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

Jason Craig, 38

Managing Director, Denham Capital Management LP

“I’m proud when a management team chooses to partner with Denham over our competition, because they deem that we will be most helpful to their company-building efforts,” says Jason Craig, a managing director at Denham Capital Management LP.

Denham backs both upstream and midstream companies working in the Lower 48. Craig recognizes that the companies Denham invests in will need different management makeup and style. He also recognizes that the industry will consume “an immense amount of capital” to successfully navigate the current era, where “development capital needs are growing and the pace of discovering new plays is slowing.”

Goal: Craig’s goal is to help bring the private-equity provider into what he calls the “post- resource-grab era.”

“Today, we find ourselves and observe our peers holding assets longer and drilling more wells to demonstrate productivity to a more discerning buyer universe,” contrasted with a few years ago, when “lease and flip” was the trend. As the unconventional industry matures, “portfolio company capitalization and organizational designs must change to meet longer, more operationally intensive hold periods,” he observes.

On industry, he says that “much of the unconventional revolution has been empirically derived and counter to prevailing technical consensus. It pays to keep an open mind and a close watch on your neighbor.”

Advice for young professionals: Craig advises young professionals to “take enough risk to make mistakes. Mistakes cost less early in a career—get them while they are cheap.”

Career path: Craig worked for Newfield Exploration as a Gulf of Mexico drilling engineer from early 2003 until 2006 before transferring to the Tulsa, Okla., office to work the Arkoma’s Woodford Shale. Craig transitioned to reservoir engineering before leaving Newfield in 2010 to attend business school. He interned at Denham before joining full time in 2012.

Photography by
Evin Thayer Studios