Gran Tierra Energy Inc. (NYSE MKT: GTE, TSX: GTE), a Canadian domiciled company focused on petroleum exploration and production in Colombia, today announced several new executive appointments effective immediately. This comes after Gran Tierra Energy’s current board averted a proxy battle by reaching a compromise with activist investor West Face Capital. The new appointments come immediately following the accord the parties reached.
The new appointments are as follows:
Ryan Ellson, Chief Financial Officer
Alan Johnson, Vice President, Asset Management
Lawrence West, Vice President, Exploration
Jim Evans, Vice President, Corporate Services
Ryan Ellson has joined the Company as Chief Financial Officer. Ryan has 15 years of experience in a broad range of international corporate finance and accounting roles. Most recently, Mr. Ellson was Head of Finance for Glencore E&P (Canada) and prior thereto Vice President, Finance at Caracal Energy, a London Stock Exchange listed company with operations in Chad, Africa. While at Caracal Energy, Mr. Ellson was instrumental in negotiating a $330 million farm-out to Glencore, secured a $250 million reserve based lending facility (winner of several trade finance deals of the year), and involved in multiple capital raises totaling approximately $500 million. Ryan was also instrumental in the successful listing of the Company on the London Stock Exchange. Prior to Caracal, Mr. Ellson held several management and executive positions with companies operating in Egypt, India and Canada. Mr. Ellson is a Charted Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Master of Professional Accounting from the University of Saskatchewan. “I am delighted to have four key members from the Caracal team join Gran Tierra.” said Gary Guidry, President and CEO of Gran Tierra. “The addition of Ryan, Alan, Lawrence and Jim will complement the existing excellent team at Gran Tierra.”
Mr. Ellson succeeds James Rozon. James will continue with the Company to assist with a smooth transition. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank James for his hard work and commitment over the last seven years. James has built and managed a tremendous finance team in Gran Tierra and was a key member of the executive team.” said Mr. Guidry.
Additional appointments to complement the executive team at Gran Tierra include, Alan Johnson as Vice President Asset Management, Lawrence West as Vice President Exploration and Jim Evans as Vice President Compliance and Corporate Services.
Alan Johnson is a professional engineer with over 21 years of experience working internationally in the oil and gas industry. His experience includes varied technical, managerial and executive roles in drilling, production, reservoir, reserves, corporate planning and asset management. Most recently Alan was Head of Asset Management for Glencore (E&P) Canada and prior thereto Director of Asset Management at Caracal Energy where he was responsible for all development activities in Chad, Africa. Alan was instrumental in developing oil and gas assets in remote areas of southern Chad, achieving first production in less than 18 months. Mr. Johnson started his E&P career with Shell International in the Dutch North Sea. He then held positions of increasing responsibility with Shell Canada, APF Energy, Rockyview Energy, Delphi Energy and BG Australia. Mr. Johnson graduated with a 1st Class B.Eng (Hons) from Heriot Watt University in Scotland. Mr. Johnson is a Chartered Engineer in the UK and a Professional Engineer in Alberta.
Lawrence West has thirty-five years of experience as an executive, explorer, and geologist. Most recently, Mr. West was Vice President, Exploration at Caracal Energy. Lawrence built a multi-disciplinary team to assess resources and grow reserves in the interior rift basins within Chad and led a successful exploration program. During his tenure he successfully executed two large 2D/3D seismic shoots in remote frontier basins, on time and on budget. Prior to Caracal he has been involved in starting and growing several public and private companies, including Reserve Royalty Corp., Chariot Energy, Auriga Energy and Orion Oil and Gas. Lawrence worked at Alberta Energy Company (AEC), where he was on the team that merged with Conwest. He built and led the AEC East team to the Rocky Mountain USA basins. His career began with Imperial Oil working on prospect and reservoir characterization, in multi-disciplinary teams, and as a technical mentor to exploration teams. Lawrence has an Honors Bachelor of Science in Geology from McMaster University and an MBA, specializing in economics, from the University of Calgary.
Jim Evans has over 20 years of experience including working the last 10 years in the international oil and gas industry. Most recently Jim was the Head of Compliance & Corporate Services for Glenore E&P (Canada) and prior thereto Vice President of Compliance & Corporate Services at Caracal Energy where he oversaw the execution of corporate strategy and goals, developed and implemented a robust corporate compliance program, and managed all aspects of IT, document control, security and administration. Mr. Evans also managed the recruitment, training and retention of staff in both Calgary and Chad. He oversaw the growth of the Company from seven employees to in excess of 400 as Caracal Energy exceeded 20,000 barrels of oil per day at the time of sale to Glencore. Prior to Caracal, Mr. Evans held senior management and executive positions at Orion Oil and Gas and Tanganyika Oil, with operating experience in Egypt, Syria and Canada. Mr. Evans is a Certified General Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Calgary.