Noble Reorganizes Structure for Future Growth

Houston-based Noble Energy Inc. reported Monday it will restructure its operations to prepare for future growth.

The company, which is expected to double in size within five years, is growing at a pace not previously known in its 80-year history.

"Growth is exciting, but it can be challenging and needs to be well managed," said Noble Chairman and CEO Charles D. Davidson in a statement. "As a result, we have decided that now is the appropriate time to modify our organization structure in preparation for our future."

Noble's structure will now include three major operating regions: U.S. onshore, eastern Mediterranean, and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Africa, and frontier.  Gary W. Willingham, who served as vice president of Strategic Planning, Environmental Analysis and Reserves, will serve as senior vice president for the U.S. onshore. J. Keith Elliot, who previously was vice president of operations services, will serve as senior vice president for the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Susan M. Cunningham, who served as senior vice president of Exploration and Business Innovation, will be senior vice president for the U.S. GOM, Africa and Frontier region. Cunningham will also continue in her role as head of Noble's business innovation initiatives.

The company has also created a Global Operations Services organization and a Corporate Development group. John T. Lewis, who previously was head of the southern region, will serve as senior vice president of Corporate Development, while Charles J. Rimer, who was vice president of West Africa, will become senior vice president for Global Operations Services. Lewis will report to Davidson, while Rimer will report to President and COO David. L. Stover.

Additionally, two senior advisory positions to the CEO and COO have been established to work with the new leadership teams to ensure performance "remains best in class, to provide continuity of partner and government relations and to ensure execution of key strategic initiatives," the company said in a statement.  Rodney D. Cook, previously senior vice president for Noble's International division, and Ted. D. Brown, who was senior vice president for Noble's Northern region, will fill these advisor roles.

"The new organizational structure has been designed to better align business units with common activities by taking advantage of natural gas synergies and to better balance responsibilities to facilitate growth," the company said in a statement.

The start of production at the Tamar field offshore Israel and future projects planned in the eastern Mediterranean offshore Israel and Cyprus means the region will require its own focused leadership. Noble brought the Tamar field on stream earlier this month.

In March, Noble hit over 400 feet of gas pay in its second Leviathan appraisal well in the Rachel license offshore Israel. The company has increased its gross mean resource estimate of Leviathan to 18 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), 1 Tcf over the previous estimate.

Combining its rapidly growing Marcellus and DJ Basin unconventional operations will allow the company to rapidly transfer best practices and learnings between the two areas. During the first quarter of 2013, the company drilled an extended reach lateral well of 9,978 feet, the longest extended reach lateral well in Colorado history. Noble also achieved record sales volume of 92,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) from the DJ Basin with 45,000 boepd from its horizontal well program.

Production volumes for the second half of 2013 are expected to average around 300,000 boepd with initial production at Alen, additional sales from Tamar and the continued ramp up of activity in the DJ Basin and the Marcellus shale wet gas area, the company reported in its April 25 earnings release.

Higher costs resulted in lower first quarter 2013 earnings for the company despite stronger revenue from oil and condensates and natural gas.

Karen Boman has more than 10 years of experience covering the upstream oil and gas sector. Email Karen at


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