Press Release: December 21, 2009
Marcus Rowland, a speaker at the marcus evans Energy CFO Summit 2010 addresses some of the challenges facing CFOs in energy companies.
Miami, FL, December 18, 2009 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Energy may light up the world, but that does not stop todays energy CFO being faced with the shadow of market volatility and price fluctuations come morning. As the energy sector faces supply shortages, increased competition and legislation, ensuring financial stability and growth in the current market conditions is pushing energy CFOs to new limits. Marcus Rowland, a speaker at the marcus evans Energy CFO Summit 2010 taking place in Miami, Florida, February 2123, shares his thoughts on the challenges currently facing the energy sector financial executive, the opportunities created by the crisis and his outlook for next year.
What are some of the challenges facing energy CFOs at the moment? What strategies to overcome these challenges would you recommend?
Marcus Rowland: There are many challenges facing energy company CFOs today. We have very low natural gas prices and legislation attempts that may considerably increase taxes. Moreover, all the economic issues currently faced by companies in all industries generally. That includes the availability of capital, volatility of the markets and volatility in the prices we receive for our products. The last 18 months have been an especially challenging time.
We, specifically, are facing challenging legislation regarding derivatives. We are actively trying to educate Congress on its positive uses. We are attempting to gather positive users of derivatives, and educate Congress on their value as a tool to overcome price volatility. That is probably our companys biggest challenge today. If this legislation in the derivate area passes through in its current form, it might not be so positive for us, thus we are working hard to make sure it changes before it is passed.
What long-term corporate strategies would you recommend to energy CFOs who perhaps face some of these challenges?
Marcus Rowland: The strategy Chesapeake is following is one which some of our peers have also embarked on now. In our company, we have dealt with challenges very positively. We are using new technologies and developments to drill for unconventional gas assets, primarily shale, in the United States. After several years of production decline, we are now actively increasing the production capacity in the United States; at the moment drilling unconventional shales is our biggest business.
How has the economic crisis affected the energy CFOs responsibilities?
Marcus Rowland: From the third quarter of 2008 to the first quarter of 2009, the capital markets were completely closed off to us and many other companies. Just the routine approach to either an equity or debt offering was not really available to us or most other companies in the United States. Today that has changed positively, allowing us once again to start increasing drilling activities, which is a very important part of our business strategy.
How can energy CFOs prepare the finance department to react faster and be more flexible to market changes?
Marcus Rowland: The role of being flexible in a very dynamic market is something that we look into all the time. One of the areas that we have focused our discussion on is training our younger talent. As we face an ageing population, the education function in our company has become more important. We have addressed that by going out and recruiting college age engineers, scientists and financial people; and then educating them and putting them into very responsible positions early on. That has allowed us to be more flexible in the way we react to changes, because of various reasons; those who have been around for years may have experienced those issues, but that might color the way they approach it. I find that young people are energetic, flexible and not necessarily pre-destined to make certain types of decisions, and we are finding that very refreshing.
How has the energy CFOs role within the organization changed in the past few years?
Marcus Rowland: What might have been a very conventional treasury type position a decade ago has, has now become a much more dynamic role in the business. Whether it is educating congressmen or educating and reporting to the various regulatory bodies, the CFOs role has expanded. In our company, as we have grown into one of the largest producers of natural gas in the country, my role has expanded accordingly.
What specific opportunities for energy CFOs do you believe are now available in the market?
Marcus Rowland: That is a good question. In the past 18 months, we have thought more about the challenges of the crisis, than the opportunities. I suspect the opportunity to grow a company in this environment has enhanced competition and costs have declined significantly. One opportunity is to take advantage of those lower costs and enter into long-term contracts as we are trying to do; to partner with some of our service providers at those lower cost levels.
Contact: Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian, Press Manager, marcus evans, Summits Division
Tel: + 357 22 849 313
About the Energy CFO Summit 2010
This unique forum will take place at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Miami, Florida, February 21-23, 2010. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on adapting your financial strategy to new energy regulation, accessing credit markets to fund growth projects, the impact of renewables on the balance sheet and taking advantage of current market conditions.
For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the event website at http://www.energycfosummit.com/MarcusRowlandInterview.
Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.
About marcus evans Summits
marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the worlds leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-on-one business meetings. For more information, please visit http://www.marcusevans.com.
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