Can you talk about your career journey and how you ended up as the co-founder and Chairperson of Belize Natural Energy?
As a young geologist I was invited to go to Belize to research the oil potential; not only did I feel there was oil to be discovered but I also fell in love with the people and I knew in my heart that it had to be done the right way.
Mike Usher, a Belizean, felt the same way and together we explored for many years shooting seismic and drilling a deep offshore well to no avail. But we didn’t give up hope.
A famous oil man and founder of the AAPG, Wallas Pratt once said “oil is found in the mind”. I was curious about this as I knew quite a bit about the earth being a geologist but nothing about the mind… how we work!!
I researched for 4 years and found the only course that was tried and tested by a university, had practical results and the organizer walked the talk. After attending the 12 day Educo seminar in 2002, I immediately went to Belize to set up BNE. Mike and I then set about raising the funds to drill in Belize but as there were 50 dry holes, it was a difficult sell.
So we went to Ireland and met with others who had attended the Educo seminar and although they did not know where Belize was, they believed in the power of belief and wanted to make a transforming lasting difference in Belize.
We only had enough money for two wells; we had 500,000 acres and had to select a drill site on simple rudimentary 2 D seismic. Suddenly my partner died and we named the first well Mike Usher #1. I was more determined to go on in his name.
On the 24 June 2005 the Mike Usher #1 hit the first oil in Belize, against all the odds ; it is so light it goes straight into the local generators without refining! We proceeded to drill 5 Mike Usher discovery wells in a row with the help of the Dutch bank FMO who was our main banker. I’m glad to be back here in Holland to tell this story. We have been the number one revenue generator in Belize for over 10 years
What has your company’s biggest success/ breakthrough been in the past 18 months?
BNE’s biggest breakthrough in the last 18 months was winning the Global Getenergy educational award especially in the “localization” sector. Mike and I had an original vision initially formulated on the Educo Seminar … to discover the first oil, be a transforming , sustainable force in Belize and for BNE/ Belize to be a beacon for the rest of the world to replicate the successful holistic model. Thanks to winning the Getenergy Award, the word is out … we have had visiting dignitaries from Mexico, UK , USA , Colombia and many more wanting to apply this same educational model to their countries and companies.
We signed a first of its kind country to country partnership with the UAE at the United Nations based on our model and we are moving ahead on diplomatic relations and investment commitments within a number of different countries.
Where do you see the opportunities for growth within the industry in the next 5 years, how are you positioned to support this?
The opportunities for growth in the industry are to fully recognize the power/ energy within ourselves. The real natural resource of any company, community or country is the unleashed potential of human beings. We believe everyone in BNE should have the same opportunity we did and attend the seminar This has brought innovation and creativity to BNE and allowed us to even thrive during the lower oil prices. We have an Educogym at the core of the company which enables everyone to exercise the power of their mind as well as physical fitness. It’s fitness for Life. We also have an outreach center, Educogym and BNE Trust, in the capital city of Belmopan. From here local people have attended the Educo seminar and made a tremendous impact on their communities. The Chief of Police attended and immediately returned to reduce crime in the city by over 70 percent. A young man wanted to make a difference but did not know how … he attended the seminar and applied his dream to becoming the youngest Mayor of the capital city. The owner of the TV and radio station attended and together we are bringing forward the untapped potential of all the people of Belize.
In what ways can the local industry be encouraged and promoted by the government and by the private sector?
By encouraging this simple educational step and showing the fantastic results, an entire country is on the move and recognized globally.
Belize Natural Energy are attending the upcoming Getenergy Global Exhibition. Can you tell us, how important the event is as a meeting platform for the industry and what are you most looking forward to at the Show?
The globally recognized industry and educational platform that Getenergy provides is superb as it invites leaders to talk directly to us to find out more about how we discovered the first oil. But more importantly how we are drawing out the ideas, creativity and potential from the people of Belize to be all they can be Now this is the real renewable of all renewables. The released Energy within ourselves. We are excited to meet everyone from around the world at the Getenergy exhibition. We will welcome you to our booth and listen to your hopes and dreams and share with you the steps of our holistic success.
This is the future of The Energy Business Globally. We at BNE call it the oil within!!