Today’s oil and gas managers are faced with a wide array of opportunities that require substantial investment and contain enormous risk.

To stay competitive, companies must maximize returns and minimize risks. Each decision must reflect the firm’s strategic objectives, and the growing complexity of the business environment.

To make better choices, oil and gas managers now utilize advanced decision-making tools and techniques that give them a more accurate and detailed view of the various interrelated potential outcomes associated with each opportunity they are considering.
Meet the Expert

About Michael

  • Professor and Director of the Division of Economics and Business at the Colorado School of Mines specializing in the areas of strategic decision making, business strategy, and risk management, with a particular emphasis on applications in the petroleum sector.
  • Main research interests are in the areas of petroleum valuation, corporate risk management, and the integration of decision analysis and portfolio management in the corporate context.
  • Relying on technical developments in the areas of decision analysis, finance and business strategy. provides clients with the ability to improve their decision quality and create value. 
  • Clients include: Amoco, Anadarko Petroleum, BP Exploration, Cabot Oil and Gas, ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation, Occidental Petroleum, Penn-Virginia Oil Company, Petrobras Petroleos Brasiliero, Phillips Petroleum, Schlumberger, Texaco

Experience

Director, Division of Economic and Business • Colorado School of Mines
1992 — Present
  • Director of the Division of Economics and Business and Chair of the Engineering and Technology Management Program in the Division of Economics & Business
  • Specializes in the areas of strategic decision making, business strategy, and risk management, with a particular emphasis on applications in the petroleum sector.  
  • Teaches graduate courses in Decision Analysis and Corporate Finance.  
  • Research interests are in the areas of petroleum valuation, corporate risk management, and the integration of decision analysis and portfolio management in the corporate context.
President • Michael R. Walls & Co.
1989 — Present
  • Providing decision support to firms in petroleum and related industries.
  • Relying on technical developments in the areas of decision analysis, finance and business strategy, provides clients with the ability to improve their decision quality and create value in the areas of risk analysis and strategic planning
  • Industry authority on the application of risk and investment theory to the petroleum industry and author of numerous articles on the topics of decision and risk analysis, finance and business strategy.

Education

University of Texas at Austin
PhD, Management, 1992
University of Texas at Austin
MBA, Finance
Western Kentucky University
BA, Geology

Publications

Current Working Papers:
  • Walls, M.R. “Alternative Methods for Estimating Corporate Risk Tolerance – Issues and Dilemmas”. In Progress.
  • Phillips, J, Newman, A., Walls, M. “Utilizing a Value of Information Framework to Improve Ore Classification and Collection Procedures.” Under Review at the Engineering Economist.
  • Heeley, M.;Walls, M. “A Bid Analysis Study of Western Gulf of Mexico : Findings and Implications for Bid Decision Making.” In Progress.
  • Walls, M. “Acquisition vs. Organic Growth in the E&P Sector: Who are the value creators?” In Progress.

Recent Publications:
  • Walls, M.R. (2005). “Corporate Risk Taking and Performance: A 20 Year Look at the Petroleum Industry”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 48, PP. 127-140.Walls, M.R. (2005).
  • Walls, M.R. (2005). “Measuring and Utilizing Corporate Risk Tolerance to Improve Investment Decision Making,” Engineering Economist, Volume 50, Number 4, pp. 361-376.
  • Walls, M.R. (2004). “Combining Decision Analysis and Portfolio Management to Improve Project Selection in the Petroleum Exploration and Production Firm”, Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Vol. 44, pp. 55-66.
  • Suslick, S. & M.R. Walls (2001). “Managing Technological and Financial Uncertainty: A Decision Science Approach for Strategic Drilling Decisions”, Natural Resources Research, January 2001.
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