Gulfport Energy expands Ohio management team

Oklahoma City-based independent Gulfport Energy Corp. has added to its Ohio management operations as the company increases its focus on the Utica shale.

The company appointed J. Ross Kirtley in September as chief operating officer for Ohio activities. Prior to joining Gulfport, Kirtley served as vice-president of services for Sandridge Energy Inc. and president of Sandridge’s wholly owned subsidiaries Lariat Services Inc., Hondo Heavy Haul Inc., and Chaparral Supply LLC.

Gulfport named Robert A. Jones in November as vice-president of drilling for Ohio activities. Jones previously served as Chesapeake Energy Corp.’s drilling engineering manager for the Haynesville, Barnett, and Eagle Ford.

Also that month, the company appointed Mark R. Malone as vice-president of operations for Ohio activities. Malone was previously engineering manager at Sierra Engineering.

Gulfport most recently appointed Ty Peck as managing director of midstream operations. Prior to joining Gulfport, Peck was director of commercial services with Access Midstream Partners.

“The Utica shale provides a huge opportunity for our company and these new team members will augment our ability to capitalize and execute our plans,” said Gulfport Chief Executive Officer James Palm.

Earlier this year, Gulfport signed a definitive agreement to buy 22,000 net acres in the Utica from Windsor Ohio LLC, an affiliate of Wexford Capital LP, for $220 million. The deal increased Gulfport’s leasehold interests in the Utica to 137,000 gross (128,000 net) acres (OGJ Online, Feb. 11, 2013).

This came shortly after the company reported high liquids yields at its Utica wells (OGJ Online, Jan. 23, 2013).

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