Caliber’s Success with ComboCurve: The Definitive A&D Tool

February 21, 2024

A&D tools that enable quicker decisions with greater precision are true catalysts for growth, shedding light on why ComboCurve has swiftly gained traction as Energy’s A&D tool of choice.

Caliber Resource Partners’ CEO, Shilpa Abbitt, and VP of Engineering, Justin Wheeler, provide insights into why ComboCurve stands out as their preferred software for A&D. Offering two distinct perspectives – one from the C-suite point of view and the other from a frontline super-user, Shilpa and Justin touch on valuing industry relationships, achieving time-saving reductions with ComboCurve’s all-inclusive platform, and capitalizing on untapped revenue streams. 

Caliber Resource Partners is a Quantum Energy Partners-backed portfolio company that specializes in non-operated investments within the lower 48. Product and basin-agnostic, they evaluate a wide range of opportunities, including PDP packages, wellbore-only AFEs, acreage deals, and potential joint ventures with reputable operators.  

“Caliber is very much a relationship-driven company, and repeat deals we have done with the same parties speaks to that aspect of what sets us apart.” – Shilpa Abbitt, CEO 

As CEO of Caliber Resource Partners, a significant portion of Shilpa’s attention is focused on managing Caliber’s dealflow. Whether that be approving outbound bids or sourcing new opportunities, Shilpa is involved throughout the entire process. When Shilpa is not actively reviewing a deal, she regularly collaborates with her VP of Land and Business Development, David Wheelis, to expand strategic relationships and source new partnerships with reputable operators in pursuit of future opportunities. 

As the VP of Engineering, Justin Wheeler is hands-on with ComboCurve on a daily basis. His insights provide a granular view of how the tool enhances efficiency and collaboration for Caliber’s engineering team. 

Caliber’s Early Start With ComboCurve 

Caliber’s introduction to ComboCurve was not a random occurrence but a strategic progression. Justin initially heard about ComboCurve through casual discussions; however, the turning point came when Kate Speight, a trusted industry connection, joined ComboCurve. Kate engaged in conversations with Justin about how ComboCurve could cater to his specific needs. “Kate was pretty persistent,” Shilpa laughs “She kept calling Justin every time there was a new development and the Advance Forecasting Algorithms was the point where Justin was like ‘I’d like to try this.’” 

Better Use of Caliber’s Resources 

Justin’s endorsement of ComboCurve was multifaceted. It was clearly a better use of Caliber resources than the outgoing Q Engineering. The speed of well forecasting in hours compared to days in Aries was a game-changer, not to mention the ease of sharing data with Quantum Energy Partner’s investment committee for review added another layer of efficiency. The cost-effectiveness of trying out ComboCurve, coupled with a one-week opt-out trial for early adopters like Caliber, made the decision even more appealing.   

24h Conversion Support  

Another deciding factor at play was ComboCurve’s 24-hour support through the conversion from legacy software. Shilpa emphasizes “You were willing to work with us on conversion into Aries or Aries out of ComboCurve and that was huge because every deal we get is an Aries database. It was almost like we had “concierge service” with y’all! We’d say here’s an Aries database we got, can you convert it into ComboCurve, and it seemed like, in a fairly reasonable time, you were able to get it converted into ComboCurve.We could forecast everything and we were able to revert that into Aries to run all different sensitivities, economics, etc..” 

Justin’s understanding of the cost and reward dynamics in technology investments sealed the deal. His confidence in ComboCurve was the determining factor in Caliber’s adoption of ComboCurve as their primary A&D Tool – a decision that highlights how tech solutions align with real business value at Caliber. 

ComboCurve’s simplicity contrasts with the complexity of other legacy software. 

“It’s easy to use, it’s easy for data analysts to use, people can learn it fast and run with it.” 

– Shilpa Abbitt, CEO 

There is a common misconception that ComboCurve’s advanced features make it challenging to learn or require extensive training to master. People often hesitate, wondering, “How long will it take me to learn? Will I lose valuable time?” In reality, ComboCurve is remarkably user-friendly. Shilpa, although not a daily user of ComboCurve, affirms its user-friendly interface, even for those who are not regular users. On the rare occasion, she uses the tool, Shilpa finds it easy to forecast wells in ComboCurve.

I don’t use it on a daily basis, but I have when we needed all hands on deck for several deal evaluations. Based on my first time to forecast wells, I can honestly say it was pretty easy.

Shilpa’s reflection extends to the comparison with legacy software like Aries or PhDWin. “If I had to go teach somebody who was brand new, just for a one-time project on how to forecast in Aries or PhDWin, it’s more than: here are the 5 steps you need to change the forecast.” 

Using ComboCurve in the Trenches

Forecasting advantage 

Justin, on the other hand, invests a considerable amount of time in the forecasting process, evaluating deals. These deals often target specific units rather than sprawling acreage. This requires almost a complete reconstruction for each scenario, even in basins he’s previously encountered. Traditional workflows would take weeks for evaluation. ComboCurve’s efficiency not only expedites forecasting but also ensures a rapid and adaptable response to the constantly evolving complexities of oil and gas asset evaluation.  

“I would spend 90% of the evaluation time forecasting and the rest of the time, I’m doing the actual analysis. Now that percentage is probably close to flipped – I can burn through forecasts but still have the ability to be in control of it if I see some weirdness in the data, to then jump to the underwriting part: Is this something we’re interested in and what are we willing to pay?” – Justin Wheeler, VP or Engineering 

Proximity Type Curve Tool 

One of Justin’s favorite features within ComboCurve is the proximity forecast tool embedded in the forecasting module. Operating in a multi-basin-specific context, Justin forecasts anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 wells, depending on the specific basin under examination. Being able to have the proximity tool executing the type curve analysis during forecasting has proven to be a significant time-saver, streamlining the path to the decision-making phase of the evaluation process. 

Biggest Value: Jumpstart the Most Challenging 80% of the Process 

Traditionally, Caliber’s approach involved exhaustive engineering processes building up to the analysis stage, and these conventional methods were inherently rigid, and would often lead to either an excess of risk or insufficient preparation when approaching deadlines. According to Justin, “ComboCurve allows me and Caliber the ability to jumpstart the hardest 80% to get to a point where we can evaluate the merit of the project and really assess the risk that we’re taking on – if it’s something that appeals to us or not. We can have a strong foundation knowing that the forecasts are good and it’s a lot easier to keep up with those so I can really jump into spacing or analytics to see what it takes to get that project promoted.” 

Small Team Collaboration 

Caliber’s small engineering team benefits from ComboCurve’s collaboration features. With the team working in close quarters, the tool’s capabilities for easy sharing and collaboration streamline project handovers and progress updates seamlessly. Shilpa adds, “The old way, we would get into Aries and huddle around a computer and in order to make any changes or discuss any forecasts, somebody would do it manually.” 

Maximizing Efficiency and Deal Flow 

The ability to forecast wells in hours, as opposed to days with other tools, has streamlined workflows, eliminated inefficiencies, and allowed Caliber to explore a broader range of deals. 

 On the revenue side, the streamlined conversion support and rapid forecasting capabilities of ComboCurve, have empowered Caliber to venture into unexplored territories of unmarketed deals and databases. The time saved in this process has significantly increased the number of deals Caliber can effectively evaluate, potentially even doubling their deal flow! Furthermore, the impact extends to Assets Under Management, facilitating the swift generation of quarterly and mid-year reserve reports. On the non-operator side, where Caliber manages over 6,500 wellbores, ComboCurve plays a crucial role in diagnosing and maintaining forecast accuracy. Even with limited interest in certain assets, the tool proves invaluable in addressing wide variances.  

Transforming Basin-Wide Evaluations 

Justin recounts a basin-wide evaluation of 8,000 wells, a task that would traditionally take weeks but, with ComboCurve, was accomplished in minutes due to its efficiency in handling large well counts. The ensuing quality control (QC) process took only an hour or two, marking a substantial reduction in time investment. This allowed for the creation of a foundational basin project, easily updated as new deals emerged for that specific area. 

 Key Features of ComboCurve’s Integration: 

Bidirectionality and Integration with Legacy Software 

Caliber’s ethos is deeply rooted in being technical and data-driven, open to exploring innovative solutions rather than opting for in-house development. Even though Caliber had previously developed forecasting tools in Excel, the allure of ComboCurve’s bidirectional functionality, especially the ability to shift between ComboCurve and Aries seamlessly enables data sharing between Caliber and third parties or financial institutions.  

A&D Efficiency for Non-Operators: 

ComboCurve plays a crucial role in strengthening industry relationships for Caliber. The tool’s agility not only allows the team to efficiently analyze off-market unsolicited offers but also affords them the capacity for rapid forecasting of unsolicited offers –  particularly when armed with pre-existing data. From a relationship standpoint, ComboCurve’s impact lies in the ability to expedite the evaluation process. For instance, when presented with a PDP package, Caliber can leverage ComboCurve to forecast and review it promptly. ComboCurve achieves considerable success with non-operators given their involvement in a substantial number of deals and their extensive well portfolios.

Code Sharing for Seamless Collaboration 

Among the Quantum portfolio companies, Caliber was one of the first to benefit from ComboCurve’s Share Code functionality. “It was much easier for Caliber’s technical team to review and evaluate deals, sharing work seamlessly with the quantum team through ComboCurve Share Codes instead of sending an Aries database.” Shilpa explains “It’s clunky to go through forecasts in Aries and sending that as a pdf.” 

The inefficiencies of navigating forecasts in Aries and sharing them as PDFs are eliminated with code sharing, providing collaborators immediate access to dynamic and user-friendly content.  

Caliber Resource Partners’ journey with ComboCurve is a testament to the tool’s adaptability, efficiency, and impact across various operational levels. From Shilpa’s strategic decision-making to Justin’s day-to-day operations and well-forecasting, ComboCurve has become an essential A&D Tool in Caliber’s arsenal.   

“Being open to trying it [ComboCurve] and using it did give us an advantage when others hadn’t even heard of it. The product is amazing and sells itself once you give it a try. We are super excited for the ComboCurve team’s success, but it has created much more competition for us! – Shilpa Abbitt, CEO 

The evolving roadmap of ComboCurve adds another layer to this success story, with Caliber actively participating in shaping the tool’s trajectory. What sets ComboCurve apart is the collaborative environment it fosters – client feedback is not just welcomed, but actively and quickly incorporated. This level of responsiveness stands out in an industry where such interactivity is rare.  

As ComboCurve continues to evolve and respond to the diverse needs of its users, we encourage industry professionals and decision-makers to explore the possibilities it offers for streamlining A&D processes.  

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