SandRidge exec David Lawler is chosen to lead new BP unit

David Lawler, an executive for Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy Inc., has been named CEO of industry giant BP’s new business managing its onshore oil and natural gas assets in the continental U.S.
by Jay F. Marks Modified: August 21, 2014 at 9:40 am •  Published: August 20, 2014
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A longtime Oklahoma City energy executive has been chosen to head industry giant BP’s new U.S. business unit.

David Lawler, who most recently had been chief operating officer at SandRidge Energy Inc., has been named CEO of the unit that will manage BP’s onshore oil and natural gas assets in the continental U.S. Lawler previously was CEO of PostRock Energy Corp.

“With an impressive track record at integrated oil and gas companies as well as independents, Dave is uniquely qualified to lead our onshore business during this exciting transition,” said Lamar McKay, chief executive of BP’s upstream segment, in a news release. “His experience and skills match up perfectly with our goals for the business.

“I’m confident he will create a competitive and sustainable operation that will be a key component of BP’s portfolio for many years.”

Lawler, 46, is the brother of Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Doug Lawler.

“It is an honor to join BP and have the opportunity to work with the talented members of the Lower 48 organization,” Lawler said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to leveraging BP’s talent and resources while running the business as if it were an independent.”

BP has said it will establish its newest business unit early next year. Lawler and his leadership team will develop a strategy to grow the company’s oil and gas portfolio, which includes operations in multiple basins from the onshore Gulf Coast through the Rocky Mountains.

BP’s unconventional asset base includes about 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent across 5.5 million acres, with interest in about 20,000 wells.

Lawler, who will join BP on Sept. 15, said it was not an easy decision to leave SandRidge, where he was worked since 2011.

“SandRidge is a special company that has assembled an outstanding group of talented and dedicated employees. The decision to leave was difficult, but I am confident that SandRidge is on the right path and has the asset base and team needed to continue delivering exceptional results,” Lawler said. “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished, and thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a great management team.”

Lawler will remain at SandRidge through Sept. 3 to aid in the transition there.

“Dave Lawler has done a remarkable job of leading our operations teams, which over the past several years have implemented innovative development techniques to achieve record setting capital efficiencies,” SandRidge CEO James Bennett said in a news release. “We wish Dave all the best in his future endeavors.”

SandRidge has promoted Craig A. Johnson to replace him as executive vice president of operations, while initiating a search for Lawler’s successor at chief operations officer.

“Craig Johnson exemplifies the SandRidge culture of innovation, execution and investing in the success of our employees,” Bennett said. “Because of this, we have full confidence our operations teams will continue to successfully execute our capital programs, while improving our techniques and increasing our efficiencies.

“Craig will help guide our teams in these key areas and I look forward to working closely with him as he takes on additional responsibilities.”

by Jay F. Marks
Energy Reporter
Jay F. Marks has been covering Oklahoma news since graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1996. He worked in Sulphur and Enid before joining The Oklahoman in 2005. Marks has been covering the energy industry since 2009.
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Chesapeake CEO Doug Lawler provided The Oklahoman with a statement about his brother’s new job:

“I am very excited for Dave as he pursues this new and significant opportunity. Dave’s leadership and character are of the highest quality and his influence is known and recognized throughout the oil and gas industry.

“I must admit that I am somewhat biased as we have always been the very best of friends, but I believe BP has made an excellent choice. Dave has made a strong and positive impact on every organization he has been associated with, and I am certain BP will be no different. “

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