Eric Legge: Disrupting Technology and Driving Beyond Energy to become a Global MPD Market Leader

Top 10 Most Inspiring CEOs to follow in 2023

As President and CEO of Beyond Energy Services & Technology Corp., Eric Legge, believes that access to energy and petroleum products has propelled humankind forward at seemingly lightspeed.

However, it is the responsibility of all those in the industry to foster an environment for innovation where we can create and develop cleaner ways to capture and use these commodities.

A career that began at the intersection of technology and challenge

Eric graduated from the College of the North Atlantic in Newfoundland with a Degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering in 2009. He began his career in Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) with @Balance, simultaneously working in R&D and field operations. A niche opportunity arose to join a team bringing automation to services traditionally performed manually. In addition, a case to help companies drill their wells with sustainability in mind also presented itself.

“I began my career as a Control Systems Operator; this position sparked my passion for technology. At this time in my career, it seemed that many saw technology as a threat to job security. In contrast, I saw it as a way for people to increase their efficiency beyond what was humanly possible. I found this intriguing,” says Eric.

His fascination with technology inspired him to layer it advantageously into every challenge he pursued. It was at the intersection of technology and challenge that he believes his career truly began.

By 2011, Eric was a Senior Field Supervisor when Schlumberger bought @Balance, and he soon progressed into a Sales-related Operations Management position. Through this time, he worked in 11 different countries, where he learned a great deal and came to be regarded as an authority on MPD.

Eric insists that, contrary to popular belief, the oil and gas industry is continuously evolving and is an industry that society will rely on for the foreseeable future. In June 2016, he joined Beyond Energy as its Vice President of operations.

“As the proverb goes, man plans, God laughs, or more simply put, life is filled with challenges. The more challenges you can overcome, the more courage you can summon to face even greater challenges,” Eric observes.

Believing in this inspired him to steer down the not-so-straight and narrow path of entrepreneurship. Facing and conquering greater challenges and the fulfillment that comes with that gave him the strength to forge a path of his own.

Eric remarks that his time at Beyond Energy has begotten the greatest and most rewarding recognition he has ever received as a leader. “Watching our team members achieve their goals and realize personal growth beyond what they ever envisioned is all any leader could ask,” he declares.

Strong relationships are the key to success

As President and CEO of Beyond Energy today, Eric is tasked with deciding and pursuing Beyond’s mission, vision, and overall strategy. More importantly, he must ensure that all stakeholders, especially employees, understand and align with the aforementioned.

Eric points out that, at Beyond, employees are involved in goal setting and strategic planning. In their strategy sessions, one of his primary roles is ensuring that the path forward guarantees the company’s future financial success. Advising the Board of Directors and upholding a long-term vision that grows value is part of his day-to-day in the workplace.

Eric also oversees business operations and guides the senior leadership team to implement and execute the company’s vision. In addition, he keeps an eye on the horizon for incoming opportunities and potential threats. He also works alongside the team to set and execute budgets, critical success factors, and key performance indicators.

“The path to success means ensuring that every member of the Beyond team is successful. I would say that above everything else I do, this is the most critical,” states Eric. “I believe sequential successes are critical to achieving goals. I do not see success as a monolithic, stand-alone entity to be accomplished independently. Through many life conversations, my parents taught me that there is no easy road to success.”

When someone asks him about success, Eric remarks that he thinks of his family, friends, and colleagues – the people who bring him the happiness that makes him feel successful. He reveals that forging and maintaining strong, healthy relationships with those around him has been key to his success.

Defining himself as ‘grateful’, Eric feels blessed to have truly wonderful people surrounding him in every aspect of life. “I have been blessed with family, friends, and coworkers, who have all supported me and helped me overcome challenges and achieve my goals. I do my best to ensure they say the same of me,” he affirms.

“…Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try” – Yoda

Holding on to a vision of sustainability and doing things differently

Eric explains that Beyond Energy was built around a vision to do things differently. “We set out to put customer service at the forefront of everything we do. We envisioned a company with a customer-centric organizational mentality that empowered employees to focus on solving problems for the customer,” he observes.

Beyond Energy believes that no employee should feel limited by the typical conventions of an organizational chart. They believe they can truly put the customer first by encouraging employees to form specialty teams that operate autonomously, not only to solve but to conceptualize customer problems before they appear.

“We have seen the manifestation of this vision throughout Beyond Energy in the technology we develop. We see it in our RCD products, Control Systems, Software Products, Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) Equipment, Engineering Services, and our operational delivery. Beyond is truly redefining MPD in every aspect, as evidenced by our market acquisition and rapid growth,” Eric declares.

Another crucial aspect of Beyond Energy’s culture is sustainability. As civilization explores cleaner methodologies of supplying energy, Beyond and the MPD industry are doing their part. Through the advent of MPD, O&G operators can drill using a closed-loop system. This system helps prevent the release of harmful gases into the atmosphere while operating.

Eric explains that MPD reduces the overall carbon footprint of drilling for O&G and is a demonstrated enabling technology when drilling geothermal wells. “Many geothermal wells cannot be drilled without MPD technology. We believe MPD will be a significant player in the future success of geothermal energy as an alternative to hydrocarbons in the years to come,” he predicts.

“If you really look closely, most overnight successes took a long time.” – Steve Jobs

Helping the world build a path to a cleaner future

Eric notes that innovation is the lifeblood of what they do at Beyond. The organization operates in a competitive space, and innovation is a survival requirement.

Undoubtedly, finding ways to drill more efficient and environmentally friendly wells to meet global demand is critical. Creating sophisticated processes by which ideas can be captured, evaluated, tested, developed, and implemented is a crucial building block to the organization.

“To do this, we must leverage the multi-potentialities in every team member. We will continue to strive to bring forth innovations that solve problems for our clients or allow them to operate more efficiently,” Eric declares.

With a vision to see Beyond Energy as the market leader in MPD globally, Eric insists that they will accomplish this through their vision of automation and industry-leading service delivery.

“I want to see Beyond continue to redefine automation in its space. Fully autonomous operations in MPD would maximize efficiency for our clients. It would also increase safety for all people involved in MPD operations and reduce the environmental impact of drilling by further decreasing the release of harmful gases,” he explains.

Through value add, such as increased safety, efficiency, and environmental security via the reduction of carbon footprint, Beyond Energy sees a future with MPD on every drilling rig worldwide, including rigs drilling geothermal and hydrogen wells. Solidifying the use of MPD allows access to these cleaner energies to be more economical and accessible to consumers as part of helping the world build a path to a cleaner future.

The true power of a team that operates with its mission in mind

Eric agrees without a doubt that challenges make one stronger. “As I mentioned, I believe that overcoming challenges of increasing adversity is key to finding happiness and success. Perhaps the most challenging roadblock I have faced professionally was the prolonged O&G downturn from 2015 to 2021,” he shares.

Eric explains that Beyond Energy was incorporated in 2015 and began its first project in August 2016; this timing was planned around the cyclical nature of the O&G industry. The idea was that they would build out a business and be ready for the next up-cycle in 2019 or 2020.

Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic was a setback. As it did many companies, the pandemic tested them and presented a unique set of challenges. Being a young organization in this space made it particularly challenging.

“The discipline, resiliency, and teamwork demonstrated by those at Beyond, at levels I had never seen anywhere before, allowed us to not only survive but become the strongest we have ever been since our inception,” Eric maintains. “Through this adversity, I learned the true power of a team that operates with its mission in mind. There is no doubt that it was through the sheer force of will of the team that we are here today.”

“Success is not final; failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

Finding balance through supportive relationships

Eric admits that as far as work-life balance is concerned, it is something he will always have to work to achieve. “It is easy to find yourself being pulled too much in one direction or the other. I have discovered no silver bullet to this struggle,” he reflects.

Eric finds that it helps to simply remind himself regularly that both are important to his life and essential to his happiness. He also feels blessed to have people who support him and prompt him if he focuses too much on one or the other. “These people pull me back to the center and help me redraw lines to find my balance,” he says.

As for his employees, Eric shares that he keeps them motivated through supportive leadership. He works closely with people, listening to them and helping them achieve their goals while aligning them with the company’s goals.

“I strive to create an environment where employees work in small autonomous teams. These teams function similarly to a start-up —banding together from various departments to focus on solving problems for the client. These teams are held accountable via their success in delivering solutions for our clients,” he elaborates.

Eric notes that motivation is also multi-lateral and that his employees keep each other motivated and, often, keep him motivated too. “I believe this is a key attribute of a successful team,” he notes.

In his parting words of wisdom to aspiring leaders, Eric states, “I believe that we find growth by supporting others in reaching their goals and always having the next step in mind. My personal goal is to continue encouraging people to achieve their version of success and to also learn from their journeys.”

Eric encourages aspiring business leaders to surround themselves with people of similar morals and principles and do everything they can to help them succeed. “Point this sword in the direction of your vision, and nothing will stop you and your team,” he advises.

“You only have to do a few things right in your life, so long as you don’t do too many things wrong.” – Warren Buffett