Ernst & Young creates Energy Center, assembles team to study complex issues

Sept. 1, 2005
International accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young has created a “think tank” for addressing complex financial and strategic problems facing the oil and gas, chemical, and utility industries.

International accounting and consulting firm Ernst & Young has created a “think tank” for addressing complex financial and strategic problems facing the oil and gas, chemical, and utility industries. Dubbed the Ernst & Young Energy Center, the new group of experts includes experienced professionals from a variety of accounting disciplines. Center leaders include Charles Swanson, Kevin Corbett, Marcela Donadio, Barry Mabry, Richard Overton, Steven Pegolo, and Gregory Pollard.

Swanson, Corbett, Donadio
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Swanson will serve as director and will lead the team. He has more than 24 years’ experience in audit and acquisition advice for E&P companies. Corbett leads the business risk services group. He has focused on Sarbanes-Oxley compliance and also has experience in other risk management functions, including business process development, project administration, and contract administration. Donadio co-leads the energy trading and risk management group. She has experience managing risk relative to foreign and domestic operations. Her clients span the trading, electricity, E&P, and transmission segments of the energy industry.

Mabry leads the investigative and dispute services group of the energy center. He has more than 30 years’ experience in litigation support, corporate investigations, business valuations, and corporate restructurings. Overton is with the international tax services group of Ernst & Young. He is experienced in international mergers and acquisitions and post-acquisition restructuring for both US and foreign multinationals. He has extensive experience in oilfield services and exploration and production.

Mabry, Overton, Pegolo, Pollard
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Pegolo is with the technology and security risk services group. In addition to working with clients on regulatory compliance initiatives, he conducts information technology audit services for the energy sector. Pollard leads the transaction advisory services group of the center. He has been engaged in the sale of numerous oil and gas companies and assets, has helped prepare and structure transaction data rooms, and aided in closing and post closing activities.

Ernst & Young is centered in auditing, accounting, tax, and transactions. The Ernst & Young Energy Center is located in downtown Houston.

SouthView Energy formed to finance upstream drilling; Schanck is CEO, Bole named president

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Veteran oilman Jack Schanck used the occasion of the IPAA’s “Leaders in Industry Luncheon” at the Petroleum Club in Houston to tell the dozens of assembled attendees that he was joining newly created SouthView Energy LLC as its CEO. His first step was to name David Bole of Randall & Dewey as president of the company.

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SouthView Energy starts out with $50 million in initial equity capitalization from Jefferies Capital Partners, a private equity management firm associated with Jefferies & Co., a New York-based investment bank and institutional securities firm focused on growing mid-cap companies and their investors. SouthView will acquire domestic oil and gas assets through participation in low-risk, close-in exploitation and development drilling in the $2 million to $20 million range, said Schanck.

Schanck also said the company, which he believes has excellent potential for significant expansion, “Will focus on areas and plays that we know, utilizing proven technical and financial advisory resources offered by Jefferies & Co.”

Although separate and independent from Jefferies & Co. and its Randall & Dewey division, SouthView Energy will have the ability to access a full range of technical and financial advisory services provided by Randall & Dewey in evaluating investment opportunities, Schanck added.

Jim Grace joins Winstead’s government relations practice

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Attorney Jim Grace has joined Winstead Sechrest & Minick PC as a shareholder and member of the government relations/public policy and energy practice groups. Based in Winstead’s Houston office, Grace has 12 years’ experience in providing business, legal, and government relations counsel to public and privately-owned companies. Grace joins Winstead after serving as director of Texas state relations and senior counsel for Houston-based CenterPoint Energy Inc. While serving in the organization’s government affairs and legal departments, he managed relationships with federal, state, and local governments. Grace began his legal career in private practice as an associate at Baker Botts LLP. His practice concentrated on merger and acquisition transactions, securities offerings, and general corporate matters for companies involved in oil and gas exploration and production; oil field and energy services; natural gas liquid processing; propane and heating oil; and chemical production and distribution. He also served as a judicial clerk to US District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent. He received his JD from the University of Houston Law Center and holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame. Winstead Sechrest & Minick, with more than 300 attorneys, has offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and The Woodlands, Tex., and Washington, DC.

Scott resigns at El Paso, Mark Leland to assume role as executive VP and CFO

D. Mark Leland moves into the positions of executive vice president and CFO of Houston-based El Paso Corp. He will replace D. Dwight Scott, who has announced his intention to leave the company to join GSO Capital Partners LP. Scott will stay with El Paso through the filing of its second quarter Form 10-Qs. Leland began his career with El Paso in 1986 and advanced through the organization in various finance and accounting positions. Prior to his new appointment, he served as CFO of El Paso’s midstream group and COO of GulfTerra Energy Partners when El Paso was the general partner of that company. Leland is a certified management accountant, a certified internal auditor and a graduate of the University of Puget Sound. El Paso Corp. owns natural gas pipeline systems in North America and is also a producer of natural gas.

Walker new CFO at Anadarko

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Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has named R. A. “Al” Walker the company’s new senior vice president of finance and CFO. Anadarko’s current CFO, Jim Larson, will continue with the company as senior vice president to ease the succession to a new CFO until his retirement at year-end. Until this appointment, Walker served as managing director for the Global Energy Group of UBS Investment Bank where he was responsible for the firm’s upstream energy practice. Prior to that, he was president and CFO of 3TEC Energy Corp. until its merger with Plains Exploration and Production Co. in 2003. He has also worked for Prudential Financial in a variety of merchant banking positions. Walker earned a BS and an MBA from the University of Tulsa. He currently serves on the board of the Houston Producers Forum and has served on numerous other boards including Ocean Energy Inc., Seagull Energy Corp., Maxus Energy Corp., Global Natural Resources, 3TEC Energy Corp., and TEPPCO Partners LP. Anadarko develops, acquires, and explores for oil and gas resources. The company’s operational focus extends from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, through Texas, Louisiana, the Mid-Continent, western US and Canadian Rockies, and onto the North Slope of Alaska. The company has production in Algeria, Venezuela, Qatar, and exploration and production positions in other countries.

Locke Liddel & Sapp hires Suzanne Hatcher, expands strategic marketing effort

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Locke Liddell & Sapp has hired Suzanne Rhodes Hatcher as chief marketing officer. She will be based in the Houston office, but will work firmwide. Hatcher will help further develop and implement Locke Liddell’s strategic marketing plan, manage the firm’s branding efforts, and expand business development initiatives. She joins the firm with almost 20 years’ experience in marketing. She has owned two businesses - Hatcher Public Relations & Marketing and Rhodes & Associates Marketing Strategies/Public Relations. Hatcher has also worked in public affairs and marketing at Duke Energy and Enron Energy Services. Established in 1891, Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP is a full service law firm with offices in Austin, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans. The firm has approximately 400 lawyers who represent a broad range of businesses and individual clients having extensive domestic and foreign business interests.

Ultra Petroleum appoints CFO, strikes oil in Bohai Bay

Marshal D. (Mark) Smith has joined Houston-based Ultra Petroleum as CFO. He has more than 25 years’ experience in all aspects of the energy industry including operations, strategic planning, corporate finance, banking, and business development. Smith replaces Fox Benton III, who resigned in February to pursue other interests. Ultra Petroleum president and CEO Michael Watford served as interim CFO until Smith was named to the post. Ultra also said that first oil was achieved on July 6 at its CFD 11-3 & CFD 11-5 fields located at Bohai Bay, China. The new developments are currently producing approximately 9,000 b/d from two wells. The fields should have four wells in production by the end of August with gross production in the range of 10,000 to 15,000 b/d at that time. Ultra’s interest in the two new fields is approximately nine percent. Ultra Petroleum is an independent E&P company focused on developing long-life natural gas reserves in the Green River Basin of Wyoming and oil reserves in Bohai Bay, offshore China.

AIG Financial Products hires James McGinnis to direct its energy team

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James P. McGinnis will serve as the new managing director for AIG Financial Products Corp.’s energy team. He joined the company in July 2005 and works out of the AIG-FP headquarters in Wilton, Conn. AIG-FP continues to broaden its energy team in the power and energy utility sector with the addition of McGinnis. The team now has 10 senior professionals focused on developing principal investments, financing, and hedging services directly with energy companies and via financial sponsors. McGinnis has experience as a power and energy industry specialist. He joins the company from Morgan Stanley, where he was managing director in the global energy and utilities group. He was responsible for global coverage of selected public utilities. He also was responsible, at times, for business in Asia and Australia, including the privatization of the state-owned electricity supply sector of South Australia. McGinnis began his career with Goldman Sachs & Co. as a mergers and acquisitions and restructuring specialist in the energy and telecommunications group. He holds a bachelors degree from Harvard College, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. AIG Financial Products is a wholly-owned subsidiary of American International Group Inc. The group has offices in London, Paris, Tokyo, Houston, and Wilton, Conn. As a participant in the capital and derivatives markets, AIG-FP provides its clients with corporate finance, investment, and financial risk management solutions.

Kirk Morgan will serve as new CFO of Genoil

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Calgary-based Genoil Inc. has appointed Kirk Morgan to replace Brian Korney as the company’s CFO. Korney resigned from the position as CFO but will continue to sit on Genoil’s board of directors. Morgan earned his bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Calgary and his chartered accountant’s designation upon completion of his Articles with Clarkson Gordon (Ernst & Young) Chartered Accountants. Since 2000, Morgan has been a business consultant in the areas of finance, taxation, accounting, and computer services to companies in various industries. He also has experience assisting TSX-listed companies meet their SEDAR financial reporting requirements. Before that, Morgan was the executive vice president (finance) of Royal Host R.E.I.T., where he was instrumental in completing the merger of Royal Host with Royco Hotels & Resorts Ltd. and RVI. Prior to joining Royal Host, Morgan held the position of vice president (finance) and CFO of Royco. He has also held positions at Relax Hotels & Resorts and TCPL Resources Ltd. Genoil is a technology development company providing solutions to the oil and gas industry through the use of proprietary technologies. The Genoil Hydroconversion Upgrader economically converts heavy crude oil into more valuable light refined products, such as motor gasoline and diesel fuel, while significantly reducing the sulfur content in the oil.

Contango Oil & Gas promotes Lesia Bautina to senior VP

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Lesia Bautina has moved up to the position of senior vice president of Houston-based Contango Oil & Gas Co. Bautina will continue to report to Kenneth R. Peak, chairman and CEO. She joined Contango in 2001 as controller and was appointed vice president and controller in August 2002. She is a Certified Public Accountant and member of the Petroleum Accounting Society of Houston. Contango is an independent natural gas and oil company that explores, develops, produces, and acquires natural gas and oil properties, primarily onshore in the Gulf Coast and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Contango also owns a 10 percent partnership interest in Freeport LNG Development LP, a 32 percent interest in Contango Capital Partnership Management LLC, and a 25 percent interest in the Contango Capital Partners Fund LP, which were formed to invest in the alternative energy venture capital market with a focus on environmentally preferred energy technologies.

Harald Norvik elected to board of ConocoPhillips, company declares dividend

The board of directors of ConocoPhillips has elected Harald Norvik as a new outside director. The election of Norvik increases the total number of ConocoPhillips directors to 14, of which 13 are outside directors. Norvik is currently chairman and partner of Econ Management AS, a consulting company. He is also chairman of the board of directors of the Oslo Stock Exchange in Norway. Additionally, he serves as a director of Petroleum Geo-Services ASA and chairman of the supervisory board of DnB NOR ASA. He was formerly president, chairman, and CEO of Statoil, and has served as deputy minister of petroleum and energy for the Norwegian government. Norvik was also a personal secretary to the prime minister of Norway. ConocoPhillips is an integrated petroleum company with interests around the world.

Devine elected to board at FMC Technologies

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FMC Technologies has elected C. Maury Devine to serve on the company’s board of directors. Devine is vice chairman of the board of Det Norske Veritas, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and serves on the board of Independence Air Inc. Her prior energy experience includes 12 years in executive positions at Exxon Mobil Corp., including chairman, president, and managing director of Mobil Exploration Norway and corporate secretary of Mobil Corp. Prior to joining Mobil, she served 15 years in the US government in positions at the White House, the American Embassy in Paris, and the US Department of Justice. She also served as a Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs from 2000 to 2003. Houston-based FMC Technologies Inc. provides technology solutions for the energy, food processing, and air transportation industries. FMC Technologies designs, manufactures, and services systems and products for its customers through its Energy Systems (comprising Energy Production Systems and Energy Processing Systems), FoodTech, and Airport Systems businesses. The company operates 31 manufacturing facilities in 16 countries.

Oil Casualty Insurance Ltd. names George Hutchings as its senior VP and COO

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George F. Hutchings has joined the OIL Group of Companies in Hamilton, Bermuda, as senior vice president and COO of Oil Casualty Insurance Ltd. He has been in corporate finance and venture capital and then on to insurance and reinsurance. Hutchings started his professional career with Chase Manhattan Bank in 1981. From there, he joined Infotechnology Inc., a New York-based venture capital firm that specialized in investing in early-stage, technology-based companies. There he held a variety of positions related to the operation of one of its portfolio companies and served as assistant to the chairman and CEO. In the summer of 1990, after two years at business school, he returned to Bermuda joining Zurich International Ltd. and later, Centre Solutions Ltd. Most recently, Hutchings worked for Risk Intermediation Structured Capital Ltd. as its executive vice president. He holds a BA from Duke University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business.

Charles Leonard retires from TEPPCO Partners, Ohmart named acting CFO

Charles H. Leonard has retired as senior vice president and CFO of Texas Eastern Products Pipeline Co. LLC, the general partner of TEPPCO Partners LP. Tracy E. Ohmart has been named acting CFO. “On behalf of the partnership, I would like to express appreciation for Chuck’s considerable contributions to the formation of TEPPCO in 1990, its growth over the past 15 years, and his support during the recent sale of the general partner to DFI GP Holdings LP,” said Barry R. Pearl, president and CEO of the general partner of TEPPCO. “We wish Chuck well in his future endeavors.” TEPPCO Partners LP is a publicly traded partnership, which conducts business through various subsidiary operating companies.

Petrie Parkman & Co. promotes key individuals, expands its investment banking practice

Denver-based Petrie Parkman & Co. Inc. has expanded its investment banking practice and promoted key individuals to support the firm’s growth in oil and gas mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. Randall E. King and Jon C. Hughes have been named co-heads of investment banking at Petrie Parkman. Both King and Hughes have been shareholders of the firm since its inception in 1989 and have extensive energy investment banking experience. Previously, King was head of the firm’s divestiture group and Hughes was head of the company’s merger group. Hughes will be relocating from the Houston office to the office in Denver. In addition, Mark L. Deverka and Mark L. Carmain will become shareholders of the firm and will assume increased responsibilities in managing the investment banking business. Deverka will be responsible for coordinating and delivering investment banking client services, while Carmain will be in charge of product development and enhancement of the Petrie Parkman core competencies of professionalism, valuation, execution, and teamwork. With 55 employees in Denver, Houston, and London, Petrie Parkman is a provider of energy-related investment banking and capital market advisory services, and provides securities research and sales and trading for institutional investors.