Callon Petroleum Co. (NYSE: CPE) said Nov. 6 that it named Jeffrey S. Balmer to succeed Gary A. Newberry as senior vice president and COO of the Permian Basin operator.

Gary A. Newberry (Source: Callon Petroleum Co.)

Balmer joins Callon with 30 years of operations and subsurface leadership experience in the energy industry, most recently at Encana Corp. (NYSE: ECA). Effective Dec. 10, he will succeed Newberry, Callon’s current COO who is retiring from the company after a career that spans more than 40 years in the oil and gas sector.

Newberry has been with Callon since 2010. He had joined the Natchez, Miss.-based company following his retirement from Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO).

“My decision to join Callon almost ten years ago was driven by the demonstrated core values of the company along with the strategic direction to build a top-tier onshore business,” he said. “After building out a strong team to develop our premier acreage position, Callon is operating at a high level across all disciplines.”

During his 33 years with Marathon, Newberry held management positions over production and drilling operations in the Midcontinent, Rockies, Alaska and the Permian Basin as well as worldwide operations manager for the company.

Balmer added, “Gary is well-known across the Permian as an outstanding leader, and I am honored to follow in his footsteps. Similarly, I have long regarded Callon as an innovative and rapidly growing player in the basin. I am excited to join the team and help advance our strategic initiatives as a maturing Permian operator.”

Balmer’s most recent role at Encana, which he joined in 2008, was as vice president and general manager of the Calgary, Alberta-based company’s southern operating area where he was responsible for all of Encana’s upstream operations in the Permian Basin.

He also previously held various leadership roles at Encana including vice president and general manager of the company’s western operating area where he managed operations in the Eagle Ford, Denver-Julesburg, San Juan, Piceance and Wind River basins, and vice president of emerging plays

Prior to joining Encana, Balmer held senior positions with ConocoPhillips Co. (NYSE: COP), Burlington Resources and Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM). He holds B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Petroleum Engineering, in addition to an M.S. in Environmental and Planning Engineering, from Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly University of Missouri – Rolla).

Joe Gatto, president and CEO of Callon, said in a statement: “I am excited for Jeff to join our executive leadership team as we enter the next phase of Callon’s growth. His proven leadership of large-scale operations in the Permian and other unconventional plays will be invaluable as we advance the capital efficient development of our highly productive asset base.”

Gatto continued that Newberry has been instrumental to Callon’s success in the Permian Basin, where the company controls roughly 87,000 net acres in the Midland and Delaware basins. The company most recently closed a $570 million acquisition of 28,657 net surface acres within the Delaware in Ward County, Texas, from Cimarex Energy Co. (NYSE: XEC) in September.

“Though he will be missed, his legacy of integrity and the high standards of operational excellence and discipline he established will always be a part of our business,” Gatto said. “We wish him all the best in his well-deserved retirement and thank him for staying on to work with Jeff and facilitate a seamless transition over the next few months.”

Balmer joins another recent addition to Callon’s senior technical team, James L. Hawkins, who was appointed as vice president of subsurface technology in May. With over 25 years of experience in the Permian Basin, Hawkins previously held senior petrophysicist and geologist roles at Apache Corp. (NYSE: APA), Energen Corp. (NYSE: EGN), and Schlumberger Ltd. (NYSE: SLB), leading multi-disciplinary teams involved with reservoir characterization and optimizing completion designs.