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Papa Steps Down From EOG Board

Mark G. Papa, 67, who retired at the end of 2013 as chairman and CEO of EOG Resources Inc., has stepped down from the company’s board of directors for personal reasons.

Neither Papa nor EOG offered many details on why the revered executive, well known for his acumen on the natural gas markets, would depart the board.

"I would like to thank Mark for his continued service to EOG as a board member during the past year after his retirement from the company at the end of 2013," said CEO Bill Thomas.

The one-time Enron Corp. executive in 1999 took the Houston subsidiary, formerly known as Enron Oil & Gas, and built it into a natural gas powerhouse over his 32-year tenure. He stepped down from managing the company, which today focuses more on oil and liquids output, in late 2013 (see Daily GPI, Nov. 11, 2013).

From July to December 2013, Papa was EOG's executive chairman, and for 13 years before that he was chairman and CEO of the enterprise. Papa also served in other leadership positions at EOG, including as president and COO of North American operations.

Papa said on several occasions that he thought EOG was one of the "good things" to remain from Enron's implosion in late 2001. By the time the corporation went bankrupt, EOG already was making hay, ending the year trading above $35.00/share.

Papa took EOG from a company with around 700 employees and a $2 billion market cap to a production behemoth with worldwide assets, almost 2,300 employees and a market cap of close to $28 billion when he retired.

Papa, a Pennsylvania native, went to work in 1968 as a petroleum engineer with a ConocoPhillips predecessor company in Corpus Christi, TX. Following jobs at other companies, Papa joined Belco Petroleum Corp. in 1981. Belco merged with Enron Oil & Gas in 1985.

EOG grew by organically developing assets and without a lot of mergers. The company has had more opportunities, Papa once said, than it could "say grace over.”

The unconventional drilling boom proved to be a boon for EOG as it quietly and astutely bought land that mostly trailed through the middle of North America, from South Texas' Eagle Ford Shale into Alberta's shallow gas trend.

EOG today is a major player in the U.S. onshore in the Williston Basin, across the Rocky Mountains, through Texas and into Louisiana, as well as in the Marcellus Shale. It also continues to have holdings in China, the United Kingdom and in Trinidad and Tobago.

Besides his involvement with EOG, Papa has served as a director of Oil States International Inc. since 2001. From July 2003 to April 2005, he served as a director of the general partner of Magellan Midstream Partners LP.  The EOG board now is to consist of seven members.

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