Oasis Petroleum Inc. CEO Thomas Nusz has retired from the company he helped form and has led for over the past decade, according to a company release on Dec. 23.

The Houston-based oil and gas producer said its board of directors will conduct a search for a new CEO, which it expects will be complete over the next few months. In the meantime, Douglas E. Brooks, Oasis’ board chair, has been appointed to the additional role of CEO, effective Dec. 22.

Brooks, who said the company will “immediately begin an active and thorough search for a new CEO,” had been named chairman of the Oasis board as part of a recent court-aided restructuring.

Oasis filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in late September. As of June 30, Oasis had long-term debt of $2.76 billion with just $77.4 million in cash and cash equivalents though through the financial restructuring the company said it successfully reduced its debt by $1.8 billion.

Nusz co-founded Oasis in 2007 alongside COO Taylor Reid. The independent E&P company operates in the Williston Basin, where it has been active since its formation, and the Delaware Basin within the Permian.

In a statement commenting on Nusz’s departure, Brooks said: “We want to thank Tommy for his tireless efforts and leadership over the past 13 years. He founded and guided Oasis through numerous commodity cycles and built a unique and very positive culture with a talented workforce that we intend to maintain and continue to nurture. He has been well-respected by his employees and peers.”


Executive Q&A with Oasis Petroleum CEO Tommy Nusz featured in the October 2018 issue of Oil and Gas Investor

Nusz will remain employed by the company through Dec. 30, according to the company release.

Brooks intends to maintain his role as board chair following the selection of a new CEO.

In addition, Samantha Holroyd, the chair of Oasis’ nominating, environmental, social and governance committee, has been named as lead independent director during the period that Brooks is both the board chair and CEO.

Oasis is one of the top producers in the Williston Basin and primarily focuses on the Middle Bakken and Three Forks formations. Meanwhile, the company entered the Delaware Basin in December 2017 with the acquisition of Forge Energy LLC. Oasis currently focuses on the development of the oil-rich Bone Springs and Wolfcamp formations in the Delaware Basin.

“As we look to the future, we believe Oasis is uniquely positioned with a best-in-class balance sheet, quality assets that generate strong, sustainable free cash flow and new strategic priorities,” Brooks continued in his statement. “I believe the ongoing strong leadership provided by the new board, other key members of our strong senior management team and our employees will continue to guide Oasis forward as the world and energy industry emerges from a very difficult year.”

“We remain focused on operational excellence, environmental stewardship and implementing a rigorous new capital discipline which should help create long-term value for our shareholders,” he added.

Previously, Brooks served as president and CEO as well as a member of the board of directors of Energy XXI Gulf Coast Inc., an offshore Gulf of Mexico E&P company, from April 2017 until the company was acquired by an affiliate of Cox Oil LLC in October 2018. From 2015 to 2016, he served as president and CEO and a member of the board of directors of Yates Petroleum Corp., a privately owned E&P company, which merged with EOG Resources Inc. Also, he served as CEO as well as a member of the board of directors of Aurora Oil & Gas Ltd. from 2012 to 2014 until it merged with Baytex Energy Corp.

In addition, he spent 24 years with Marathon Oil Co. in roles of increasing responsibility. From 2006 to 2012, he built two private equity sponsored firms focused on unconventional resource projects in the western U.S. and in 2012 served as senior vice president at Forest Oil Corp.

Brooks currently serves on the board of directors for California Resources Corp.