Robert S. Boswell, architect of Forest Oil Corp.’s amazing growth as the independent increased its North American reserves five-fold and raised its equity value from less than $50 million to more than $1 billion in recent years, announced his resignation last week as CEO. He will retire as chairman and director at the end of September.

COO Craig Clark, who had been in charge of Apache Corp.’s U.S. operations when he was recruited by Boswell three years ago, has taken over the CEO role, while Forrest E. Hoglund, a director and chairman of Forest Oil’s executive committee, will become chairman of the Denver-based producer in October.

Boswell had been with Forest Oil for 17 years, serving as its CEO since December 1995 and its chairman since March 2000. He also was president of the company from 1993 to 2000 and CFO from 1991 to 1993. Boswell has been a director of the company since 1986.

“I have completed the job I began eight years ago when I became CEO of Forest,” Boswell said, “and now is the appropriate time for me to transition. I look forward to pursuing other life-long goals. The company has been successful through difficult times and is prospering today. I’m very proud of what Forest Oil and its employees have been able to accomplish during this period. We have an excellent management team in place prepared to build upon the company’s successful history.”

Of his new role, Clark said Forest Oil has a “great opportunity” ahead. “We need to keep focus on our costs and allocate our capital efficiently to continue the rebalancing of our production portfolio and profitably grow the company. It’s all about execution, and Forest is up to it.”

Clark, 46, has been president and COO since September 2001, and has carried the responsibility of its worldwide operations. He previously served as executive vice president-U.S. Operations for Apache from May 2000 to September 2001. Clark also served in various management positions at Apache and affiliates of the Houston-based producer, including as vice president of its Southern Exploration & Production/North American Gas Marketing, and as CEO of Producers Energy Marketing LLC.

Hoglund’s resume is a long one in the oil and gas industry. He has been a director of Forest Oil since 2000, and currently serves as chairman of the executive committee of the board and also is a member of its compensation committee. As “presiding director,” Hoglund is responsible for leading executive session discussions of non-management directors at board meetings. Boswell said Hoglund’s “decades of senior executive experience in the oil and gas business will complement Craig’s leadership and abilities.”

In a side note, Hoglund also is chairman and CEO of Arctic Resources Company Ltd. (ARC), a company whose sole purpose is to build a natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the contiguous United States (see NGI, June 19, 2000). ARC shares rights of way with some aboriginal tribes in Canada that could provide a return if a Canadian pipeline is built instead of an Alaskan route. Hoglund’s company has developed a $7.8 billion pipeline proposal that he has said would not require federal backing.

Just two months ago, Hoglund was one of eight energy executives who testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s fact-finding hearing, which was set up to explore the U.S. natural gas supply-demand imbalance situation. As he has done in the past, Hoglund discouraged tax subsidies for an Alaskan gas pipe, and urged the House members to “remain steadfastly opposed to the tax subsidy and debt guarantee package” pushed by Alaska officials (Hoglund testimony).

Before forming ARC, Hoglund served as chairman of Enron Oil & Gas Co., the predecessor of now independent EOG Resources, from September 1987 to August 1999. He also was president of the company from May 1990 to 1996 and presided over EOG’s move to become independent of Enron in 1999 before his retirement (see NGI, July 26, 1999).

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