Cobalt’s vision is to become one of the world’s most admired exploration and production companies by keeping commitments, adhering to our values, achieving results as promised, and consistently delivering top quartile rates of return. Our business model allows us to move quickly and seamlessly through the exploration, appraisal, development and production processes.
Cobalt’s pioneering approach to oil exploration was built on the unique idea that an agile company, armed with exceptional human talent, the best available seismic data, outstanding assets and a disciplined business model, can compete with the world’s largest energy companies. Through our experienced workforce, innovative technology and pioneering siting techniques, the company has built a carefully selected, world-class oil portfolio in the deepwater regions of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore West Africa.
As we transition from an oil exploration company to exploration and development, we continue our endeavor to be a successful, enduring enterprise that will generate wealth for our investors and provide an outstanding professional experience for our team members. Our track record of exploration excellence continues with twelve deepwater discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico and West Africa. These achievements, combined with a disciplined plan for future oil production, position the company exceptionally well for long-term value creation.
At Cobalt, we are discovering opportunity and producing value.
The Cobalt team encompasses highly experienced geoscientists, engineers, business professionals and technicians, led by a management team with a proven record of success.
Our highly-skilled professionals have an average of more than 30 years of oil exploration, development and production experience. Members of our management team have negotiated globally significant commercial agreements and developed many long-standing relationships with independent, major and national oil companies, host governments and service providers.
Cobalt’s staff and management are motivated by a shared vision and clear business model, enabling them to do what they do best: find, develop and produce oil. Our people combine the best data and technology with the expertise and collective insight necessary to locate the next best opportunities, and reduce cycle times at every phase of the exploration, appraisal, development and production process.
Cobalt’s management team has a proven, differentiated track record of successfully participating in our industry’s largest global projects over the past two decades. We have played key roles in major offshore discoveries, and have been instrumental in bringing these large-scale global hydrocarbon projects through development to production.
A few examples of major discoveries and development/production projects in which members of our management team have played a key role include: Atlantis, Great White and Thunderhorse in the Gulf of Mexico; Blocks 15, 17, 18, and 31 in Angola.
We have negotiated globally significant and challenging commercial agreements, and we have developed many long-standing relationships with independent oil companies, host governments, national oil companies and service providers – all of which enhances Cobalt’s competitiveness and our ability to deliver.
Timothy J. Cutt—Chief Executive Officer
Timothy J. Cutt has served as Chief Executive Officer since July 2016. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Cutt served as President, Petroleum of BHP Billiton, accountable for its global oil and gas business from July 2013 until March 2016. Mr. Cutt joined BHP Billiton in 2007 as the President of the Production Division in the Petroleum business where he was accountable for running operations in the UK, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Algeria, Australia and the US. During this time, he was instrumental in building the operating capacity for BHP Billiton’s Deepwater Business. Before joining BHP Billiton, Mr. Cutt held positions in engineering, operations and senior management for 25 years with Mobil Oil Corporation and then ExxonMobil. During this time he spent 10 years supporting exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico and held positions of President Hibernia Management and Development Co. and President of ExxonMobil de Venezuela. Mr. Cutt has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
David D. Powell—Chief Financial Officer
David D. Powell joined Cobalt in July 2016 and serves as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Powell has had more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer for BHP Billiton – Petroleum and was accountable for all finance, accounting, commercial assurance, supply chain and information technology activities from March 2009 until May 2016. Mr. Powell joined BHP Billiton from Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation where he served as Vice President Houston Finance from November 2007 to February 2009. Mr. Powell began his employment with Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation in 1981 and held progressively more senior roles in the United States, Argentina, Russia, Malaysia and Qatar until he joined BHP Billiton - Petroleum. Mr. Powell started his career in 1980 with the public accounting firm Deloitte, Haskins and Sells. Mr. Powell holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, graduating summa cum laude from William Jewell College, he completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School and he holds a Certified Public Accountant certificate from the state of Missouri.
Rod Skaufel—President, Operations
Rod Skaufel joined Cobalt in August 2016 and serves as President, Operations. Mr. Skaufel has had more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry and brings deep technical capability and strategic focus. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Skaufel served as Head of Strategic Planning, Corporation for BHP Billiton and was the head of strategic planning, value management and the investment office. Mr. Skaufel joined BHP Billiton in 2007 and, prior to his promotion to his most recent position there, he served as President, North America Shale from 2013 to 2015. Prior to that, in 2012 he held the title of President, Conventional Business. He also led BHP Billiton’s engineering function and Central Engineering organization comprised of subject matter experts in deepwater floating systems including subsea, subsurface, and umbilicals. Mr. Skaufel joined BHP Billiton from ExxonMobil where he served as Technical Operations Manager – Chad-Cameroon from 2003 to 2007 and Planning Advisor from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Skaufel began his career in 1985 with Mobil Oil Corporation and held progressively more senior roles until he joined ExxonMobil. Mr. Skaufel holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
James H. Painter—President, Exploration and Appraisal
James H. Painter has served as President, Exploration and Appraisal since January 2017. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Painter served as our Executive Vice President since April 2013. Mr. Painter previously served as our Executive Vice President, Gulf of Mexico from our inception in November 2005 until April 2013. Mr. Painter has more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining Cobalt, from February 2004 to September 2005, Mr. Painter was the Senior Vice President of Exploration and Technology at Unocal Corporation. Prior to his position at Unocal Corporation (following the merger between Ocean Energy Inc. and Devon Energy Corporation), from April 2003 to October 2003, Mr. Painter served as the Vice President of Exploration at Devon Energy Corporation, an oil and gas exploration and production company. From January 1995 to April 2003, Mr. Painter served in various manager and executive positions at Ocean Energy Inc. (and its predecessor Flores and Rucks, Inc.) with his final position as Senior Vice President of Gulf of Mexico and International Exploration. Additional industry experience includes positions at Forest Oil Corporation, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, Mobil Oil Corporation and Superior Oil Company, Inc. Mr. Painter holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Louisiana State University.
Jeffrey A. Starzec—Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Jeffrey A. Starzec has served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel since February 2015. Mr. Starzec also serves as our Corporate Secretary. Mr. Starzec served as our Senior Vice President and General Counsel from January 2012 to February 2015. From June 2009 until December 2011, Mr. Starzec served as our Associate General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Starzec practiced corporate and securities law at Vinson & Elkins LLP from 2006 until 2009, where he represented a variety of energy companies, including Cobalt in connection with its strategic alliance with Total in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Starzec began his legal career at Baker Botts LLP and holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Duke University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Richard A. Smith—Senior Vice President, Strategy and Development
Richard A. Smith has served as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development since August 2016, after having served as our Senior Vice President from September 2014 until July 2016. Prior to that time, Mr. Smith served as Senior Vice President and President of Cobalt Angola from November 2013 to September 2014. Mr. Smith served as Vice President, Investor Relations, Compliance and Risk Management from December 2012 until November 2013. Before that, Mr. Smith served as Vice President, Investor Relations and Planning from October 2011 until December 2012. Mr. Smith served as Vice President, International Business Development, Commercial and Finance from September 2010 until October 2011. From October 2007 until September 2010, Mr. Smith served as our Vice President. Mr. Smith has over 33 years of oil and gas industry experience in North American and international markets. Prior to joining Cobalt, from September 2005 to September 2007, Mr. Smith was Vice President, Joint Venture Development Corporate Affairs for the BP Russia Offshore Strategic Performance Unit, an oil and gas exploration and production unit of BP. From February 2002 to August 2005, he held the position of Vice President and then Executive Director for BP Exploration (Angola) Limited, an oil and gas exploration and production company operating in Angola. Mr. Smith’s additional industry experience includes leadership positions at various companies in the oil and gas industry operating in Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States and Canada. Mr. Smith holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Calgary.
Lynne L. Hackedorn—Vice President, Government and Public Affairs
Lynne L. Hackedorn has served as Vice President, Government and Public Affairs since October 2011. Ms. Hackedorn served as our Vice President, Government, Public Affairs and Land from September 2010 until October 2011. From April 2006 until September 2010, Ms. Hackedorn served as our Vice President, Land. Ms. Hackedorn has over 31 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining Cobalt, from 2001 to 2006, Ms. Hackedorn served as Senior Landman at Hydro Gulf of Mexico, L.L.C., formerly Spinnaker Exploration Company, L.L.C., an oil and gas exploration and production company, handling a variety of land functions within both the shelf and deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico. From 1998 to 2001, Ms. Hackedorn held management positions within the offshore Gulf of Mexico regions of Sonat Exploration GOM, Inc. and El Paso Production GOM, Inc., both oil and gas exploration and production companies. From 1994 to 1998, Ms. Hackedorn was a Landman with Zilkha Energy Company, also an oil and gas exploration and production company. Ms. Hackedorn began her career as a Landman in 1984 at ARCO Oil and Gas Company, where she worked in the onshore South Texas region from 1984 until 1990, and then in the offshore Gulf of Mexico region from 1990 until 1994. Ms. Hackedorn currently also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of National Ocean Industries Association. Ms. Hackedorn earned her Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Land Management from the University of Houston, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
Wanda M. Lewis—Vice President, Human Resources
Wanda M. Lewis has been our Vice President Human Resources since August 2012 and has over 30 years of industry experience. Prior to joining Cobalt, Ms. Lewis served as Vice President Human Resources for BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. from 2010 to 2012, Vice President for BP North America Gas from 2004 to 2009 and Vice President Human Resources for BP North America Exploration from 2001 to 2003. Ms. Lewis served as a BP owner-loanee to Alyeska Pipeline Service Company leading a significant organizational change effort. Ms. Lewis was named to the BP Amoco merger team and led the HR function for the Arco integration in Alaska.
Our Board of Directors is responsible to Cobalt’s shareholders for the oversight of the company. To fulfill its responsibilities, the Board of Directors follows the procedures and standards that are set forth in the charters below. Cobalt’s corporate governance is designed to enhance our ability to pursue the objectives critical to energy exploration and intended to ensure ongoing accountability and transparency to shareholders.
Cobalt's audit committee has established a confidential reporting system for the receipt, retention, and treatment of problems, issues and concerns received by Cobalt including with respect to accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters; our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and other company policies; non-compliance with laws; or any other matter. You can report your concern anonymously.
If you would like to report a concern, please choose one of the options below:
1. Call the Cobalt Hotline: (800) 338-9088
2. Click here to submit a written report
Board of Directors
William P. Utt (Chairman of the Board of Directors)
William P. Utt has been a member of the Board since March 2013, and presently serves as Cobalt's Chairman of the Board, as well as Chairman of our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. In March 2014, Mr. Utt retired as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of KBR Inc. Prior to joining KBR in 2006, Mr. Utt was President and CEO of SUEZ Energy North America and its predecessor companies from 1995 to 2006, with responsibility for the LNG, retail energy, energy marketing and trading, power generation and development businesses. Mr. Utt currently serves on the National Petroleum Council, which provides advice and analysis to the U.S. Secretary of Energy. Mr. Utt holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia and has a master’s degree in business administration from The Colgate Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia.
Timothy J. Cutt (Director and Chief Executive Officer)
Timothy J. Cutt has served as Director and Chief Executive Officer since July 2016. Prior to joining Cobalt, Mr. Cutt served as President, Petroleum of BHP Billiton, accountable for its global oil and gas business from July 2013 until March 2016. Mr. Cutt joined BHP Billiton in 2007 as the President of the Production Division in the Petroleum business where he was accountable for running operations in the UK, Pakistan, Trinidad & Tobago, Algeria, Australia and the US. During this time, he was instrumental in building the operating capacity for BHP Billiton’s Deepwater Business. Before joining BHP Billiton, Mr. Cutt held positions in engineering, operations and senior management for 25 years with Mobil Oil Corporation and then ExxonMobil. During this time he spent 10 years supporting exploration and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico and held positions of President Hibernia Management and Development Co. and President of ExxonMobil de Venezuela. Mr. Cutt has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.
Jack E. Golden (Director)
Jack E. Golden has been a member of the Board since January 2010 and is a member of our Compensation and Audit Committees. Dr. Golden has well-rounded expertise and experience in the global oil and gas industry. After earning his Ph.D. in Physics, Dr. Golden joined Shell in 1977, later joining BP p.l.c. (‘‘BP’’) in 1982. He held numerous executive positions in North America, including President of BP’s North American E&P business. For much of his last decade with BP, he served as Group Vice President—Exploration and Production. During this period, he was involved with the development and operation of BP’s business in North America, Europe, South America, West Africa and Russia. Dr. Golden retired from BP at the beginning of 2006. He is currently Managing Director of Edgewater Energy LLC, a Texas based oil and gas company, and a director of Atwood Oceanics, Inc., an international offshore drilling company. Additionally, Dr. Golden is President of Four Winds Consulting LLC, which served as advisor to the Board from March 2007 until December 2009.
John E. Hagale (Director)
John E. Hagale has been a member of the Board since March 2016 and is a member of our Audit Committee. Mr. Hagale has more than 30 years of financial and accounting experience and is a certified public accountant. Mr. Hagale served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Rosetta Resources, Inc. from November 2011 until its merger with Noble Energy, Inc. in July 2015. Prior to joining Rosetta, Mr. Hagale was Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of The Methodist Hospital System from June 2003 through October 2011. He was also employed with Burlington Resources Inc. and its predecessor Burlington Northern Inc. for 15 years where he held a series of executive financial positions with increasing responsibilities, including Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Burlington Resources Inc. Mr. Hagale began his career with Deloitte Haskins and Sells. Mr. Hagale holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame.
Kay Bailey Hutchison (Director)
Kay Bailey Hutchison has been a member of the Board since December 2013 and is a member of our Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Senator Hutchison has over 40 years of experience in the public and private sectors. Currently, Senator Hutchison serves as Senior Counsel in Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP’s Dallas, Texas office. From 1993 to 2013, she served as a U.S. Senator and was the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. In the history of the Senate, Senator Hutchison was one of only two women ever elected to Republican leadership. She also served as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, as well as the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice, and Science. She was the Chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and served on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Prior to her Senate service, Senator Hutchison was elected Texas State Treasurer in 1990 and to the Texas House of Representatives in 1972, representing the first Republican woman elected to that body. She served in the Texas House until 1976 when she was appointed by President Gerald Ford to serve as Vice-Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. In addition to her political career, Senator Hutchison is also a former bank executive, journalist and small business owner. The University of Texas Law School recently honored Senator Hutchison by establishing the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Latin American Law, named for Hutchison in honor of her many contributions, both to the nation and to the University of Texas system, where she has ardently promoted the importance of research and diversity within higher education. Senator Hutchison holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law.
Jon A. Marshall (Director)
Jon A. Marshall has been a member of the Board since May 2010 and is Chairman of our Compensation Committee. Mr. Marshall served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Transocean Inc. from November 2007 until May 2008 and was a member of Transocean’s Board of Directors from November 2007 until December 2008. Mr. Marshall served as a director and Chief Executive Officer of GlobalSantaFe Corporation from May 2003 until November 2007, when it merged with a subsidiary of Transocean, and served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GlobalSantaFe from November 2001 until May 2003. From 1998 to November 2001, Mr. Marshall was employed with Global Marine Inc. where he held the same position. Mr. Marshall currently serves as a director of Noble Corporation. Mr. Marshall received his B.S. degree from the United States Military Academy.
Kenneth W. Moore (Director)
Kenneth W. Moore has been a member of the Board since August 2007. Mr. Moore served as Managing Director of First Reserve Corporation, a global private equity firm which invests exclusively in the energy industry, from 2004 through 2015. Prior to joining First Reserve, Mr. Moore spent four years with Morgan Stanley in New York. Mr. Moore served as a director of Enstar Group Limited from February 2014 to June 2015, Chart Industries, Inc. from October 2005 to November 2007 and Dresser-Rand Group Inc. from October 2004 to May 2007. Mr. Moore holds a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell University.
Myles W. Scoggins (Director)
Myles W. Scoggins has been a member of the Board since March 2010 and is a member of our Audit and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees. Dr. Scoggins is President Emeritus of the Colorado School of Mines and served as its President from June 2006 to July 2015. Prior to his appointment with the Colorado School of Mines, Dr. Scoggins had a 34-year career with Mobil Corporation and Exxon Mobil Corporation where he held senior executive positions in the upstream oil and gas business. From 1999 to 2004 he served as Executive Vice President of Exxon Mobil Production Company. Prior to the merger of Mobil and Exxon in late 1999, he was President, International Exploration & Production and Global Exploration, and an officer and member of the executive committee of Mobil Oil Corporation. He retired from ExxonMobil in 2004. He was a director for Venoco, Inc. from June 2007 until October 2012, Trico Marine Services, Inc. from March 2005 until August 2011 and Questar Corporation from February 2005 until June 2010. In addition, Dr. Scoggins also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the University of Tulsa and the National Board of Directors for the Gilcrease Museum. Dr. Scoggins has a Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Tulsa.
D. Jeff van Steenbergen (Director)
D. Jeff van Steenbergen has been a member of the Board since our inception in November 2005 and is a member of our Compensation Committee. Mr. van Steenbergen is a co-founder and managing partner of Azimuth Capital Management, a Calgary-based energy sector private equity firm. He has been with the firm since 2001 and serves on the boards of six of Azimuth’s international and Canadian portfolio companies. Prior to that, Mr. van Steenbergen was co-head of North American Oil & Gas with JPMorgan & Co. Mr. van Steenbergen has been active in the North American and international energy sector for 38 years and has a wide range of experience in oil and gas and energy infrastructure as a private equity investor, investment banker, and in operations and development planning roles with ExxonMobil and in field operations with Schlumberger. Mr. van Steenbergen holds a B.A.S.C. in Civil Engineering from Queen’s University and an M.B.A. from Dalhousie University, and attended executive programs at Harvard Business School, Stanford University and INSEAD.
Van P. Whitfield (Director)
Van P. Whitfield has been a member of the Board since June 2016. Mr. Whitfield served as our Interim Chief Executive Officer from June 2016 until July 2016, after having served as our Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President since September 2011. Mr. Whitfield served as our Executive Vice President, Operations and Development from May 2006 until September 2011. Prior to joining Cobalt, from May 2003 to May 2005, Mr. Whitfield served as Senior Vice President, Western Operations of CDX Gas LLC, an independent oil and gas company. From October 2002 to April 2003 he served as Production Unit Leader for the Angola Liquid Natural Gas Project, BP Exploration (Angola) Limited and from June 2001 to October 2002, he held the position of Vice President, Power and Water of ExxonMobil Saudi Arabia (Southern Ghawar) Ltd, an exploration and production company. Mr. Whitfield has also held the positions of Senior Vice President of BP Global Power, President and General Manager of Amoco Netherlands BV and Production Manager of Amoco (U.K.) Exploration Company. Mr. Whitfield has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University and is a graduate of the Executive Program at Stanford University. .
Martin H. Young Jr. (Director)
Martin H. Young, Jr. has been a member of the Board since October 2009 and is Chairman of our Audit Committee and a member of our Compensation Committee. Mr. Young was the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Falcon Seaboard Diversified, Inc. and its predecessor companies, Falcon Seaboard Holdings, L.P. and Falcon Seaboard Resources, Inc., from 1992 until June 2014. Falcon is a private energy company involved in natural gas exploration and production, real estate and private investments. In July 2007, Mr. Young retired as Chairman of the Board (a position he had held for 11 years) and as a member of the Board of the Texas Mutual Insurance Company (a position he had held for 12 years), the largest provider of workers’ compensation insurance in the State of Texas. Prior to his employment with Falcon, Mr. Young had 13 years of banking experience, the last ten working for a major California bank as the Vice President/Area Manager for the corporate banking group. Until its sale in 2013, Mr. Young served as Chairman of the board of directors of the Berry Petroleum Company, an independent energy company, a position he held for nine of the fourteen years he served on Berry Petroleum’s board. Mr. Young holds a B.B.A. from Duquesne University and an M.B.A. from Southern Illinois University.
Committee Composition and Charters
Below is a summary of our committees, their membership, and supporting Charters. To read more about any of the committees, click on the committee names in the Committee Charters section below.
Cobalt is uncompromising in our core values. They provide the standards for the highest level of ethics, beliefs and practices that lead to world-class performance in achieving our vision.
First and foremost, Cobalt is committed to operating worldwide in a safe, ethical, responsible manner, respecting the environment, our employees, contractors and the communities where we operate.
We believe that a proactive commitment to Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) and clear accountability for performance are critical to our success. Our comprehensive HSSE Policy applies to all Cobalt employees, contractors and projects worldwide. This is the basis for our enterprise HSSE management system, which is designed to integrate HSSE into all aspects of our business.
Our core values, listed below, are reflected in everything we do.
- Commitment to Health, Safety, Security and Environment: Apply the highest level health, safety, security and environmental standards in everything we do;
- Outstanding Value for Shareholders: Focus all our decisions to deliver the greatest value to our shareholders and investors;
- Best Talent, Team and Resources: Attract and leverage world class talent, team and resources bringing together our core competencies for excellence;
- Action Oriented and Results Focused: Action driven with thoughtful analysis, nimbleness, and efficiency to achieve results;
- Legendary Leadership and Entrepreneurship: Be renowned leaders that navigate a strategy for high performance and entrepreneurship;
- Trustworthy and Integrity in All That We Do: Work with the highest levels of integrity, being trustworthy as partners and as colleagues;
- Socially and Professionally Rewarding: Provide a positive productive work environment for great ideas to incubate and where significant contributions lead to substantial rewards.
Cobalt International Energy, Inc.
920 Memorial City Way, Suite 100
Houston, TX 77024
Tel. +1 713-579-9100 | Fax. +1 713-579-9184