A background in banking helped Luke Essman prepare for his role as president and CEO of Midcontinent-focused start-up Canyon Creek Resources LLC, which he formed in 2011. He sold the most recent iteration last fall and has several deals in the works to launch Canyon Creek Energy II LLC.

Essman graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in finance and joined the Bank of Oklahoma’s management training program in Tulsa in 2002. He spent five years in commercial lending before joining Summit Bank, a small bank focused on oil and gas lending to private companies, which was sold to Commerce Bank in 2013.

As the industry emerged from the Great Recession, Essman saw opportunity in conventional resource development as others chased the emerging shale plays. He partnered up with a petroleum engineer, and they raised equity from family and friends for an acquire-and-exploit strategy in Oklahoma and Texas, creating value and cash flow through behind-pipe recompletions and operational efficiencies on conventional assets. They monetized their investment in 2014 via a series of sales to private equity-backed buyers.

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