It is not surprising that the oil and gas industry has faced many major challenges over the past couple of decades, with the advent of alternative energy sources and the changing demands of oil and gas consumers in the United States, as well as those around the globe, and particularly in developing countries. Shortages in resources, challenging technological developments, and fluctuating economic tides have forced many oil and gas companies to re-think their traditional organizational models and functions.
In order to ensure ongoing success and growth in the oil and gas industry, companies must be prepared to confront technical challenges, improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of day-to-day operations, and navigate the changing landscape of energy consumption around the world.
While these challenges may appear daunting to some, some successful companies in the oil and gas industry stand out as a shining example of growth and success in the face of contemporary obstacles and challenges. One of those companies is the Dallas-based Gulf Coast Western, LLC, spearheaded by its visionary CEO, Matthew Fleeger.
Gulf Coast Western is an oil and gas company focused on exploring, acquiring, and developing domestic oil and gas reserves, withholdings and operations primarily in the Gulf Coast region of the United States. The company is active in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, with additional holdings in Oklahoma, Colorado, and Alabama. Gulf Coast Western is also the Managing Venturer of Oil & Gas General Partnerships, also known as Joint Ventures, a strategic investment platform that has earned a stellar reputation for its success in securing successful growth for investors in the oil and gas industry.
Gulf Coast Western has been in business for over 40 years and has distinguished itself over its successful history by making great strides and exhibiting exponential growth, in spite of the many obstacles and challenges facing the oil and gas industry. The company has secured a successful business trajectory by leveraging its wide network of influential contacts and key partnerships that are also focused on continued growth and expansion within the industry.
In particular, Gulf Coast Western attributes much of its success to its strategic partnerships and acquisitions, as well as its management of Joint Venture, all of which have leveraged ongoing opportunities for significant returns on investment potential with a calculated downside risk that provides security for Joint Venture’s investment partners.
These strategic partnerships with forward-thinking companies in the oil and gas industry have allowed Gulf Coast Western to expand their presence geographically into strategic and resource-rich areas of the United States, while also expanding the potential growth of their holdings, and securing excellent return on investment for their Joint Venture partners.
The company secures its ongoing growth by investing in key oil and gas prospects and properties that have proven, well-developed structures, as well as exhibiting superior geological and geophysical characteristics and production potential. Acquisitions and investments are carefully speculated by means of stringent selection criteria that ensure low risk and high potential growth for investors.
This business strategy has proven to be a smart approach for the company, as well as for its strategic investment partners, providing considerable return with a quantified downside risk for investors who participate in joint ventures and partnerships with Gulf Coast Western.
A Family Legacy
Founded by Fleeger’s father in 1970, Gulf Coast Western began as a small family business, with a mission that focused specifically on acquiring and developing domestic oil and gas reserves in the Gulf Coast region of the United States, particularly in resource-rich areas such as Texas and Louisiana.
From its earliest inception, the company focused on broadening its horizons by building trusting relationships with key partners and investors that ensured growth and expansion for all parties. Over the years, these relationships have blossomed into a network of strategic partnerships that have culminated in the activities of Joint Ventures, an entity with a vision of continued growth and evolution, and an optimistic determination to weather the challenges and obstacles that face the industry.
As Gulf Coast Western’s involvement in Joint Ventures has matured over the years, the company has successfully extended its holdings into other highly productive areas of the United States, while also expanding its activities and operations in all of their active regions. The formation of Joint Ventures has provided Gulf Coast Western the ability to leverage the resources of many companies at once, a strategy that has contributed significantly to continued growth for both Gulf Coast Western and its partners in the oil and gas industry.
Over its 40-year history, Gulf Coast Western, LLC has acquired thousands of acres in the most highly productive regions of the United States, as well as overseeing strategic drilling programs in these areas that promise significant, continued growth potential for Joint Venture investment partners. The company also plans to continue its expansion into other regions of the United States, while also increasing drilling activities, as well as expanding its technological development in order to stay abreast of oncoming industry fluctuations.
In fact, Joint Venture partners’ investment prospects continue to grow in the face of industry challenges, thanks to the company’s assertive expansion activities and commitment to harnessing strategic opportunities that further expand their prospects and operations.
While Gulf Coast Western has grown steadily and successfully since its founding under his father’s leadership, the company’s most significant growth period has actually taken place over the course of the industry’s most vulnerable period, thanks to the skilled leadership of its current CEO, Matthew Fleeger.
Matthew Fleeger’s Strategic Leadership
Matthew H. Fleeger is known in the oil and gas industry as the quintessential “renaissance man” a reputation that he has skillfully earned as a consequence of his success and influence in several industries.
In addition to having been born and bred in the oil and gas business, Fleeger is an entrepreneurial wizard with extensive experience and expertise in not only the oil and gas industry but also in the field of medical waste management, as well as the indoor tanning industry. By flexing his corporate muscles in a variety of fields, demonstrating impeccable leadership capabilities and keep profit-making instincts in all of these industries, Fleeger has established himself as a significant figure in the International Who’s Who of Business Professionals.
Guided by his father’s principles of earnest and transparent interactions, and the example of how this approach leads to success in business, Matthew Fleeger earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University. During this period in the early 1970s, while his dad was steering Gulf Coast Western toward its legacy-building activities in the oil and gas industry, Matthew focused on expanding his knowledge and skills in the areas of marketing and finance.
In 1986 Matthew joined the team at Gulf Coast Western, working alongside his father and gaining valuable mentoring as well as familiarity with the workings of the oil and gas industry over the course of seven years.
By 1993, the young and restless prodigal son had developed an interest in broadening his corporate horizons and honing his professional skills in different areas and industries.
During this time, Matthew Fleeger gained an understanding of the potential for growth in the field of medical waste management, upon realizing that many medical facilities were faced with the challenge of navigating extremely costly and time-consuming options in order to manage this essential need in their industry. This discovery led Matthew to found MedSolutions, Inc, a diversified holding company focused on providing efficient and cost-effective solutions that would facilitate the transportation, disposal, and treatment of medical wastes for facilities and institutions in the growing healthcare industry.
MedSolutions proved to be a highly lucrative venture for Fleeger, as well as an opportunity to further hone his skills in management and corporate leadership. From 1993 to 2007, Fleeger led MedSolutions to unprecedented success and growth, cementing his abilities as a corporate leader. In fact, in a matter of only a few short years, MedSolutions had grown from a small local start-up into a regional leader in the medical waste management industry. By 2007, the company’s success caught the attention of Stericycle, Inc., the most highly-ranked performer in the medical waste management industry in the United States. That same year, Fleeger sold his shares in MedSolutions to Stericycle for a whopping $59 million, setting him on a course of continued growth and success as a business leader in various industries.
Following his successful sale of MedSolutions, Matthew Fleeger came back to the oil and gas industry, this time replacing his father as the President and CEO of Gulf Coast Western. From the start of his appointment at the head of the family business, his focus was always on expanding Gulf Coast Western’s acquisitions, partnerships, and mergers. He also brought a new vision for the restructuring of the company’s daily operations and its incorporation of the latest technologies and innovations in the field. During this period, he established himself as the next generation of leadership at Gulf Coast Western, launching the company into a period of accelerated growth.
Motivated by the growing success of Gulf Coast Western in the oil and gas industry, as well as his winning strategy in the field of medical waste management, Matthew Fleeger set his corporate sights on a mission to make profits in the up-and-coming commercial tanning industry that emerged in the late 1990s. During this period, he co-founded two successful indoor tanning businesses with combined revenues totaling close to $100 million.
The first of these acquisitions was Palm Beach Tan, a small local operation with six outlets that Fleeger expanded and developed until it became one of the biggest and most profitable indoor tanning companies in the United States. Fleeger’s success with Palm Beach Tan then led to his acquisition of Mystic Tan, another small start-up company that, within a few short years, became the largest spray-on tanning booth franchise in the world.
All of this acquired experience in various industries fueled Fleeger’s instincts and inspiration, while also sharpening his ability to take timely advantage of key partnership and acquisition opportunities and riding the trends and tides of each industry. Having demonstrated a highly developed instinct for identifying small companies with extremely promising potential for rapid growth, Fleeger set his sights on new directions for Gulf Coast Western.
Since his appointment at the forefront of the family business, Matthew Fleeger’s highly developed leadership skills have led Gulf Coast Western, along with its Joint Venture partners, to rapid and continual progress in the domestic oil and gas industry, promising continued growth and an even more profitable future.
Partnerships and Acquisitions
From its inception, Gulf Coast Western has sought and worked with key partners that have leveraged its growth while broadening its corporate horizons. Among the company’s most notable expansion projects was its acquisition of 50 percent working interest in the key assets of a Dallas-based firm called Northcote Energy, Ltd. This acquisition benefited both companies by helping to accelerate and expand Northcote’s drilling operations in the Southwestern region of Louisiana, and by leveraging Gulf Coast Western’s expansion and operations in an area known for its rich oil and gas resources.
Another of Gulf Coast Western’s acquisitions that has fueled tremendous growth for the company was its purchase of a vast majority of assets pertaining to Orbit Energy Partners, LLC, a Lafayette-based company in Louisiana. This gain came about when Orbit Gulf Coast Exploration, a Gulf Coast Western subsidiary, purchased the majority assets of Orbit Energy Partners. The proprietary rights acquired through that significant acquisition provided Gulf Coast Western with access to cutting-edge 3D seismic data covering hundreds of square miles of territory in Southwestern Louisiana.
By acquiring Orbit Energy Partners through Orbit Gulf Coast Exploration, Gulf Coast Western and Joint Ventures also acquired working interests in 13 actively producing oil wells as well as 140 other additional drilling sites, with a total reserve potential totaling about 30 million barrels of oil equivalent. Orbit Gulf Coast Exploration has been the primary owner of the production and operations activities of Orbit Energy Partners’ properties and prospects since 2015.
The acquisition of Orbit Energy Partners also secured Gulf Coast Western’s access to a promising partnership contract with Louisiana-based Warhorse Oil and Gas, a company that manages the operation of a large portion of the oil wells included in the acquisition. The company also gained control of various other organizations such as Union Gas, LLOX, Zachry Exploration, Endeavor NG, and Neumin Production, all of which operate actively producing wells included in the acquisition deal.
These strategic acquisitions led Gulf Coast Western to also develop hundreds of prospects in an Area of Mutual Interest (AMI) that extends across some 1,000 square miles in the oil-producing regions of Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Evangeline, and St. Landry Parishes in Lousiana.
Gulf Coast Western’s partnerships with Orbit Gulf Coast Exploration and Orbit Energy, Inc. have contributed to a vast expansion in the company’s territorial as well as operational base in the Southwest region of Louisiana, among the nations’ top-producing regions for oil and gas prospects, securing continued growth and profits for Gulf Coast Western and its Joint Venture partners.
Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges in the Industry
Still, the oil and gas industry has never actually been a smoothly paved highway; in fact, in recent decades it has increasingly become a rockier road. Nevertheless, in spite of daunting challenges in the industry, Gulf Coast Western, along with its Joint Ventures platform, maintain a favorable economic forecast thanks to a successful history of growth, and particularly thanks to the resilience demonstrated during the recent recession in the United States that peaked in 2008. It was during this particularly tough period that Gulf Coast Western’s CEO gained lots of experience in overcoming major challenges in the industry, largely through corporate restructuring and technical innovation.
Fleeger recalls those difficult years and how those trying times called for an especially creative approach to leadership. Never one to fear a challenge, Fleeger was forced to re-think every single detail of his business operations in order to steer the company through an economic tempest. This meant implementing new solutions for reducing corporate overhead while retaining key personnel and continuing to invest in key prospects. It also meant incorporating newer, more efficient technological approaches that made operations more cost-effective while also expanding the company’s reach and efficiency.
Fleeger also notes the value of maintaining an optimistic and transparent corporate culture that builds trust among all parties and boosts company morale. He notes his most important leadership quality as “Having a positive attitude in the face of adversity. I believe this is a contagious mindset for everyone and is required in every successful leader. You have to constantly portray this quality or else, negative morale and despair will creep into your business quickly.”
Honesty and Transparency Build an Infallible Team
Fleeger also reiterates that the successful motivation of his team and his ability to retain critical commitments from both his staff and investors all stem from that personal as well as professional transparency, and the construction of trusting relationships that help all team members stay motivated. For Fleeger, it is critical that all team players understand clearly and fully the direction that the company is moving in and how that direction will benefit all parties.
This kind of motivation helps to maintain a united team. And naturally, unity builds strength; the kind of strength that ensures corporate success, even through periods of downturns and obstacles in the industry.
Fleeger’s experience in various business sectors also helps him to keep his cool in the face of any downturns, be they in specific sectors of the oil and gas industry, or while navigating the course of national and international economic tides. This clarity of vision has allowed him to turn even the sourest grapes into an exquisite wine, as evidenced by the success and continued growth of Gulf Coast Western and Joint Ventures in spite of industry challenges.