Executive Management Team:
President and Chief Executive Officer
Brett Pennington founded Ensign Natural Resources in December 2017. Prior to Ensign, he served in technical and leadership roles for ExxonMobil throughout the lower 48 States and Alaska. At Murphy Oil Corporation, Mr. Pennington built the Eagle Ford Shale asset through acreage acquisition and leasing starting in 2009, and continuing through early exploration, delineation and development. With more than twenty-two years of industry experience, Mr. Pennington has worked almost every major basin in North America through various roles including Reservoir Engineering, Engineering Management, Corporate Planning, Operations and Enterprise Management. Mr. Pennington received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard.
Chief Operating Officer
Paul Thayer currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Ensign Natural Resources. Mr. Thayer joined the team in December 2017. Prior to Ensign, he served in leadership roles with ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil Corporation. With seventeen years of operational experience, Mr. Thayer oversees field operations, engineering, drilling and geoscience for Ensign Natural Resources. He received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Brigham Young University and is a member of SPE.
Chief Financial Officer
Stephen Goldfarb currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Ensign Natural Resources. Mr. Goldfarb joined the team in March 2018. Prior to Ensign, Mr. Goldfarb served as Vice President of Finance for WildHorse Resource Development. Previously, Mr. Goldfarb served in roles of increasing responsibility with Memorial Resource Development, Natural Gas Partners and Bank of America. His background includes finance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions. Mr. Goldfarb received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from The University of Texas and an MBA from Stanford University.
Chief Accounting Officer
Max Seewann oversees all functional responsibilities of the accounting team, including financial accounting and reporting, operations accounting, internal controls, and tax. In addition to overseeing the accounting function, Mr. Seewann leverages his prior transactions advisory experience to help lead financial due diligence over prospective acquisition targets, negotiate purchase and sale agreements, and coordinate integration of assets acquired. Prior to joining Ensign, Mr. Seewann held the positions of Controller - Operations Accounting and Director of Joint Ventures at Carrizo Oil & Gas, Inc. from 2013 to 2019. Mr. Seewann began his career at Ernst & Young LLP where he worked for fourteen years. He left Ernst & Young LLP as a Senior Manager and his experience includes nine years in the Transaction Advisory Services in the Houston office, two years in the Global Capital Markets practice in Paris, France, and three years in the Assurance practice in Austin and Dallas. Mr. Seewann holds a Master in Professional Accounting and Bachelor of Business Administration, both from the University of Texas at Austin and is a CPA with the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy.
Vice President Drilling and Completions
Garner Haydell currently serves as the Vice President of Drilling and Completions for Ensign Natural Resources. Mr. Haydell joined the team in December 2017. Prior to Ensign, Mr. Haydell served in technical and management roles with Halliburton, Southwestern Energy, and Murphy Oil Corporation. With fourteen years of industry experience, Mr. Haydell manages all drilling, completion, and workover related operations in accordance with the capex budget and asset development plan. He received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana State University and is an active member of SPE.
Vice President Engineering
Michael Lasswell currently serves as the Vice President of Engineering for Ensign Natural Resources. Mr. Lasswell joined the team in March 2018. Prior to Ensign, he served in technical and management roles with ExxonMobil and Murphy Oil Corporation. Mr. Lasswell brings sixteen years of industry experience, overseeing various engineering groups, maximizing the profitability of reservoir production to the point of sales. He received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a master’s degree in Geotechnical Engineering, both from Brigham Young University.
Vice President of Geoscience
Jennifer Enos currently serves as the Vice President of Geoscience for Ensign Natural Resources. Mrs. Enos joined the team in December 2017. Prior to Ensign, she served in technical and management positions with Phillips Petroleum, Marathon Oil, and Murphy Oil Corporation. Mrs. Enos’ twenty-three years of experience in the industry allow her to provide Ensign Natural Resources with geoscience support for field development, exploration and pursuit of new ventures. She received a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources from The University of the South and a master’s degree in Geology from The University of Texas. Mrs. Enos is a member of AAPG and South Texas Geological Society.
Vice President of Finance and Treasury
Caleb Newport currently serves as the Vice President of Finance and Treasury for Ensign Natural Resources. Mr. Newport joined the team in January 2019. Prior to Ensign, Mr. Newport served as Manager of Corporate Development and Finance at Carrizo Oil and Gas, Inc. Previously, Mr. Newport held roles in investment banking at Barclays Capital in the Global Natural Resources Group and private equity at GasRock Capital. Mr. Newport has over twelve years of industry experience, which has given him an extensive knowledge in finance, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions and capital market transactions. He received a bachelor’s degree in Finance as well as an Honors College Business Degree from Oklahoma State University and an MBA from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University.
Justin van Keppel
General Manager of Land
Justin van Keppel currently serves as the General Manager of Land for Ensign Natural Resources. He joined the team in December 2017. Prior to Ensign, Mr. van Keppel served in roles of increasing scope and responsibility with ExxonMobil, Crew Land Research and Murphy Oil Corporation for both onshore and offshore assets. With fourteen years of experience, he directs the land, commercial and business development efforts for Ensign Natural Resources. He received a bachelor’s degree in Government with a minor in Business from The University of Texas. In addition, Mr. van Keppel is a member of HAPL and AAPL.
Director of Human Resources
Candace Day-Butler currently serves as the Director of Human Resources for Ensign Natural Resources. Mrs. Day-Butler joined the team in April 2019. Prior to Ensign, she served as the Vice President of Human Resources for Madison Marquette. With over thirteen years of experience in upstream oil and gas and commercial real estate organizations, Mrs. Day-Butler oversees the development of strategic HR plans while also managing all employee relations, talent planning and acquisition, compensation, payroll and organizational development. Mrs. Day-Butler is a respected leader and team integrator, an early-adopter of technology solutions, and a champion of employee communications and empowerment. She will receive her master’s degree in Human Resources and Employee Relations from Pennsylvania State University in 2019. Additionally, she holds SPHR and SHRM-CP designations and is a member of SHRM.