Ben van Beurden, 55, who was appointed downstream director and a member of the executive committee for Royal Dutch Shell plc in January, was named to succeed Peter Voser as CEO on Jan. 1 (see NGI, May 6). Van Beurden has been responsible for refining and marketing businesses, as well as overseeing the trading companies. He also is responsible for the petrochemicals manufacturing and marketing business, which has been eyeing expansions in the United States because of increased natural gas activity, as well as the gas-to-liquids business. He joined Shell in 1983 and has worked in Houston, the Netherlands, Africa, Malaysia and most recently, the UK. He is credited with helping to turn the petrochemicals operations to profitability after several quarters of big losses. The Dutch national earned a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

July 15, 2013


Eddie LeBlanc will take over as CFO and executive vice president at SandRidge Energy Inc. on July 8, the operator said. LeBlanc formerly was CFO at East Resources Inc. from 2010 until 2013. Before that, he also served as CFO at PostRock Energy Corp. (2009-2010), Ascent Energy Co. (2003-2007), Range Resources Corp. (2000-2003), and Coho Energy Inc. (1995-1999). He has a bachelor of science in business administration from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and is a certified public accountant and chartered financial analyst. LeBlanc is moving into the office formerly occupied by James D. Bennett, who recently was named CEO (see Daily GPI, June 20). Bennett began as SandRidge’s CFO in January 2011 and he was named president in March.

June 27, 2013

Industry Briefs

The market will ultimately cap the amount of natural gas that the United States exports, not policymakers, said an executive with CIBC World Markets at the Energy Information Administration’s Energy Conference Tuesday in Washington, DC. Hypothetically, “if we were to see Henry Hub prices in the $5.00-7.00/Mcf range, it would make incremental [liquefied natural gas export] projects difficult,” said CIBC World’s head of commodity strategy Katherine Spector. CIBC is a unit of the Canadian Bank of Commerce. “There is a point that this [exports] will not make economic sense…I don’t know what the magic number is.” When natural gas in Asia is priced at $16.00, and gas at Henry Hub is $2.00-3.00, “it’s a no brainer.”

June 20, 2013


U.S. District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against former BP plc executive David Rainey, who was accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010 (United States of America v. David Rainey, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 12-29). The government failed to allege knowledge of a pending congressional investigation, and the law Rainey was charged under did not apply to congressional subcommittee investigations, the judge stated in a 44-page ruling. U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), whose inquiry was the basis for the obstruction charge, said he thought the ruling was incorrect. “When a judge undercuts Congress’ ability to keep companies like BP honest, he undercuts the voice of Americans everywhere,” Markey said. “This was a congressional investigation, plain and simple, and this kind of narrow and off-the-wall interpretation of how Congress investigates wrongdoing is deeply troubling.” Rainey still faces a felony charge carrying a maximum five-year sentence for making false statements to federal investigators (see NGI, Nov. 19, 2012).

May 27, 2013

Range Sees Marcellus Potential of 8 Bcf/d

Range Resources Corp.’s Marcellus Shale leasehold has the potential to produce up to 8 Bcf/d, an executive said last week.

May 27, 2013

Range Sees 8 Bcf/d Potential from Marcellus

Range Resources Corp. has the potential to produce up to 8 Bcf/d from the Marcellus Shale, an executive said Tuesday.

May 23, 2013

Judge Dismisses Obstruction Charge Against BP Exec

A federal judge in Louisiana has dismissed a charge against a former BP plc executive accused of obstructing a congressional investigation concerning the Macondo well blowout in April 2010.

May 22, 2013

Congress Called on to Promote Infrastructure to ‘Feed’ NGVs

An executive with a Portland, OR-based heavy-duty truck maker told a Senate energy panel Tuesday that he and his competitors could manufacture as many natural gas vehicles (NGV) as needed if only Congress delivered on the refueling infrastructure.

May 15, 2013

EOG’s Papa Sees Bakken Growth Rate Slowing, Eagle Ford Surging Ahead

Shares of EOG Resources Inc. rose sharply on Tuesday after the company reported a nearly 53% increase in net income for the first quarter of 2013, gains due in large part to hefty growth in crude oil production from the Eagle Ford Shale.

May 8, 2013


Outgoing Anadarko Petroleum Corp. Executive Chairman Jim Hackett plans to begin attending Harvard Divinity School in the fall. Hackett, 59, who served as CEO of The Woodlands, TX-based operator until last May, long has been interested in learning to write, speak and teach about faith and leadership, which were key reasons he retired from the company, according to a spokesman. The Harvard University program offers four degree programs: master of theological studies, master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of theology. Hackett’s retirement is to take effect after Anadarko’s annual meeting in May. He previously worked at Devon Energy Corp., as well as NGC Corp., Burlington Resources (acquired by Anadarko in 2006), and Amoco Oil Co. Hackett is a board member and adjunct professor at Rice University.

March 18, 2013
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