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PESA High-Performer Spotlight: Alex Mealer, OFS Associate, Wells Fargo Energy Group

Alex Mealer, OFS Associate, Wells Fargo Energy Group

Alex Mealer, OFS Associate, Wells Fargo Energy Group

What influenced your decision to enter the oil and gas industry?
I initially became interested in the oil and gas industry in 2012 as I was transitioning from the Army and preparing to begin graduate school. More so than other industries I had started to explore, the oil and gas industry culturally appealed to me as an industry characterized by meritocracy. With the shale revolution still in its nascent stages, there were numerous examples of entrepreneurs who took a risk and were now industry pioneers and leaders.

What was your impression of the industry beforehand and how has it evolved?
Given the timing of my interest in the industry, I underappreciated the cyclical nature of the industry and thought the early years of my career were going to be dominated by a high-growth macro backdrop. The highs of the summer of 2014 – followed by the lows of 2016 – changed that impression for me.

What have you found to be the most surprising about the industry?
The pace of innovation within the industry. I don’t think many people, myself included, anticipated the rapid level of efficiency gains and technological innovation that now underpin the United States’ position as the world’s largest oil producer.

What do you find most challenging and most rewarding about the industry or your work?
The constant change within the oilfield services and equipment sector, whether it’s changing technologies or fluctuating commodity prices, the industry is anything but stagnant.

Where do you hope to see the industry develop during the next five years?
I hope that our industry is able to capture more of the value created by the ongoing technological advancements. For this to happen, I hope to see consolidation in the industry, which should ultimately drive long-term sustainable returns that will entice the generalist investor back to our sector.

What role do you believe you will play in the industry’s future?
I hope to continue working on strategic initiatives and transactions that create value and enhance long-term returns for stakeholders.

How has your involvement in PESA supported your career goals?
PESA provides an unparalleled opportunity to understand the pulse of the industry by sharing challenges and best practices with peers across various subsectors.

Tell us about some of the people you’ve met while working in the industry and how they’ve impacted your thinking.
Prior to starting my career in investment banking, I had the opportunity to work on special projects for the CEO at an offshore driller. During that period, I was impressed by his focus and subsequent ability to improve the company’s position at what was a cyclical trough in the industry.

What are you most excited about for your career, your company and your industry?
I am excited to see how our industry adapts to the maturation of U.S. shale development and the current trend of E&P consolidation, both of which should increase the importance of size and scale and lead to consolidation within our industry as well as new, more favorable commercial models.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about entering the oil and gas industry?
I would encourage them to enter the industry as it’s a dynamic industry constantly seeking young, talented people, and importantly, it is an industry where you can advance as far as your merit will take you.

What do you wish other people knew about oil and gas?
I wish people had a greater awareness of the role oil and gas plays in daily life. Whether it’s driving a U.S. manufacturing resurgence through an advantaged supply of cheap, plentiful raw materials and reliable energy, or building the components that facilitate alternative energy, it’s hard to imagine daily life without oil and gas.