Our Team

Management Team

Brett Pennington

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.


Paul Thayer

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.


Stephen Goldfarb

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.


Max Seewann

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.


Garner Haydell

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.


Michael Lasswell

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.


Jennifer Enos

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.


Caleb Newport

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.


Candace Day-Butler

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.


Board Members

Brad Foster

Bradley (Brad) A. Foster is the President of BAF Operating LLC in Oklahoma City. Mr. Foster started his career in 1981 with Gulf Oil/Chevron and then moving on to Devon Energy. During his tenure he continued to be promoted into positions of increasing responsibilities across the various business segments. Mr. Foster brings a full range of planning and execution experience, recognizing and utilizing new technologies, the ability to work with strategic partners along with a broad knowledge of oil and gas expertise. Mr. Foster earned a Bachelor of Science Petroleum Engineering from West Virginia University in 1981.


Bryan Neskora

Bryan W. Neskora is one of three founding partners of Navitas Midstream Partners, LLC. Mr. Neskora serves as Chief Operating Officer of Navitas and has over twenty-nine years of industry experience. From July 2012 until May 2013, Mr. Neskora was Chief Operating Officer of Copano Energy, responsible for all commercial, engineering and operational functions across Copano’s business units. Prior to joining Copano, Mr. Neskora was senior vice president of Operations for El Paso Corporation’s Pipeline Group, overseeing operations of facilities across El Paso’s 42,000-mile interstate natural gas transmission system, responsible for environmental, health and safety. Throughout his career at El Paso Pipeline Group, Mr. Neskora held increasing responsibilities as vice President and chief commercial officer of Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, vice president of El Paso Marketing L.P., and president of El Paso Global Networks, a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation. Prior to his service with Global Networks, Mr. Neskora served in various capacities in business development, valuation and analysis, as well as Rates and Regulatory Affairs for Tennessee Gas Pipeline. Mr. Neskora graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston.


Danny Weingeist

Danny Weingeist is a managing partner for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisor’s energy private equity activities. He focuses on identifying private energy investment opportunities as part of Kayne Anderson’s emphasis on energy transactions. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson and opening the Houston office in 1999, Mr. Weingeist was a managing director and principal of Torch Energy Advisors, a Houston-based company that provided capital to the industry as well as specialized outsourcing services, including oil and gas operations. Prior to that, he served as vice president with EnCap Investments, an associate at Bankers Trust Company and as a reservoir engineer at Exxon Company U.S.A. Mr. Weingeist earned a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering in 1985 and an MBA in 1989, both from the University of Texas at Austin.


David Krieger

David B. Krieger is based in Houston, joined Warburg Pincus in 2000 and focuses on energy investments.  Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Company in Atlanta and throughout Europe.  Mr. Krieger is a Director of Black Swan Energy, Conquest Completion Services, Ensign Natural Resources, Ridge Runner Resources, Rubicon Oilfield International, Sheridan Production, Tall City Exploration, Trident Energy, Velvet Energy and Wildfire Energy.  He also serves as a Trustee of the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts.  Mr. Krieger received a B.S. in economics summa cum laude from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. with high honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School.


Mark Teshoian

Mark Teshoian is a senior managing director for Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors’ private energy income funds where he focuses on investment origination, deal analysis/structuring, financial due diligence and transaction negotiation. Prior to joining Kayne Anderson in 2008, Mr. Teshoian was a vice president in the energy investment banking group of Goldman Sachs. Mr. Teshoian began his career in the energy investment banking group of Credit Suisse. Mr. Teshoian has over twenty years of transactional experience in the oil and gas industry. Mr. Teshoian earned a B.B.A. in Accounting and a M.S. in Finance from Texas A&M University in 1999.


Roger Pinkerton

Roger Pinkerton has more than forty-two years of experience in the upstream oil industry. He began his career with Conoco in 1977 where he spent twenty-five years in various domestic and international leadership roles. In his last four years, he served as General Manager Global Exploration. His next ten years were spent at Marathon Oil where he served as Director for International, Gulf of Mexico and North America Onshore Exploration. Following that, Mr. Pinkerton became VP Exploration for Canadian International Oil Corporation for one year before forming R. Pinkerton Consulting, LP. He serves on the boards of three private equity backed oil and gas companies, Hawkwood Energy, Independence Resources Management and Chisholm Energy. He has served as Board Chairman of the American Geological Institute Foundation and Board Chairman of the Offshore Energy Center. Mr. Pinkerton holds BS and MS degrees in Geophysics from Texas Tech University.


Ryan Dalton

C. Ryan Dalton is based in Houston and focuses on energy investments.  Mr. Dalton worked at Warburg Pincus from 2008 to 2010, and following the completion of an MBA, rejoined Warburg Pincus in 2012. Previously he worked in the financial institution’s investment banking group at Merrill Lynch in New York. Mr. Dalton received a B.A. and B.S. cum laude in Computer Science and Economics, respectively, from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He is a Director of Tall City Exploration III, Ensign Natural Resources, and Chisholm Energy Partners.


Thierry Pilenko

Thierry Pilenko joined the Board of Directors of Ensign Natural Resources in March 2019 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in June 2019. Until May 1, 2019 Mr. Pilenko was the Executive Chairman of TechnipFMC plc, an Engineering, Technology and Projects company. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Technip S.A., a leading provider of project management, engineering, and construction services for the energy industry, a position he held from April 2007 to January 2017, when FMC Technologies, Inc. consummated its merger with Technip S.A. From March 2004 to January 2007, Mr. Pilenko served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Veritas DGC, Inc., a seismic services company. Previously, Mr. Pilenko served as Managing Director of SchlumbergerSema, a Schlumberger Ltd. company in Paris, from 2001 to March 2004. From 1998 to 2001, he served as President of Schlumberger-GeoQuest. He joined Schlumberger in 1984 as a geologist and held several management positions in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the United States. Mr. Pilenko graduated from IFP School in Paris and from the School of Geology in Nancy. Mr. Pilenko currently serves as a director of Valaris plc and Trident Energy and formerly served on the board of directors of Hercules Offshore, Veritas DGC, CGG and Peugeot S.A.