Presented by Grant Thornton and Preng & Associates. Photography by Evin Thayer Studios.

Ben Hunter, 34

CEO, Co-founder, Pine Wave Energy Partners LLC, Dallas

Ben Hunter is the CEO and co-founder of Pine Wave Energy Partners LLC, an upstream E&P company. Most recently, he was the general manager and vice president of operations for Dallas- based Covey Park Energy, and he tells of good leadership’s effectiveness during tough times there.

He is most proud of leading “members from five different operators into one [team] and [taking] base production from 280 MMcf/d to 830 MMcf/d with prudent, technical-based asset management and fundamental execution.”

“In my opinion, true leadership is shown during [adverse] times. Covey’s completion team stuck pipe during a plug drill-out on a high-profile, newly drilled horizontal well. I quickly assembled a team of Covey’s best and brightest to build a comprehensive plan, which successfully fished 7000 ft of stick pipe out of the lateral. This process took a painful two months to execute but ultimately resulted in positive results that served as a critical data point to entice further development into that particular area. I successfully fended off criticism and associated expectations from non-technical executives while delivering sound technical guidance to the execution team in the field,” he adds.

Advice for young professionals: “It’s never about the destination, but the journey. So embrace the challenges this industry presents, as the work required to overcome is the most rewarding part of the challenge.” He also says, “One should maintain the patience required to be a good listener and solid supporter to their mentor, as the teachings and experience exchanged are invaluable.”

Career path: Hunter handled operational efforts in the Deep Bossier and Haynesville shale at Covey Park, as its general manager, vice president-operations, from October 2017 to July 2018. Previously, he was general manager-operations and an asset manager there, beginning in September 2014. Prior to joining Covey Park, he was a Texas operations engineer at Vess Oil Corp. from September 2013 to September 2014. Prior to that, he worked for EXCO Resources Inc. and Finley Resources Inc.

On mentors: “John Jacobi, the co-CEO of Covey Park and my former boss, has had a tremendous impact on my career path, and I consider him one of my primary mentors. He has taught me so much about the macro perspective of the business, which has allowed me to become much more than an engineer. It’s hard to settle on the most valuable advice he’s given me, but it has to be around management: The only way to lead effectively is by example, and as a leader it’s your responsibility to provoke inspiring strategies and ideas. The best way to create such an atmosphere is by working hard, surrounding yourself with talented people and, more importantly, being a great listener.”

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios