Some find it shocking. "It's surprising to think about this big electronics conglomerate now getting into the energy business. They've got lots of different businesses, so maybe it was just a matter of time," says Midland Mayor Wes Perry.
Others think it's common sense. "Samsung is an international company that realizes what the economic opportunities and risks are in the future," says Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Dist.31.
Either way, energy experts say there's good reason for foreign companies to put their money in the Permian Basin. "It's the growing need for energy and the tension in the Middle East that's possibly driving the price, but most of these companies want to try and buy preserves on their own and not have to worry so much about where they're going to have to their imports," says Gary McKinney, Reliance Energy Inc.
South Korea imports most of it's energy needs, so it's not only a good investment for Samsung, but also for their country. "So it's nice to have your own production as Samsung is doing and grow those volumes because directly or indirectly, they are providing imports for their county," says Larry Oldham, Parallel Petroleum president and CEO.
Although Samsung has been drilling offshore for three years, this is their first onshore acquisition. While they could have chosen to operate elsewhere, experts say the Permian Basin is the obvious choice. Oldham says, "There's a revolution that's going on because of horizontal drilling and fracture stimulation and because of that, the Basin has been..it's a rebirth. There are billions and billions of barrels to be recovered in this Basin."
Although Samsung could have chosen another company, they say Parallel seemed like the best fit. "Parallel has not only the experience, Parallel has the technical skills. So, we are going to use Parallel as our platform to grow not only in the United States and also globally," says Greg Choi, President of Samsung Oil & Gas USA Corp.
Choi says he couldn't be more excited to be here. "I'm very excited to be here and to be experienced in oil and gas "
That excitement is echoed by Parallel. Oldham says, "I'm probably more excited today than when my wife and I started the company 32 years ago."
Other than growth, Samsung says there will be virtually no changes to parallel. In fact, Oldham has already been named CEO. Choi also says they'll continue to focus on both oil and natural gas.
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