Porter Bennett, president of Evergreen, CO-based industry consultant Bentek Energy LLC, will retire at the end of the year. Bennett, who founded Bentek in 1985, will be an adviser to the firm. Bentek was sold to Platts, a division of the McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc., earlier this year. James Simpson, who is currently vice president and general manager, will become president, the company said. Simpson previously modeled large structured transactions in both gas and power for Enron North America and led natural gas marketing and trading at MarkWest Hydrocarbon and Eprime Inc.

California Gov. Jerry Brown has fired two high ranking state officials for putting too many roadblocks in the state’s permitting process. Brown fired Derek Chernow, acting director of the California Department of Conservation, and Elena Miller, oil and gas supervisor at the department’s Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, according to a spokesperson for the California Natural Resources Agency. The firings follow complaints from some exploration and production companies, including Occidental Petroleum Corp., that said they couldn’t make predictions on new permits, given what they considered the uncertain state of obtaining permits for new wells. Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Sacramento-based trade group Western States Petroleum Association, said oil companies were happy with Brown’s action, which included replacing Chernow with Cliff Rechtschaffen, a senior energy adviser in the governor’s office. A replacement for Miller has not been named yet.

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