Founded in 2018, Acacia Exploration Partners, LLC is a private oil and gas operating company engaged in the acquisition, development and production of oil and natural gas. The company culture is based on the premise of striving for extreme efficiency, and a disciplined approach to growth with the ultimate vision of exploiting high-value investment opportunities and delivering an attractive return to their investors.
Acacia closed on the acquisition of their first major asset in 2018 with a small Land team comprised of two Landmen and a Division Order Analyst. Although the team was able to acquire and efficiently manage the asset, all activities and data was tracked and maintained in spreadsheets. One of the most critical data elements was the Lease Master with input from internal staff and third-party land brokers. While managing within spreadsheets was adequate, management understood that this was not sustainable as the company had plans to grow. In order to stay profitable through the cyclical economic market of 2020, deliver on their promise to investors of taking on additional assets in a timely manner, this nimble, high-performing team had to change the way they did business, fast.
In March of 2020, Acacia leadership announced plans for Acacia to take over full management of another portfolio company (“OldCo.”) with an effective date of May 1, 2020. By taking over management of OldCo., Acacia more than doubled (in some cases quadrupled) their well, production, agreement, and acreage counts under care. There was no room for failure while onboarding and integrating OldCo. Albeit onboarding assets in our industry is nothing new; onboarding and integration during a pandemic is. Any oversight during the onboarding process would have drastically disrupted business continuity putting Acacia, OldCo., and its investors in an even tougher spot in an already demoralizing energy market.
As mentioned, Acacia’s primary operating platforms were spreadsheets, therefore required manual updates, contained no integration, reporting, or automation. With a very short window to take over management of OldCo., the Acacia team rushed to sort through OldCo.’s assets and devise a plan of action – quickly realizing they may need more than just better technology and or systems, they needed manpower too.
Prior to engaging EAG, Acacia held the perception that Outsourcing firms can be overpriced and/or lack expertise and efficiency. The mere thought of outsourcing any part of their business to a third party felt like a recipe for disaster. Given the tight-knit highly collaborative culture at Acacia, selecting the right outsourcing partner was paramount. Acacia required a partner “who has it all”: a deep understanding of their business at the core, strong technical expertise, and thorough experience handling major transactions effectively, despite the complexity.
The Acacia team met with the EAG team and quickly discovered that the business problems they were facing; tight timelines, high risk to integrate a foreign asset, limited resources, and inferior technology was a typical case the EAG team had years of experience handling for various client types. the Acacia team was very impressed with the pragmatic approach and deep knowledge the EAG team displayed from the start. EAG came equipped with a best practice project plan, and state-of-the-art technology like the W Energy Software Platform, M-Files document management, and PowerBI reporting. In addition, Acacia’s innovative team was already leveraging ThoughtTrace, an AI-powered document contract analytics tool. The combination of this technology stack unlocked key data insights and provided a robust analytics toolset for Acacia driving even more value for the Land team. Brooke Clifton, Acacia Land Manager said that, “It was very clear to me that you have your house in order, you have people that I would hire myself, your team is pure gold.
In just 30 days, the EAG team not only ensured Acacia successfully onboarded their existing and OldCo’s. assets, they completely transformed the way they conduct their Land Department now and in the future. “When you get into the weeds, it matters and impacts our company on a day-to-day basis” said Brooke Clifton. Adding OldCo’s. assets greatly increased the workload for the Acacia team, who had no authority or leeway to hire additional staff. EAG provided fractionalized resources to support Acacia’s on-going Land, Division Order, and Owner Relations Outsourcing requirements so that they only pay for what they need, when they need it. Brooke continued, “EAG is not there to eliminate people, they are there to make existing people better and help them do their job more effectively so that they have time to do more tasks and projects that add value to the company. The concept of a fractionalized vendor is key, you only pay for what you need.”
With EAG’s deep technical expertise, combined with the reliable and scalable capabilities of W Energy Software, efficiencies of Thought Trace and M-Files, and the new levels of transparency the PowerBI reports provided to the entire Acacia team; the data issues and process gaps Acacia faced prior to partnering with EAG became a permanent thing of the past. “We would not have the ability to build dashboards like this without EAG, and they will continue to evolve. Our company is ecstatic about it”, Brooke explained. By partnering with EAG, the Acacia team now gets key data insights (ex: shut-in, obligation reports, etc.), to make timely informed decisions. Of course, the reports are only as good as the quality of the data, and because of EAG, Brooke further confirmed, “the integrity of our data and the format of our data is primed for the picking, whether we are divesting or acquiring”. Brooke further stated, “The reports are only as good as the data feeding into them and it is because of W Energy Software we have a new level of transparency at our fingertips.” The W Energy Software platform and PowerBI integration has taken Acacia to the next level.
In just a few months, the Acacia team onboarded Oldco. in a condensed time frame and re-designed the land department, which allowed for accelerated decision-making and prepared them for what the future will bring. This scalable and repeatable model has now equipped Acacia to be able to continue to operate in a lean and efficient capacity. “You made the uncomfortable and intensely fast situation we faced, a non-issue. We got comfortable with EAG as our vendor right away”, said Brooke as she shared the upcoming goals and renewed vision of Acacia with the EAG team. Acacia looks forward to a bright future while leveraging the power of the W Energy Platform the automated processes and reporting of EAG (which are continuously refined) and continuing to be a partner of choice in the Energy industry.
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