Energy Players

March 1, 2007
Worldwide oil and gas drilling contractor GlobalSantaFe Corp. has named Blake Simmons senior vice president, operations.

GSF taps Simmons to head operations

Worldwide oil and gas drilling contractor GlobalSantaFe Corp. has named Blake Simmons senior vice president, operations. Simmons has served as president of GlobalSantaFe’s drilling management services subsidiary, Applied Drilling Technology Inc. (ADTI), since 2003. He will be succeeded by Steve Morrison, who served as ADTI’s vice president of planning and analysis. Simmons joined Global Marine Inc. in 1983 and held operational positions in the US Gulf of Mexico, North Sea, West Africa, and South America. Simmons graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a bachelor’s degree. Morrison joined ADTI in 1996 and served as operations manager and international engineering manager prior to accepting his current position in 1998. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana Tech University.

George Hutchinson joins Jefferies’ energy group

Jefferies & Company Inc., the principal operating subsidiary of Jefferies Group Inc., has hired George Hutchinson as a managing director in the firm’s energy investment banking group, Jefferies Randall & Dewey. Hutchinson has more than 25 years of experience in energy finance as both an investor and in a capital raising role, most recently with Friedman Billings Ramsey. Jefferies Randall & Dewey provides a full range of investment banking services to growing companies in the global energy sector. Prior to joining Jefferies, Hutchinson was a managing director at Friedman Billings Ramsey. On the buyside, he spent 13 years with The Trust Co. of the West - TCW Asset Management Co., where he was managing director and senior portfolio manager. He holds a BSBA from the Boston University School of Management. Hutchinson will be based in the Houston office and will report to Eads and Farley, co-presidents of Jefferies Randall & Dewey.

Schlumberger CFO Perraud to retire

Jean-Marc Perraud, executive vice president and CFO of Schlumberger Ltd. since April 2002, has retired. Perraud, who joined the company in 1974, remains with Schlumberger as financial advisor to the chairman under a phased retirement plan. Perraud will be replaced by Simon Ayat, currently Schlumberger Ltd. vice president treasurer. In a 25-year career with Schlumberger, Ayat has held senior positions in finance and operations both at the field and headquarters levels. Prior to his current assignment he held the position of vice president finance and business processes, Schlumberger Ltd.

PetroLatina’s CEO to step down

Nicholas Gay, CEO of PetroLatina Energy Plc, has stepped down from the executive board to pursue other opportunities, but has agreed to remain as a non-executive director. Mark Patterson has been appointed to the board as an executive director. He has over 25 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry throughout the Americas. He is managing partner of Calypso Energy LLC, an independent exploration and development company and part of the Calypso Energy group of companies he co-founded in 2000. Patterson was previously CEO of Compania General de Combustibles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in from the University of California and an MBA from Houston Baptist University. Greg Smith, executive chairman since the company’s IPO in January 2005, and Jay Scott will in the interim period take on the CEO’s responsibilities. Scott, COO, has been appointed interim president and COO in order to take on the additional responsibilities. The board has appointed executive recruitment company, Spencer Stuart, to find a permanent replacement CEO.

Greehey steps down as Valero chairman

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Valero Energy Corp. chairman Bill Greehey has stepped down and has resigned from the company’s board of directors. Greehey will continue to serve as chairman of Valero LP and Valero GP Holdings LLC. He will devote his full attention to these companies now that they are independent of Valero Energy. Valero Energy has elected chief executive Bill Klesse as its new chairman. Klesse has been serving as chief executive and also as vice-chairman and a member of the company’s board since yearend 2005 when Greehey stepped down as chief executive. Klesse has almost 38 years of industry experience and has held leadership positions in many different company areas. He joined Valero as executive vice-president of refining and commercial operations when the company acquired Diamond Shamrock in 2001. He was promoted to executive vice-president and chief operating officer in 2003.

Ivanhoe promotes Gasca to CEO

Ivanhoe Energy Inc.’s board of directors has promoted Joseph Gasca to the position of president and CEO. Gasca joined the company in July 2006 from BG Group in the UK where he was general manager of operations. Gasca’s 27 years of oil and gas experience include a 22-year career with Texaco Inc. Ivanhoe Energy is an independent international oil and gas development and production company focused on pursuing long-term growth in its reserves and production using advanced technologies, including its proprietary heavy oil upgrading process.

Nova appoints CFO

Nova Biosource Fuels Inc. has appointed David G. Gullickson as vice president and CFO. Gullickson has served in senior financial roles, including CFO of Vanco Energy Co., an independent international oil and gas company, as CFO of Precision Tube Holding Corp., an international manufacturer of coiled tubing used in the energy industry, and as corporate controller and CAO of Tejas Power Corp., a natural gas trading company. He holds a master of professional accounting degree from the University of Texas in Austin. Nova Biosource Fuels Inc. is an energy company that refines and markets ASTM standard biodiesel and related co-products.

Dahlman Rose appoints Dingmann to focus on oilfield services, E&P sectors

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Dahlman Rose & Co. LLC, a boutique investment bank specializing in marine transport, energy, natural resources, and related industries, has appointed Neal Dingmann as senior vice president, equity research, focusing on the oilfield services and exploration and production sectors. Dingmann brings more than 14 years of industry experience to Dahlman Rose. Prior to joining the firm, he was senior energy analyst at Pritchard Capital Partners. Dingmann received his MBA from the University of Minnesota. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas.

Graves steps down from Toreador; Lovett new president and CEO

Toreador Resources Corp.’s president and CEO, G. Thomas Graves III, has resigned to pursue other business and charitable interests in the Dallas area. The Toreador board elected existing board member Nigel Lovett as the company’s new president and CEO. Current board member Herbert C. Williamson III was elected to the newly created post of vice-chairman of the board. Lovett originally trained as an accountant at Price Waterhouse in London and had a long career in investment banking at Lehman Brothers and Paine Webber, with a major focus on the oil and gas industry. Most recently, he served as managing partner of Horsley Partners LLC. He is a graduate of Oxford University. Williamson, a private investor with a background in corporate finance, has had significant oil and gas experience throughout his career, with a focus on international activities. From 1985-95, he was vice chairman and executive VP at Parker & Parsley Petroleum. He is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Harvard Business School. Toreador Resources is an independent international energy company engaged in the acquisition, development, exploration and production of natural gas, crude oil and other income-producing minerals.

Cobb promoted to EVP at Boots & Coots

Houston-based Boots & Coots International Well Control Inc. has named Don Cobb, former president of the company’s hydraulic well control division, executive vice president of Boots & Coots. Cobb joined Boots & Coots in March of last year in connection with the acquisition of the hydraulic well control business of Oil States International Inc. In his new capacity, he will oversee the business development and geographical management of the company’s international operations. Boots & Coots international operations include services in Algeria, Venezuela, Kazakhstan, Congo, Egypt, Dubai and operations recently commenced in Libya. Cobb has served as president of HWC since 1998. Prior to his employment with HWC, Cobb was employed for 22 years by Baker Hughes Inc. Boots & Coots provides a suite of integrated oilfield services centered on the prevention, emergency response, and restoration of blowouts and well fires as well as hydraulic workover/snubbing and hot tapping services around the world.

CFO Fraser departs Husky Energy

Husky Energy Inc.’s vice president and CFO, Doug Fraser, is departing Husky to pursue other interests. Husky Energy is a Canadian-based integrated energy and energy-related company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. Husky Energy is publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Hercules Offshore hires Rodriguez to perform CFO duties as Manz recovers

Hercules Offshore Inc. has retained Lisa W. Rodriguez to perform the duties of Steven Manz, the company’s CFO who suffered a stroke on December 28, 2006. Rodriguez has over 15 years of experience in financial management, primarily within the energy industry. She spent the last 10 years of her career at Weatherford International Ltd. where she most recently served as senior vice president and CFO. Prior to her that she held various positions in financial management, including vice president, accounting and corporate controller. Randy Stilley, CEO and president of the company, stated, “I am pleased that Lisa has agreed to perform the duties of CFO during the time when Steve Manz is recuperating. While Steve continues to improve and we look forward to his return to work, we are fortunate to have Lisa join the Hercules Offshore team.” Headquartered in Houston, Hercules Offshore operates a fleet of 9 jackup drilling rigs and 64 liftboats. The company offers a range of services to oil and gas producers.

Teton Energy appoints Dominic Bazile to COO

Denver-based Teton Energy Corp. has appointed Dominic J. Bazile II to the position of executive vice president and COO. Bazile comes to Teton after 4 years at Bill Barrett Corp. as senior vice president of operations and engineering. Prior to Bill Barrett, Bazile was a drilling manager at Barrett Resources Corp. Bazile began his career as a petroleum engineer with Gulf Oil Corp. in the gulf coast region. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University and has completed the Harvard Executive Management Program. Teton Energy Corp. is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of North American properties and has current operations in the Rocky Mountain region of the US.

ConocoPhillips makes senior management changes

ConocoPhillips is reorganizing its technology and major projects organization into two groups - technology and project development - to further strengthen the focus and accountability of these activities. Ryan Lance, currently senior vice president, technology and major projects, will become senior vice president, technology. Lance will remain in Houston and a member of ConocoPhillips’ management committee. Luc Messier, currently president and CEO of Technip USA, will join ConocoPhillips as senior vice president, project development. Messier will be located in Houston and will become a member of ConocoPhillips’ management committee. Lance and Messier will report to Jim Mulva, chairman and CEO.

Tim Juran to head Seadrill’s Americas ops

Seadrill has appointed Tim Juran as senior vice president and head of the company’s North and South America operations, based in Houston. Juran has more than 26 years of experience from the drilling industry and has held several senior positions in Transocean, most recently as division manager, North America. He has extensive international experience from global operations, both onshore and offshore. Juran has a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville.

CNX Gas makes management changes

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CNX Gas Corp.’s CFO, Gary J. Bench, has moved to the position of director of tax and treasury. The board has appointed Mark D. Gibbons as his successor to the CFO position. Gibbons was previously a director of Protiviti, an international risk consulting firm. He has over 22 years’ experience in the accounting and auditing fields. He is experienced with accounting, auditing, and financial reporting and has led audit engagements as an audit senior manager at Deloitte Touche LLP. CNX Gas Corp. is an independent natural gas exploration, development, production, and gathering company operating in the Appalachian Basin of the US.

Weatherford appoints COO

Weatherford International Ltd. has appointed E. Lee Colley, III as COO. In the newly created post, Colley will be responsible for the company’s operations on a global basis. He has been with Weatherford for more than 10 years. He has served as a division president and company officer for 8 years. Most recently, Colley served as president of the completion and production systems division. In conjunction with Colley’s appointment, the company will merge its two existing divisions, evaluation, drilling and intervention and completion and production systems, into a single operating group. This move is designed to facilitate the company’s growth plans over the next several years. John King, who has served as president of the evaluation, drilling and intervention division since September 2005, will step down. Weatherford is a global provider of mechanical solutions, technology, and services for the drilling and production sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Chesapeake names Miller to board of directors

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Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake Energy Corp. has appointed Merrill A. (Pete) Miller, Jr. to the board of directors until the June 8, 2007 annual meeting of shareholders, after which he will stand for re-election by shareholders for a term expiring in 2010. Miller is chairman, president, and CEO of Houston-based National Oilwell Varco Inc. Miller graduated from the US Military Academy, West Point, New York. Upon graduation, Miller served 5 years in the US Army and then earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. His appointment increases the size of Chesapeake’s board to 8 members. Chesapeake is the third largest independent producer of natural gas in the US.

Malley to spearhead Rocky Mountain growt for Superior

Harvey, La.-based Superior Energy Services has named Chuck Malley vice president of business development for the Well Solutions Group’s Rocky Mountain region. Malley has been with Superior for 5 years, most recently as the vice president of sales and marketing for the production maintenance group in New Orleans. Malley, who will be based in Denver, has more than 20 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with Cardinal Wireline Specialists Inc. and Camco International Inc. Superior Energy Services provides specialized oilfield services and equipment focusing on production, intervention, workover, well services, and rental tools.

PetroHunter makes management changes

Kelly Nelson resigned his positions as chairman and CEO of PetroHunter Energy Corp. The company has named Dr. Thomas Ahlbrandt to succeed him. The company also appointed Charles Crowell and Matt Silverman as independent directors. Nelson will remain chairman and CEO of PaleoTechnology International, PetroHunter’s biotechnology subsidiary based in Salt Lake City. Ahlbrandt has been with the company since June, 2006, as vice president of exploration, and has been in the oil and gas business for 41 years, most recently as project chief for World Energy Project of the US Geological Survey. Crowell has been a practicing attorney, and an officer and consultant to oil and gas companies for 38 years, including as a senior member of Crowell & Bishop PLLC; manager and principal of Enigma Energy Co. LLC; and executive vice president, administration, senior vice president and general counsel, and vice president and general counsel at Triton Energy Corp. Silverman has almost 30 years experience in petroleum exploration and production. Since 2001, he has been responsible for exploration new ventures and special projects with Robert L. Bayless, Producer LLC. He now serves as Bayless’s exploration manager. PetroHunter Energy is a global oil and gas exploration and production company.

TX Holdings appoints Fuentes vice president of finance

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TX Holdings Inc. has appointed Jose Fuentes to serve as the company’s vice president of finance. Fuentes has more than 35 years of experience with major energy companies. He most recently served as CFO of PJM Interconnection LLC, an energy service company. Previously, he held numerous leadership roles at Atlantic Richfield Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of BP plc, including vice president of finance, planning and control, financial director of ARCO Brazil, vice president of finance and controller of ARCO Chemical Asia Pacific, and vice president and controller of ARCO Chemical Europe. TX Holdings Inc. is a publicly traded oil and gas production company.

Venoco makes CFO change

David B. Christofferson, CFO, has retired from Denver-based Venoco Inc. Christofferson has served as Venoco’s CFO since 2004. He was previously CFO of Marquez Energy LLC, which he joined shortly after its formation in 2002. Timothy A. Ficker will be joining the company as the new CFO. Ficker previously served as the CFO of Infinity Energy Resources Inc. Prior to joining Infinity, he was with KPMG LLP in Denver for 3 years and with Arthur Andersen LLP in Denver and Houston for more than 12 years. He has a BS from Texas A&M University. Venoco is an independent energy company primarily engaged in the acquisition, exploitation, and development of oil and natural gas properties in California and Texas.

King & Spalding expands Middle East platform; adds three lawyers in Dubai

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King & Spalding has added three lawyers to its new Dubai office as part of its expansion in the Middle East, bringing the total number of King & Spalding lawyers in Dubai to seven. This comes in response to growing client demand in the areas of Islamic finance, energy, real estate, private equity, and international arbitration in the Middle East, Asia, and North Africa. The company has hired three senior associates from Baker Botts’ Dubai office: Nabil Issa, an Arabic speaker focusing on Islamic finance and investment; Patrick Campos, whose practice focuses on international project development and finance; and Wael Wahbeh, a native Arabic speaker specializing in corporate and private equity work. They join partner Philip Weems, the leader of King & Spalding’s international energy practice, who has relocated from Houston to serve as managing partner of the Dubai office. Weems has extensive experience working in the Middle East and lived in Asia for more than 10 years. Jawad Ali, a partner in the firm’s Islamic finance and investment practice, will relocate to Dubai from London, and Benjamin Newland, a partner in the firm’s private equity practice, will relocate from Atlanta to Dubai. Ali has an active practice currently focusing on Middle Eastern clients. Newland focuses on strategic corporate transactions, with an emphasis on Middle Eastern clients. Partner Isam Salah, leader of the firm’s Islamic finance and investment practice, will maintain offices in both Dubai and New York. King & Spalding is an international law firm with more than 800 lawyers in Atlanta, Dubai, Houston, London, New York, and Washington, DC.