Born in Hudson, New Hampshire, Tim Krebs said he has “yet to meet another oilman from the Granite State, but I’m confident there must be at least one out there.” A nontypical birth state for the industry, however, is merely one of several surprising features of Krebs’ career.
Also a board member of an animal conservation nonprofit, Krebs, CFO of Dynacloud.IO, is helping build an energy Internet of Things company focused on creating “intelligent oil fields” through digital automation, artificial intelligence and smart-grid technologies. Dynacloud.IO has already closed its first capital raise and has product sales underway in five basins.
Getting started in oil and gas
“As a child, I raced remote-controlled cars. After taking apart multiple motors and seeing that they were just wires and magnets, I realized that complex things could be explained by relatively simple processes. This curiosity led me to study mechanical engineering in college, where I was drawn to the energy industry. Afterward, I moved to New York and used my technical background to join an energy-focused investment banking group. I think it is safe to say that I am one of the few oil and gas professionals that the University of Vermont has produced.”
“Closing a seed financing round in August 2020 for Dynacloud.IO was one deal that I’ll never forget. Raising money for any oil and gas investment is challenging, but raising it in a pandemic through video chats really tested our team. I’m a firm believer that nothing good comes easy—this endeavor will hopefully prove that cliché true.”
“My short-term career goal is to build Dynacloud into a leading energy technology company. Dynacloud is still in the ‘first inning.’ My focus is to simply keep piloting the ship and to see how big and how successful it can become.
“My long-term goal is to hopefully repeat Dynacloud. That is, to start another company and then see how far it can again be grown. This could be another energy tech company, a pivot back into the minerals space or possibly both.”
“A leader in the oil and gas [industry] must balance discipline and the ability to adapt to new information. Seeing $100 oil and $0 oil in my career has been our industry’s equivalent to Mike Tyson’s famous ‘Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.’
“Oil and gas is truly a commodity industry; there are virtually no competitive advantages between E&Ps. A good leader must know how to establish a framework for making calculated risks and use it to create value.”
“Being asked to join the board of directors of Penguins International is something that I am honored and humbled by. Learning the inner workings of a nonprofit and learning about marine sciences has been an exceptional opportunity. We are fortunate to work with incredible scientists in the oil and gas industry, but working with biologists and animal science PhDs has shown me a different type of intellect and knowledge.”
Advice to young professionals
“Always be listening when in the office. You will hear tidbits of random knowledge, and there will be a time when these make you that much more valuable in a meeting.
“Read as much as you can. Almost any question you can think of can be answered at the type of your phone; there is no excuse not to learn new things all the time. If something can’t be Googled, then find someone smarter than you and ask them.
“Whatever you are analyzing, develop an opinion—succeeding in business requires having a viewpoint (and being right).”
The new generation
“Young industry members are hands down more data savvy and better able to use technologies and computational power. I am seeing most companies creating new data-centric positions. Specifically, I’ve seen the emergence of Python, SQL and huge datasets being used to unlock patterns and identify trends that were previously unknown.”
“Oil companies need to compete for talent against Silicon Valley and must begin offering similar stock compensation and meritocracy-based incentives. They must aim to capture a similar culture that values creativity and innovation. Many software and production reporting programs look like they were developed in the 1960s (looking at you, Aries). We can do better.”
“There is no excuse not to learn new things all the time.”