R. Tazewell Speer
Mr. Speer graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1972. Mr. Speer began his association with the Murchison family in 1979 while working as a bond attorney with the law firm of Dumas, Huguenin, Boothman and Morrow in Dallas, Texas. Mr. Speer was employed full time by the family in 1980 working on financings and acquisitions. In 1981, Mr. Speer joined Murchison Oil & Gas, Inc. as Executive Vice President and CFO. In 1982, Mr. Speer was promoted to President of the Company, a position he held until 1989.
In 1989, Mr. Speer began work for Baroness Gabrielle Bentinck, one of the two surviving heirs of Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. In 1990, Mr. Speer became lead counsel for Baroness Bentinck and her sole non-Liechtenstein trustee. Mr. Speer served in those positions for Baroness Bentinck until the distribution of her estate in 1999.
Mr. Speer served as Special Counsel for Acquisitions for Richmont Corporation, the Chairman’s office of Mary Kay Cosmetics for 4 years. Mr. Speer also served as President of South Resources, Inc., a British Virgin Islands Corporation for 3 years before rejoining J.D. Murchison Interest, Inc. as President in 2008. Mr. Speer served as Executive Vice-President of Murchison Oil & Gas, Inc. in 2009 until being named President of the Company in 2010.
Chief Operating Officer
Mike Daugherty brings to the Company approximately 40 years of operating experience in the oil and gas industry gained at major oil companies and independents. Mr. Daugherty has been with Murchison Oil & Gas for over 20 years. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Daugherty spent 8 years with Mesa Petroleum, in various capacities including Reservoir Engineer, Manager of Acquisitions and Planning, and Assistant to the President. Mr. Daugherty also worked at Amoco Petroleum Co. as a Reservoir and Operations Engineer assisting with both onshore and offshore operations.
Mr. Daugherty has testified as an expert witness before the New Mexico Oil and Gas Commission, the Texas Railroad Commission and the Kansas State Oil Commission.
Mr. Daugherty holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech University. He is a registered petroleum engineer in the state of Texas. He is also a member of the American Society of Drilling Engineers and a 40+ year member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He served in the U.S. Army as a Captain prior to joining the petroleum industry.
Dr. Robert Sperandio
Dr. Robert Sperandio brings to the Company more than 30 years of experience in the Gulf Coast onshore and offshore, Rocky Mountains, Alaska, Caspian Sea, Permian Basin, and most recently in the regional evaluation of the Eagle Ford and Marcellus Shale unconventional resource plays. His experience includes exploration and development geology, as well as 3D seismic interpretation.
Dr. Sperandio began his career in 1979 progressing from Supron Energy, Union Texas Petroleum, ARCO, and BP through company mergers. Subsequently he worked at Edge Petroleum and Chesapeake Energy before joining Murchison in 2011.
Dr. Sperandio holds a B.A. in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.Sc. in Geology from the George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Geology from the Colorado School of Mines.
Chief Financial Officer
AJ Akaydin has more than a decade of experience in investment banking and corporate finance. Prior to joining Murchison Oil & Gas in 2010, Ms. Akaydin worked at the Dallas offices of Houlihan Lokey, an international investment bank, for 4 years. Ms. Akaydin also worked at the London and New York offices of Citigroup’s corporate and investment banking division for 5 years. Ms. Akaydin has extensive experience in mergers, acquisitions and capital markets transactions. She has previously advised numerous oil and gas companies around the globe including major integrated players; upstream, midstream, refining and marketing companies; and master limited partnerships. She has co-authored numerous publications related to capital allocation in the oil and gas industry, and international investments.
Ms. Akaydin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Bogazici University at Istanbul, and a Master of Financial Engineering degree from Cornell University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Ms. Akaydin is a CFA charterholder.
VP of Operations
Jack Rankin brings to the Company 30 years of worldwide drilling experience. In addition to onshore United States, Mr. Rankin has worked in such diverse areas as the North Sea, Poland, Albania, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia, Ecuador, Argentina, Venezuela, Russia, Alaska's North Slope, the Caspian Sea, China, India, Australia, New Zealand and New Guinea. Mr. Rankin has expertise managing complex drilling and completions operations.
Mr. Rankin began his career in 1982 with Amoco's International Drilling Department as a Drilling Engineer and spent 12 years with Amoco. He later progressed to become a Senior Drilling Engineer at Union Texas Petroleum. In 1997, Mr. Rankin became the International Drilling Manager for Apache Corporation overseeing Apache’s operations in multiple countries. Prior to joining the Company in 2012, Mr. Rankin also served as a Project Manager in charge of large scale drilling operations for Afren Corporation and CDX Gas.
Mr. Rankin received a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University.
Dena DeNooyer Stroh
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
Dena DeNooyer Stroh became the Company’s General Counsel and Corporate Secretary in 2012. Ms. Stroh is responsible for all legal issues affecting the Company including contracts, regulatory, land, structuring, corporate governance, human resources, compliance, and other matters. Ms. Stroh also manages the Company’s outside counsel relationships.
Ms. Stroh has more than a decade of legal experience. Prior to joining the Company in 2012, Ms. Stroh was a partner at Gruber Hurst Johansen Hail Shank, LLP, where she handled a wide range of commercial litigation matters and appeals. Ms. Stroh also worked at Coleman, Sloman, & Blumenthal, LLP, where she became a partner and handled complex civil litigation in both state and federal court.
Ms. Stroh graduated from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, cum laude, in 1999. A National Merit Scholar, she received a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University in 1996. Ms. Stroh has held multiple office and chair positions with various bar associations including President of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers in 2009 and Chair of its Foundation Fellows in 2012. She also is involved with Habitat for Humanity, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Bar Association, American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, Attorneys Serving the Community, and Talented and Gifted Magnet High school Advisory Board, and she was a member of the Leadership Dallas Class of 2011.
Vice President of Land
Brett Austin graduated from the University of Texas with a BBA in Petroleum Land Management in 1981. Mr. Austin joined Murchison Oil & Gas in 2011 with over 30 years of experience in land management. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Austin served as Vice President – Land for CDX Gas, LLC and Land Manager for Lomak Petroleum, Inc., the predecessor company to Range Resources, Inc. In both of these positions, Mr. Austin led the establishment of the land departments and managed rapid growth through the acquisition of producing properties and leaseholds. His horizontal drilling experience dates back to 1998 with Union Pacific Resources and more recently in the Barnett Shale of North Texas.
Mr. Austin is a member of the AAPL, FWAPL and has served in several leadership positions in the local and national landman associations, including the ethics committee for AAPL.
Dr. Hilmar von Schoenfeldt
Executive Vice President of Acquisitions
Dr. Hilmar von Schoenfeldt has over 30 years of experience in Coal-Bed Methane (CBM) research, exploration and production and provided consulting services in over 12 countries. In China he performed technical services for PetroChina and other independent producers of CBM. He was the Chief Technical Advisor for a CBM project in India under sponsorship of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Government of India (GoI) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
At Continental Oil Company (Conoco) and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) he worked on the development of horizontal drilling techniques and degasification of coal mines. He developed a mine degasification program at Island Creek Coal Company (a wholly owned subsidiary of OXY) into a viable commercial CBM project with production of 35MMCF/Day (1 million m3/day). As a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin’s Department of Petroleum Engineering, he taught courses in rock mechanics, hydraulic fracturing, petroleum drilling and production and conducted research in hydraulic fracturing.
Dr. von Schoenfeldt holds a PhD degree from the University of Minnesota and has a Mining Engineering degree (Diplom Ingenieur) from the University of Clausthal in Germany with a minor in Petroleum Engineering. He is a Senior Member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
Vice President of Acquisitions
As the next generation representative of the Murchison family, J.D. Murchison joined the Company’s management team in 2011. Mr. Murchison has over 8 years of experience in finance and investments. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Murchison worked for Banco Banif, the private banking arm of Banco Santander in Madrid, Spain. Between 2003 and 2007, he held various progressive positions at Schroders Investment Management and Citigroup Private Banking.
Mr. Murchison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Madrid. He is fluent in Spanish.
Mark Ingram has been the Controller since joining the Company in October 2009. From October 2006 to November 2008, Mr. Ingram was the Controller for Pacesetter Energy, LLC’s Midstream Business Unit, Caledonia Energy Partners LLC, where he was responsible for all of the accounting functions for the Company’s $285 million natural gas storage facility including construction, start-up operations and subsequent sale in July 2008. From January 1996 to September 2006 and January 2009 to May 2009, Mr. Ingram was with Accenture where he worked in a variety of roles in an accounting outsourcing engagement with a major oil company. Roles included Manager – Pipeline Accounting and Acquisition and Divestiture Accounting Manager for the Company’s Pipeline Business Unit. From September 1988 to November 1995, Mr. Ingram was with ARCO Oil and Gas, Inc. where he worked in a variety of operational accounting roles including Senior Analyst – Acquisition and Divestiture. From July 1979 to August 1988, Mr. Ingram worked in a variety of roles in Public Accounting, as a Senior Internal Auditor for a large Midcap E&P company and as Controller for a small E&P company.
Mr. Ingram holds a BBA in Accounting from Texas Tech University and is a certified public accountant.
Senior Geological Advisor
Marion Causey brings to the Company over 50 years of exploration and development experience. Mr. Causey began his career in 1957 as a Geologist at Phillips Petroleum Company. In 1962, he joined Mobil Oil Corp. as a Senior Geologist focusing on the Permian Basin. In 1968, he became Permian Basin Division Manager for Pubco Petroleum Corp. and served in this capacity until Pubco’s Acquisition by Mesa Petroleum Corp. From 1973 to 1985, Mr. Causey served as Vice President of Exploration at Mesa Petroleum Corp. where he was in charge of Mesa’s activities in the Permian Basin and Mid-Continent regions. He also formed an independent geological consulting company prior to joining Murchison Oil & Gas in 1989. Mr Causey played a key role in the Company's cornerstone acquisition of the "Mesa" leases from Mesa Petroleum in 1989.
Mr. Causey holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master of Science degree in Geology from the University of Tennessee. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the West Texas Geological Society, and the Permian Basin Section of the Society of Economic Palentologists and Mineralogists (SEPM). He is also an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist.
Permian Basin Division Manager
Tom Dickey brings to the Company over 30 years of exploration and development experience primarily in the Permian Basin. Prior to joining Murchison Oil & Gas in 2011, Mr. Dickey was a consultant and West Texas Division Manager for PAR Minerals Corp. developing prospects in the Permian Basin. Mr. Dickey began his career as a geologist for George W. Bush and Bush Exploration Co. overseeing all drilling wells, generating and recommending prospects. In 1986, Mr. Dickey joined BTA Oil Producers as an Exploration Geologist and became a member of BTA’s senior management team in 1991.
In 1994, Mr. Dickey joined Enron Oil & Gas as a senior geologist in charge of finding new core producing areas for the company. He was promoted to Project Geologist in 1996 after 2 significant new field discoveries. In 2000 Mr. Dickey helped form and served as President of Longhorn Exploration LLC generating prospects for industry partners.
Mr. Dickey holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from Baylor University and is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, West Texas Geological Society, Permian Basin Geophysical Society and The Society for Sedimentary Geology.
Ryan Lellis brings to the company experience in exploration and development in the Permian Basin. He interned with Whiting Petroleum in 2008 and Concho Resources in 2009. Mr. Lellis then joined Concho in 2010 as a Geologist supporting their New Mexico asset team.In 2011, he joined Murchison Oil & Gas focusing on exploration, development, and operations.
Mr. Lellis received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Geology from Texas Tech University. For his thesis, he conducted a sequence stratigraphic field study of Permian age outcrops in North Central Texas. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, West Texas Geological Society, and Young Professionals in Energy of Midland.