Executive Q&A: The Unmasked Oilman

The industry is on a new—and better—path, the wildcatter says. “It’s honestly probably an easier route than the treadmill that we were on.” Here’s the 2021 update and a look at his new shale gas E&P.

(Illustration by Alexa Sanders)

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the September 2021 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

In early April 2020, Oil and Gas Investor reached out to Dick Stoneburner: “We’re looking for anonymous, fully unfiltered thoughts on the oil and gas industry in the midst of this commodity price collapse. Who might do this?”

The idea was to focus on what every oilman might be thinking at the time—a representation, rather than featuring just one’s thoughts. Stoneburner replied, “I’ll do it.”

The result was the May-issue article, “The Masked Oilman,” the most-clicked article at HartEnergy.com in 2020.

We decided to check back with Stoneburner for a 2021 update.

In the business for more than four decades now, beginning as a wildcatting geologist, Stoneburner is now chairman of Australian shale developer Tamboran Resources Ltd. while continuing as a senior advisor to Pine Brook Road Partners. He was a co-founder, president and COO of startup Petrohawk Energy Corp. and, after its $15.1 billion sale to BHP Group Ltd., was BHP head of North American shale.

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Nissa Darbonne

Nissa Darbonne is author of The American Shales and has been a journalist since 1984, beginning in the oil and gas fields of South Louisiana. She writes for Oil and Gas Investor and is actively involved in Hart's conference agendas.