Oil and Gas Investor 'Excellence Awards' Presented to Seven Leading Energy Firms

May 23, 2012, 07:57 ET from Hart Energy

HOUSTON, May 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Oil and Gas Investor magazine will recognize the winners of its 9th annual "Excellence Awards" on June 7, 2012, in Houston. These prestigious awards, which are nominated by the magazine's readers, will be presented at Hart Energy's 5th annual Energy Capital Conference.

"The Excellence Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments in industry leadership, E&P success, and financial innovation," Oil and Gas Investor Editor-in-Chief Leslie Haines said. "As supporters of the industry, we are delighted to honor these individuals and companies for their extraordinary efforts."

The 2011 honorees are:

  • Executive of the Year: Tom L. Ward, chairman and CEO, SandRidge Energy Inc. (Oklahoma City). Under Ward's leadership, the company has grown significantly while leading the Mississippi Lime play in Oklahoma, one of the highest-return oil and liquids plays in the U.S. In addition, the company has IPO'd three royalty trusts and created two JVs with international companies to fund more drilling.
  • Best Discovery: Chesapeake Energy Corp., (Oklahoma City) for opening the Utica shale play in Ohio. In July 2011, Chesapeake unveiled its significant Utica presence. Good well results and a joint venture with Total followed. Majors and large independents have also entered the play, which compares favorably to the Eagle Ford shale. Nearly 70 horizontal wells have been drilled so far in this growing oil and gas play.
  • M&A Deal of the Year: Petrohawk Energy Corp. (Houston) for its sale to BHP Billiton Petroleum Ltd. for $15 billion, capping a seven-year run of savvy acquisitions, drilling, and portfolio management focused on emerging shale plays such as the Haynesville and Eagle Ford.
  • Best Field Rejuvenation: Energy XXI (Houston) for its work in nine fields in the shallow-water Gulf of Mexico. It acquired these assets for $1 billion from ExxonMobil in late 2010. Throughout 2011, via workovers and new drilling, it steadily increased production and has uncovered many more prospects to drill. This has vaulted Energy XXI to third place among the top oil producers on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, with interests in seven of the top 11 oil fields.
  • Corporate Citizen of the Year: Apache Corp. (Houston) for its many community and sustainability programs, including the Apache Foundation's Trees campaign. Since 2005, the company has donated more than 2 million trees to 218 nonprofit and community groups in 14 states. Its goal is to give away 3 million. Most recently, Apache joined with the Memorial Park Conservancy in Houston to fast-forward a 2010 plan to plant thousands of trees in the city's largest park.
  • Turnaround of the Year: Saratoga Resources Inc. (Houston). After emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2010, (paying 100 cents on the dollar owed) Saratoga, under Chairman and CEO Thomas Cooke, has regained momentum. Its stock has risen to nearly $7 from about $2, increasing the market cap tenfold since emerging from bankruptcy. Its 2011 reserve replacement was 200 percent. Production reached a new high of 4,000 BOE per day, all in Louisiana state waters. Shareholders' equity rose to $42 million at year-end 2011, up from a deficit of $4.1 million at Dec. 31, 2010. Also last year, the company raised $35 million of equity in common stock and warrants, and $127.5 million in senior secured notes.
  • Financing of the Year: Kodiak Oil & Gas Corp. (Denver). The company issued common stock and senior notes during 2011, enabling Kodiak to make a nearly $1-billion acquisition in the Bakken shale, doubling the size of the company, creating double-digit production growth, and positioning it for further growth.

In 2011, Oil and Gas Investor magazine celebrated 30 years of setting the standard for energy journalism. Hart Energy has been a leader covering energy news and technology for investors and executives. The Houston-based company produces magazines (Oil and Gas Investor, E&P, Midstream Business, and FUEL), online information services (A-Dcenter.com, OilandGasInvestor.com, and UGcenter.com), and industry newsletters, and provides upstream energy research and downstream consulting services. Hart Energy boasts exceptional strength in unconventional resources, e.g., its Developing Unconventionals (DUG™) conference series, its Global Shale Gas and Global Shale Oil studies, and more. Visit www.hartenergy.com for more information.



 Susan D. Emfinger

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SOURCE Hart Energy