Marianella Foschi, CFO of Civitas Resources Inc., sees a future with fewer, more efficient and cleaner oil and gas companies as M&A consolidates the industry — much the same way Civitas itself was formed. The Denver company was built through a succession of combinations, including the roll-up of HighPoint Resources Inc., Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. and Crestone Peak Resources LLC in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin.

Foschi discussed Civitas’ commitment to carbon-neutral operations, M&A and the company’s operational execution in an exclusive interview with Nissa Darbonne, Hart Energy executive editor-at-large. Click here to view Foschi's complete 25 Influential Women in Energy profile.

Nissa Darbonne: Marianella, from Civitas’ birth just a few years ago, it seems to me it's placed just as much emphasis on environmental carbon work as on consolidating the D-J basin. Is this because keeping your license to operate in Colorado is more tenuous than maybe other oil producing states?

Marianella Foschi: So Civitas actually started just a year ago, a little bit over a year ago, and since close we've been focused on demonstrating outstanding operational execution as well as obviously consolidating the DJ basin. In addition to that, we made an incremental commitment to ourselves, which is very aggressive standards in terms of environmental stewardship and the communities around where we operate. It just so happens that Colorado has a higher bar for operators. In our view, that's where the industry needs to go, and we feel strongly about that, but we didn't do it because of that regulatory structure, not and Colorado rather because we thought it was the right thing to do.

ND: What are a few of Civitas' greatest achievements to date?

MF: Civitas has achieved so much in such a short period of time, you know, since close, a little bit over a year ago, we've been focused on demonstrating outstanding financial performance, and we've been successful at it quarter over quarter, and we've proven to our stakeholders that it can be done. It's been quite a difficult accomplishment right over the last 12, 18 months with the consolidation pace. What excites me the most though is, and what I'm most proud of is our team. We've been able to successfully merge, integrate, and execute on what used to be five different companies. And while there remains a lot of work to do to optimize and achieve our cultural ideals, I'm extremely proud of what we've accomplished. And I think it's been pretty close to best case, if not best case scenario as far as execution goes. And I'm very proud of our team.

ND: And then the next 10 years for the industry, how different do you feel it will appear to be then versus now?

MF: So what you saw over the last couple years in the industry, which we were a big part of, consolidation, there's a lot of consolidation. 2021 and 2022, I think the industry will continue that pace. I think a decade from now will be a lot less, more relevant, companies that are more efficient have a lower cost structure or safer or cleaner, and that's where the industry's going to have to head. And, again… we're living proof of the success that that strategy brings and, and we can't wait to be a key part of that strategy going forward.