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

Matthew Hinson, 38

Vice President, Permian Basin, WPX Energy Inc., Tulsa

Responsible for driving the leasing, assessment, development and operations of the company’s Permian position in the Delaware Basin. Assembled high-performing asset team, cutting costs by $1 million-plus per well in the Permian and lifting EURs to 900 Mboe.

Entrée to the industry: Got his start at ExxonMobil as a drilling engineer, working on complex extended-reach wells targeting reservoir roughly a mile under the sea floor, “with some wells targeting locations over four miles away from the platform.” Later applied this knowledge to his position at Newfield, one of the first operators to drill two-mile laterals and longer in Oklahoma.

Unveiling an unconventional: Member of the team that discovered and announced the Stack play; as company’s asset manager of the play, supervised reservoir engineering, geology and development programs. Led “high-powered technical team to tackle some of the most complex problems of assessing multiple stacked pays in one of the nation’s oldest oil fields.”

Changes in latitude: Advocates an open-minded approach to career moves. “The lesson I learned from two lateral moves, in my early career, is that we must have a broad base if we would like to be a leader in an oil and gas company. The best career path is not always up!”

Time will tell: Sees the industry’s last 10 to 15 years of technological breakthroughs and business cycles reflected in the science fiction classic “Back to the Future.” On the industry’s horizon, there is no need for roads—“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” Eagerly anticipates “how we will be exploring, drilling, completing and producing wells in the future.”

Lessons learned: “Accountability. Young engineers in our industry have the opportunity to work on multimillion-dollar projects directly out of school.”