French most recently served as president and chief executive officer of Bankers Petroleum Ltd., a Calgary-based publicly traded oil and gas firm with operations in southeastern Europe. He has worked a wide range of reservoir rock types, and primary, secondary, and tertiary development throughout Canada, the US Lower 48, and Europe.
Prior to joining Bankers in 2013, French held several executive roles at Apache Corp., including regional production manager for the western Canadian business, and global vice-president of business development. Earlier in his career, French worked for McKinsey & Co. in energy consulting and Amoco Production Co.’s Permian basin operations.
Roberts leaves Penn West with more than 30 years of operational experience in the upstream business. He joined the firm in June 2013 after serving as Marathon Oil Corp. chief operating officer and executive vice-president from July 2011 to December 2012, executive vice-president of upstream beginning in April 2008, and senior vice-president of business development beginning in March 2006.
Before joining Marathon Oil, Roberts was executive vice-president and managing director of BG Group PLC with responsibility for Asia and the Middle East. He also worked for Texaco Inc. and then ChevronTexaco Corp.
Roberts will continue to lead Penn West in October while working with French and the board to ensure a seamless transition. Most recently with Roberts at the helm, Penn West sold its Saskatchewan assets, including in the Dodsland Viking area, to Teine Energy Ltd. for $975 million in cash (OGJ Online, June 13, 2016).