“Who We Are”: A Discussion of Corporate Integrity and our Mission to Increase Access to Affordable Energy, Which Thereby Enhances our Society, the Environment, and Overall Human Flourishing.
Since the founding of our first enterprise in 1990, the original Brigham Exploration Company, our mission has been to improve human beings’ access to the hydrocarbons which power our lives. By pursuing this mission, we fulfill our core responsibility to create value for our owners. We are proud of the role that we play in providing energy security throughout economic cycles and in bettering human lives, while also delivering differentiated social and environmental progress.
We have a long history of being good stewards of both stockholder capital and the environments and communities in which we live and operate. Our first obligation is to our stockholders, and we recognize that maximizing value for our stockholders requires the optimization of outcomes for our stakeholders, including our employees as well as the communities and the environments in which we operate.
The clear focus on stakeholders allowed us to lead Brigham Exploration, Brigham Resources, and Brigham Minerals, Inc. through two successful initial public offerings and two substantial acquisition events. After nearly 30 years, there was more to be done, and we recognized the opportunity to capitalize on our track record and targeted market dislocations in two unique energy opportunities.
The first of which focused on assembling the sand mining rights associated with approximately 38,000 acres in the Permian Basin—the most active basin in North America. To pursue this opportunity, we founded Atlas Energy in 2017, led by an experienced team of entrepreneurs from the oil and natural gas, transportation, industrial and proppant industries who have an established history of value creation and positive disruption in the energy industry.
Simultaneously, we founded a new Brigham Exploration Company, which commenced acquiring a diverse portfolio of top-tier non-operated working interests in the Permian Basin. Our disciplined and sophisticated approach to acquiring interests in the best producing areas alongside premier operators. This approach has been stress-tested during the recent economic cycles. We began distributing capital back to our BEXP I investors in the fourth quarter of 2021, with substantial distributions continuing every quarter since. In late 2021, Brigham Exploration commenced acquisitions in BEXP II, with a substantially larger equity capital commitment, and Brigham Exploration continues to acquire interests in both the Delaware and Midland Basins.
While pursuing these new ventures, our core values have remained the same. We are builders, innovators, and, at times, constructive disruptors. Our success has stemmed from our ability to 1) generate leading-edge business ideas , 2) hire great people, and 3) provide them with a collaborative and entrepreneurial environment. This approach has repeatedly created value for our owners, rewarded our employees, and produced attractive outcomes for our stakeholders, all while improving human beings’ access to the hydrocarbons that power our lives.
Talent attraction and retention are paramount to success. To attract, retain, and maximize employee potential, we create an entrepreneurial work environment and align employees’ goals, interests, and compensation with our owners. This approach enables us to deliver industry-leading innovation that reduces costs while elevating performance and creating value for our investors, employees, and stakeholders.
To plainly state our employment values, we hire 100% based on merit and seek individuals who further our mission. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, people should “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” In hiring based on merit, we attract individuals with excellent character with appropriate, diverse, and complementary skills, backgrounds, and perspectives. All of these traits are sought to add value to our operating performance and culture as we work to achieve our mission.
Considering business impact on external stakeholders continues to be a key focus for all Brigham entities. We have “walked the walk” when it comes to environmental and social progress by recognizing from day one that our long-term profitability depends on being good stewards of the environment, treating our employees well, being active members of the communities in which we operate, and maintaining a high standard of governance and diligence. Though most of the stakeholders who have benefitted from these initiatives are not owners of our business, their flourishing plays a crucial role in our success.
From a broader, industry-wide point of view, providing energy to North America and the world is critical. The oil & gas industry is well-positioned to help address shortages of critical fossil fuels. Access to abundant, low-cost energy is essential to sustain and improve the global population’s quality of life. Our industry has generated ample, low-cost fossil fuel supplies and contributed to the accelerated unprecedented human flourishing. A simple example is that our current lifespans are the longest in human history. Despite that progress, over 1 billion people still suffer from energy and economic poverty without access to low-cost, reliable energy. Undeveloped nations and the world’s most vulnerable need more scalable and reliable energy-dense fossil fuel energy, not less.
This immense problem can only be solved by capitalism: companies innovating in free markets to create value for their owners, thereby benefitting all stakeholders. The United States is the prime example of capitalism’s success. There is no better empirical validation of property rights and capitalism than the unprecedented prosperity of the United States, and we also enjoy the safest air and water of any major country in the world.
At Brigham Exploration, not only do we strive to create value for our investors, we also have a broader mission: to provide safe, reliable, low-cost energy to the world. Based on our experience, our employees are the foundation for achieving these goals. We hold ourselves out as an example of how strict adherence to our fiduciary obligation to our owners generates superior and sustainable outcomes for all our stakeholders.
Ben M. “Bud” Brigham