Energy Players

April 1, 2007
Tudor Capital Partners LLC and Pickering Energy Partners Inc. have signed a definitive agreement to form Tudor, Pickering & Co. LLC.

Tudor Capital, Pickering form banking boutique

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Tudor Capital Partners LLC and Pickering Energy Partners Inc. have signed a definitive agreement to form Tudor, Pickering & Co. LLC. The new firm, which will be headquartered in Houston, will be an integrated energy investment and merchant banking boutique, providing advice and services to institutional and corporate clients. Both firms are privately held and terms were not disclosed. Bobby Tudor of Tudor Capital, formerly a partner with investment banking firm Goldman Sachs, will serve as chairman and CEO of Tudor Pickering.

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Pickering, a research analyst, was formerly head of research for Simmons & Co. prior to establishing Pickering Energy Partners in 2004.

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Alexandra Pruner, former publisher of World Oil magazine, will serve as CFO.

Ridgeway Petroleum appoints Willis CFO

The board of directors of Ridgeway Petroleum Corp. has appointed W. Kyle Willis as vice president, treasurer, and CFO. Willis has over 30 years of financial executive experience with companies engaged in oil and gas exploration, oilfield service, and oilfield equipment manufacturing, principally in the US and Canada. Prior to joining Ridgeway, he was vice president finance with Gulf Energy Management Co., a subsidiary of Harken Energy Corp. From 2001 through 2004, Willis was vice president and CFO of TransAtlantic Petroleum Corp. Willis holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University. Ridgeway Petroleum is a development stage, enhanced oil recovery company.

Aker Drilling taps Saether Romuld for CFO

Trine Saether Romuld, 38, has been appointed Aker Drilling CFO. She will succeed Nina Lie, who has decided to leave the industry. Lie will continue to serve as CFO until Saether Romuld starts at the company. Saether Romuld joins Aker Drilling from her position as CFO of Marine Harvest. Her previous work experience includes serving as finance manager at the Transocean in Norway. She has also held executive positions with Ernst & Young and Arthur Andersen & Co.

Retiring Sullivan succeeded by LaSala at ExxonMobil

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s board of directors has elected Stephen LaSala as vice president and general tax counsel, Exxon Mobil Corp. succeeding Paul Sullivan, who retired on April 1 after more than 37 years of service. LaSala worked previously as associate general tax counsel at the company. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, a doctor of law degree from Fordham University Law School, and a master of laws degree in taxation from New York University. LaSala joined Mobil Oil Corp. in 1974 as a tax counsel in New York.

Total splits chairman, chief executive positions

Total SA has decided to split the chairman and chief executive officer positions, which have been held by Thierry Desmarest. Desmarest remains chairman, and Christophe de Margerie becomes chief executive officer. De Margerie has been with Total for more than 30 years, serving most recently as president of exploration and production.

Mills joins Sutherland’s expanding Houston office

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has hired Chad E. Mills, formerly of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP. He joins the firm’s national energy and environmental practices group as partner and will be located in the firm’s Houston office. He brings talent in structured energy transactions involving power and natural gas, energy project development and finance, and merger and acquisition matters. Sutherland’s energy and environmental lawyers work on developments that affect the energy, petrochemical, manufacturing, waste, and industrial sectors.

Berry Petroleum appoints Canaday to controller, Wilson to treasurer

Berry Petroleum Co. has appointed Shawn Canaday controller, and Steven B. Wilson has been appointed treasurer. Wilson was recently named controller of Berry upon the retirement of Don Dale in December 2006. Both Canaday and Wilson report to Ralph Goehring, executive vice president and CFO. Canaday has been the treasurer since December 2004 and joined Berry as a senior financial analyst in 2003. Canaday is a graduate of California State University, Fresno, and has experience in both public accounting and the oil and gas industry, having previously worked for Chevron. Wilson was promoted to controller from assistant controller in December 2006. He joined Berry in 2003 and is a graduate of Brigham Young University. Prior to joining Berry, he held senior financial management positions with several companies and was an audit manager with Price Waterhouse LLP. Berry Petroleum is a publicly traded independent oil and gas production and exploitation company with its headquarters in Bakersfield, Calif.

Bill Barrett makes Howard new CFO

Denver-based Bill Barrett Corp. has named Bob Howard CFO and treasurer. Howard, 52, is a Rockies oil and gas executive with over 25 years experience in finance, accounting, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, tax, and investor relations. Before this position, he served as CFO for Quantum Resources, a private oil and gas company headquartered in Denver. Previously, Howard served in various executive positions at Bill Barrett including executive vice president - finance and investor relations and treasurer. From August 2001 until December 2001, he served as vice president - finance and administration and a director of AEC Oil & Gas Inc., an indirect subsidiary of Alberta Energy Co. Ltd., an oil and gas exploration and development company that was merged into PanCanadian Energy Corp. and renamed EnCana Corp. Bill Barrett explores for and develops natural gas and oil in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States.

Cairn India appoints CFO

Cairn India has appointed Indrajit Banerjee to the position of CFO. He graduated from the University of Calcutta with a bachelor’s degree. He started his career at PriceWaterhouse Coopers in Kolkata in 1979 and has held several senior posts throughout his career including 17 years at the Indian Aluminium Co., and 2 years at Lucent Technologies in India. He replaces Jann Brown, who stepped down as interim CFO on March 1.

RBG appoints Coull, Chadwick to senior management team

Aberdeen, UK-based RBG Ltd. has made two key appointments to its senior management team. Fraser Coull, 42, moves from director of specialist services to take on the new role of technical director. He joined the company in February 2005 from Wood Group Engineering. Fred Chadwick, 53, has joined RBG to succeed Coull as director of specialist services. Chadwick holds a degree in mechanical engineering. Formerly with Baker Hughes ProductionQuest, Wood Group, and McDermotts, he brings experience in operations management and technology provision. Coull and Chadwick report to RBG’s CEO Doug Sedge. RBG is an international service company focusing on the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries.

Roc adds former diplomat for leadership post

Roc Oil Co. Ltd. has appointed a new general manager - external affairs and investor relations. Damian Fisher has over 25 years’ commercial and government experience and is a graduate of Macquarie University. Prior to joining Roc, Fisher was Australia’s Consul General and senior trade commissioner in Istanbul, Turkey. This followed a diplomatic posting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia where he was responsible for expanding Australian commercial relations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Prior to joining Austrade, he worked as a corporate analyst with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and as an advisor on international business issues for the private sector industry association, Australian Business Ltd.

FX Energy adds director; realigns finance team

FX Energy Inc. has appointed H. Allen Turner to serve as a member of the company’s board of directors. Turner also has been appointed to the audit, compensation and nomination and governance committees of the board. He will serve until the company’s next shareholder meeting, at which time he will stand for election by shareholders.

In related news, Thomas B. Lovejoy will resign as the company’s CFO. However, he will continue as chairman and assume the management title of executive vice president. Clay Newton, the company’s current vice president of finance and CAO, will become the company’s principal financial officer. Turner has 25 years’ experience in finance, including 20 years as a senior executive at Devon Energy Corp.

PSN hires Coffelt as Gulf Coast manager

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Michael Coffelt has joined Production Services Network’s Houston office as general manager for production operations. He will be responsible for managing the company’s expanding production operations as well as asset management activities in the GOM. Coffelt has over 25 years of industry experience in various management positions. While beginning his career with Conoco, he most recently served as the general manager for the Gulf of Mexico operations of another service company. He has a master’s degree from Tulane University, having received his undergraduate degree from Nicholls State University.

ICE CEO joins SAFE project

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Jeffrey C. Sprecher, founder, CEO, and chairman of IntercontinentalExchange, has joined the Energy Security Leadership Council, a project of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE). SAFE is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization committed to reducing America’s dependence on oil and improving US energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy. ICE operates the a global, electronic marketplace for trading both futures and OTC energy contracts, as well as an exchange for soft commodities such as sugar and cotton. ICE offers a range of contracts based on crude oil and refined products, natural gas, power and emissions.

John Willis named COO at Candax Energy

Candax Energy Inc. has named John Willis COO. He is a mechanical engineer with over 30 years of major project development and drilling experience with both international and independent oil and gas companies, including a number of senior positions with Conoco in the UK. Willis is currently a director of consulting firm TransMed International, and is treasurer of the Libyan British Business Council. Candax Energy Inc. is an international energy company with its head office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and management offices in London, Dubai and Tunis

Streeter joins Antares Offshore

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Antares Offshore LLC has appointed Jerry Streeter as manager of business development. Streeter will have a key role in developing a cohesive growth strategy for world-wide activities. Antares Offshore is a consulting engineering company specializing in subsea field developments and marine pipeline project delivery.

FMC Technologies promotes Schumann; adds Burguieres to board of directors

FMC Technologies has appointed William H. Schumann III the company’s executive vice president. Schumann will continue as CFO. He has been with FMC for 26 years and has held a variety of financial and operational positions in the company. The company has also elected Philip J. Burguieres to the board of directors. He is chairman and CEO of Houston-based EMC Holdings LLC, an investment management company specializing in the energy industry. He is currently a director of Newfield Exploration Co., JP Morgan Chase Texas, and Weatherford International. FMC is a global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry and other industrial markets.

Townes Pressler joins Lime Rock Partners as managing director

Lime Rock, a private equity firm focused on the energy industry, has hired Townes Pressler as a managing director in the firm’s Houston office. Most recently the co-founder of independent oil and gas producer Peregrine Oil & Gas, Pressler was a strategic adviser to upstream energy companies while at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Credit Suisse, and Harrison Lovegrove & Co. Established in 1998, Lime Rock manages $2.1 billion of private capital for investment in the energy industry through Lime Rock Partners, investors of growth capital in energy companies worldwide, and Lime Rock Resources, acquirers and operators of oil and gas properties in the United States.

W&T Offshore taps Gibbons senior VP, CFO

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W&T Offshore Inc. has appointed John D. (Danny) Gibbons as senior vice president and CFO. Gibbons was most recently senior vice president and CFO of Westlake Chemical Corp., a worldwide commodity chemical company. Prior to joining Westlake, he was with Valero Energy Corp., beginning his career there in 1981, holding positions of increasing responsibility, ending as executive vice president and CFO from January 1998 through the end of 2003. Prior to joining Valero, Gibbons spent 5 years working in the Houston office of Deloitte & Touche. He earned a BBA from the University of Texas. W&T Offshore is an independent oil and natural gas company focused primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, including exploration in the deepwater.

Suncor restructures senior management team

Suncor Energy Inc. Calgary, has made several changes to its senior management team. Steve Williams, who for the past 4 years has served as Suncor’s executive vice-president of oil sands, has been appointed COO, a new position. Williams will oversee the company’s oil sands operations, natural gas and renewable energy business, and refining and retail divisions. Mike Ashar has been appointed executive vice-president, strategic growth and energy trading, also a new position. Ashar is responsible for developing growth plans for expansion beyond 2012 as well as energy marketing and logistics. Ashar will relocate to Calgary from Denver, where he has served as executive vice-president of Suncor’s US-based downstream operations. Kirk Bailey succeeds Williams as executive vice-president of oil sands. He formerly served as senior vice-president of Suncor’s mining and extraction operations. Tom Ryley, a marketing strategist who most recently served 7 years as executive vice-president, energy marketing and refining, Canada, will now serve as executive vice-president, refining and marketing. His position has been expanded to include all of Suncor’s refining and retail operations in both Canada and the US.

BMO Capital Markets expands with Humphrey, Benton

BMO Capital Markets, the investment and corporate banking arm of BMO Financial Group continues its expansion in the US with the hiring of two senior individuals. In Chicago, Scott Humphrey has been appointed executive managing director and head of US mergers and acquisitions. The company has also hired Tod Benton as managing director and head of the firm’s energy and power group, based in Houston. Humphrey will oversee a team of more than 20 M&A professionals based in key client centers that include Chicago, New York, and Houston. He will work closely with the firm’s M&A group in Canada to help clients capitalize on cross-border strategies. Humphrey joins from Deutsche Bank, where he spent nearly10 years in the M&A group, including most recently as managing director and lead senior banker. He is a graduate of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Benton will manage a team of more than 35 professionals dedicated to serving clients engaged in the energy and power business across the US. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the industry. In his most recent role, he was managing director and head of corporate banking for the energy, utility and chemical industry group of Deutsche Bank. Before that he was at JP Morgan where he held increasingly senior positions focused on the energy sector. Benton earned his MBA from the University of Houston and a BA from Youngstown State University in Ohio.