SandRidge Energy Inc. said April 7 it has tapped Carl F. Giesler Jr. to serve as CEO amid a number of initiatives to boost shareholder value.
Giesler led the cost and operational turnaround of Jones Energy Inc. His efforts led to the $201.5 million all-cash buyout of the Midcontinent-focused E&P company in January.
At SandRidge, Giesler will take the helm from John P. Suter, who will return to serving as COO after filling in as interim CEO following the departure of former CEO Paul D. McKinney in December. The Oklahoma City-based company is also focused in the Midcon region, where the majority of its production is generated from the Mississippian Lime formation in Oklahoma and Kansas.
“Given the ongoing headwinds in the oil and gas environment, we're committed to protecting our strong balance sheet and liquidity, and to maximizing the value of the enterprise for our shareholders,” Jonathan Frates, chairman of the SandRidge board, said in a statement. “Key to both of those objectives is the further right-sizing of our cost structure, rationalizing our capital program and improving our capital efficiency.”
In addition to withdrawing its 2020 guidance, SandRidge is further reducing its capex for the year with plans to defer any material drilling and completion activity “until commodity prices and the corresponding economics for new wells improve,” the company said in its April 7 press release.
The company also plans to implement salary and additional personnel reductions and will continue to evaluate the sale of non-cash flowing assets that includes considering strategic combinations, according to the release.
In 2018, SandRidge came under pressure from activist investor Carl Icahn, who had objected to the company’s $746 million bid to buy rival Bonanza Creek Energy Inc. the previous year. The billionaire would eventually nominate Frates along with several other nominees to the SandRidge board.
In his statement on April 7, Frates added: “We believe that Carl [Giesler], with his proven cost and operational turnaround experience at public oil and gas companies, is the right person to lead these initiatives.”
Prior to joining SandRidge, Giesler served as CEO and a director of Jones Energy from 2018 until it's sale earlier this year. Previously, he served in the same roles at Glacier Oil and Gas Corp., a privately-held company focused on Alaska, and its predecessor company. He has also served as managing director with Harbinger Group Inc. and held various oil and gas principal investing, financial and other roles with other firms.
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