David Terry, 35
Vice President, Engineering, Covey Park Energy, Dallas
Founding member of Covey Park team, instrumental in gaining equity from Denham Capital. Steered acquisition, financing and integration efforts for approximately $1 billion of East Texas and North Louisiana assets. Coordinates with 15-plus bank syndicate to obtain more than $400 million of senior debt financing.
Career path: At Exco Resources, was lead engineer for $1.3 billion of acquisitions. Contributed expertise to Haynesville development from the get-go. Led team in improving production enhancement; later applied these experiences and skills at Covey Park.
Eyeing opportunity: Entered LSU as an Accounting/Finance major; switched gears to Petroleum Engineering in senior year. Recognized “the age gap in the industry and realized the potential was there to create a start-up, but I didn’t realize how quickly it would come.”
’Til it happens to you: “I didn’t realize why some of my mentors talked so vividly about previous downturns they’d experienced. You live and breathe prices until you reach a bottom, and that is an experience you won’t forget.”
Checklist: Short term, “I always want to continue to learn and develop new skill sets.” Down the road, “We’ve built a gas company I’m extremely proud of. At some point I’d like to build a similarly sized, oil-focused company and put the two together for Covey Park Oil & Gas.”
Curiouser and curiouser: Recommends asking “more questions than you think you should. The smartest people I know are the people that ask the best questions.”
Broad perspective: Respects a comprehensive world view. “There are days when I talk to both pumpers and billionaires. To be able to work in those two different worlds is very rewarding.”
Instilling confidence: Matt Ellard, his first boss, favored the motto “Block your man.” His trust in his team “allowed our group to grow a Cotton Valley field tenfold in four years.”