Energy Influencers #81 – #85

Energy Influencers #81 – #85

Here’s the next group that you’ll get to meet next week:

  #76 Bill Weihl (Green Energy Czar at Google) 
  #77 Jennifer Valencia (Director of Client Relations at Unleaded Communications)
  #78 Jim Surjaatmadja (Chief Technical Advisor-Technology at Halliburton)
  #79 James Sharp (Vice President Natural Gas Investments at MAP)
  #80 T. Boone Pickens (Founder, Chairman & CEO at BP Capital)


 #81 Michael J. Palmer


Big Sandy, Texas

Michael J. Palmer was nominated on LinkedIn (Eagle Ford Shale group) for “having LOCKED himself on his ranch for over 5 years until he completed the project…the world’s first automatic pressure equalizing wellhead and fracture valve design series. Now that is dedication..”

Nominated by someone in the field specializing in oil & gas control systems, I’ll take his good word that “no other valve on the planet can do“ what Palmers’ Bullhead Equalizer Valve does.

We don’t have nearly enough inventors nominated for #Energy100 so it’s always nice to help someone locally famous like Palmer become more globally known.


 #82 Brandy Brazell Obvintsev

Founder & President of Energy People Connect

Houston, Texas

Another #Energy100 Influencer interviewed by Russ Capper on TheBusinessMakers Show and by Paul Dickerson on The EnergyMakers Show is Brandy Obvintsev, one of the most connected people in Houston and Founder & President of Energy People Connect.

Energy People Connect is a social network and new media company focused on “soft-subject” issues in the traditional and alternative energy industry, including change management, work/life balance and managing resources in a cyclical industry.

In November Brandy invited people in the global energy industry to take the Energy Pledge, to formalize their commitment in solving one of the world’s biggest problems through understanding, innovation and conservation in daily life.

With members from about 60 countries worldwide, Energy People Connect provides an extensive global online presence with its social and ad network.  But it’s at the local offline social networking events that Brandy hosts that really make her influence shine, inviting energy people to reach out to one another in person and connect.


#83 George Mitchell


The Woodlands, Texas

Named to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011, George Mitchell is the father of “fracking” and started the shale gas revolution.

Mitchell Energy & Development spent the 80’s developing hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques needed to extract gas from deeper, denser “unconventional” shale formations in North Texas’ Barnett Shale.  Despite great skepticism and opposition, Mitchell drilled down to “the kitchen” where hydrocarbons “cook.

Rather than keeping this breakthrough a secret, Mitchell’s company quickly allowed the broad publication of its methods, and one of the most profound revolutions in the international energy industry was unleashed.

Now, at the age of 92, while he remains an active philanthropist in the Houston area, his influence is still being felt all over the world.


#84 Aubrey McClendon

Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO of Chesapeake Energy

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

It should be of no surprise that Aubrey McClendon has been nominated more than any other #Energy100 influencer “for his efforts in unconventional shale play.”  This billionaire wildcatter has bet it all on shale.

A recent Forbes article describes McClendon best: “He is without a doubt the most admired—and feared—man in the U.S. oil patch.  But he’s also the most reckless, the alpha wildcatter with an off-the-charts risk tolerance.”

As co-founder of a ‘deal machine’, McClendon has built Chesapeake Energy into the nation’s second-biggest producer of natural gas after ExxonMobil.  He also has an unusual, and controversial, perk known as the Founders Well Participation Plan that allows him to invest alongside Chesapeake for a 2.5% stake in every well the company drills.

It’s ‘all or nothing’ with McClendon.  In 2011 it was ‘all’ for McClendon as he was named winner of the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2011 Energy, Cleantech and Natural Resources Award.

Due to low natural gas prices over the past few years, McClendon has launched an initiative to move the company’s focus from natural gas to oil and natural gas liquids.  We’ll just have to see if this new plan works out or if 2012 turns-out to be ‘nothing’.

#85 Keith Mauck

Owner of American Energy Communications

Washington, D.C.

Keith Mauck is all about grassroots.  That’s how he got involved with oil & gas, and that’s where he’s the biggest influence.

In the spring of 2008 Mauck’s family was approached for leasing a Louisiana family farm in the Haynesville Shale.  Knowing nothing about leasing oil & gas minerals, they did internet searches and found “nearly nothing that was helpful in real time”.  So they launched a website with the goals of networking and educating the players involved in the shale energy business.

Today Mauck organizes an online-grassroots network of over 75,000 landowners and professionals who are dedicated to the safe and responsible exploration & production of domestic shale gas & oil.  This network includes,, and  It would be well worth your while to browse these forums, contribute, and become more informed with the shale plays…on a grassroots-level.

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