[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2018 edition of Oil and Gas Investor. Subscribe to the magazine here.]

Growing up in Oklahoma City, Steven Patterson quickly learned the impact the oil and gas industry had on the local economy. “I paid attention to it, how it grew and changed over time,” he said.

While attending the University of Oklahoma, Patterson took an introductory class where he heard Chevron U.S.A.’s deepwater land manager speak. Coincidently, he would end up spending most of his career at Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) after graduating.

Patterson became a part of the Chevron team in 2008, where he spent the past 10 years in various positions at the company, including in its Gulf of Mexico land department responsible for land negotiations and joint-venture management for producing assets offshore Louisiana. He spent the last three years at Chevron leading negotiations and transaction execution for the acquisitions and divestitures team in Houston.

In April 2018, Patterson joined Dallas-based Twin Oaks Fund Management LLC, as vice president. The firm manages Twin Oaks Production Partners LP, an institutional oil and gas income fund. The fund is primarily focused on acquiring producing properties in the U.S. Lower 48.

Patterson graduated from OU in 2008 with a business degree in energy management. He later earned an MBA in international energy in 2014 from Texas Tech University, ranking first in his class.

Patterson contributes to the American Association of Professional Landmen and as a member of the Houston and Permian ADAM groups.

He enjoys playing golf and fishing but mainly likes spending time with his wife and kids.

Investor: What was your experience like at Chevron?

Patterson: It was amazing to see the interconnectedness of the oil and gas business and how much it impacts the world. I grew up in Oklahoma City where you’ve got the Chesapeakes and Devons of the world, who are focused on upstream oil and gas exploration and production. Chevron being integrated and operating all over the world, you really get a chance to see the connectedness of the whole complex of the energy business, drilling it and pulling it out of the ground all the way to shipping to and running the refineries and how that interacts with the global markets.

It’s a pretty important and noble industry, and I was fortunate to get that perspective.

Investor: What brought you to Twin Oaks?

Patterson: I left Chevron because I was looking for a more entrepreneurial pursuit. I’d been there a long time. I felt like I had great training; I’d seen a lot. I’ve accomplished a lot and made some connections. I was looking for a chance to join a company where I could more directly contribute to its value and to its growth. At Chevron, even if you do something great, it’s kind of hard to notice it just because it’s such a big company. I wanted a place where you could feel it, see it, where some of the success and potential failure is driven by your contribution and your hard work.

When I was offered the chance to join Twin Oaks, it was an attractive opportunity to join a growth stage firm led by experienced leadership that has a track record doing what we do, clearly has a vision for how we get there, and has the financial backing to be able to execute the strategy.

Investor: As vice president, what are your responsibilities?

Patterson: My main day-to-day responsibilities are leading business development and acquisition and divestiture activities, working to source and screen acquisition opportunities. Once we get a deal in hand and we’re at the point of negotiating a transaction, my role will include negotiations, transaction execution and closing. It was the bread and butter of my last job at Chevron.

Once we have a portfolio of assets, the role will include management of the land department and commercial function.

Investor: What area is Twin Oaks focused on?

Patterson: While permitted to invest broadly in oil and gas interests across the U.S. Lower 48, we’re trying to focus our acquisition activity on quality, low-decline producing properties, located in basins that offer attractive value profiles. At this stage, it’s important for us to build a foundation of quality production for our portfolio.

We’re open to acquiring non-operated assets operated by quality operators, irrespective of their geographic location. However, from an operated standpoint, we’re focused on buying in Texas or Oklahoma.

Investor: Any advice for the younger generation?

Patterson: Some of the advice I’ve given to younger professionals at Chevron is that all the success you’ll have really comes back to how you’re performing, the type of work ethic you exhibit and the personality you have today. Your success is driven by how you handle your current responsibilities. If you remain focused on the task at hand, instead of always looking to the next opportunity, the “best” next opportunity will find you.

For people interested in entering the business or who are in the business trying to figure out what they want to do, I would suggest taking a chance on any opportunity that sounds both interesting and gives you a chance to learn and contribute value. I would go for it as opposed to focusing on what the title of the job is or what it pays.

Brandy Fidler can be reached at bfidler@hartenergy.com.