The Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) has elected Mike Watford as chairman of the association and Mark Miller as vice chairman for the upcoming 2013-2015 term. Since 1999, Watford has been the chairman, president and CEO of Ultra Petroleum, a publicly traded upstream oil and gas company based in Houston. Miller is president of Merlin Oil & Gas Inc., a small onshore operation in Lafayette, La.
“We are honored to welcome Mike Watford and Mark Miller to the helm of IPAA,” said IPAA president and CEO Barry Russell. “Mike and Mark have witnessed firsthand how development of our vast oil and natural gas gives the United States opportunities and benefits beyond reckoning. After all, as leaders of energy companies, they are first and foremost job creators.
“Their roles within the upstream industry reflect the diverse nature of America’s independent oil and natural gas producers, with Mike as leader of a publicly traded company headquartered in Houston and Mark as the founder of small onshore producer in Lafayette. These distinct but complementary backgrounds combined with great records of civic engagement will amplify IPAA’s voice as we advocate for America’s independent producers in Washington and beyond.”
Watford and Miller assumed their positions at the IPAA board of directors meeting on Nov. 7.
Watford’s experience in the industry includes working for many companies in both upstream and downstream sectors. Prior to Ultra Petroleum, Watford was CEO of Nuevo Energy Co. He also has experience in managed product marketing, processing, pipeline, and the chemical business. Watford is on the boards of Valerus and America’s Natural Gas Alliance. He is also an appointed member of the National Petroleum Council, an oil and natural gas advisory committee to the Secretary of Energy.
Miller’s career in the industry spans more than 30 years, when he started in the petroleum land business. He has provided expert testimony in federal, state, and municipal court proceedings pertaining to petroleum land management as well as oil and gas lease exploration. Miller serves on the board of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, the American Association of Petroleum Landman Legislative Update Committee, and the Foundation Board at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He is also on the Dean’s Advisory council for the ULL College of Business and has served as President of the Lafayette Association of Petroleum Landmen.
Watford lives in Houston and received his bachelor’s from the University of Florida and his MBA from the University of New Orleans. Miller is a resident of Lafayette and obtained his bachelor’s from the University of South Carolina.
Russell also thanked outgoing chairman Virginia “Gigi” Lazenby for her leadership of IPAA from 2011-2013. She will remain active on the association’s board of directors.