Just Roll Up Your Sleeves and Do the Work

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One woman's journey to the top

If you have signed up to attend HERWorld19 in London, you are in for quite a treat. The industry keynote speaker is Susan Morrice, geologist and founder of Belize Natural Energy (BNE), International Natural Energy (INE) and CHx Capital.

First, you'll fancy her accent. Susan was born in Belfast, Ireland. Then you'll fall in love with her can-do spirit. It's contagious.

"My attraction to geology was nature. As a young girl in Ireland, dashing about the rocks, playing in the waves...I was just fascinated."

Susan Morrice, Founder BNE, INE, CHx Capital

Susan's approach to geology was more artistic than scientific. And she believes that path, combined with natural curiosity, imagination and passion, has paved the way for some of the world's best scientists and scientific discoveries.

"Tapping into that which propels us out of bed each morning."

BNE is a global oil industry beacon which won the global Getenergy Educational Award while competing against 50 countries (including the United States, the UK, and Canada) in the localization category for making a sustainable, lasting difference in a country. BNE is also the top revenue generator in Belize. It is as well-known for its holistic business model as it is for producing more than 11 million barrels of crude oil in the last 12 years. But that wasn't always the case.

Passion for potential

Since the 1950’s, several major oil companies had unsuccessfully explored for commercial oil and gas in Belize. In 2003, Susan and her business partner Mike Usher, signed a production sharing agreement with the Government of Belize. "We had 76 small Irish investors," says Susan, "And my family company, CHX (named for my two daughters), invested in 40% of the project, too."

The country had no oil industry infrastructure or skilled labor. "All we had was the rights to 500,000 acres, and only enough money for two wells."


"The odds were definitely against us. It was like searching for a needle in a haystack. But we knew in our heart of hearts, there was oil to be discovered and we were the ones to do it."

Sadly, Usher died before the drilling began. But exactly one year to the date of his passing, on the very anniversary of his death, BNE struck oil so light, "It still goes into the local generators without refining," says Morrice.

"It truly was a modern day miracle. A real gift from above."

Susan named that well, Mike Usher #1 in memory of the man who wanted to make a difference in his country. Since that first milestone, BNE has had many:

  • Discovered and developed Belize’s only two commercial oil fields.
  • Developed ancillary and related oil and gas infrastructure.
  • Drilled more than 62 wells.
  • Produced more than 11 million barrels (bbl) of crude oil.
  • Won the Green award.
  • Won Employer of the Year award.
  • Susan was the first woman to ever receive the Norman Foster Outstanding Explorer award by the AAPG.
  • Shipped more than 170 cargoes of Belize Light Crude Oil to international markets.
  • Sold more than 20% of crude production to local industries thereby lowering local production costs.
  • Contributed in excess of USD 260 million in Government Revenues.
  • Trained company and government employees in all facets of oil and gas operations.

Embrace the human spirit

Susan has studied human potential for the past 14 years. "We have only scraped the surface of what is really possible," she says. "The only things holding us back are our own fears and doubts."

She offers some practical advice to anyone hoping to tap in to his or her own spirit:

  • Don't settle. "Find your passion."
  • Learn how your mind works. "Understand your true nature."
  • Involve others in your vision. "When we do, we bring a rocket fuel of force that transcends everything."
  • Believe in a higher power. "Partnering with the Big Boss is key."
  • Have fun with it all. "Life is too short to not enjoy what you're doing. We are the essence of our childlike spirit and curiosity."

Giving back, paying it forward

BNE boasts more than 96% Belizean workforce. The BNE Trust has invested in schools, community projects, and has created a culture of business innovation, supporting many Belizeans by co-signing for loans for business start-ups. Several businesses, from hotels to gas stations, rental cars to corner shops are all flourishing and re-investing in their businesses and the infrastructure of the country.

Susan will be speaking from the London stage at the Society of Chemical Industry (SCI). "I will talk about a major shift in our understanding of our mind and the incredible results that emanate from this shift," she says.

There's still time to get your SHIFT together on International Women's Day for HERWorld19.

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