Lars Herbst has been named regional director of the Minerals Management Service's (MMS) Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) region. In his new post, Herbst will manage the leasing of OCS lands off of five Gulf Coast states, and will supervise the regulation of operations and protection of the environment on more than 7,000 leases, which involve more than 4,000 platforms. He has been with the MMS since 1983. Herbst is a registered professional engineer in the state of Louisiana and holds a bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University.

John S. Moot has been appointed chief of staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He had been FERC's general counsel since August 2005. Veteran FERC attorney Cynthia Marlette will succeed Moot as general counsel. Both Moot and Marlette earned their law degrees from American University Washington College of Law.

Raleigh, NC-based Progress Energy announced that CEO and Chairman Robert B. McGehee died last Tuesday morning after suffering a stroke while on company business in London. McGehee, 64, was among a group of Progress Energy executives in London to meet with investors. He underwent surgery Oct. 7 at Charing Cross Hospital, a leading neurosurgery center, but did not regain consciousness. With the passing of McGehee, the board of directors on Friday took action to implement the succession plan for the post approved at its September 2007 board meeting. The board unanimously elected William D. Johnson as chairman of the board of directors, CEO and president of the company, effective immediately. Johnson's current position as chief operating officer will not be filled. As the company's president and COO, Johnson was responsible for overseeing the generation and delivery of electricity by Progress Energy Carolinas and Progress Energy Florida. He has been with the company in a number of roles since 1992. In addition to electing Johnson as chairman, CEO and president, the board approved a resolution honoring McGehee for his leadership, integrity and strategic vision.

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