Contango Oil & Gas Co. appointed two new directors, Karen Simon and Janet Pasque, to its board of directors on April 29, who the Fort Worth, Texas-based independent says will foster its drive to be a market leader in ESG initiatives.

“We are excited to have Karen and Janet join Contango’s board,” Contango Board Chairman John C. Goff commented in a statement on April 29.

“Karen is well-known and highly regarded throughout the investment banking community and we believe her unique skills will enable Contango to be a market leader in its current ESG initiatives,” Goff continued. “We expect Janet’s vast oil and gas experience, particularly in business development, will enable our continued execution of growth via acquisition of PDP-heavy assets and corporate opportunities.”

Simon, who retired from JPMorgan in 2019 following a 26-year banking career, brings extensive experience in investment banking and corporate finance, particularly in capital markets and private equity, to the Contango board.

She is set to chair a new committee formed by Contango as part of its current ESG initiatives that will focus on oil and gas production that is safe and environmentally and socially responsible while delivering long-term value for the company’s shareholders. Contango also said in its April 29 release it had formed an internal committee to establish a framework for the company’s ESG initiatives.

In addition to chairing the Contango board’s new committee, Simon will also serve as a member of the audit and nominating committees. Meanwhile, Pasque will serve as a member of the compensation and nominating committees.

The appointments of Simon and Pasquer, which were effective immediately, grow the number of directors serving on the Contango board to seven, five of whom are independent, according to the company release.

Prior to her retirement in 2019, Simon served as a vice chairman in the investment bank at JPMorgan. She also founded JPMorgan’s director advisory new client group focused on providing advice to public company directors.

Simon currently serves as a director of two European public companies, including as chairman of Energean Plc in London. She has also served as a non-executive director of Aker ASA in Oslo since 2013.

Pasque previously worked as an officer of Permian Basin operator Resolute Energy Corp. and its predecessor entities in charge of the land and business development functions until its sale in 2019 to Cimarex Energy Co. for $1.6 billion. Prior to the founding of the Resolute’s predecessor entity in 2004, she had served as a land consultant to multiple oil and gas companies.

Currently, Pasque serves as a director of Midland, Texas-based Legacy Reserves Inc. She joined its board of directors in January.

In a statement commenting on the board appointments, Contango CEO Wilkie S. Colyer noted that he had previously worked with Pasque at Resolute Energy, where he had also served on the company’s board.

“We believe Janet and Karen’s extensive experience in the oil and gas industry along with Karen’s impressive tenure in capital markets and private equity greatly complements the existing skill set of our board,” Colyer continued in a statement. “We appreciate Karen and Janet’s willingness to serve on our board and anticipating benefitting from their acumen in continuing with our strategy of disciplined growth and market consolidation.”

Contango Oil & Gas currently operates oil and gas properties properties offshore, in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and onshore as well, in Texas, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Louisiana.