E. Russell (Rusty) Braziel, a respected authority in the energy industry with more than 30 years of experience, is leaving Bentek Energy this week to launch an energy industry networking and consulting business based in Houston.

RBN Energy, which stands for Rusty Braziel’s Network, looks to gather people with complementary skills and needs within the industry in one place to formulate the best use of all the information available to analyze and understand energy markets through social media. Braziel said RBN plans to take advantage of advances in social networks that have been advanced by Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and others over the past few years, but with the added advantage of being a managed platform that continuously monitors the latest developments in energy markets, and uses that information to “get the right people” together.

“Energy markets are big, complicated and can be daunting,” Braziel noted on RBN’s website www.rbnenergy.com. “Today these markets are going through some of the biggest changes in decades. Shale and tight sands technologies first hit the natural gas business, resulting in huge supply surpluses over the past three years. As we enter 2012, natural gas liquids and crude oil markets are experiencing the same phenomenon.”

Braziel joined Bentek in 2005 as vice president of sales and marketing and was one of the company’s owners until its acquisition by Platts in January 2011. Prior to that Braziel spent 20 years with Chevron Corp. predecessor company Texaco as vice president of natural gas marketing and trading and manager of natural gas liquids supply. Subsequently he was vice president of business development for Williams. Braziel also founded Altra Energy Technologies, a developer of energy transaction management software and electronic trading systems, including the Chalkboard Trading System (now Intercontinental Exchange).

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