North Coast Energy prospers close to markets

North Coast Energy Inc. (NCE), Twinsburg, Ohio, began oil and gas operations in 1981, but Pres. and CEO Omer Yonel claims it had not turned a profit for its first 18 years—not until NUON Corp., the largest energy and water utility in the Netherlands, with $7 billion in assets, acquired the small energy firm as its entrée into US markets.It took NCE public in 1998, the same year that Yonel joined NUON's North American operations. He was named NCE's CEO in 1999 and "rebuilt its management team from scratch," he told OGJ. "So you might say this company is only 3 years old."Niche marketNCE explores, develops, and produces primarily natural gas in the Appalachian and Illinoi...

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