Presented by Grant Thornton, Preng & Associates, Citigroup and The University of Oklahoma Price College of Business Energy Institute

Luke Wilkens, 39

Vice President, Business Development, INEXS Inc., Houston

Oversees sales and marketing for all INEXS services. Current focus on developing company’s Contract Production Operations group.

Entrée to the industry: Worked in the oil and gas industry out of school for Oceaneering International during the late-’90s; decided that the industry wasn’t for him—yet. Switched to the construction industry where he honed his business development and sales skills for seven years. Returned to oil and gas in 2005 as a business development manager with Schlumberger.

Proudest achievement: While at Schlumberger, co-authored a patent titled “Volume Imaging for Hydraulic Fracturing Characterization,” which utilizes 4-D crosswell seismic imaging to analyze stimulated rock volume.

Mentors: Mark McCallum of Schlumberger taught him the ropes regarding technical sales “and he was always available to help in any way possible.” Grateful to Richard Stoneburner of Pine Brook Partners, who he met while working at Schlumberger. “He was extremely helpful making several key introductions and always gave me solid advice. He has been an invaluable reference to me throughout my career. I am still very good friends with both of these guys and reach out to them still.”

Here, there, everywhere: Relishes the opportunity to travel for business; has been to Southeast Asia, India, South America and Europe. “I have literally been to every single country in South America.”

Refocusing: Saw a shift in the business in 2014, sensing oil was lower for longer and bankruptcies on the horizon. Recognized untapped space and began attracting new client base. Fostered relationships with law firms, restructuring groups and capital providers. Significant restructurings include Magnum Hunter, Sabine.

Lessons learned: “There are good days and bad; however, if you are patient, there are always good days just around the corner.”

On the horizon: Owning his own company. “I am really enjoying myself now so I’m not in a huge rush. I definitely see that as being the natural progression.”

Audio Interview