Daniel Rohling

Executive Vice President and COO, Battalion Oil, Houston

Growing up with two hardworking parents, Daniel Rohling was raised on the belief that determination and a good work ethic could take him anywhere. In college he changed his mind from wanting to design fighter jets for the military and decided to bring his strong work ethic to the oil and gas field.

“My father was an HPD officer for 25 years, [and my] mother was an insurance administrative assistant for the same small firm for 25 years. They always taught my brother and I about the dividends of hard work no matter what the task was,” Rohling said. “Competing to be the best we could for our family, our teams in sports or in the military (in my brothers’ case) and for ourselves was learned at a young age and still drives a lot of my perception from a day-to-day basis.”

Rohling now serves as executive vice president and COO of Battalion Oil in Houston.

“I want our county to win, I want our industry to provide safe, environmentally friendly and dependable energy to the world, and I want Battalion to continue to grow into a leader in the Permian Basin because I’m lucky to work with the most talented and focused professionals out there,” he said.

Sky-high goals

“I was actually accepted to the college of aeronautical engineering and hoped I’d be helping design the next fighter jets for our military. Before school started, however, I was able to go out and roustabout on an offshore rig during the summer. As soon as I swung off the crew boat to the deck, I was certain I didn’t know what I was looking at on the rig floor but was also sure that whatever it was, was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was interesting as I went back to the administration to switch majors in the summer of 2002; oil and gas wasn’t seen as a profession with much staying power or opportunity. The awkward pauses and ‘Are you sure you know what you're asking?’ still make me laugh today because it’s a microcosm for the fact that this industry will always be in a mode of change and will always be extremely demanding of its professionals, but it is by far the best career I could have ever hoped for.”

Early milestones

“I’m extremely proud of being a part of the teams that leased grassroots plays and developed them from dirt to billion-dollar operations. The teams I have been and am currently a part of were/are incredible—from the subsurface to the operations to the deal teams, we all worked extremely hard to define the opportunities and then push fullbore to make our work a reality. We employed thousands of people across those assets and operations—building and working with incredible professionals is something I’ll remember until the end!

Being part of the strategic decisions made for companies has come quickly. It wasn’t ever something I expected to do by a certain age or timeframe, but it happened quickly because I had such incredible mentors and teammates. My goal was always to ask as many questions as I could and learn as much as possible from those around me, and I believe that along with a drive to learn and listen allowed me to progress quickly in my career.”

Rising to the challenge

“I’d hope that our most challenging projects are the current ones we’re working—mine definitely is. Each of our endeavors are different and represent a new set of opportunities. It’s up to us to evaluate, execute and unlock the potential of our projects, and that’s what makes this industry so special. We’ve made incredible strides from where we started at Battalion, and we’ve faced some unparalleled challenges in the pandemic, price war and industry sentiment at the same time; we’re still in the early innings, but with this remarkable team, we’re looking forward to the future.”

Shaping the energy future

“Richard Little is my mentor, though there have been countless people I’ve relied on from the rigs, to the crews, to the office and back. Richard is an incredible leader and someone that has impacted so many in our industry. His advice has always been to listen first and reserve the right to get smarter. I believe he strives to serve the people in our company and works hard for each and every one of them, and that’s something that will stay with me for my career.

I’ve also always had a great interest in helping mentor and aid young professionals and students coming into our wonderful industry. I think there’s a lot to be done in that arena, and it’s a passion of mine to help where I can.

In any industry or arena, leaders are the ones that are working hard to give everyone else what they need to succeed, to help solve the hard problems or issues and to be eyeball deep in it when it's hitting the fan. Leaders aren’t loud to be loud or talk to hear themselves speak; this industry is built with men and women that work hard, work smart and work together.”

Three More Things

  1. I was a pilot a long time ago and completed my first solo at 18 years old.
  2. My mother is from Venezuela and father from Manila. Growing up they used to pick days where they’d only speak to my brother and I in Spanish, which we used to hate but has paid dividends in life. 
  3. I always think my golf score would be better if I could only keep playing holes after 18… but we all know that’s not true!