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Physical Edition
28-30 June 2022


I was born in Central Illinois and grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago.  After obtaining both a Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Geology I was looking for a home to start my career which led me to submit an application to Schlumberger to join them as a wireline field engineer.

I attended an interview in Houston and the result was that the interviewer liked my degree and extracurricular activities and said that I would probably ‘ride’ the wireline unit for three years or so.  Little did I know that was going to prove to be a prophetic statement.  I went on to a field interview and was offered a job as an openhole wireline engineer.  I took the job and so began my oil and gas industry career.

My first posting with Schlumberger was a depot in Natchez Mississippi.  I started as a Junior Field Engineer on one of the two openhole units and began my 6 month training cycle.  In those 6 months I rode the logging unit learning both the operator and field engineer jobs as well as attending 10 weeks of field engineer training in Lafayette Louisiana.  At the end of my 6 months of training I completed my breakout examination as well as making my breakout job and was a newly minted Field Engineer.  I also got married that very same week! 

I was assigned to a logging unit and was placed in the rotation on the unit.  However, soon thereafter I learned about the cyclical nature of the industry I had recently joined.  The office went from 19 full-time staff to five on a Wednesday morning.

Following the staffing reduction I was told that I would be also performing all cased hole services and that I would be attending 6 weeks of training in Shreveport Louisiana starting the following week.  Upon completion of that school I spent the next two years making wireline jobs all over East Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.  I had an extremely experienced crew working with me and I was smart enough to listen and learn from them.  In these two years I worked toward and obtained promotions to Senior and then General Field Engineer.

Upon obtaining my General Field Engineer promotion I was transferred to Liberty Texas to serve as the District Engineer.  That job entailed training all of the wireline staff there to run High Pressure / High Temperature jobs as I had learned in Eastern Mississippi.  I was at a point in my wireline career where I was teaching and not learning!  I had junior engineers and crews and all of that listening early on was now being put to good use.

Then came another transfer … to Shreveport to manage Special Services for the Southeastern United States. 

Interestingly the prophecy was to come true as my report date was three years, to the day, and 530+ logging jobs later.  Little did I know that those 530+ jobs that I made were going to prove critical in my future career development!

I reported to Shreveport to manage the Special Services teams which were spread over four different wireline districts.  The General Operators running the services, which included Formation Pressure Testing, Imagers and Mechanical Coring were running at and in most cases beyond capacity.  It was here that I learned all about logistics and getting the people and equipment to the jobs as safely and efficiently as possible.  My tenure in Shreveport was not all that long but it was busy … I had yet another challenge awaiting me.

I was transferred to Dallas / Fort Worth Texas to learn Image Log Analysis and put my Geology degrees to work.  While there I trained in the art of wireline log interpretation and integration.  I attended yet more training which included both Sales and Log Interpretation School both of which would also be critical in my future career path.  This was my first introduction and experience with Resource Plays.  I was part of the Schlumberger team working the Barnett play when it was still vertical.

After spending the better part of a year and a half working in the Dallas and Fort Worth offices and through chance, or maybe some sort of divine intervention, I met the Petrophysical Staff from Unocal on a field trip.  It turns out that a month or so later they advertised for an entry level petrophysicist and I fit the need.

After interviewing and accepting the job I had to resign from Schlumberger and I have to admit I was very conflicted about leaving ‘Big Blue’.  I had spent the past five years learning about and performing the collection, processing and interpretation of wireline data.  I had made 530+ logging jobs and attended over 40 weeks of training and I felt an obligation.  Fortunately, my mentor kicked me out of the nest and after getting over the shock the VP for the office said something like ‘you’ll make me more money over there then you would have here’ and I was off to the operator side of the business.

As a newly minted petrophysicist I was assigned to the Gulf of Mexico and much to my good fortune I was working in a team with some of the most experienced petrophysicists in industry.  Once again I learned everything that they were willing to teach me and compliment that with the knowledge that I gained in the five years with Schlumberger.  I also learned the true value of integrated team work.  I was going to see the best and worst of integrated teams and the how and why of them working and failing. 

After a couple of years and hard work it was time to learn another lesson in the cyclic nature of oil and gas.  Unocal was bought by Chevron and I decided to take a look for other opportunities which had me landing at Occidental.

Up to this point I had not really worked carbonates and I could move companies without moving the household, work with a couple of Shell Petrophysicists so it was a non-brainer.  I spent time honing my petrophysical skills in the Permian basin and learning about the ‘Shell way’ of petrophysics as well enhanced oil recovery and field studies.  After a year and a half my wander lust got the better of me when an old friend asked me to lunch to chat about a position with ConocoPhillips in their technology team.  The job was to go over and work unconventional plays at CoP.

I took the job and moved to CoP and got to work in the Subsurface Technology team working on Unconventional Tight Gas.  Here I was both learning and applying skills that I had mastered to this point and having a really good time thinking about what was possible.  I also got to broaden my geographic experience with work projects that were more global in nature.  After a year or so it happened that there was an expat assignment open in Aberdeen Scotland and before I knew it my family and I were headed to the North Sea.  I had a great time working and living with my family in Aberdeen, however, this assignment was cut short by another slowdown which found us sent back to the States and looking for a new job.

At this time another company was looking to make an entry into deep water on a global basis and I caught on with Maersk Oil and Gas in the Business development team.  It was here that I was assigned to a small team to assess opportunities all over the globe.  The team that I was on immediately gelled, and I mean immediately … like three days, and we were off and running.  We assessed opportunities all over the world and invested in one or two.  However, there was an incident that rocked the industry and it certainly rocked Maersk.  The Macondo incident sharpened everyone’s understanding of risk and I decided that it was time to embark upon a more stable career path.

That brings me to the beginning of my career with Apache.  I signed on to head to the Permian Basin in a newly formed office in Midland as the first full-time Petrophysicist which was planned to evolve into building a team as a manager.  I figured it was the right time in my career to transition into a leadership role and that is exactly what happened.  We built a world-class team of Petrophysicists in Midland it what became known as ‘the Crucible’.  As fortune would have it there was yet another change coming that I did not foresee.  My family and I were happy and thriving in Midland when we found out that we needed to find a better fit for my son in terms of education which happened to coincide with Apache opening an office in San Antonio.

I met the core team that made up the San Antonio office and was immediately interested.  It so happened that San Antonio also held the school that fit my son’s needs so off we went.  I started as the Petrophysical manager and we started building a team in San Antonio.  As opportunity presented itself I became the Exploration Manager as we started finding new fields in the Permian Basin and beyond in North America.  As time has gone on we have grown into the Worldwide Exploration team working both Unconventional and Conventional assets.  I know that I have found my home and what keeps me coming to work every day is a combination of the people and the excitement of finding the next big play.

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