Sanchez Energy Corp. (NYSE: SN) said July 10 Chris D. Heinson, senior vice president and COO, has resigned from the Houston-based E&P in order to assume the role of CEO with another unnamed energy company.

Chris Heinson speaking at Hart Energy’s DUG Eagle Ford conference and exhibition in San Antonio in November 2017. (Source: Hart Energy)

Heinson joined Sanchez Energy in March 2013 as the senior development manager of reservoir engineering and has served as the company’s COO since March 2014.

“Chris’s leadership and industry knowledge have helped transform Sanchez Energy into a leading Eagle Ford operator,” Tony Sanchez III, CEO of Sanchez Energy, said in a statement. “We thank Chris for his five years of service and his many contributions to Sanchez Energy and wish him all the best in his new role.”

Heinson, who was named one of Oil and Gas Investor’s Forty Under 40 honorees in 2017, told Hart Energy that he helped guide Sanchez Energy through the worst of the downturn by implementing a rigorous schedule. As a result, “Sanchez never stopped drilling and never laid off a single employee.”

“I had been COO for under a year in November of 2014 when oil crashed and still felt like I was learning the job. All of a sudden, I found the company looking to me for guidance,” he said.

Under his leadership, Heinson helped Sanchez Energy drive down well costs in the Eagle Ford Shale, where the company holds a position of about 285,000 net acres, in order to survive at lower oil prices.

“By January 2015, we had reduced well costs from $7 million per well to $4.3 million. Over the next two years … the team carried the initiative forward and was able to achieve well costs as low as $2.8 million per well,” he said.

Prior to Sanchez, Heinson served as a senior planning engineer for Occidental Petroleum Inc. (NYSE: OXY) in the company’s Williston Basin division and a staff reservoir engineer for its Permian Basin division. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.