John C. Eads

President, CFO, Sierra Resources LLC, Houston
12 FortyUnder40 feat. John Carr Eads

John C. Eads, president and CFO of Sierra Resources LLC, says he is grateful for the opportunity to lead and build a talented team.

“In addition to attracting talent, team chemistry is very important at Sierra,” he says, noting that “when we bring on additional staff, we view them as partners in our business … we hire individuals who have a track record of excellence in their discipline and who have shown the ability to succeed in numerous basins.”

Sierra Resources LLC, founded in 1996 and backed by Post Oak Energy Capital and GSO Capital Partners, operates in the Eagle Ford Shale/Olmos in South Texas. Eads says Sierra holds 55,000 net acres in the Eagle Ford and 40,000 in the Olmos.

“Sierra has built a first-class technical and operating team that enables the company to execute both projects at a very high level. I am very excited about our asset base in South Texas, and I am confident our team will continue to drive costs down and further enhance the economics of these two plays going forward,” he says.

On industry: “The highly technical and capital-intensive nature of our industry makes it exciting. In Sierra’s case we are private-equity-backed, which requires management to invest capital alongside our partners. … That will get you out of bed in the morning. I like the intensity of our niche in the oil and gas business and the fact that when you get it right, you are well- rewarded.”

Goals: Eads says that a short-term goal is to finalize delineation wells in the Eagle Ford and the Olmos and move those businesses into full development in the next 18 months. A long-term goal “is to have our industry peers and partners say, ‘The Sierra guys do things right’—“I would hope to have a series of successful transactions to create value for our investors and employees,” he adds.

Advice for young professionals: “Surround yourself with people who are passionate about our industry. … Those are the individuals who go the extra mile. On the extra mile traffic lightens up and opportunities come your way.”

Mentors: His father taught him that in the oil and gas industry, reputation is the most valuable asset for any company. During his days as an investment banker, Eads learned from his uncle the importance of accuracy and attention to detail.