When it comes to the energy industry, all roads lead to Oklahoma. Which is why the South Korea-based company SK E&S, which began in 1999 as a city gas holding company, turned to the Price College Energy Institute for help as it continues to expand overseas into the natural gas sector. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, South Korea ranks among the world’s top five importers of liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, crude oil and refined products, and relies on imports to meet 98% of its fossil fuel consumption. Like SK E&S, many of South Korea’s oil and natural gas companies are aggressively seeking overseas exploration and production opportunities.
Under the leadership of Professor Dipankar Ghosh, a 10-day executive program was developed for the employees of SK E&S and their global partners at Osaka Gas, Lear Investments, EGCO, JERA and ENN. Nearly 30 participants traveled from South Korea, Japan and the Dominican Republic to Oklahoma City and Norman to learn as much as they could regarding the business of natural gas in North America. Many had never traveled to the U.S. before.
The tailored program began April 8, 2019, at the Gene Rainbolt Graduate School of Business in Oklahoma City. The first day-long class covered exploration and production and the midstream industry, which was taught by Sean Willis, senior vice president of engineering and development at Tug Hill Operating. That evening, a welcome dinner was hosted at Vast atop the Devon Tower that included a brief overview of the shale play in North America, given by Jay Jimerson, president of Cardinal River Energy. The following day, the group covered natural gas fundamentals with Josh McCall, fundamental analytics director at BP, and marketing and trading with OU Finance Professor Heber Farnsworth. That evening, the participants were hosted to a Thunder basketball game that resulted in a thrilling last-second win over the Houston Rockets. The Oklahoma City classes concluded April 10 with a lecture on renewable energy by OU Entrepreneurship Professor Ron Bolen.
On April 11, the SK E&S employees and global partners resumed their coursework on the Norman campus. An energy trading simulation in Adams Hall was facilitated by Janya Golubeva, a clinical professor of finance at the University of Illinois – Chicago. The simulation was followed by a lecture on regulations and contracts given by Stephanie Timmermeyer, an adjunct professor of the OU College of Law and vice president of EHSR and supply chain at Gulfport Energy. The day concluded with a historic tour of the OU campus. The participants spent April 12 taking a break from classes to visit Continental Resources’ drilling operations, Cardinal Midstream’s natural gas gathering plant and the Iron Horse processing plant around central Oklahoma.
From left are SK E&S CEO Jeong Joon Yu and Price College of Business
Dean Daniel Pullin
The final two days included a course on liquefied natural gas with David Heskin, a retired engineering manager for ConocoPhillips, and group exercises regarding the natural gas value chain with Kim Colburn, COO of North America Natural Gas Liquids for BP. On April 16, a closing dinner was hosted at the OU football stadium’s MidFirst Bank Stadium Club. A tour of the stadium kicked off the festive occasion, where the participants were joined by Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm. Several SK E&S executives also flew in to join the end of the program, including CEO Jeong Joon Yu, who provided the closing remarks at the celebration dinner.
“Ten years from now, you will not remember many of the details you have learned in class,” Yu said to his employees. “But I guarantee the experiences and relationships you have built this past week will endure.”
Click here to enjoy a highlights video provided by SK E&S.