Tim Duncan:Houston’s Local Oil Wildcatter

Tim Duncan, Founder, and CEO of Talos Energy, has been referred to as a Deepwater Wildcatter. During one of the most critical moments in Houston’s History, Tim Duncan found himself having to evacuate his family to safety. The flood waters from Hurricane Harvey caught everyone off guard. Tim, arranged for a private flight to Alabama, where his family would be safe. Tim then returned to Houston to continue working and made arrangements to stay with his parents.

Duncan was in the middle of negotiations with Stone Energy, and could not put 4 months of hard work and $2.5 billion dollar merger on hold. When the Hurricane hit he was securing financing with bondholders Franklin Templeton Investments and Mackay Shields about restructuring over $800 million of combined debt. The merger will position Talos Energy to go public and the company will benefit from the offshore equipment and leases. When the merger is complete Talos will have acquired $2.3 billion in assets and $700 million in debt also positioning it to go public.

As wildcat bets go, drillers prefer the Permian Basin; where profits are assured for a short time, usually 2-3 years. Tim Ducan’s strategy is to take old wells and drill a little deeper; where the risk is greater and profits last decades. Talos energy will be able to produce 48,000 barrels per day after the merger. It plans on doing a lot more than that.

The Gulf Coast is one of the largest oil produces in the nation, more waters have been opened to leases. The political changes in Mexico and deregulation, have made exploration available to foreign companies. Talos struck gold in Mexico, the Zuma Field is one of the mega oil strikes in decades. “Grabbing that opportunity was 100% Tim Duncan,” says, John Bookout, who assesses energy plays at Apollo Management.