Vanguard Natural Resources Inc. announced on Jan. 18 several leadership appointments including promoting Richard Scott Sloan as president and CEO.
Sloan will succeed Scott W. Smith who stepped down as president, CEO and his position on the board on Jan. 15. Smith is Vanguard’s founder and led the Houston-based E&P for more than 10 years including through financial restructuring after entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy in early 2017. He agreed to remain with Vanguard as a non-officer employee to help facilitate the transition in senior leadership, according to the company press release.
Smith said in a statement: “Having founded the company over 10 years ago, I am proud to have seen it grow to an enterprise of significant size and scale. However, with the completion of the recapitalization, I believe it is time for me to step down from my role as president and CEO. I am highly confident that the current management team and the many other talented individuals that work tirelessly each day on behalf of the company will continue doing a tremendous job in executing the business plan and long-term strategy that the board has outlined for 2018 and beyond.”
Vanguard emerged from bankruptcy in August 2017, completing its financial restructuring that eliminated about $820 million of debt.
Sloan has served as executive vice president and CFO of the company since September 2017 and as a member of the board since August 2017. He will continue to serve on the board, having previously held various senior leadership positions over his 25-year career at BP Plc (NYSE: BP). He received his bachelor of arts in economics from Colgate University and an MBA in corporate finance from the University of Chicago.
“Scott is a seasoned executive with the capability and vision to lead Vanguard as we implement our long-term strategy to maximize value for all of the company’s shareholders,” Joseph Citarrella, chairman of Vanguard’s board said in a statement. “His exceptional leadership skills have been evident since he joined the management team in September, and we are confident that he will deliver outstanding results as president and CEO of the company.”
In connection with Sloan’s promotion, Ryan Midgett has been promoted to serve as the CFO. Most recently, he served as the vice president, finance and treasurer of the company and has more than a decade of experience in financial management, analysis and reporting in the oil and gas industry, the release said.
Patty Avila-Eady has been appointed to serve as the chief accounting officer of the company where she will work closely with Midgett. Avila-Eady is a certified public accountant and, including the last 10 years with the company, has more than 30 years of experience in accounting and financial reporting.
In addition, Britt Pence, Vanguard’s executive vice president of operations, has agreed to step down, effective on or before June 29, or such other time as mutually agreed with the company. The board expects to announce Pence’s replacement at a later date, the release said.
Vanguard also said Jan. 18 it approved a 2018 capex of $160 million that includes roughly $135 million of drilling and completions capital, or 85% of the total capital budget. More than 97% of the drilling and completion capital will be focused on the core growth assets of Pinedale, Piceance and Arkoma.
At year-end 2017, Vanguard had current borrowings under the reserve-based revolving credit facility of $700 million and a borrowing base of $825 million, after the reduction in the borrowing base due to completion of a $38.5 million Williston divestiture in December.
The company has also launched marketing processes to divest additional asset packages in the first half of 2018, including assets in the Gulf Coast area and more than 1,700 net acres and associated net production in the Permian Basin in Ward County, Texas.
Gas output in the Permian Basin and the Haynesville in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas will rise to record highs of 20 Bcf/d and 15.1 Bcf/d in June, respectively.
Traders noted U.S. natural gas prices were up despite a 7% drop in European prices and forecasts for milder weather and lower U.S. demand over the next two weeks than previously expected.
“The initiative is an all-in approach where we say that virtually all methane emissions from the industry can and should be avoided,” OGCI’s Julien Perez said of the coalition’s global goals at Hart Energy’s Carbon Management Conference on May 16.