Energy Influencers #66 – #70

Energy Influencers #66 – #70

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

  #61 Jim Keffer (Texas State Representative) 
  #62 Jeffrey Hildebrand (Founder, Chairman & CEO of Hilcorp Energy)
  #63 Dave Heineman (Governor of Nebraska)
  #64 Jim Hackett (Chairman & CEO of Anadarko Petroleum)
  #65 Jack Gerard (President & CEO of the American Petroleum Institute)


 #66 Doug Foshee

Chairman, President & CEO of El Paso

Houston, Texas

It may have taken him years to transform his company, but Doug Foshee’s biggest influence was this years’ big exit.

Over his eight-year tenure, Mr. Foshee led a turnaround of El Paso which was involved in energy-trading controversies prior to his arrival.  El Paso ultimately restated four years of financial results and its stock has doubled since.

Like several other industry players, El Paso announced plans in August to spinoff of its E&P business before year-end 2011.

But in October rival CEOs Richard Kinder & Doug Foshee announced even bigger plans: Kinder Morgan would acquire the natural gas pipeline operator in a $21 billion deal.  The El Paso E&P business would ultimately be sold-off to a private equity group.

And Foshee, he’ll get by with over $90 million to stop doing his job

 #67 Jim Flores

Chairman, President & CEO of Plains Exploration

Houston, Texas

When it comes to strategy & style, Aubrey McClendon of Chesapeake & James Flores of Plains Exploration (PXP) could not be farther apart.

Whereas McClendon built Chesapeake Energy as a ‘deal machine’ and the nation’s second-biggest producer of natural gas, Flores has Plains focused on strong organic oil/liquids growth in California, Texas, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico.

While natural gas prices continued to fall during 2011, Flores continued to curtail drilling activity in the gassy Haynesville Shale and re-directed capital to the liquids-rich side of the Eagle Ford Shale.

But it may be his first action in 2011 that may prove to be his most influential for 2012.

When BP’s Macondo well blew up, Flores was afraid of his company’s exposure if another catastrophe of this extreme occurred, so in January 2011 he closed on the sale of all interests in the Ultra Deep play to McMoran in exchange for 23% of the company.   Eleven months later Flores said on a conference call that he expects “exciting things out of McMoRan…for 2012 that are mind blowing” and that the news will only get better in 2012.

These two words may explain why: Davy Jones 

#68 Ahmad Faruqui

Principal at The Brattle Group

San Francisco, California

As an economist focused on the efficient use of energy, Dr. Ahmad Faruqui is almost in as much demand by people as energy itself.

Faruqui is a principal with The Brattle Group where he leads consulting engagements focusing on the demand-side of the business, including pricing, demand response and load forecasting.  He is one of the world’s leading experts on policy matters related to the smart grid.

Faruqui has done work for more than 50 electric and gas utilities in North America and abroad and has published more than a 150 articles in trade and professional journals based on his research on the energy behavior of consumers.

When he’s not busy pioneering innovative pilot programs, Faruqui always enjoys a spirited debate on the pros, cons, and common ground for Smart Meter, Smart Grid and dynamic pricing deployment.

Faruqui shows that being ‘Smart’ with energy is very influential.

#69 Greg Ebel

President & CEO of Spectra Energy

Houston, Texas

Greg Ebel is President & CEO of Spectra Energy, a natural gas infrastructure company with gathering and processing, transmission and storage, and distribution operations in North America.

In November 2009 Ebel said in a Bloomberg video that Spectra planned to invest $1 Billion in 2011.  A gutsy call, but Ebel knows how to keep his focus steady in a volatile market.

Survey says…$1.1 billion.  Ebel has good vision.

Ebel also has a passion for “the future of natural gas and the natural gas pipeline industry” according to the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America.  That’s why in October they named him chairman of the INGAA board for 2012.

But while Ebel maintained a subtle influence in 2011, expect Ebel to rise (or fall) with natural gas prices in 2012.  In December Spectra announced plans with AEP & Chesapeake to spend about $500 million on its Texas Eastern pipeline system in Ohio to handle rising natural-gas production from the Utica and Marcellus shale formations. 

#70 Robbie Diamond

Founder, President & CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy

Washington, D.C.

Robbie Diamond says that the United States “has a great story” when it comes to oil.  He also thinks “electricity is the best way to solve American’s energy problem because of the diversity of fuel sources used to produce it — including coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, and solar.”

Diamond is President and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) and the Electrification Coalition (EC), and he believes the only way the U.S. can shed its oil dependence is with the right mix of domestic oil drilling and electrification of transportation.  It’s not one or the other.

It is thru SAFE & EC that Diamond collaborates with prominent business leaders, and even retired senior military officers, to actively engage in energy debates and help shape energy policy…the Electrification Roadmap and Oil ShockWave simulation are just a few visionary examples.

Focused on long-term strategy to overcome short-term obstacles, Diamond is determined to secure America’s energy future, today.

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