This interview with Armand was a lot of fun, as I have had some great experiences with ComboCurve and oil and gas production environments. This software has saved my team countless hours and made financial forecasting for oil and gas reserves accurate, fast, and based on data from disparate sources.
It was great to hear from a young CEO about the drive to turn a tool into something supporting mission-critical ESG sources. The new ComboCarbon helps solve one of the biggest problems for energy companies around the corner: carbon output and emissions prediction. The world needs ESG, but predicting financial models is a mission-critical tool.
Thank you, Armand, for your industry thought leadership and for bringing new solutions to help oil and gas companies reduce their footprint on the environment. – Stu
Connect with Armand Pardis on his LinkedIn HERE
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ENB Podcast with Armando Paradis – Episode 95
Automatic Transcription Edited for Grammar. We disavow any mistakes unless it makes us better-looking or appear smarter.
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Stuart Turley [00:00:43] Good morning, everybody. Today is a great day. My name’s Stu Turley, president and CEO of the Sandstone Group. Not only is it a great day, I get to visit with a CEO of Combo Curve, and I have to give a little bit of inside baseball.
Stuart Turley [00:01:01] I’m a huge fan of combo curve because combo curve allows us to take information and make financial projections and you guys saved me a bunch of pain Armando Paradis. Thank you for coming in. You’re the CEO and I believe co-founder, too, aren’t you?
Armando Paradis [00:01:22] Absolutely. Yeah. Co-Founder and CEO of Combo Curve.
Stuart Turley [00:01:25] Fantastic. I’ll tell you what prompted you to start Combo Curve.
Armando Paradis [00:01:32] Steve, first of all, thank you so much for having me on your show. Really appreciate it. And so, yes, I’m a petroleum engineer. All my career has been in the oil and gas, super passionate about the industry and the people.
Armando Paradis [00:01:45] So it so it all started from my day to day workflow. So when I opened up some I’m a reservoir engineer, so my job is to forecast, figure out how much production and we have in time and then figure out how much reserve we have an area we want to invest and how we want the investment of capital effectively.
Armando Paradis [00:02:09] So, so when I started my job, I started using doing a lot of simulations and things like that. And then when the reserves time came to ask me to go in and start forecasting in areas and, and then when I open up areas, I feel like I went back in time. I was like, Is this really happening? Is this is this 2015? Like, I thought, really, I’m back in seventies and.
Stuart Turley [00:02:38] Wow.!
Armando Paradis [00:02:38] It was it just like? And I figured a lot of software that we use and is pretty much very outdated and is really stuck back in time and and that was the whole motivation and behind Combo Curve have to start a.
Armando Paradis [00:02:54] Software company that pretty much good and replace all this existing and legacy solution from 3040 years ago that we use every day to make multimillion and multi-billion dollar decisions every day.
Stuart Turley [00:03:08] I’ll tell you, your software integrates in and when you’re able to do the reserve reports, you’re able to put in the financial analysis you can sit down, say we want to do strip pricing versus what it is today.
Stuart Turley [00:03:24] I’ve always had visit with CEOs and they want to put in what the price is today, like $120 oil and they’re sitting there they give us that. No, you got to use strip pricing.
Stuart Turley [00:03:34] And so when you got this as a co-founder and everything else, how did you know? You mean because you got your masters here, is that correct or your degree?
Armando Paradis [00:03:45] Yes, in petroleum engineering.
Stuart Turley [00:03:48] Petroleum engineering and then how did you get to the writing of the code?
Stuart Turley [00:03:54] Because the oil and gas industry is not known in for doing a lot of things. If it works, they’re going to leave it there. So how did you get your programing experience?
Armando Paradis [00:04:08] So, yes, I mean, that was the whole mentality that I wanted to change. You know, a lot of people believe something is not broken. Don’t fix that. So yeah,.
Armando Paradis [00:04:17] beyond that sound right. Like a lot of petroleum engineers, they they don’t move to the coding and all that stuff is totally different career So we all most of the time we are dependent on some software company from California come on write code for us and.
Armando Paradis [00:04:34] And I figured this is not optimum because they don’t understand our workflows and like we can solve our own problem and we can take that initiative and be proactive and so, yeah, I start training myself to be a programmer, a Python programmer.
Armando Paradis [00:04:50] So and a lot of reservoir engineers is, is actually getting more and more familiar coding and programing, which is amazing. You know, it’s the acting as engineers, you have to learn how to code. And then I started learning that myself and, and I figured I can code a lot of my own problems.
Stuart Turley [00:05:08] Right.
Armando Paradis [00:05:08] But I figured long run, the only way you can solve this is to have an actual software company to build everything fundamentally. Right?
Stuart Turley [00:05:16] Right. So, you know, you nailed it with the oil and gas folks when they don’t want to. If it works, they just want to leave it alone.
Armando Paradis [00:05:27] Yeah.
Stuart Turley [00:05:28] And they’ve not bypassed those kind of things. So your experience with old software and then experience in trying to do financial forecasting and things that basis as being a guy on the. The other side on the user side from now. I didn’t push the buttons, but I sat in a lot of meetings and I guarantee you I saw all this and I mean, I was over here going, you know, we’d be dead meat without it.
Stuart Turley [00:05:55] So now when we’re looking at evaluating new properties, we’re of adding these things, the data that you can snag and drop in there. How are you looking? Because I think you’re looking at going international, aren’t you?
Armando Paradis [00:06:12] Absolutely. Yeah, we already are. Internationally, we have majority of our client. More than 95% are U.S. based. But we are expanding internationally as we expand the Canadian market in South America and market and also European market.
Stuart Turley [00:06:27] Fantastic. Now, how does the well information in the reservoir information, because we’ve got other sources here. It’s pretty well-established. I’m not sure what the reservoir data sets are in South America or Canada.
Armando Paradis [00:06:46] Yeah. So what our platform our platform is data agnostic. And so, as you know, we don’t we don’t provide data.
Armando Paradis [00:06:54] So for us, as long as there’s a wellbore, so it will matter fundamentally. So any wellbore makes some oil and gas and then and then we what our platform does, it will allow you to forecast that oil and gas production into into future and also perform very detailed economics on top and also and we release our emissions forecasting and carbon forecasting model,.
Armando Paradis [00:07:21] Which is the same button that you run, your economic projection. We can do emissions of oil, which is ISR. And those forecasts are very crucial for everyone, for the government, investors and the banks.
Stuart Turley [00:07:35] Now ESG is very critical for the oil and gas and the investor right now. And I believe you have a new product that just came out in I believe it’s combo called carbon. Is that correct?
Armando Paradis [00:07:52] Absolutely, yes. So what we see is to sell to do your reserve. You take a lot of data from from the operated production, the wellhead, a lot of economics and financial data.
Stuart Turley [00:08:05] Right.
Armando Paradis [00:08:05] And also a lot of planning data in terms of your future locations, like when you want to drill, how you want to drill those bills. So all those impacts a mission.
Armando Paradis [00:08:14] A lot of people don’t know if you change your production forecast or if you change the timing of the of when they’re going to be drilled and how you want to drill them would directly impact your mission in the future.
Armando Paradis [00:08:24] So so the integrated and mission forecasting with the reserves and economics and and and they are inseparable so so with the same button like you’ll be getting your reserve report and your economics and cash flows you will you’re getting your carbon report as well.
Armando Paradis [00:08:43] So and the beauty of it is right now for emission reductions, there’s so much noise in the market as so many initiatives and there’s so many projects that you can go ahead and do by shuffling through all of projects and figure out which one is the most impactful and which one gives you the most bang for your buck and that’s what our sulfur helps.
Armando Paradis [00:09:04] So it basically helps you to substantiate all those emission reduction goals and and to show how you can do it. Bottoms up.
Stuart Turley [00:09:15] I’ll tell you, that is so cool because knowing the power of how you can do your financial forecasting is in my head just exploded because when you can sit down and then tie in this,.
Stuart Turley [00:09:26] The Biden administration just put out some things for being able to go to stage one. You have to have this by 2030. Stage two is where it’s going down the pipe in the oil companies. You’re going to be responsible for this. And then at the refineries,.
Stuart Turley [00:09:46] How can they now they’re saying you have to be responsible for the cars on the end at stage three. You know, that is a nightmare for folks trying to figure out what is happening there’s no ESG without accountability. It’s a combo. Carbon provides a good step to that, doesn’t it?
Armando Paradis [00:10:06] Absolutely. So, you know, let’s do so. A lot of these initiatives right now, it becomes very, very important these days for like right now, asset evaluation without emission reporting to me is just not have like it literally impact your asset evaluation for the same and same field and same asset that can make it 10,000 barrels of oil per day and then it generates $100 million cash flow a yearly. And if if it has a lot of higher emission intensity versus another field that has lower intensity, evaluation is different.
Armando Paradis [00:10:44] So right now, if you want to exit your assets, the company wants to buy your assets. It definitely need to look into your emission to see if you have positive or negative impact on their overall company’s emission reports.
Armando Paradis [00:10:57] And this is this is not going to slow down this is getting more and more important and more and more serious and every day banks, auditors and. Investors. Everybody will require that and they are recording it as we speak.
Armando Paradis [00:11:12] And it’s great that our industry is getting more and more proactive, you know, because a barrel of oil is produced in the U.S. differently, has lower emission and compared to counterparts in the Middle East and Russia and and other parts of the world.
Armando Paradis [00:11:25] So if if us sustained proactive, are getting more proactive, actually have tremendous values and that for the for the purchasers because the purchasers they’re looking to buy oil and gas production that have lower emission and I definitely believe in the US, we can get to a point that we have as zero carbon emission oil and gas or even negative emission and oil and gas.
Stuart Turley [00:11:51] You know, and you sit back and you take a look at a reserve report you get the ability to do your forecasting in your modeling. And when you’re doing M&A and you’re trying to figure out who’s going to buy what.
Stuart Turley [00:12:04] That is, that is so cool to be able to say, wait a minute, this is our score, this is where we’re at. And oh, by the way, we’re cleaner than that field over there.
Armando Paradis [00:12:17] Exactly. Yeah, that’s true. Beyond a percent, right. Like right now, if I’m let’s say, a big operator that like a lot of smaller operators obviously exit into a big IT operator is growing and these bigger operators and normally have other stakeholders such as if they are public, obviously the investors and everybody looking to your emission report.
Armando Paradis [00:12:38] So you’re always inclined to buy assets that lower your emission and have negative impact on your emission, so you reduce your emission so and so that’s why it’s very important to integrate your reserve forecast with the emission forecast because they are hand in hand, you know?
Stuart Turley [00:12:58] Oh, absolutely. So what do you see from your customers? I know that again, I keep running over here and screaming up and down, but what are you hearing from your customers about the M&A and what’s going to happen in the next few quarters?
Armando Paradis [00:13:15] So, yeah, So as we speak, like what’s happening to oil and gas prices in it is getting more and more stable. So last year we had a lot of fluctuations going from roughly 60 to 120 and then it dropped to something around seven is as well as the oil price stabilize around like these numbers. I think this is a great number and seven is a great number. Everybody makes money.
Armando Paradis [00:13:40] So if M&A activity becomes more predictable, you know, like as I said, there’s been enough not going to be too far apart and they can actually evaluate assets and come to agreements.
Armando Paradis [00:13:53] So what I see in next year, I think this M&A activity is going to constantly stay hot and in and I think a lot more deals can happen next year. So yeah, from that standpoint, I don’t see a real slowdown. I see a lot of same level or even hotter than this year.
Stuart Turley [00:14:15] And when you’re taking a look at your financial data and you’re taking a look at that, people will really enjoy your software from being able to take and bring in financial market information as well as everything else kind of like a one stop shop.
Armando Paradis [00:14:34] You integrate within various. I want to make sure I’m not wrong in that you have a very good relationship with them. That’s a lot of data to manhandle around.
Armando Paradis [00:14:45] Mm hmm. So, yeah. So basically we can tie into a different data base as again, beyond the data agnostic so we can pull data from many different sources, internal versus public data providers.
Armando Paradis [00:14:58] And right now we’re sitting around 260 plus companies, and that means 260 men or two on the 60 databases on the cloud and we are managing all the databases so it’s a tremendous amount of data. And for you talking about internal data and and public data and and all types of data, if come in to come back and and we are expanding.
Armando Paradis [00:15:24] So our goal is to be basically allowing you to bring all your data and come back from and again production data and wellhead data and our mission to drill in scheduling data all in one platform because again, we see all these data has to tie to each other to make decisions bottoms up correctly.
Stuart Turley [00:15:47] I’ll tell you, seeing real world projects, having you being data agnostic, you are critical in being able to bring in scale, to bring it in, transported in have the reports translate that into finance.
Stuart Turley [00:16:05] The finance crew did not work with everything else. We were able to hook everything together. I mean, I’m I’m sold on your your data agnostic. I love that word.
Armando Paradis [00:16:20] Yeah. Yeah. And then. Yeah, you’re gonna be fine, right? For we, we can get that arena from pretty much majority of the common data sources and then.
Stuart Turley [00:16:31] Right.
Armando Paradis [00:16:31] And let’s you to access that data to our front end and also access that through our rest API banking connections to get the full picture of.
Stuart Turley [00:16:41] Right now. So if you’ve got your servers that are up your are, you’re probably using cloud services.
Armando Paradis [00:16:49] Mm hmm.
Stuart Turley [00:16:49] And you’re Yeah. It’s not going to be a problem for you to go international. I mean, it doesn’t matter anymore where you are.
Armando Paradis [00:16:56] Yeah. Most of us are like right now the majority of the companies in the US, we have not got any push back in terms of the cloud.
Armando Paradis [00:17:06] So international immediately, maybe a little bit. But overall, right now we can work pretty much with all the cloud providers. Right now we are working with Google and Microsoft as we speak and and then also having working with their cloud and their their is on their region, which should not be a problem either.
Stuart Turley [00:17:27] Yeah, well, some of the bigger employees that I’ve worked with in the past, their data teams did not like the cloud. And so you don’t have a problem working with on their servers or their internal cloud, I’m assuming. So yeah.
Armando Paradis [00:17:43] So is do is believe or not like this. This was one of our biggest concern. And then we started the company because we were building a cloud based solution and our perception with a lot of company is going to say or is cloud. We we are not comfortable with cloud.
Armando Paradis [00:17:59] Believe it or not, that was we have not got any push background like like, wow, companies are not concerned about that. And overall, if you think about it, cloud is definitely more secure than the on prem DSA.
Armando Paradis [00:18:14] A lot of people have the misconception that the cloud is not secure. Actually, the cloud is more secure because none of the data resides on a personal computer. So everything is on a database which is secure with multi layers of the access in the data and also the data is encrypted. So it’s not like somebody is taking your laptop they can access. Data is just almost impossible to access that data.
Armando Paradis [00:18:40] So, uh, and then we have two factor authentication. We are SOX compliant and then even and then you add and even having that, you have to deal with data getting passed through MongoDB security levels and Google security level is just so many layers to bypass to potentially get access to a data that is unwanted by the client.
Armando Paradis [00:19:03] So that in that that’s just not easy. But this solution is definitely, in my opinion, they are more prone to being to lose a ton of data like back in the day to somebody just steal your laptop. They can get all your data and all your legacy financial reserve data from your laptop.
Stuart Turley [00:19:22] Now with data rooms and selling and M&A, your stuff is critical for those research reports and everything else because everybody knows if you’re not big enough for a data room, you know, and the people don’t want to know, then you’ve got some great stuff in there for those data rooms. What people need to sell things. Yep.
Armando Paradis [00:19:41] So what the may be is it currently, A lot of times the company wants to send a projects to each other. They just have to send the and areas database as a physical. Like really you have to send the database.
Armando Paradis [00:19:54] So our case is totally different. All you have to send is the record of the shareable code, and that shareable call is traceable. So you send the shareable code and the other parties, they just use that code and they get it exact replica of your project in their own environment.
Armando Paradis [00:20:11] And then as you update your project and the if they go in and re-import that code, all the changes will reflect versus back in the days method. You have to actually upload a database to share data is share and like say location and then give them access to the share location.
Armando Paradis [00:20:32] And then a lot of times you run into the limitations of the how much that they can put in in that shared environment and the other issue is like when they share, when when they gather a database and put it in the cloud,.
Armando Paradis [00:20:46] It normally they even access databases which have a limitation in terms of the amount of data that can handle. But however, the cloud, you can have pretty much a huge, large, massive database and then share it live without actually uploading the file.
Stuart Turley [00:21:01] But I’ll tell you, Urman, you absolutely fixed one of the biggest problems years ago with people with M&A. I mean, some the data rooms were not exactly very good and some of the older guys were like, where is your data room? Is it down and down the hall? No.
Stuart Turley [00:21:22] So, you know, it’s no, it’s not. So but you guys have really fixed that and and have done well.
Stuart Turley [00:21:33] What’s coming around the corner for combo curve and combo carbon? What do you get coming up around the corner? Nobody’s going to hear this except everybody on the planet. So we need I don’t know if I’m an NDA or I’m getting it’s coming around the corner for combo curve.
Armando Paradis [00:21:52] So yeah, so what combo curve and Comcast and so so what what we see we are integrating many workflows to each other, but like I mentioned it, workflows are connected.
Armando Paradis [00:22:04] So when you want to forecast your companies production, then the figure figure and the cash flow for your budgets and reserve purposes and also M&A and indie purposes.
Armando Paradis [00:22:15] So you need you need obviously all your production forecast, you need all your type curve, you need all your economics and all your economic data and also your emission data and planning and scheduling data.
Armando Paradis [00:22:28] So we are integrating all these again into a workflow that talks to each other. And then so different teams, they can collaborate. And then our goal is to expand upon all these adjacent workflows and to build that ecosystems of the teams and and within the company that they can collaborate.
Armando Paradis [00:22:48] And eventually our goal is to connect even companies to each other, because a lot of work that is been done in silos within the companies and within teams, once we get the company to talk to each other and they work in the same platform.
Armando Paradis [00:23:02] So that will reduce a lot of inefficiencies from duplicating workflows and the words and but we can expand that to the other industry and connect It can we can expand that to to the companies, to connect them to each other, to reduce their repetitive work. Because like you said. Industrial needs to be connected. And they,.
Armando Paradis [00:23:24] In my opinion, a lot of decisions that we are making have been done again in silos. But a lot of those can we can help out each other and to make it more, more comprehensive and more informative decisions by working together.
Armando Paradis [00:23:40] So that’s that’s another thing that comes down to down the pipe potentially in two years horizon. But 2023 for us is just connecting all these workflows with me so they can collaborate. Yeah.
Stuart Turley [00:23:54] Well, that’s true. I mean, that’s pretty cool. What’s coming around the corner for Amon personally. What do you got going on there? Yeah, so.
Armando Paradis [00:24:06] So like this.
Armando Paradis [00:24:07] Is. Yeah,.
Stuart Turley [00:24:09] There’s a heavy side.
Armando Paradis [00:24:12] So, you know, still like, have four or five years and I didn’t have the time to even think on the personal level. You know, honestly, I was extremely focused on just building. Come October this year 12 and 22, it was a major success for us.
Armando Paradis [00:24:28] We went from the more than triple our clients and more than triple our employees, the more than double our client base.
Armando Paradis [00:24:36] So and we we put an organization and structure in place that we can we can scale and we put a lot of great leaders in place.
Armando Paradis [00:24:45] So so basically it will gives me more time to basically to and to have time to network and go potentially travel a lot more to present the company. So next year for me is a lot more traveling and less getting involved into day to day workflows.
Armando Paradis [00:25:03] And then just.
Stuart Turley [00:25:03] You mean actually be a CEO?
Armando Paradis [00:25:06] Exactly.
Armando Paradis [00:25:09] So, yeah, so that’s that’s, that’s what’s going on like for that for the next year. But on the personal level, you know, so I’m trying to figure out hobbies that I love, you know, for.
Armando Paradis [00:25:21] And recently I just discover I like to offroading a lot and I just got a, a Bronco. So it’s been pretty cool. Yeah. So, yeah, I’m enjoying my Bronco. It is, you know, so fantastic.
Stuart Turley [00:25:35] I, I enjoyed my off roading on a bike, but man, those trees just jump out. I mean, I didn’t know trees would just jump off onto the trail and I kept hit, so, you know. It was horrible. But yeah.
Stuart Turley [00:25:53] You know, CEOs work a lot while they’re doing this. And then now you now you’re going to be able to reap the rewards and do the vision. You had a vision back here. Now you’re going to be able to do the vision. And I can’t even imagine what combo curve and combo carbon are going to come around the corner now that you’re able to do that. That’s pretty cool.
Armando Paradis [00:26:18] Yeah, very, very cool. You know, still, if I go back to four or five years ago, we would never have imagined to be at this place. And I was.
Stuart Turley [00:26:26] Right.
Armando Paradis [00:26:27] It just. It just, um. It. Just a good school, a good old school, hard working and then just being. And your reputation is all of the most important thing that you have. So for us, if if we say something, we are definitely going to do it. And then that’s a that’s a top priority for us. And then we just we just work hard and just we deliver quality work and all it matters to us and that keeps us happy and keeps us going.
Armando Paradis [00:26:55] And then we push in the standards higher and higher. We motivate our team and all of our employees. That is no. Can’t remove the cans from your vocabulary. We want to be at the top and all of at the top. None. This is in our industry. We want to be the top software company in the world and it is possible.
Armando Paradis [00:27:15] We are building super complex functionalities and we are building in the cloud. We are using the latest and greatest technology so we are building this self-confidence for the for the company and also for the industry that we we can be at the forefront and we don’t want to be always a laggard and a and of us a follower, you know, so.
Armando Paradis [00:27:34] And this is something we can do. We can deliver it very clean. All the lowest emission in the world, you know, is is capable of capable of doing it. And they are always proven that they can do it.
Armando Paradis [00:27:48] So these are great initiatives that we have to promote and we have to promote to the public about how useful oil and gas industries is like. Historically, we did a very honestly bad job of educating the public. Then, then and and then they everybody thought very negative about oil and gas.
Armando Paradis [00:28:09] We have to change this image and then show the public that oil and gas is not just fuel that you can burn your car we are significantly above and beyond that. Everything around you is made from oil and gas. That’s never going to go away even if you stop. And.
Armando Paradis [00:28:25] I think we have to stop burning oil and gas is much more valuable,.
Stuart Turley [00:28:29] Right
Armando Paradis [00:28:29] Like burning is not doing a favor to to to the products that you’re bringing into the market. You know, we can do so much great stuff with the oil and gas and and that’s something that never, ever going to go away but unfortunately, people don’t know it.
Armando Paradis [00:28:44] So you have to do a better job in terms of educating like people like yourself and myself. That’s something that we can be a lot more proactive and educate the public.
Stuart Turley [00:28:54] You know, being an industry thought leader, you you have I have to also give you a shout out. I’ve never seen so many connections between me and you, and anybody I’ve ever met on LinkedIn will have your LinkedIn in the show notes here as well. What how can people get a hold of you and combo curve. Just combo curve dot com.
Armando Paradis [00:29:17] I’m always available on LinkedIn, so message me on the LinkedIn. Send the connection to me. I 99% of time accept your invitation.
Armando Paradis [00:29:25] And so for me reach out to me on LinkedIn and I also my email is very straight forward is my A.Paris@combocurve.com and also you can go back go to comic events and submit a a request, but meet me on LinkedIn if you want to talk to me.
Stuart Turley [00:29:45] I just want to give a shout out to your employees that I do know their top notch and it starts at the leader and you get some great employees working for you. So thank you, Armand, for stopping by. I do appreciate it.
Armando Paradis [00:29:59] Absolutely. It’s still really, really appreciate it. Thank thank you so much for having me and really appreciate your time. And it was a it was an honor to talk to you.
Stuart Turley [00:30:09] Well, thank you.