Sara Ortwein, President of XTO energy, at the XTO headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas on Jan. 22, 2018. © 2018 Robert Seale

Sara Ortwein: Wringing the Most out of Life’s Every Hour

It is an increasingly rare thing indeed to come across anyone in America today who has spent an entire career working for a single corporate entity. The advent of constantly-advancing technologies and our increasingly mobile and restless society has by and large ended the American dream of working for one company for 40 years and retiring on a comfortable pension.

“We Believe in Long-Term Careers.”

That’s just not how things work in America anymore. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the typical American can expect to change jobs 10 to 15 times during his or her career, with around half of those changes involving a change in employer.

In the past, remaining with the same company throughout a full career typically meant becoming very good at a single job and eventually developing some leadership and supervisory skills if one wanted to advance up the chain. Today, especially in a constantly evolving business like the oil and gas industry, the ability to do so requires high degrees of adaptability, equanimity, innovation, constant improvement, leadership and the ability to consistently add value to advancing the company’s goals.

Sara Ortwein, the President of ExxonMobil subsidiary XTO Energy, is that kind of person — the kind of person with the set of skills necessary to not just spend an entire career within the ExxonMobil corporate umbrella, but to deploy those skills so ably that she has advanced to one of the organization’s most senior leadership positions. As she noted when we caught up to her in September, that career has now endured for 38 years, and she feels fortunate things have worked out this way. She also points out that her longevity with the company is actually in keeping with the long-term view ExxonMobil takes with its employees.

“I have had the pleasure, as you say, of spending my entire career with one company,” she says. “We recruit, train and develop employees with a long-term view. The company invests heavily in its employees, and that’s what has been done with me and those who work around me.”

That career investment by a global company like ExxonMobil most often involves a willingness to relocate frequently and adapt to new cultural situations. “I’ve been exposed to a variety of cultures. I’ve had the opportunity to work on a lot of exciting and challenging projects all over the world, things that I never would have envisioned when I first came to work,” Ortwein notes. “Most importantly, I’ve had the opportunity to work with outstanding people at ExxonMobil and across the industry.”

But it isn’t all exotic new places and international travel. When Ortwein graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering in 1980, she went to work as a drilling engineer for the Texas operations of Exxon Company, U.S.A. To illustrate how much has changed in the industry in the intervening 38 years, she recalled an example of one of the company’s early efforts at drilling a horizontal well in the prolific Austin Chalk formation, which was in the midst of its first of several boom times.

“Shortly after I had left the drilling group, one of my colleagues designed and drilled a horizontal well in the Austin chalk. That well was 500 feet in the horizontal section,” she begins, “and I remember it was a dry hole, but it was a technical success that we were all excited about at the time. Today, we’re drilling horizontals up to 3 miles in shale and tight formations. And in some places offshore, we’re drilling up to 8 miles in the horizontal.”

Another part of Texas she points to as having evolved radically during the course of her career is the Permian Basin, where XTO Energy has a very large and active position. “The other interesting piece that has changed is the Permian,” she says, “I have had the opportunity to work the Permian three different times in my career. And it keeps evolving and changing, and we keep finding new and different ways to get the resource out of the ground, this time with horizontal drilling and fracturing.

“So, a lot has evolved and changed.”

Indeed, it has.

As the company continued to invest in Ortwein, she continued to produce value-adding results, as the chart of her rapid career progression over the last 21 years clearly demonstrates:

  •         1997 – she was named reservoir evaluation and planning manager for Exxon Ventures, CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), focusing on new venture pursuit and capture in Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
  •         2001 – Became corporate upstream advisor to senior management at ExxonMobil headquarters in Irving, Texas.
  •         2004 – Named production manager for ExxonMobil’s operated U.S. production operations.
  •         2006 – Became vice president of engineering for ExxonMobil Development Company.
  •         2010 – Named president of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company.
  •         2016 – In November Ortwein was named President of XTO Energy.

Ortwein’s career achievements have not gone unnoticed outside of the ExxonMobil corporate umbrella.  Far from it. This paragraph from her profile on the XTO website tells part of that story:

Sara has been a champion for math, science and engineering, with a particular focus on mentoring future leaders in these fields. In 2009, she was honored by The University of Texas as a Distinguished Engineering Graduate from the Cockrell School of Engineering. Sara has been recognized by the Women’s Energy Network of Houston as an individual who exemplifies commitment to excellence and a role model for women engineers. In 2012, she was honored by Bio Houston with the Women in Science Excellence award. In 2013, she was recognized by the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce as a breakthrough leader in the field of energy. In 2014, she was recognized as one of Houston’s Top Ten Women in Energy by the Houston Business Journal.  In 2017, she was recognized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers with the Distinguished Membership award. And, in 2018, she was recognized with the Women who Mean Business award by the Houston Business Journal.

Recognitions such as those listed above do not materialize out of nowhere. They are in fact the kinds of awards designed to recognize extraordinary achievements in a person’s field of expertise. The kinds of achievements that made Ortwein the obvious choice for leadership at XTO Energy.

Ortwein and the increasing number of other women in positions of senior leadership in the oil and gas industry probably grow weary of being asked about it, but their status remains an all-too-rare feature of the industry today. For many decades, a female presence in the industry’s board rooms was almost unheard-of, and it has only been during Ortwein’s own time in the business that things have begun to really change.

When asked to discuss the reason why she has been able to become one of the pioneers in this time of change, she didn’t hesitate about where to begin. “It started with my parents. I was fortunate in that I had parents who taught me a strong work ethic, and to treat everyone with dignity, respect, while at the same time not be intimidated by others.”

The company where she has spent her entire career and the people in it also played a major role. “I was very fortunate to come into an organization like ExxonMobil that has this focus on a long-term career, on allowing every employee to progress to their own potential and providing opportunities for employees to do that. There’s a structured approach to people development that is a key part of what our organizational leaders spend their time on. It’s making sure that we’re providing opportunities for our employees to develop, including training, experiential learning and job opportunities that match the business needs.

“Throughout my career I’ve had some outstanding supervisors and personal mentors, and those mentors weren’t people assigned to me. They were people who took an interest in me in various phases of my career and helped me along the way. They helped me see the potential that was there and helped me understand what I needed to accomplish to achieve that potential.”

Not Your Ordinary Corporate Subsidiary

XTO Energy began its life in 1986 as a company named Cross Timbers Oil Company. Cross Timbers was founded by three former executives of the Southland Royalty Company, helped by $35 million in seed money raised by former Goldman Sachs Chairman Robert Rubin, who later became Secretary of the Treasury under President Bill Clinton.

Sara Ortwein, President of XTO energy, at the XTO headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas on Jan. 22, 2018. © 2018 Robert SealeCross Timbers began life as an acquirer and operator of long-lived oil and gas properties in several states, the largest part of which in the beginning were in the San Juan Basin region of Northwest New Mexico. As the company grew, its financing needs grew along with it, and in 1993 the decision was made to take the company public. Traded on the NASDAQ, where its stock symbol happened to be “XTO,” the company continued its rapid growth trajectory, becoming one of the early large operators in the Barnett Shale play. In 2001 the decision was made to change its name to the current XTO Energy.

When ExxonMobil’s management was looking for the best way to get into the U.S. shale business in 2009, it ultimately decided the best way to do that was to acquire what had become a very large, Fort Worth-based independent producer. The company’s leaders made a special commitment as part of the $36 billion deal to preserve the spirit of an “independent” producer within XTO while leveraging from the broader corporate organization. To ExxonMobil’s credit, it has held to that commitment, and the results have been rewarding.

Today, XTO owns interests in more than 50,000 wells across the United States, Western Canada and Argentina. It is a major player in multiple shale basins, including the Permian Basin, the Marcellus and Utica Shales, the Bakken Shale, the Haynesville Shale, the Barnett/Woodford Shales, the Eagle Ford Shale and the Fayetteville Shale. Taken with its operations in other play areas, it constitutes one of the largest independent producer portfolios in the industry.

But there’s more to the ongoing success of the merger than preserving XTO’s independent company culture: the ability to leverage ExxonMobil’s integrated business model and expertise in managing large projects has helped make XTO even more competitive than it already had been.

Here’s how Ortwein describes the plan. “We invested heavily in unconventional resources through our merger with XTO in 2010. One of the clear intents was to make sure that we gained access to a wealth of shale development experience as well as the shale and tight assets of XTO,” she says. “We recognized that there are differences in how you progress the development of shale and tight resources. So, we have maintained XTO as a separate entity.

“That said, we’ve got a unique competitive advantage having a strong corporation with significant project and technology development capability,” she continues. “We have the ability to take the unconventional experience and XTO’s expertise and manage that business as appropriate, but also bring to bear the research and project know-how, and significant capabilities from the rest of the corporation.

“For instance, the downstream, chemical and midstream capability that we have in ExxonMobil is very relevant in the Permian — being able to connect the dots to maximize the value to our shareholders.”

As the company’s asset base and operational results clearly indicate, it’s a plan that is working extremely well.

Managing the Elephant in the Permian’s Living Room

The growing issue with a lack of pipeline capacity for both oil and natural gas coming out of the Permian Basin has been extensively reported by the energy media in recent months. There is no question that it is a real problem, and most expect the issue to linger for the next year before a raft of pipelines currently under construction begin to come online and provide relief.  Until that time, operators in the hottest play area in North America must find ways to get their product to market and deal with a growing price differential for their production.

Simply put, it has become the Permian’s own “elephant in the living room.” And it is obviously a subject that has been high on Ortwein’s radar for some time.

“We are tremendously excited about the potential in the Permian. That includes the potential for XTO, for ExxonMobil and for the entire industry,” she begins. “And with that potential we can move drilling rigs in and out very quickly — it’s one of the advantages of the unconventional — but it takes time for the midstream infrastructure to catch up with the drilling.

“With any new development, the key is to get the right infrastructure in place both in the basin and then to the markets. And that is especially the case in unconventional basins, where the production growth is tremendously rapid, and then it takes the industry a bit longer to get the midstream and the downstream logistics and markets all connected.”

It is that lag time between upstream results and midstream build-out that is at the top of Ortwein’s mind. She continues: “You may be aware that earlier this year, with the potential we’re seeing on our acreage, we committed to triple our daily production in the Permian to 600,000 barrels by 2025. That’s a tripling of our overall production and a fivefold increase in our unconventional production. So, with that commitment, we recognize the need for infrastructure to be able to transport our production out of the Permian Basin.”

Not surprisingly, Ortwein and her management team have a detailed plan to address the issue. “One of the things we’re doing is to make sure we can control our own destiny and move our products. We’ve announced a joint venture with Plains All American to construct a long oil pipeline and that’s going to transport crude and condensate from our Wink oil terminal (near Wink, Texas) to various delivery points along the U.S. Gulf Coast. We also have plans to ship up to 500,000 dekatherms of natural gas per day on Summit Midstream Partners’ Double E pipeline in the Permian Basin, which will go to the Waha Hub in West Texas. From there, our plans are to ship up to 450,000 dekatherms per day on the Permian Highway Pipeline project, which is a joint venture between Kinder Morgan, Eagle Claw Midstream and Apache. That long-haul pipeline will transport natural gas from Waha to the Gulf Coast.”

Here, the plan illustrates some of the advantages of XTO’s affiliation with ExxonMobil. “You may recall that I mentioned the Wink terminal. ExxonMobil purchased the Wink terminal last year to enhance our ability to move our production. It’s strategically positioned to handle Permian crude and condensate from the Delaware Basin, very near the Texas-New Mexico border, and to be a hub from which we can transport to Gulf Coast refineries and marine export terminals. We’re making plans to expand that terminal and add key infrastructure upgrades that will allow us to efficiently move ExxonMobil production and also third-party production from the Delaware and Midland basins down to the Gulf Coast.

“So, we have a lot of work underway to ensure that we have the right infrastructure in place to support our production growth. The investments that we’re contemplating today are expected to exceed $2 billion. To me, one of the exciting things about it is that it will support short term construction jobs, but also longer-term positions associated with the infrastructure as we progress.

“Through these kinds of investments, we’re making sure that we are able to move our product out of the basin and able to connect our production in the Permian to our refining and chemicals infrastructure on the Gulf Coast.”

That full value chain proposition is an advantage pure independent producers cannot replicate.

“Technology has Made an Enormous Impact in our Business.”

Ortwein’s reference to the jobs being created in all the midstream infrastructure buildout led to another jobs-related question: How will the rapid adoption of increasingly-advanced technologies in oil and gas operations change the job market in the industry? Given her background, it’s a question Ortwein is well-positioned to address.

“This is an area of the business that’s really exciting to me,” she says. “Before becoming President of XTO, I was the President of our upstream research company. I came into that position out of a production operations background predominantly, and I’ve had some experience in working our major projects around the world in our development company. But I had never actually been in a research role. I spent six years in our research company, supporting the teams in making a connection with the business on where technology was needed, where it was applicable and what the possibilities were.

“I talked earlier about the examples of the long laterals and the horizontal wells, and hydraulic fracturing, and if you go back in history, there are lots of different examples of how technology has made an enormous difference in our business.

“Think about when I started in 1980 as a drilling engineer and the jobs on drilling rigs were fundamentally manual functions. Now, look at how much of that work has been automated today. We have fewer people on the rig floor today, for example, which makes it much safer.

“At ExxonMobil and XTO we believe in the promise of technology to help us develop energy in the safest, most environmentally responsible, efficient and effective manner. We have seen lots of different examples for how technology has enabled that for us. We’re different from most of the independents and also the integrated majors in that we have large in-house research capabilities both upstream and downstream. Additionally, our corporate strategic research organization conducts research in fundamental science.

“We also partner with many universities and other interests,” she continues. “Technology is key to our business and you can see it in the changes that have occurred over time in industry. One of the key areas is automation. It’s important now, but we’re really just getting started in what it can do for us in changing the way we go about our business. It can make us more efficient, allowing us to have access to a wealth of data, enabling data analytics and machine learning.

“Ultimately, it is going to change the way we run our business, and that is going to require that we have skilled employees to make sure that we understand the data we have access to and the capabilities that are out there. And with our growing production and our increased drilling operations in the Permian, it’s going to be all that much more important to enhance efficiency.”

One aspect of advancing technology is the ongoing refinement in the areas of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing.  “One of the key areas that we’re really excited about is our ability to drill longer lateral wells. And we’re excited about that because it means greater efficiency from a capital expenditure standpoint,” she says.

“We can drill fewer wells to gain access to the oil and gas reserves. But it will also mean that we have a smaller surface footprint and that’s very important to us as well. So, both from a commercial standpoint and an environmental standpoint, we’re focusing on what is the optimum length lateral well for cost as well as access to the resource.”

ExxonMobil’s January 2017 acquisition of the Fort Worth-based Bass Companies’ West Texas assets has also enhanced the company’s ability to optimize its horizontal drilling operations. “We’re very fortunate in that, with the acquisition of the Bass companies and that large, contiguous acreage position of 250,000 acres in the Delaware Basin — it allows us to really lay out and optimize an efficient development.

“We drilled our first 12,500 foot horizontal well in the Delaware earlier this year, and we recently drilled our first 16,000 foot horizontal well in the basin. We’re also in excess of 15,000 feet in the Midland Basin in West Texas. And so, we’re going to continue to work on optimizing the lateral lengths, and the completions that go with those wells.”  

The fact XTO produces in every major shale and unconventional basin in the U.S. also allows the company to transfer learnings not only between operational areas within each basin, but also from one basin to another. This kind of sharing of information is a key part of optimizing the company’s operations across its entire asset base.

Having all that contiguous acreage in its portfolio also enables XTO to be a lot more efficient in terms of water usage, water transportation and movement of water between leases. “This is a focus area for us. Water usage and water conservation is a key issue both from an efficiency standpoint and also environmentally. In both the Delaware Basin and in the Midland Basin we’re continuously looking at how we access water, produce water and move it through our operations. As a result, we are growing our recycled and reused volumes and will continue to do so. Having the contiguous acreage in the Delaware gives us an opportunity to lay out a system that enables us to optimize the use of recycled water within our operations. It’s something we’re very excited about.”

“Safety is About People.”

I mentioned to Ortwein that, during the course of my own career in the oil and gas industry, I’d had the opportunity to visit several ExxonMobil/XTO operations sites and was always highly impressed by the constant emphasis the company places on safety in the workplace.  I asked her to talk about some of the innovations and advancements in safety related processes and technologies her team has implemented since she became the company’s president.

She was happy to oblige.  “Maybe it’s in my blood because of my 38 years of ExxonMobil training,” she says, “but at the end of the day safety is about people. It is a fundamental part of our identity as a company and ultimately our goal is that nobody gets hurt. That’s something that I take incredibly seriously as do all of us in ExxonMobil and XTO, and it’s something that is an important aspect of my role as the leader of this organization.

But the unfortunate thing is that despite that continuous focus on safety, the company still does have incidents, she admits. “We look at each and every incident. We identify ways to prevent similar events from happening in the future, we make changes as appropriate, learning from the events we have.  Automation is allowing us to gather and analyze data from well sites and other facilities, reducing hours spent driving to sites. So, we can actually improve safety of individuals just by how much data they can collect in an automated fashion.

“We’ve recently implemented a program at XTO called “Safe Choice.” You might think, ‘well, what does a program called Safe Choice have to do with technology?’ But the defining aspect of Safe Choice is that it examines the science behind how all of us make decisions. It uses scenario-based learning to illustrate how our individual decision-making processes impact the potential for an incident to occur.

“So, this is another example of where we’re investing in our workforce.  We’re getting a better understanding about how we make decisions and how it could potentially impact our safety and the safety of individuals around us. We piloted the program in our Delaware Basin operations last year and we are migrating the program through all of our operations in XTO. We’ve received very positive feedback from our leaders, our managers and our employees.  I’m very excited about the potential for that program to make a significant impact on safety in the future.”

“Everyone’s Balance is Different.”

International assignments. Overnight business travel. Late nights at the office. The stress of managing large organizations. All of these factors and many more present challenges for any parent who rises to a senior leadership position within a company, and Ortwein is no exception.

“Through a career like mine, where I’ve had the opportunity to travel to many locations all around the world and have not been home all the time as a result, there have been events that I’ve missed over the years,” she says. “But I think you learn over time that if you’re going to drop a ball make sure you don’t drop the one that’s going to break.”

But then she focuses on a point that so many tend to forget: The resilience of a strong family unit. “Something that you learn with family and children is that if you spend the quality time with them, as a family unit, you’re pretty resilient,” she notes. “As we’ve moved as a family multiple times, we’ve always looked at it as an adventure. A family unit moving to a new place and seeking out things about that place that were different and unique, things we could learn and do together.

“And it was interesting because every time we moved, the family was not excited to leave when we left,” she says with a chuckle. “You know, there was a lot of ‘Why do we have to leave?’, but that happened again the next time we moved as well. And each one of the places where we had the opportunity to live, we’ve considered home and have great memories.”

The topic of “work/life balance” became a corporate buzzword in the United States back in the 1990s, and it ended up being something that some companies spent a lot of time and thought in trying to address, while others gave it mainly lip service. Ortwein points out that it can be a very hard thing to get right since all people are unique individuals, and what works as a “balance” for one person may not work for another.

“I am very fortunate in that I have a spouse, two children, and extended family that are quite supportive, and that’s really been helpful over my career,” she says. “And it’s really been ‘our’ career as a result. One of the things I’ve learned through time, though, is that people ask me about work/life balance and I think everyone’s balance is different. It’s a very hard thing to describe because what’s one person’s balance doesn’t work for another. And it’s different for each person at different points in time, different points in life, different points in a career.”

Here, Ortwein also notes how the rapid advancement of technology can play a positive role in people’s lives.  

“With cell phones and laptops and Skype and all the different technologies we have for communicating, you don’t have to always be in the office. You can do what we’re doing today quite easily from anywhere. And it’s a global business. That combination of 24/7 operations with the ability to work from anywhere has really changed the complexion of how one manages time and given us a lot more flexibility than we had in the past.”

At the end of the day, with all the travel and relocations and late meetings and managing organizations consisting of thousands of people, Ortwein jumps at the chance to brag just a bit about the children that her resilient family unit has turned out.

“Absolutely I’d love to brag about my kids, because along the way it has to go down as my greatest accomplishment,” she gleams. “I have two children — a son, Adam, and a daughter, Megan. They both graduated from my alma mater, the University of Texas, although neither of them is an engineer. They both got not only their mom’s analytical engineering side, but they got their dad’s creativity.

“My son is an architect and my daughter is in Public Relations. I’m very proud of them because both are their own people and they have followed their own paths, and now are out making their own way in the world. They have also done quite well at picking life partners who support them in their endeavors. So, I’m very proud of their accomplishments and look forward to seeing what else they’re going to do with their lives.”

Between traveling all over the world, raising a family and managing huge organizations, you might be thinking that Sara Ortwein probably was never able to find time to have any interests outside work and family.  But if you were thinking that, you’d be wrong.

“I actually have a pretty wide variety of interests,” she says. “One, I love to travel. Obviously, I’ve had the opportunity to travel for business for many years, but some of my recreation is to travel for fun and for learning.

“I also like the outdoors. I love hiking and sports, both to watch and to play. I met my husband playing tennis and we both still play that as well as golf. Those are two things that I find very relaxing and enjoyable. We also love music as a family. My father-in-law was a musician, so my husband was born with a love of music that he has shared with me and our kids. So, there’s nothing to me more enjoyable than to go to a concert and enjoy live music.

“I also enjoy volunteering in the communities we live in and operate in so that has been a passion throughout my career. So, I have a pretty diverse, broad set of interests, and just try to spend a little bit of time doing a lot of different things.”

There are only 24 hours in every day, and Sara Ortwein seems to wring the most out of every one of them. It’s a work/life balance that wouldn’t work for everyone, but it obviously works for her, her family and for the employees, contractors and customers of XTO Energy.

About the author: David Blackmon is the Editor of SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine. He previously spent 37 years in the oil and natural gas industry in a variety of roles — the last 22 years engaging in public policy issues at the state and national levels. Contact David Blackmon at david@shalemag.com.

Photography: robert seale

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By way of example, and not as a limitation, you agree that when using a Communication Service, you will not: defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others; publish, post, upload, distribute or disseminate any inappropriate, profane, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent or unlawful topic, name, material or information; upload files that contain software or other material protected by intellectual property laws (or by rights of privacy of publicity) unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents; upload files that contain viruses, corrupted files, or any other similar software or programs that may damage the operation of another’s computer; advertise or offer to sell or buy any goods or services for any business purpose, unless such Communication Service specifically allows such messages; conduct or forward surveys, contests, pyramid schemes or chain letters; download any file posted by another user of a Communication Service that you know, or reasonably should know, cannot be legally distributed in such manner; falsify or delete any author attributions, legal or other proper notices or proprietary designations or labels of the origin or source of software or other material contained in a file that is uploaded; restrict or inhibit any other user from using and enjoying the Communication Services; violate any code of conduct or other guidelines which may be applicable for any particular Communication Service; harvest or otherwise collect information about others, including e-mail addresses, without their consent; violate any applicable laws or regulations.

SHALE Magazine has no obligation to monitor the Communication Services. However, SHALE Magazine reserves the right to review materials posted to a Communication Service and to remove any materials in its sole discretion. SHALE Magazine reserves the right to terminate your access to any or all of the Communication Services at any time without notice for any reason whatsoever.

SHALE Magazine reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, or to edit, refuse to post or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in SHALE Magazine’s sole discretion.

Always use caution when giving out any personally identifying information about yourself or your children in any Communication Service. SHALE Magazine does not control or endorse the content, messages or information found in any Communication Service and, therefore, SHALE Magazine specifically disclaims any liability with regard to the Communication Services and any actions resulting from your participation in any Communication Service. Managers and hosts are not authorized SHALE Magazine spokespersons, and their views do not necessarily reflect those of SHALE Magazine.

Materials uploaded to a Communication Service may be subject to posted limitations on usage, reproduction and/or dissemination. You are responsible for adhering to such limitations if you upload the materials.

Materials Provided to www.shalemag.com or Posted on Any SHALE Magazine Web Page
SHALE Magazine does not claim ownership of the materials you provide to www.shalemag.com (including feedback and suggestions) or post, upload, input or submit to any SHALE Magazine Site or our associated services (collectively “Submissions”). However, by posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you are granting SHALE Magazine, our affiliated companies and necessary sublicensees permission to use your Submission in connection with the operation of their Internet businesses including, without limitation, the rights to: copy, distribute, transmit, publicly display, publicly perform, reproduce, edit, translate and reformat your Submission; and to publish your name in connection with your Submission.

No compensation will be paid with respect to the use of your Submission, as provided herein. SHALE Magazine is under no obligation to post or use any Submission you may provide and may remove any Submission at any time in SHALE Magazine’s sole discretion.

By posting, uploading, inputting, providing or submitting your Submission you warrant and represent that you own or otherwise control all of the rights to your Submission as described in this section including, without limitation, all the rights necessary for you to provide, post, upload, input or submit the Submissions.

Third Party Accounts
You will be able to connect your SHALE Magazine account to third party accounts. By connecting your SHALE Magazine account to your third party account, you acknowledge and agree that you are consenting to the continuous release of information about you to others (in accordance with your privacy settings on those third party sites). If you do not want information about you to be shared in this manner, do not use this feature.

International Users
The Service is controlled, operated and administered by SHALE Magazine from our offices within the USA. If you access the Service from a location outside the USA, you are responsible for compliance with all local laws. You agree that you will not use the SHALE Magazine Content accessed through www.shalemag.com in any country or in any manner prohibited by any applicable laws, restrictions or regulations.

Indemnification
You agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless SHALE Magazine, its officers, directors, employees, agents and third parties, for any losses, costs, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable attorney’s fees) relating to or arising out of your use of or inability to use the Site or services, any user postings made by you, your violation of any terms of this Agreement or your violation of any rights of a third party, or your violation of any applicable laws, rules or regulations. SHALE Magazine reserves the right, at its own cost, to assume the exclusive defense and control of any matter otherwise subject to indemnification by you, in which event you will fully cooperate with SHALE Magazine in asserting any available defenses.

Arbitration
In the event the parties are not able to resolve any dispute between them arising out of or concerning these Terms and Conditions, or any provisions hereof, whether in contract, tort, or otherwise at law or in equity for damages or any other relief, then such dispute shall be resolved only by final and binding arbitration pursuant to the Federal Arbitration Act, conducted by a single neutral arbitrator and administered by the American Arbitration Association, or a similar arbitration service selected by the parties, in a location mutually agreed upon by the parties. The arbitrator’s award shall be final, and judgment may be entered upon it in any court having jurisdiction. In the event that any legal or equitable action, proceeding or arbitration arises out of or concerns these Terms and Conditions, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover its costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. The parties agree to arbitrate all disputes and claims in regards to these Terms and Conditions or any disputes arising as a result of these Terms and Conditions, whether directly or indirectly, including Tort claims that are a result of these Terms and Conditions. The parties agree that the Federal Arbitration Act governs the interpretation and enforcement of this provision. The entire dispute, including the scope and enforceability of this arbitration provision shall be determined by the Arbitrator. This arbitration provision shall survive the termination of these Terms and Conditions.

Class Action Waiver
Any arbitration under these Terms and Conditions will take place on an individual basis; class arbitrations and class/representative/collective actions are not permitted. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT A PARTY MAY BRING CLAIMS AGAINST THE OTHER ONLY IN EACH’S INDIVIDUAL CAPACITY, AND NOT AS A PLAINTIFF OR CLASS MEMBER IN ANY PUTATIVE CLASS, COLLECTIVE AND/ OR REPRESENTATIVE PROCEEDING, SUCH AS IN THE FORM OF A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION AGAINST THE OTHER. Further, unless both you and SHALE Magazine agree otherwise, the arbitrator may not consolidate more than one person’s claims, and may not otherwise preside over any form of a representative or class proceeding.

Liability Disclaimer
THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, AND SERVICES INCLUDED IN OR AVAILABLE THROUGH THE SITE MAY INCLUDE INACCURACIES OR TYPOGRAPHICAL ERRORS. CHANGES ARE PERIODICALLY ADDED TO THE INFORMATION HEREIN. SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAY MAKE IMPROVEMENTS AND/OR CHANGES IN THE SITE AT ANY TIME.

SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS MAKE NO REPRESENTATIONS ABOUT THE SUITABILITY, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, TIMELINESS, AND ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS CONTAINED ON THE SITE FOR ANY PURPOSE. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, ALL SUCH INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS ARE PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF ANY KIND. SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS HEREBY DISCLAIM ALL WARRANTIES AND CONDITIONS WITH REGARD TO THIS INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS, INCLUDING ALL IMPLIED WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, TITLE AND NON-INFRINGEMENT.

TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT SHALL SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE AND/OR ITS SUPPLIERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OR ANY DAMAGES WHATSOEVER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF USE, DATA OR PROFITS, ARISING OUT OF OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR PERFORMANCE OF THE SITE, WITH THE DELAY OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE OR RELATED SERVICES, THE PROVISION OF OR FAILURE TO PROVIDE SERVICES, OR FOR ANY INFORMATION, SOFTWARE, PRODUCTS, SERVICES AND RELATED GRAPHICS OBTAINED THROUGH THE SITE, OR OTHERWISE ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF THE SITE, WHETHER BASED ON CONTRACT, TORT, NEGLIGENCE, STRICT LIABILITY OR OTHERWISE, EVEN IF SHALE OIL & GAS BUSINESS MAGAZINE OR ANY OF ITS SUPPLIERS HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF DAMAGES. BECAUSE SOME STATES/JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, THE ABOVE LIMITATION MAY NOT APPLY TO YOU. IF YOU ARE DISSATISFIED WITH ANY PORTION OF THE SITE, OR WITH ANY OF THESE TERMS OF USE, YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY IS TO DISCONTINUE USING THE SITE.

Termination/Access Restriction
SHALE Magazine reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate your access to the Site and the related services or any portion thereof at any time, without notice. To the maximum extent permitted by law, this agreement is governed by the laws of the State of Texas and you hereby consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of courts in Texas in all disputes arising out of or relating to the use of the Site. Use of the Site is unauthorized in any jurisdiction that does not give effect to all provisions of these Terms, including, without limitation, this section.

You agree that no joint venture, partnership, employment, or agency relationship exists between you and SHALE Magazine as a result of this agreement or use of the Site. SHALE Magazine’s performance of this agreement is subject to existing laws and legal process, and nothing contained in this agreement is in derogation of SHALE Magazine’s right to comply with governmental, court and law enforcement requests or requirements relating to your use of the Site or information provided to or gathered by SHALE Magazine with respect to such use. If any part of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable pursuant to applicable law including, but not limited to, the warranty disclaimers and liability limitations set forth above, then the invalid or unenforceable provision will be deemed superseded by a valid, enforceable provision that most closely matches the intent of the original provision and the remainder of the agreement shall continue in effect.

Unless otherwise specified herein, this agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the user and SHALE Magazine with respect to the Site and it supersedes all prior or contemporaneous communications and proposals, whether electronic, oral or written, between the user and SHALE Magazine with respect to the Site. A printed version of this agreement and of any notice given in electronic form shall be admissible in judicial or administrative proceedings based upon or relating to this agreement to the same extent and subject to the same conditions as other business documents and records originally generated and maintained in printed form. It is the express wish to the parties that this agreement and all related documents be written in English.

Changes to Terms
SHALE Magazine reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the Terms under which www.shalemag.com is offered. The most current version of the Terms will supersede all previous versions. SHALE Magazine encourages you to periodically review the Terms to stay informed of our updates.

Contact Us
SHALE Magazine welcomes your questions or comments regarding the Terms:

SHALE Oil & Gas Business Magazine

5150 Broadway #493

San Antonio, TX 78209

Email Address:
kym@shalemag.com

Telephone number:
(210) 240-7188

Effective as of November 27, 2017
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