“I absolutely love this business!” says Jeff Cook. “I am fired up every day to come to work. In fact, this job is not work for me—it is my passion.” The youngest of five kids, Cook grew up in Edmond, Okla., and is a second-generation oil and gas professional and petroleum geologist. He credits his father, Greg Cook, as the inspiration for pursuing this career.
Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?
“The professional achievement I am most proud of is my current role as Vice President of Exploration. I am honored at the opportunity to carry on Continental’s long history as an industry leading exploration company–I am truly standing on the shoulders of exploration giants before me.”
What has been your most challenging project to date, and how did you meet the challenge and accomplish your goal?
“The most challenging project I was ever a part of was my time as New Ventures Manager from 2019 through early 2022. My team and I had a vision and strategy around positioning Continental to enter and build scale in the prolific Permian Basin in a low-cost, efficient way. We worked diligently and stayed focused through the difficult COVID era. Through all the fear and uncertainty in our business and the world during this time, we stayed focused on our vision and built a set of premier assets in the Permian Basin–a lot of it under the radar.”
What or whom do you credit for helping you develop leadership abilities during your career?
“Ramiro Rangel, a past Senior Vice President of Marketing at Continental Resources, has committed a significant amount of his time over the past five years mentoring me on leadership and navigating how to continue to grow my influence across the company. He really focuses on servant leadership, and helped me develop a deeper understanding on what drives me as a person and how to leverage those characteristics to maximize my leadership. He preaches the importance of intentionality and awareness when it comes to leadership and every single interaction you have with people. He has shaped me beyond my professional career and has helped me become a better husband, father and friend.”
What advice would you give other young professionals in the industry?
“First off, make sure you are passionate about this business and career. I would also encourage young professionals to focus on building strong technical anchor skills across their entire discipline of choice. Find great mentors and put maximum effort on developing strong leadership and strategic thinking skills. When you are given an opportunity, seize it.”
Which transformations do you think the industry must undertake for it to thrive in the future?
“We still have an immense amount of resource in this country and I believe technologies such as automation, machine learning and big data are critical for this business to continually improve our operational efficiencies to lower the cost of supply and competitiveness of this future resource. There are more technological breakthroughs that will happen, driven by the new and younger generations, and it will be fun to be part of them throughout my career.”
- My favorite thing in life is my wife Ashton and my three sons. Watching those three boys grow up is my biggest joy in life. I am also very fortunate to have my immediate family. My mother and father built an incredibly close family of 5 kids that I am grateful to have in my life.
- I love riding anything on two wheels, especially mountain biking down some pretty intense downhill trails in Colorado.
- Playing the guitar and bass is a huge passion of mine—nothing frees my mind more than going upstairs and learning new songs and coming up with new grooves.