A young player in the Australian oil and gas sector, Condor Energy is bringing a new perspective and throwback values to a blossoming industry.
For years, many have known of Australia’s vast natural gas wealth, but a new wave of interest, spurred on by advances in shale and coal seam gas extraction, has brought renewed focus to the country. With a demand in place, Condor Energy was ambitiously incorporated at the end of 2011 as an ambitious fracture stimulation company—the first to be formed in Australia for Australia, according to Energy News.
After the company’s birth in 2011, founders Christian Lange and Geoff Edwards spent the next two years hammering down a solid business plan and securing capital. Finally, in February 2014, the pair ordered equipment and started looking for work.
“There were just the two of us to begin with,” said Managing Director and CEO Christian Lange. “Geoff concentrated on the business plan modeling from a finance side and I concentrated on working with the clients.”
Today, Condor offers services including well cementing, fracture stimulation, nitrogen pumping, coiled tubing and more. In July, Condor earned a contract to provide fracking and coiled tubing services for some of Beach Energy’s unconventional operations.
“We've got a four well fracture stimulation campaign in the Cooper Basin for Beach Energy and its joint venture partners,” Lange said. “And then following that, we'll have a second campaign in southern Australia, again with Beach Energy and its joint venture partners.”
Lange says that apart from being the only Australian company in the sector, Condor’s competitive edge comes from a variety of factors. He told Energy News that Condor offers a higher standard of service quality partially by customizing U.S.-made equipment for Australian conditions. This equipment was specifically constructed to handle the “severe duty conditions” found in the Nappamerri Trough, the operations area within the Cooper Basin.
“We are bringing in 40,000 horsepower so it will be the largest single frack spread in Australia,” Lange said to Energy News. “Halliburton has the largest amount of total horsepower in the country, but we will have the largest single spread. We have certain redundancies built into the spread so when the inevitable failure occurs we will be able to respond to that pretty quickly without experiencing an awful lot of down time.”
But more than that, Lange told Exploration World another factor comes into play.
“I think the first thing is our people. I think that's where we really make a difference,” he said. “I don't believe there's a lot of differentiation in the equipment portfolios of various companies in this space. So at the end of the day, it really comes down to people and their performance and service quality. We've spent three years on planning and I think that's paying off because to-date we've most certainly delivered on our promise of improved service quality in the sector.”
According to Lange, employees come first at Condor Energy with managers and executives trying to foster an “old school” approach to company culture that places emphasis on making the business feel like a family. He said that at Condor, employees are seen as people rather than numbers.
This emphasis on the company’s people, while in line with the founders’ values, is also good for business. The school of thought says that if you take care of employees, they’ll take care of the client. Lange says this is paying off.
“I think our people have gained a reputation for being best in the business. And by extension, Condor has earned a reputation of delivering on its service quality promise,” he said.
He added, “We set out six months ago to build a corporate culture which was based on respect for each other above all else and having a group of individuals that were seen as more than just employees. We wanted to have high levels of collaboration [and] engagement between our employees and each other. I have an enormous sense of pride in seeing how they've come together and how they've operated.”