Trusted McClendon Lt. Takes Reigns as CEO of Northeast Drilling

Aubrey McClendon has just entrusted the main part of his fledgling new company, American Energy Partners LP (AELP), to a trusted lieutenant. MDN told you last week that AEP was combining their Utica and Marcellus shale operations–on paper separate entities–into one larger subsidiary of AEP called American Energy Appalachia Holdings, or AEA as they now call it (see McClendon Utica/Marcellus Subsidiaries Combine & Form New Company). The man who was/is running AEA is Jeffrey A. Fisher. Until now, Fisher was Chief Operating Officer of the American Energy Partners mothership AELP. Now he’s the CEO of AEA. That is, he’s the CEO over roughly 90% of Aubrey’s newly amassed empire…

Aubrey isn’t going away, that’s for sure. He remains Chairman of the Board at AELP. Aubrey still runs the show–but now, Fisher runs a big part of that show on Aubrey’s behalf.

Who is Jeff Fisher? He worked for Aubrey at Chesapeake Energy from 2003-2012, gradually climbing the ladder at Chessy. In 2012 he left Chesapeake (ahead of McClendon getting the boot)–we’re not sure why he left. In November 2013, Fisher joined AELP as COO. He’s obviously proven that he’s trustworthy and talented since he’ll be in charge of most of the empire.

Here’s the announcement from yesterday that Fisher’s title is changing:

American Energy Partners, LP (AELP) announced that Jeffrey A. Fisher has been named Chief Executive Officer of American Energy Appalachia Holdings, LLC (AEA). Aubrey K. McClendon will continue as Chairman of the Board of AEA.

Recently created through the combination of the holding companies of AELP affiliates American Energy – Utica, LLC (AEU) and American Energy – Marcellus, LLC (AEM), AEA has become one the largest pure-play Appalachian E&P companies with over 300,000 net acres in the prolific Utica and Marcellus shale plays located in eastern Ohio and northern West Virginia. AEA had estimated proved reserves of 1.5 trillion cubic feet equivalent (77% gas) and estimated daily production of approximately 167 million cubic feet equivalent (79% gas) for the quarter ended September 30, 2014. AEA is currently operating seven drilling rigs and expects its drilling activity over the next few years will significantly grow its production, reserves and cash flow.

Mr. Fisher, 54, had been serving as the Chief Operating Officer of AELP, a position he held since joining AELP in November 2013. Before joining AELP, Mr. Fisher was Executive Vice President – Production of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, where he was responsible for upstream operations and integrated field development. While at Chesapeake, he also served as Senior Vice President – Production from 2006 to 2012; Vice President – Operations for Chesapeake’s Southern Division from 2005 to 2006; and Operations Manager from 2003 to 2004. Prior to Chesapeake, Mr. Fisher held the positions of Asset Manager and Resource Manager for BP from 2000 to 2003. From 1993 to 2000, Mr. Fisher worked for Vastar Resources as Engineering Manager. Mr. Fisher began his professional career with ARCO in 1983 as an engineer and served in various technical and managerial positions in the exploration, production and midstream business segments of ARCO until 1993. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1983.

Completing AEA’s executive leadership team is Chief Operating Officer John K. Reinhart and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey A. Agosta. Together, these three individuals bring more than 75 years of total E&P industry experience to the AEA executive leadership team.

Mr. Reinhart, 45, previously worked for Chesapeake for eight years in increasing roles of importance. In 2013 to 2014, he served as Senior Vice President – Operations and Technical Services; in 2009 to 2013, he served as Vice President Operations – Eastern Division; in 2007 to 2009, he served as Manager – Engineering Technology; and in 2006 to 2007, he served as a Senior Asset Manager in the Anadarko Basin region of the Southern Division. Prior to Chesapeake, Reinhart worked for Schlumberger Limited for 11 years in various engineering and operational leadership roles. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University in 1994.

Mr. Agosta, 47, most recently served as Chief Financial Officer of Devon Energy Corporation from 2010 to January 2014. Prior to his role as CFO, Agosta served Devon in various positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President – Corporate Finance and Treasurer. He began his career with KPMG and was a manager with the financial consulting firm, D. R. Payne & Associates immediately prior to joining Devon. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1990 and is a Certified Public Accountant.

AEA’s principal equity owners are The Energy & Minerals Group, First Reserve, other institutional investors and management.*

*American Energy Partners, LP (Jan 13, 2015) – American Energy Partners, LP Announces Jeffrey A. Fisher Has Been Named Chief Executive Officer of American Energy Appalachia Holdings, LLC (PDF)