that will create a new energy sustainable future?

Michael: I believe that the shift towards a sustainable energy future will come from three facets of society. Technological improvements in renewable energy generation and usage will create the most visible impact. Research and development will also be necessary on the supply side. While companies like Tesla are influencing consumers to consider alternatives methods of transportation and challenging the industry to create zero emissions products and services that are actually desirable.

The second facet will be economical. In order for renewable energy to be a viable alternative for consumers, the price has to be at parity with hydrocarbon energy sources. This can only be achieved through advancements in technology that allow for greater yields and lower costs. At the same time technology advancements will be lowering the environmental footprints of oil and gas production making all aspects of energy production more sustainable.

Finally, without political clout, it will be difficult for renewable energies to comprise anything more than a small segment of our total energy mix. Our transition towards energy sustainability will need to be a coordinated effort between Federal, Provincial, and Municipal levels of government.

Anything else you would like to add for our readers?

Michael: To paraphrase Cody Battershill, the Canadian oil and gas industry is the most regulated, monitored, transparent and socially responsible of any top oil reserve country in the world. I am very proud to be a part of the energy industry and reside in the province of Alberta. I can earnestly say that I am excited to see how our industry will grow and adapt to meet the challenges of the future while providing energy security for the next generations of Canadians.

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