Eye on Energy: Westhope Man Returns to State - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Eye on Energy: Westhope Man Returns to State

Eye on Energy: Westhope Man Returns to State

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He's been in the oil business since he was old enough to hop into his dad's pickup in Westhope.

And now, Nathan Conway is back in the oil business in North Dakota with a new company hoping to expand its footprint in the industry across the nation.

Jim Olson reports on Fortis Energy Services in this week's Eye on Energy.

(Nathan Conway, Fortis Energy Services CEO) "It's been a very volatile industry throughout my lifetime, but the outlook for oil and gas is very bright."

And Nathan Conway intends to be a part of that bright future for the oil and gas industry in the United States. Conway has spent 2013 acquiring, renaming, and expanding an oil field service company that is now known as Fortis Energy Services, 'fortis' being Latin for strength. The company has some 200 service rigs in the northeast - places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia. But now, Fortis is moving into North Dakota - back home for Conway.

(Nathan Conway, Fortis Energy Services CEO) "And that has been a goal from the time we bought the company is to come home. And the key to coming home is to hire locally, hire local crews, and that's key in every basin we go into."

Conway says Fortis should have a half-dozen or more service rigs operating in the Bakken region. And as his company expands into North Dakota, it's also looking at a major expansion into the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

(Nathan Conway, Fortis Energy Services CEO) "We're working on an acquisition in the Permian Basin even as we speak. I'm very hopeful that it goes through and if it does it will triple our size, just one acquisition, which will help us diversify into that area as well, but will also give us more equipment to move around into the various basins that we're operating in."

While Fortis expands geographically, Conway says his company is also expanding its range of services. Up to now, the company focused nearly completely on completion of well drilling, but he wants to widen his service menu to avoid the problems that can come with well completion.

(Nathan Conway, Fortis Energy Services CEO) "Focusing mainly on completions is very volatile. We're reliant upon the drilling rigs, the frac crews, and all of those things to happen on time and when they don't we're on standby and that creates volatility in our revenues. So stabilizing our revenues by moving into areas like North Dakota is key."

For Conway, the oil life is a passion - and perhaps it's in his blood. His grandfathers were in the oil business, as is his father and a brother. It's a life he sees as very fulfilling.

(Nathan Conway, Fortis Energy Services CEO) "It's an honorable industry to work in, it's something we all can be proud of. We're reducing our reliance on foreign oil, we're producing it right here in the US, and that's key."

An honorable business he hopes to become an even larger part of through his new company, Fortis Energy. For Eye on Energy, Jim Olson, KX News.

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