Executive Q&A: Northern CEO Nick O’Grady and the Zen of A&D

Following a recent $170 million Williston acquisition, Northern Oil and Gas CEO Nick O’Grady weighed in on Bakken versus Permian M&A, the impact of inflation on deals and the dealmaker’s mantra of being ‘OK to lose.’

(Source: Hart Energy, Shutterstock.com)

Like other E&Ps, Northern Oil and Gas Inc.’s fortunes have risen in the past 12 months with higher commodity prices, leading to an 85% increase in its stock price as of June 14.

Along the way, even in the depths of the pandemic, the company has continued to make deals that, if its most recent acquisition closes, will total more than $2 billion since 2018. Northern’s more recent step-outs into the Permian Basin and the Marcellus have expanded its nonop business model—and set up a strategic balancing act as the company continues to expand.

Most recently, Northern announced a $170 million bolt-on acquisition on June 7 in the Williston Basin. The deal with an undisclosed party is expected to close in August and features a $5 million contingency payment based on 2023 WTI prices.

CEO Nick O’Grady spoke exclusively with Hart Energy on June 13, where he discussed the tailwinds pushing deals in the Williston Basin, his company’s $900 million acquisition budget, and the possible peril of continued commodity price escalation and an economy that starts to fizzle.

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Darren Barbee

Darren Barbee is senior editor for Oil and Gas Investor magazine.