Sendero Energy & CEO of Daunis Energy | Co-owner
Working as a political campaign manager out of college, it wasn’t long before Lance Byrd shook hands with his own destiny.
“I worked in politics for the first couple of years out of Baylor where I met several oilmen,” he said. “I was fascinated by the people and personalities I met in the industry, as well as its history and charisma.”
Byrd, BBA ’91, absorbed as much industry knowledge as possible before pursuing a career in oil. After working as a contract landman for Enserch Exploration, he craved more in-house exposure to all components of the industry. Persistence paid off for Byrd as he got his break with Maguire Oil Company and gained industry experience.
“I kept calling Cary Maguire at Maguire Oil Company, and he kept telling me he didn’t have anything available but might have something down the road,” Byrd said. “Finally I called him one day and said, ‘Look, hire me for 30 days, and if after 30 days it doesn’t work out, then I’ll leave you alone.'”
Maguire agreed, and after three months of successfully accomplishing projects, Byrd was hired full time and eventually promoted to be the company’s director of acquisitions and divestitures.
“It was a great experience for me,” he said. “Buying and selling properties and drilling deals gave me a lot of exposure to the entire industry, and I gained a lot of specific industry knowledge. I left there in 1998 to work for another independent producer, Dale Resources, and then started my own company in 2001.”
Byrd founded Sendero Energy with his business partner, David Porter, who is a petroleum engineer. Byrd also created Daunis Energy, which serves as a holding company for oil and gas assets.
“Sendero Energy is our operating company and manages the day-to-day oil and gas activities, as well as our other business interests, which include ranching, commercial and residential real estate, and aviation,” he said. “David oversees the oil and gas operational issues, and I handle more of the business development, land and legal issues.”
Although not the longest-standing veteran, Byrd has witnessed the evolution of the industry since it first captured his attention. “At the time I entered the industry, oil prices were around $10 a barrel, and there weren’t a lot of job opportunities available,” he said. “This was back during the early ’90s high-tech boom, and everyone thought I was crazy for wanting to get into such a mature industry. I would go to industry functions and was always the youngest guy in the room by about fifteen to twenty years.”
With a determined entrepreneurial spirit, Byrd encourages Baylor students to arrive prepared upon entering the oil and gas industry.
“In college, I always thought I would hire someone to handle the responsibilities of accounting and finance,” he said. “You can do that to a degree, but you still have to understand everything yourself or you are in trouble. Even if you are an entrepreneur at heart, you’ve got to learn the business before you can run your own company.”
Byrd said the measurement of success in his life and business is defined by two questions: “I ask myself if I am having fun, and if I am glorifying God through the enjoyment and sharing of the blessings He has provided.”
With those measurements in mind, Byrd said he enjoys the relationships he has built through his work the most. “Baylor really helped me develop people skills and my ability to lead and convince,” he said. “This is a very relationship-oriented business. People tend to do business with people they like and trust, and I’ve had some great times building and maintaining those relationships.”