From Legacy to Innovation: ARIES Senior Leader to ComboCurve CRO

April 10, 2024

With over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Kirk Hanes is no stranger to oil and gas software development. Why? Kirk was a key player in the launch of the ubiquitous ARIES program back in the late 80s.


With over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Kirk Hanes is no stranger to oil and gas software development. 

Why? Kirk was a key player in the launch of the ubiquitous ARIES program back in the late 80s. 

It is essential to acknowledge the full circle moment: one of the senior leaders of ARIES now serves as Chief Revenue Officer of ComboCurve – a tool founded under the unofficial tagline “Death to ARIES.” 

But what did Kirk’s 40-year journey from leading ARIES sales to ComboCurve look like, and why ComboCurve? We spoke to Kirk about the behind-the-scenes of his return to reservoir engineering SaaS–now at the helm of ComboCurve.

The Legacy of O&G Software 

With a background in petroleum engineering and almost four decades of experience in the oil and gas industry, Kirk Hanes has been a driving force behind several groundbreaking software solutions. These include ARIES, OGRE Systems, Palantir Solutions, Detechtion Technologies, and today, ComboCurve. His journey began as the Vice President of Sales at Garrett Computing Systems, where he played a role in the development and go-to-market launch of ARIES. ARIES quickly gained traction in the market, thanks to its innovative database-driven approach, which revolutionized reservoir engineering workflows and replaced cumbersome flat files with a more flexible solution. Halliburton’s Landmark software division later acquired ARIES.

“I always knew somebody would come up with an ARIES 2.0. Many have tried, but none have succeeded. When ComboCurve came on my radar, it was clear, it wasn’t an ARIES 2.0, it was an ARIES 10.0.” – Kirk Hanes, CRO, ComboCurve

Full Circle Moment in Oil and Gas Software

Impressed with the success ComboCurve achieved since its release in 2020, Kirk made the move to ComboCurve as the Chief Revenue Officer in April 2023. “It’s clear the industry is actively looking for a new leading-edge innovative solution after 30 years of the same antiquated workflows,” Hanes said in a 2023 interview.“ I love watching customers leverage the platform’s capabilities that didn’t even exist back in the 90s before horizontal drilling and still don’t even exist in ARIES today.” (Source: NewsWire)

Overcoming Resistance to Change is Key to Adoption

For many companies, transitioning from legacy software, like ARIES, to ComboCurve can be met with resistance and concern, particularly with regard to compromised/inaccurate reserves data. Kirk acknowledges many examples.

“We’ve been using ARIES forever – that’s where we keep our reserves, and the reserves are our lifeblood. The CEO has to sign off on the reserves and even with ComboCurve’s Premier Training and Certified Reserves process we don’t want to get the reserves wrong. That’s the value of the company.”

While fear is realized, Kirk stressed the importance of companies modernizing their workflows and adopting new technologies given all the changes made by the SPEE and PRMS for tracking and reporting reserves in recent years. 

Why ComboCurve for Kirk?

Kirk emphasizes the need for modern, cloud-based tools capable of handling thousands of forecasts in minutes, a capability that requires companies to maintain their competitive edge in today’s fast-paced market. From the ability to share projects and scenarios instantly, to real-time production rate tracking, and user-friendly interfaces, ComboCurve’s all-inclusive platform addresses these evolving needs. He firmly believes that ComboCurve’s single-platform approach and focus on efficiency position it as the next “King of the Hill” solution for oil and gas professionals. 

“I’ve been in oil and gas software and tools for most of my career, and understand the financial implications of using old, outdated tools when I’m trying to keep a company competitive.”

This is especially true when it comes to asset evaluations.

 

Evolution of Customer Needs and Market Dynamics

Over the past four decades, the landscape of customer needs and market dynamics has undergone significant transformations including:

  • Instantaneous sharing of projects and scenarios with banks, auditors, and data rooms, eliminating the need for file transfers. 
  • Quick and automated analysis of type curves and forecasting. 
  • Shift from monthly to daily production rates for enhanced accuracy and efficiency.

The Definitive A&D Tool

Looking ahead, Kirk sees mergers and acquisitions shaping the industry landscape, driving the need for quick data sharing and maximizing returns. He envisions ComboCurve as the leading platform for engineers to get their work done efficiently, streamlining workflows and facilitating A&D tasks. “With all these mergers and acquisitions coming up, we [ComboCurve] are paving the way for people to quickly evaluate, buy, and sell new assets,” Hanes explains. “And we’re positioning ourselves as the tool for being at the center of all of that.”

“Aries on Steroids” 

In Kirk’s vision, ComboCurve is not a competitor to ARIES but a quantum leap forward in oil and gas software. He describes it as ‘ARIES on steroids,’ with the ability to seamlessly integrate into existing workflows and move across various oil and gas processes. “When I came to ComboCurve, I likened it to my experience where I had an office phone and a home phone – both were attached to the wall with a wire. Today, I have a computer in my hand that will go anywhere in the world. This is the leap technology has taken since ARIES was developed. Why would I want to be on a home phone today?” 

Team ComboCurve

Kirk Hanes’ journey from Team Aries to a passionate advocate for ComboCurve symbolizes the shift from legacy to innovation in the oil and gas sector. As technology continues to advance, so too must our tools and workflows. With Kirk at the helm, ComboCurve is poised to lead the charge into a new era of success in oil and gas economics and software, where innovation, accuracy and efficiency reign supreme.

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