Court Wold
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President, Wold Energy Partners, Denver
41 FortyUnder40 Wold, Court

Court Wold, president of Wold Energy Partners, is an entrepreneur with several private asset sales under his belt since his early 20’s. He credits these career milestones to his differentiated work ethic, strong support from his wife and family, and several senior executives who challenged and motivated him to take risks. Early in his career, Wold formed a network of mentors, who he refers to as his “personal board of directors.” He solicits personal and professional guidance from them on a frequent basis and has built several business platforms and profitable opportunities through the network of experienced industry veterans. Those relationships are particularly helpful in today’s environment. With an unpretentious and selfless attitude, he has managed to navigate his company during the historic downturn. “We met the challenge through implementing creative processes, better utilizing technology, prioritizing the essential aspects of our business and driving accountability at every level. And of course, hard work,” he said.

Family legacy

“I was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming, in a community and family who were integrally involved in natural resource extraction industries, where job opportunities centered on oil and gas, mining and agriculture. After several summers working in the field, my first job out of college was investment banking with a focus on oil and gas and project finance. After a few years of banking, I was hired by two entrepreneurs, Tad Herz and George Solich, and had a fantastic run with them at Cordillera Energy Partners and that family of companies. I have had the opportunity to work for some of the most talented folks in the oil field. Subsequently, I joined my father, Jack and Uncle Peter in our family business and started Wold Energy Partners LLC, which is a partnership with Liberty Mutual Insurance and NGP. We’ve been fortunate to have partners over the years who understand the oil business.”

Career goals

“In the short term, I would like to consolidate other businesses and help our industry develop reserves more cost-effectively. Also, I would like to see my hard working peers achieve financial security. I feel for those who are living paycheck to paycheck without career certainty.

“In the long term, I would like to maintain my family’s legacy as a profitable and responsible steward of natural resources and to use our network in mutually beneficial situations.

“Our industry has ups and downs and there are a lot of ‘flavor of the day’ investors leaving the sector, which provides a tremendous opportunity for those of us that keep marching forward. Our country is the greatest country in the world [in which] to start and build an energy business, and so long as we have the freedom to choose what we buy and sell, we can be successful.”

Advice for young professionals

“Build trust and accountability with your bankers and investors. Put your own meaningful dollars alongside them. Tell the truth and respect third party capital.

“Embrace the culture of the oil business in a society where our industry’s culture is under attack.

“Appreciate and respect doing the right things in our communities—don’t cut corners on ESG or environmental practices but have conviction around doing things cost effectively so that we avoid unnecessary regulations and irresponsible government influence.

“Believe in the products we produce and the industry that produces them. There are few scalable near-term substitutes; the current industry headwinds will dissipate, and we will recover.”

Transforming the industry

"Initially, the industry must cut its exorbitant cost structure in overhead, with a particular focus on corporate costs, unnecessary business development, geology and geophysics and land acquisition. There are too many teams doing the same thing in the same areas, which begs consolidation.

“Subsequently, we must renegotiate landowner contracts, service contracts, and midstream contracts, that make it uneconomic to operate profitably.

“We must have conviction in our operating standards and not bow down to the politically-driven environmental influence.

“There is a balance between respecting the concept of ESG and standing by our principles and historical operating track records. We must proactively educate investors, the public and elected leaders that we can drill and produce while maintaining reasonable environmental standards. The facts are on our side.”

“Believe in the products we produce and the industry that produces them. There are few scalable near-term substitutes; the current industry headwinds will dissipate, and we will recover.”