Tim Duncan and Talos Energy have shown the resilience necessary before to turn a potential disaster into a profitable business move. In 2005, the Typhoon Field oil platform located approximately 165 miles south of New Orleans and developed by Chevron, found itself in the crosshairs of Hurricane Rita. The 13,000-ton platform was capsized by the storm and drifted 60 miles from its original location. Once the storm was finished with its wrath there were not many volunteers to take part in the cleanup. However, one hand that was raised belonged to Talos Energy. Talos restored the Typhoon Field which it acquired and renamed Phoenix Field. Phoenix presently pumps 16,000 barrels of oil each day and is the largest asset thus far owned by Talos Energy.
The oil from the Phoenix is pumped into a specialized ship known as the Helix Producer whose own legacy is tied to some not so pleasant memories in the oil industry. Helix was used in 2010 to capture a portion of the four million barrels of oil that spilled from BP’s Macondo oil well following the Deepwater Horizon event. The history with the Phoenix field did not stop many in the industry from openly questioning the logic of Tim Duncan and Talos Energy in their efforts to effect a merger with Stone Energy. The conventional belief was that the move was in error due to the large size of the company that was also at the time bankrupt.
The complicated process necessary to complete the needed negotiations would have been trying to say the least at the most normal of times. But the situations endured by Tim Duncan during negotiations with Stone Energy executives was anything but normal. The culprit this time was Hurricane Harvey which flooded the roads leading to and from the Kingwood, Texas home Duncan shared with his family. The family was forced to wade through water to reach the safety afforded them by a waiting FEMA boat. The negotiations by Duncan would need to be completed at his parents’ kitchen table and somehow a few months later, the deal was done. To the chagrin of Talos Energy detractors, the Stone merger resulted in Tim Duncan becoming the head man of an oil company that now generates $900 million in annual revenue.