Aaron Byrd
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Executive Vice President – Operations, Tap Rock Resources, Golden, Colo.
7 FortyUnder40 Byrd, Aaron

As executive vice president - operations for Tap Rock Resources, Aaron Byrd is responsible for managing operations on the company’s nearly 30,000 net acres in the northern Delaware Basin, where Tap Rock currently has two rigs running, with plans to add two more in the near future.

Byrd has been a key player in Tap Rock’s development and is proud to foster its continued operational growth. “We have put together a premier operations team that delivers best-in-class well results while being one of the lowest-cost producers in the basin. When I started with Tap Rock, we had seven total employees, and now we are close to 50 office staff and approximately 45 field staff,” he said.

Coming from industry heritage, with his father and his grandfathers having worked in oil and gas, Byrd said, “Oil and gas runs through my veins” and is excited to play his part in the industry’s continued evolution, especially as it learns to “utilize its tremendous amounts of data to make real-time, data-driven decisions.”

Keeping the rigs up

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the oil and gas industry faced unprecedented times; we saw a negative-$40 oil price. These presented challenges like never before seen in this industry. My team and I started working around the clock to come up with ways in which we could keep operations going, primarily ways to keep our rigs running. We relied on our partnerships with our service providers to creatively structure mutually-beneficial interim agreements so that we could continue working and keep their employees working as well. Because of the hard work by Tap Rock’s operations team, we were able to keep the majority of our rigs running during the recent downturn, and we are currently doubling our rig fleet.”

Career milestone

“A career milestone I reached sooner than I had planned was running and leading my own team and being 100% responsible for cradle-to-grave operational activities. I was able to achieve this milestone five years into my career because I’d had the pleasure of working with some fantastic teams and learning from some great mentors, and I felt like I could handle whatever challenges I faced.”

Leadership qualities

If you ask anyone who works with me, they would all say I’m one of the hardest working, determined people they have ever worked with. I’m also always available and ready to engage at all times. I believe having employees who know exactly where they stand in the company fosters a better work environment and leaves nothing to chance. While I think determination and hard work are a must to excel in this industry, I also firmly believe in celebrating your successes. Whether that means a group lunch, team outings or dinners at my house, building camaraderie within a department cannot be overstated.”

An education in deal-making

“One of the most memorable professional experiences I’ve had in my career was the opportunity to take a negotiation class at Harvard Business School Executive Education called “Strategic Negotiations: Dealmaking for the Long Term.” The premise of the course was studying creative, strategic negotiating to understand your counterparties’ perspective and increasing the size of the pie.

“Quite often, you will find yourself negotiating with the same service providers year after year, and this class helped me structure my negotiation posture, where I choose to focus on long-term relationships instead of short-term gains.”

Professional goals

“My long-term goal is to leave the oil and gas industry in good hands. This industry has been good to my family and me; I’ve enjoyed all the challenges it’s presented along the way, and I hope I can pass on some of this knowledge to the younger generation.

“My short-term goal is to continue to build a premier operations team at Tap Rock that continually outperforms our competitors and returns value to our stakeholders.”

“I firmly believe in celebrating your successes. Whether that means a group lunch, team outings or dinners at my house, building camaraderie within a department cannot be overstated.”