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Evolve keynote: ‘Nothing builds culture like winning’

CEO Toby Rice says EQT’s aim is to ‘drill the most economic wells’

From the right, Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corp, talks with Digital Wildcatters co-founder Jake Corley during the keynote discussion for the virtual event "Evolve: The Next Evolution of Oil and Gas." (Image: Digital Wildcatters)

Toby Rice, CEO of EQT Corp, said “culture is everything” when creating a company that can thrive.

Rice co-founded Rice Energy Inc., a Pennsylvania-based natural gas producer, with his brother Derek in 2007. In 2017, Rice Energy was sold to EQT for $6.7 billion. 

In 2019, Rice became CEO at Pittsburgh-based EQT Corp, the largest natural gas producer in the United States.

“At the end of the day, what we’re trying to do is generate great results. It’s not about suits, it’s not about bureaucracy, it’s about getting results, it’s about whatever makes you the most comfortable so you can focus on getting the results,” Rice said during a keynote discussion Wednesday for Evolve: The Next Evolution of Oil & Gas.

The virtual event was presented by Digital Wildcatters, a multimedia platform offering podcasts, videos and in-depth blogs detailing cutting-edge technologies, startups and disruptive strategies in the oil and gas industry, with FreightWaves.

Rice discussed his views on embracing unconventional thinking and creating a successful oil and gas company with Digital Wildcatters co-founder Jake Corley. 

“For us, we wanted to make sure we had a culture that aligned with an oil and gas company,” Rice said. “We want to build a culture that allows us to do one thing and do it really successfully — drill the most economic wells.”

Rice said EQT’s goal as a company is “drilling the highest-quality well bores for the lowest costs, delivering them to sales on time, on budget and on design and getting the highest price possible for gas.”

Today, EQT has about 600 employees with operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. 

Rice said having “fun” at work doesn’t necessarily mean pinball machines or a cafe.

“To us, we’re focusing on winning and that’s the funnest thing,” Rice said. “At the end of the day, nothing builds culture like winning.”

The presentation also featured a trip to one of EQT’s drilling sites, where Rice talked about the digital technology the company uses to develop oil field strategies.

“For us, the digital work environment was really important. That’s really the digital technologies that we use to help plan our business more effectively and ensure execution in the field,” Rice said. “That’s really the software applications, having a cohesive system, technology that has really accelerated our ability to plan. We pair that up with our digital oil field strategy.”

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Noi Mahoney

Noi Mahoney is a Texas-based journalist who covers cross-border trade, logistics and supply chains for FreightWaves. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in English in 1998. Mahoney has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working for newspapers in Florida, Maryland and Texas. Contact [email protected]