Matthew Melton

Vice President, EnCap Flatrock Midstream, San Antonio
Matthew Melton

If he’d been asked 20 years ago what he’d be doing when he was 37, Matthew Melton would have probably said he’d be working in sports, not in the oil and gas industry. Although his path seemed destined to center on football, an interest in working in a critical, vibrant field led him to the energy industry. “I always thought I would have a career in sports having grown up in a family of coaches and athletes,” he said. “Through the process of trying to figure out life after collegiate football, I realized how much I enjoy working on dynamic and challenging projects on a regular basis. It seemed to me the energy industry, with its cyclicality and geopolitical components, would offer me the best opportunity to experience that dynamism, and it has not disappointed.”

Melton serves as vice president of EnCap Flatrock Midstream (EFM) in San Antonio, where he lives with his wife, Mya, and his two daughters, Mila and Nova.

Early milestones

“I have always thought about my career progression in terms of experiences. Some of the most rewarding experiences to date have been the opportunity to work on billion-dollar transactions and working alongside what I believe are some of the best people in the industry.

During my first year as an associate at EnCap Flatrock Midstream, I had the opportunity to visit a natural gas processing plant in Oklahoma. The experience made me realize how important our industry is to people’s everyday lives and that the decisions we make and how we operate have real implications. I really enjoy seeing the full picture of how assets are financed, constructed and ultimately placed into service.”

Overcoming obstacles

“One of my biggest challenges to date has been managing our companies through evolving sentiment due to concerns over climate change and impacts to our industry from the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe this introduced two unique headwinds that we normally wouldn’t expect to face at the same time: reduced demand outlook for segments of our industry and increasing regulatory and public scrutiny for how our industry affects the world. This has forced a lot of companies to revisit operating and capital budgets and ask themselves the tough questions on what each business will need going forward. The hardest part is having to have difficult conversations with some of our management teams, but that is the job. Being a leader means, at times, having the courage to have tough conversations and make difficult decisions.”

Staying motivated

“I love that every day brings a new challenge or  problem to solve. Playing collegiate football made me appreciate having to learn something new about an opponent every week. I face new challenges every day because our portfolio companies each have unique issues that we are constantly working through with them. Also, working alongside some of the brightest people in the industry keeps me motivated every day.”

Untapped potential

“Young industry members can offer a unique perspective into how access to real-time data can make decision-making more efficient. Our generation has grown up during a period of significant technological advancement. I think about something as simple as an iPad for meetings as opposed to having to carry paper copies of everything or the ability to access information instantaneously. All these things add up to a more productive workforce. I believe our industry does a decent job of incorporating technology into operations, but sometimes at large companies the wheels can turn slow.

Data has always been extremely important in decision-making in our industry, and I believe it will only get more important as we seek additional ways to manage cost without sacrificing quality. Also, I don’t think the industry overall has done a good job of communicating how what we do is important for our local communities. Our industry is often on the defensive instead of telling our story. For the industry to continue to thrive and attract the best talent we need to present a meaningful story to the next generation about why the responsible production of oil and gas is valuable for everyday life.”

Sage advice

“In addition to offering me a lot of sage advice over the course of my career, early on Willie Miles encouraged me to learn about finance. His most valuable lesson was the example he set every day in running his company with dignity and integrity, all while being a great father and husband.

Billy Lemmons and Greg King have been instrumental in my development over the past four years. Billy has a lot of great one-liners that really capture the essence of what we are trying to do at EFM. The one that stands out the most is, ‘It’s not only the what that matters, it’s also the how.’ I think that is true for a lot of things in life. Greg has really encouraged me and pushed me to make the big decisions when needed. Greg taught me that part of the responsibility that comes with being a leader is the willingness to live with and own your decisions.

Be intellectually curious, be a good team player and give credit when credit is due. As a leader, listen to ideas from anyone in the organization and always utilize your team when complimentary skills are required. Every leader has shortcomings, no matter how great they think they are.”

Three More Things

  1. I was a member of the 2005 University of Texas national championship football team.
  2. When I was young, I spent my summers teaching kids how to swim in Jackson, Mississippi, as a part of my father’s summer program at the local YMCA.
  3. I appreciate the perspective my daughters and my wife give me every day. I work hard because I want to take care of them, but I know that nothing is more important than my presence and undivided attention.