Senior Exploration Consultant

Mr. Thomas is charged with developing new areas and projects for evaluation, drilling and acquisition throughout Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. Having worked primarily within the Mid-Continent area of the US, Mr. Thomas has extensive knowledge within the Anadarko, Arkoma, Illinois and Ohio basins, and has additional experience within the Appalachian and onshore Gulf Coast regions. He has worked for large firms, such as Texaco and Apache, as well as small exploration firms, until forming his own exploration company in 1981. He directed, developed, and sold exploration and development projects to numerous large and small industry partners and has traveled throughout the US and Canada reviewing projects for their exploration and acquisition potential; and most recently for the application of 3D seismic techniques to various geologic settings. He is able to merge the technical merits of 3D projects, drilling proposals and acquisitions with both economic and business considerations.

Mr. Thomas is a certified petroleum geologist with over 47 years of oil and gas exploration experience. He graduated from Oklahoma State University, with a degree in Geology and post-graduate work at the University of Tulsa.

In 1968, he started his career, as an exploration geologist with Texaco, Inc., gaining extensive knowledge of basic exploration and development skills within Texaco’s Eastern US division; working with geophysicists and land personnel to develop current Texaco leasehold and expanding exploration activities within Illinois, Ohio, New York and Mississippi. He progressed within the company and left in 1973 as staff geologist working with upper management.

In 1973, he joined Apache, Inc. as an exploration geologist, where he applied his skills to the deeper Anadarko Basin of Oklahoma and the Texas panhandle. He was successful within numerous discoveries and development projects, helping to set up the now established Morrow/Springer trend and becoming well skilled in developing and exploring within the various Pennsylvanian and Devonian formations of both areas.

Leaving Apache in 1976, he became a geologist with Sunrise Exploration, Inc. Sunrise, was a small “start-up” group that consisted of Kent Harrell and Ralph Smith and was funded by St Mary Land Company, which has now evolved into SM Energy. He was responsible for geologic analysis of all available data to locate and identify oil and gas drilling opportunities and in this capacity was involved in over 90 producing wells, which included three field discoveries and numerous participation projects.

In 1979, he left Sunrise and became an independent, consulting geologist. He began initiating and developing various drilling projects and set up a strong network of associations with various operators and oil and gas investors. The projects and drilling opportunities he created, had over 60% of successful completions. His success, activity and networking lead to the creation of his own company and in 1981 he founded Energy Search Petroleum, Inc, as the managing partner and president.

From 1981 to 1993, Energy Search Petroleum initiated and acquired an interest in over 300 producing properties. Managing and directing a 5-man team of geologists, land staff and support personnel, Energy Search, developed and marketed exploration development projects to numerous industry partners. In addition, using the outsourcing of other independent geologist, Energy Search solicited, reviewed and analyzed geologic submittals and property purchase proposals within most major geologic regions and sold those projects acquired, to operators within the industry.

The decline of oil prices led to a change of direction and in 1993, he acquired a retail franchise business as a personal investment. He owned and operated the initial retail outlet for an optical products company, with the potential of expansion into three large cities within Oklahoma and Kansas. The franchise set sales records for the entire chain and was sold for a profit two years later; at which time he joined Sullivan and Company in 1995.

From 1995, until signing with Nexus as an Exploration Consultant in 2015, he worked with Sullivan and Company as VP Business Development, using his extensive business connections and experience in technical marketing to create new business directions and opportunities for Sullivan. Calling on executives and decision makers of various companies, both small and large, he was able to acquire for Sullivan an interest in various drilling and exploration projects throughout Oklahoma, Texas and Gulf Coast areas. Most notably a 120 square mile 3D survey and lease concession within Osage County, Oklahoma. This project later turned into a 168 square mile 3D survey/lease concession, drilling over 90+ wells and creating/developing a large un-conventional drilling and development project that generated over $57MM in revenue.

Education & awards

Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Bachelor of Science, Geology
University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Post Graduate Studies in Geology
American Association of Petroleum Geologist – AAPG

Certified Petroleum Geologist # 2275
Tulsa Association of Petroleum Landman – TAPL
Tulsa Geological Society – TGS
Greater Tulsa Real Estate Commission – GTAR
Oklahoma Real Estate License # 142130 – OREC

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  • Ben LUSHER
  • Rober A. DALE