PERSONNEL MOVES AND PROMOTIONS: Imperial appoints successor to retiring chairman, CEO

March 3, 2008
Imperial Oil Ltd., Calgary, has named B.H. March, currently president, to succeed current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer T.J. Hearn, who will retire Mar. 31.

Imperial Oil Ltd., Calgary, has named B.H. March, currently president, to succeed current Chairman and Chief Executive Officer T.J. Hearn, who will retire Mar. 31.

March also serves as director of refining for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for ExxonMobil Petroleum & Chemical BVBA in Brussels. Previously he has held management positions in ExxonMobil’s refining, supply, and environment, health, and safety divisions.

Other moves

Bois d’Arc Energy Inc. promoted Greg T. Martin to chief operating officer.

Martin joined Bois d’Arc Offshore in July 1998. Before joining Bois d’Arc, he worked for Amerada Hess and Newfield Exploration Co.

Separately, the company promoted James P. Perkins to vice-president, land.

MegaWest Energy Corp., Calgary, has appointed R. William Thornton president in addition to his duties as chief operating officer.

Thornton has been MegaWest’s chief operating officer since Jan. 1, 2007. George T. Stapleton II will remain MegaWest chairman and chief executive officer.

Previously, Thornton was Western Oil Sands general manager of petroleum engineering. Prior to that, he worked for Petrovera Resources, Gulf Canada, and Murphy Oil.

Penn West Energy Trust, Calgary, has appointed Murray R. Nunns president and chief operating officer.

Separately, David W. Middleton was promoted to executive vice-president, operations and business development. Middleton has worked in Penn West’s senior management since 1999.

Nunns has 29 years of oil and natural gas experience. Since 2003, he has been involved in the formation and management of several public and private oil and gas companies.

From 1992 to 2002, Nunns held various management positions at Rio Alto Exploration Ltd., including executive vice-president of exploration and development as well as chief operating officer.

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Houston independent Yuma Exploration & Production Co. has promoted Michael F. Conlon to president and chief operating officer. Conlon joined Yuma in November 2002 as vice-president, exploration. Conlon has more than 35 years of US and international experience in oil and gas exploration.

Before joining Yuma, Conlon worked as vice-president, exploration, for Pluspetrol SA in Buenos Aires.

National Fuel Gas Co. (NFGC), Williamsville, NY, has named David F. Smith chief executive officer.

Smith, who joined NFGC in 1978, will continue to serve as president and chief operating officer. Smith also has served as president of National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., Empire State Pipeline, National Fuel Resources Inc., and National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp. (NFGD).

Separately, current Chief Executive Philip C. Ackerman will retire effective June 1 but will retain his role as chairman. Ackerman, who joined the company in 1968, previously served as president, chief financial officer, and president of Seneca Resources, NFGD, and Horizon Energy Development Inc.

Enid, Okla., independent Ward Petroleum Corp. has named Mark Jopling operations manager.

Jopling was initially employed by Halliburton Services Co. as a field and district engineer in various locations in north Texas and northwest Oklahoma where he designed and implemented cement work, fracture stimulations, and drillstem testing.

He joined Ward in April 1981 as a staff engineer, primarily with drilling and completion responsibilities, and later became a senior staff engineer assisting with daily operations.

BreitBurn Energy Partners LP, Los Angeles, reorganized its operations group into Western, Central, and Eastern divisions and set up an operations management team led by Mark L. Pease, chief operating officer since December 2007.

Chris Williamson was promoted to senior vice-president, production operations and Western division. He will be responsible for companywide production operations. He was vice-president, operations, and joined BreitBurn in 1994.

Dave Baker was promoted to vice-president, reservoir engineering and Central division. He will be responsible for companywide reservoir engineering and evaluation of existing properties and acquisition candidates. He will manage the Wyoming, Texas, and Florida asset teams. He joined BreitBurn in 1999.

Dwayne Stewart was promoted to vice-president, geosciences and Eastern division, and will manage geoscience work in all of the company’s asset teams. His geographic responsibility is Michigan, Indiana, and Kentucky. He joined BreitBurn in 2006.

Williamson, Baker, and Stewart will work from BreitBurn’s Houston office.

Hyperdynamics Corp., Sugar Land, Tex., has named Jim Spear vice-president and chief geologist. Spear joined the company in November 2007.

Hyperdynamics is an oil and gas exploration company founded in 1996 and is currently exploring off Guinea. It holds the largest exploration license in West Africa, covering 31,000 sq miles.