Matthew Fleeger : A tale of oil booms and busts

The year was 2005 and pundits both on the television and print media were warning the public of the impending event of our hydrocarbon reserves going dry which would leave the United States dependent on OPEC. Although the theory was correct, many did not anticipate the sudden improvements of older inventions, particularly those that allowed oil companies to recover what is called “Hard Oil”. This “hard oil” earns its name for the difficulty of obtaining it and the lack of revenue from it. The two technologies that allowed us to overcome this difficult moment were horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. There two allowed oil companies to dramatically cut the cost of manual labor by incorporating automated machines that could run way longer than a human could.

Gulf Coast Western, owned and operated by Matthew Fleeger is one of the companies that have utilized these technologies the best. Matthew Fleeger who originally did not have experience in the oil industry was an entrepreneur who sold two successful companies and made a name for himself as a leader in both. Fleeger who took over his father’s oil company is now the CEO of the company.

How did Fleeger succeed when so many failed? It all came down to experience and positivity. Although Gulf Coast Western utilized many of the same technologies that other oil companies where using at the time, what set his company apart was that he used various partnerships and his geological knowledge of the area to pick and choose the best sections to set up drilling platforms.

Things weren’t always so great for Fleeger and the company, in fact, the early 2000s brought much uncertainty to his company as he was forced to cut down on overhead cost in order to maintain his current staff. Matthew comments that the ability to stay positive and think outside the box was the reason they are still here today.

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