Gulfport Energy Corp. has expanded its management team as it ramps up operations in Ohio's Utica Shale.
The Oklahoma City oil and natural gas producer's new additions include industry veterans from Chesapeake Energy Corp., SandRidge Energy Inc. and Access Midstream Partners.
“The Utica Shale provides a huge opportunity for our company and these new team members will augment our ability to capitalize and execute our plans,” CEO James Palm said. “These individuals will make significant contributions to the growth and success of the company.”
Gulfport was an early mover in the Utica, amassing nearly 150,000 net acres of leasehold as it targets oil and natural gas liquids.
Sterne Agee analyst Tim Rezvan praised the additions Wednesday in a note for clients.
“We believe these hires are crucial, with Gulfport needing to improve operational efficiencies to meet investor growth expectations in 2014,” he wrote.
The company added J. Ross Kirtley in September as chief operating officer for its Ohio activities. Kirtley had been vice president of services at SandRidge.
Last month, Gulfport hired Robert A. Jones and Mark R. Malone.
Jones, who was appointed as vice president of drilling for Gulfport's Ohio activities, had been drilling engineering manager for Chesapeake in the Haynesville, Barnett and Eagle Ford shales.
Malone joined Gulfport from Sierra Engineering. He also had been senior asset manager in the Marcellus Shale for Chesapeake. He was appointed vice president of operations for Ohio.
This month, Gulfport appointed Ty Peck as managing director of midstream operations.
Peck most recently was director of commercial services at Access Midstream.