Bartsch to Succeed Sistrunk at Aera

Bartsch to Succeed Sistrunk at Aera
Christina Sistrunk joined Aera Energy in June 2015. PHOTO SOURCE: Aera Energy LLC

Christina Sistrunk has elected to retire as president and CEO of Aera Energy LLC, the Bakersfield, Calif.-based oil producer reported Tuesday.

Sistrunk’s retirement is effective Oct. 1 and Erik Bartsch, vice president of safety and environment with Shell’s Integrated Gas and New Energies unit, will succeed her, Aera noted in a written statement emailed to Rigzone.

“I joined Aera and instantly knew I had found my work home,” remarked Sistrunk, who joined the company five years ago from Shell’s Upstream Americas business. “I have never worked for a company whose employees are just as passionate about their work as they are about the communities where we operate. It has been a great privilege to lead a company that truly cares about providing energy for California and prosperity for Californians. We continue to lead the way in delivering energy that meets the highest environmental and safety standards in the world. I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”

Sistrunk joined Shell in 1998 after working at Amoco Production Co. in Louisiana, holding various production, facilities, technical and management roles, Aera stated. Shortly after beginning her tenure with Aera in June 2015, she led an organizational redesign that helped the company to remain competitive through low oil price environments and the current pandemic, the firm added. Also, it noted the Sistrunk serves on California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery.

“The employees of Aera have become family to me,” Sistrunk continued. “My husband and I are fortunate to have spent five wonderful years in Bakersfield and we will cherish our memories always. It’s been the hallmark and highlight of my career.”

Bartsch, who holds a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a master’s in structural geology from the University of Colorado Boulder, will relocate with his family to Bakersfield from The Netherlands, Aera stated. He will transition into his role as chief operating officer and CEO designee until Oct. 1, when he will become Aera’s fourth president and CEO, it added.

“I’m honored to be joining the Aera family,” Bartsch commented. “Aera has a tremendous reputation and rich history of both business excellence and community engagement. I share the company’s commitment to safety and responsible production and look forward to taking us to the next level. My family and I are looking forward to coming back to California and becoming a part of all the communities where Aera operates.”

Aera, which accounts for approximately 25 percent of California’s oil production, operates primarily in the state’s San Joaquin Valley.

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