Garin Wente
35

CEO, Epoch Resources, Oklahoma City
40 FortyUnder40 Wente, Garin

Garin Wente, CEO of Epoch Resources, is a second-generation geologist who grew up watching his dad generating prospects, drilling wells and selling deals. “I got to experience all of this first-hand and was so intrigued by it all. I knew from an early age that this was the business I wanted to be in,” he said. Wente has worked in nearly every sector of the industry and takes pride in his diverse career path. He has geo-steered over a hundred wells as a development geologist, worked as a new ventures geologist where he successfully generated prospect ideas that garnered capital. He also worked as a part of a team that divested over $10 billion worth of assets. More recently, Wente has been involved in raising capital, building and selling assets with Whitehorse Energy as a lieutenant and most recently as CEO for Epoch Resources.

“Successfully raising capital and getting Epoch Resources started is something I always envisioned doing but realized it might be further down the road in my career. I believe my unique experience across different disciplines played a big factor in it happening earlier than expected, from the experience I gained and the people I met along the way,” he said.

Protecting balance sheets

“In the environment we live in today, which includes a pandemic and low commodity prices, a company’s balance sheet is more important than ever. Living within cash flow versus grow-at-all-costs is an approach that is here to stay and is crucial to success moving forward. This approach and mentality is something that should be incorporated into the culture at any company and that starts with the message being delivered from the leaders of a given company.

“In the Lower 48, we have found most or all the large deposits of oil and gas. The goal at-hand is determining if these reserves can commercially be extracted from the earth and if so, operating the properties as efficiently as possible. Optimization is crucial moving forward whether you are talking about well production or balance sheet optimization and I believe technology can play a big role as it continues to evolve for the oil and gas industry.”

Career goals

“My short-term goals center around Epoch Resources. We have a great team and great partners in Carnelian Energy Capital. Carnelian supports us and has put trust in us to identify sound oil and gas investments. We plan on doing so and building a sustainable and profitable energy company, while generating positive returns for the Epoch team and our partners.

“My long-term goals consist of being an individual in this industry that people remember for the work I’ve done, companies I’ve built and people I have influenced. I hope people look back and think the industry is better off with me than without me.”

Perspective on leadership

“A good leader is someone who believes in their team and employees and not only allows but empowers them with responsibility. They have to be confident and fearless and not be afraid to fail but also humble.

“People are going to look at you for guidance and observe how you handle different situations and people will feed from your demeanor and general approach to things, so it is important to be who you expect the people you are leading to be. Someone who sees value in surrounding themselves with people smarter than they are. I truly believe if you are ever the smartest person in a room you are doing something wrong.

“The best way to earn someone’s respect is through your own actions. I believe I do this via my work ethic and approach to this business, and in turn everyone at our company works equally hard and exhibits a similar demeanor and strives toward the same goals. We have built a great work environment at Epoch and work hard to achieve our goals as a company.”

“My long-term goals consist of being an individual in this industry that people remember for the work I’ve done, companies I’ve built and people I have influenced.”