Energy Update: Exxon’s Tillman to lead Marathon Oil

 A. Lee Graham


Exxon’s Tillman to lead Marathon Oil ExxonMobil Development Co. executive Lee M. Tillman has been chosen to succeed Clarence P. Cazalot Jr. as CEO of Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. Cazalot, chairman, president and CEO of the oil exploration and production company, plans to retire on Dec. 31 after almost 14 years with Marathon and 41 years in the oil and gas industry. Meanwhile, Marathon’s board of directors has elected Tillman to serve as president and CEO effective Aug. 1. The board plans to nominate Dennis H. Reilley, the company’s lead director, as non-executive chairman upon Cazalot’s retirement. Tillman most recently was vice president of engineering for ExxonMobil Development Co. He began his career in the oil and gas industry at Exxon in 1989 as a research engineer. “Speaking for the entire Marathon Oil board of directors, we are very pleased to welcome Lee to the company,” Cazalot said in a news release. Tillman said he looks forward to his new role. “Marathon Oil’s strong set of base and growth assets, along with a robust exploration portfolio, reputation in the industry as a valued partner and dedication to exemplary corporate values make this a position I am very proud and excited to accept,” Tillman said. Tillman called Marathon Oil’s move from an integrated company to an independent exploration and production company in recent years “nothing short of exceptional.” “I look forward to building on this solid foundation to further enhance Marathon Oil’s long-term shareholder value,” Tillman said. Marathon Oil Corp., an international exploration and production company, had net proved reserves of 2 billion barrels of oil equivalent in late 2012 in North America, Europe and Africa. More information is available at Basic Energy Services reports rig-hours rise Basic Energy Services Inc. of Fort Worth has reported a slight spurt in well-servicing rig hours, rising from 73,700 in April to 75,000 in May. Despite the rise, the oil and gas well-services company saw a slight dip in rig utilization, to 70 percent in May from 72 percent in April and from the same figure in May 2012, according to its new report on May activity. Rig utilization rates reflect what percentage of a company’s rigs are in use. “Demand for our services remained level through May, with storm-related interruptions in activity in the Mid-Continent markets and the prolonged Memorial Day holiday reducing utilization compared to April,” said president and CEO Ken Huseman, commenting in a news release. “Despite aggressive competition in each of our segments, we have been able to maintain utilization with stable pricing. The much awaited pick-up in activity seems to have begun following the Memorial Day holiday,” Huseman said. Also in the new report, the company reported that its well-servicing rig count and fluid service truck counts remained unchanged at 425 and 974, respectively. Fluid service truck hours for May totaled 194,300 compared with 188,800 in April and 189,100 in May 2012. Drilling rig days for May totaled 292, yielding a rig utilization of 78 percent, compared to 75 percent and 96 percent in April 2013 and May 2012, respectively. “We have seen a noteworthy increase in well servicing utilization since the beginning of June, along with stronger demand for our other services as well. Despite the lower than expected utilization in May, we currently believe that we will achieve our previous guidance of 5 percent-7 percent sequential revenue increase in the second quarter,” Huseman said. Basic Energy Services, which provides oil and gas well-site services, employs more than 5,600 workers in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas and the Rocky Mountain and Appalachian regions. More information is available at PetroTech plans Navarro County well purchase PetroTech Oil and Gas Inc. of Bedford has entered into a contract with American Eagle Ltd. in the Navarro County town of Angus to purchase eight producing wells for $185,000. “The seller represents that these wells are producing 180 barrels per month and would allow us 60 days to go in and manage the production before closing,” said President Eddie Schilb in a news release. “This will increase the cash flow for the company, and we will increase those production levels bringing in our management, systems, and expertise” said Ayo Odetunmibi, engineer and vice president. PetroTech Oil and Gas Inc. uses its oil-recovery technology to help companies maximize production. More information is available at

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First Titan targets Texas oil and gas assets First Titan Corp. of Bradenton, Fla., continues pursuing Texas oil and gas assets, now targeting for potential acquisition assets in Waller County just west of Houston. The company in June affirmed a letter of intent to acquire a working interest in the property. In addition to its assets in Terrell County, the company also is negotiating the possible acquisition of producing assets in Hardin County. Known as the Minns asset package, the Waller County project contains a multi-well production package in the Brookshire Field. According to a recently conducted reserve report, the proved developed producing reserves for the project include more than 8,500 barrels of oil. First Titan said it plans to explore several assets in the region as part of its mission to build a competitive portfolio of Texas oil and gas prospects. The company plans to announce several new domestic and foreign acquisitions in the coming months. First Titan Corp. develops energy assets nationwide. More information is available at

GreenHunter Resources reports 1Q revenue surge GreenHunter Resources Inc. of Grapevine has reported a 279 percent revenue surge in first-quarter 2013, with revenues totaling $8.6 million compared with $2.3 million in the same quarter last year. Driving the latest surge were increases in daily saltwater disposal volumes as a result of both organic saltwater disposal capacity growth and acquisitions that comprise a 1,455 percent increase in permitted operating injection capacity compared with last year. Operating loss for the three months that ended March 31 totaled 7.2 million compared with an operating loss of $0.4 million during the same quarter last year. “Volumes in our core operating area of the Appalachia region experienced a seasonal slowdown during the first quarter primarily as a result of weather-related issues that delayed our customers’ drilling and completion efforts in this area,” said company president, interim CEO and COO Jonathan D. Hoopes, commenting in a news release. “This slowdown resulted in lowered margins and an operating loss. However, we are seeing a strong pickup in activity in Appalachia – especially around both the Marcellus and the Utica shale plays where we are strategically positioned as a dominant commercial SWD [saltwater disposal] operator,” Hoopes said. An April lightning strike at the company’s Rhodes saltwater disposal well site in Oklahoma produced damages of $1.9 million to ground facilities at the location. Meanwhile, the company’s total daily operating permitted saltwater disposal capacity as of March 31 exceeded 115,000 barrels, representing a 1.5 percent increase from a year ago. As of March 31 GreenHunter operated two saltwater disposal wells servicing producers in Oklahoma’s horizontal Mississippian Lime play, four such facilities servicing producers in the Eagle Ford shale play, nine wells servicing producers in the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Appalachia and one bulk storage and barge transloading terminal on the Ohio River. GreenHunter Resources Inc. is a diversified renewable energy company focused primarily on water resource management in oil and shale plays. More information is available at

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