I am blessed to have many local, national and international groups ask me to attend their events and speak on the success that BNE has had over the years.
One group that I am very happy to be a part of is the Denver International Petroleum Society, also known as DIPS. DIPS was organized approximately thirty years ago. Their members form an eclectic group of industry professionals, executives, and academics. The group generally holds monthly luncheon meetings with a speaker who delivers a message of interest to the Denver international petroleum community of scientists, explorers, and business leaders.
The DIPS group invited me to speak at one of their luncheons and I was delighted for the opportunity. The topic of my speech was the inspiring story of BNE and how we overcame enormous odds to find oil. I am asked quite frequently to reiterate this story since it is such an inspiring and empowering tale. As many of you know, my attendance of the Educo Seminar was a real factor in the success of BNE and a turning point in my life helping me understand the power of my own mind. I use the skills learned in the seminar in all my interactions with people. To help an audience understand both mine and BNE’s philosophy, I like to tell the story of my daughter Hannah when she pulled me aside one day to tell me she was pregnant. On that day, I could already see the incoming torpedoes of negative thoughts; old mindsets hindering my way to wreck my relationship with her. I consciously said no to those thoughts and focused on Hannah, felt her joy and kept an open mind. I was truly present, really concentrating on her. If I had let those negative thoughts invade my mind, I would have ended up pushing Hannah away creating resentment between us and ultimately damaging my relationship with her and my grandchild.
After many multi-billion dollar oil companies had failed to find oil in Belize, my close friend and I, Mike Usher, kept the vision and faith that there was Belizean oil to be found. Mike and I reviewed the significant data uncovered by the previous drilling and put together a strategy to move forward with our goal. After meeting with a local Belizean farmer who discovered oil while drilling a shallow water well, we decided to go for it! We entered into a Production Sharing Agreement with the Belizean government and got to work.
In 2003, Mike, several others and myself established BNE and started 160 km of 2D seismic surveys. Unfortunately, Mike became very ill and passed away unexpectedly in 2004. Losing him was a big blow to BNE and me personally. However, I know he would have wanted us to continue pursuing his vision, which is exactly what we did. So, after reviewing the survey data, we commenced drilling and struck oil on the very first exploratory well! We named the well Mike Usher #1 in his honor and designated the oil field itself, Spanish Lookout. The field is now producing consistently and has 10.75 million STB in reserves.
This oil discovery has obviously been beneficial to us, but Mike’s vision was to help give back to his native Belize. BNE boasts 240 employees of which 94% are Belizean. We have given our employees the skills, training and guidance to contribute to their family, community and country. This is what we are most proud of. We have helped a population change their way of life.
Attendees of the DIPS luncheon really seemed to enjoy the story of BNE almost as much as I like telling it. They are a great group that is enthusiastic and motivated in the energy field. I truly enjoyed meeting all of them and am encouraged in the state of the industry. I just hope they have the courage to chase their dreams, ignore the negative people and achieve greatness.