Jim McFarland, B. Sc., M. Sc., P. Eng.
President & CEO
Jim McFarland is a professional engineer with more than 44 years of oil and gas experience. Prior to co-founding Valeura Energy Inc., Jim was President, CEO, director and co-founder of Verenex Energy Inc., a successful oil & gas company with assets in Libya which was sold to the Libyan Investment Authority in December 2009. He has served in senior executive roles as Managing Director of Southern Pacific Petroleum NL in Australia (shale oil), President & COO of Husky Oil Limited (heavy oil) and in a wide range of upstream engineering, project management, operations and corporate HSE and research functions in an earlier 23-year career with Imperial Oil Limited (conventional oil & gas and oil sands) and other Exxon affiliates in Canada, USA and Western Europe (offshore, research). He is a director of MEG Energy Corp. (oil sands insitu) and Pengrowth Energy Corporation (Canadian oil and gas), and a past director of Verenex Energy Inc., Vermilion Energy Trust, Aventura Energy Inc., Southern Pacific Petroleum NL and Central Pacific Minerals NL. He is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), Society of Petroleum Engineers International, Institute of Corporate Directors, and Program Committee of the World Petroleum Council.
Education: B.Sc. Chemical Engineering (First Class Honours), Queen's University, 1970; M.Sc. Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, 1974; Executive Development Program, Cornell University, 1981
Awards: Australian Centenary Medal in 2003 for "Outstanding Service Through Business and Commerce".
Steve Bjornson, B. Comm., CA
Steve Bjornson is a chartered accountant with more than 30 years of finance, business development, strategic planning and tax experience, operating in Canada, France, and Trinidad. In this period, he successfully negotiated 15 public and private merger and acquisitions. He was previously the interim-CEO of Northern Hunter Energy Inc., a predecessor company of Valeura Energy Inc. He has held the position of CFO at Vermilion Resources Ltd., Clear Energy Inc. and Sound Energy Trust. In addition, Mr. Bjornson is a past director of Bulldog Oil & Gas Inc., Bulldog Resources, and Aventura Energy.
Education: Bachelor of Commerce, University of Calgary, 1983; Chartered Accountant, Alberta, 1987.
Lyle Martinson, B. Sc., P. Eng.
Lyle Martinson is a professional engineer with more than 39 years of management, operations, and engineering experience in the oil and gas industry in Canada and internationally. Most recently, he held the position of Drilling and Operations Manager for Verenex Energy Area 47 Libya Limited, based in Tripoli. Prior to joining Verenex, he had a successful 28-year career with Chevron Corporation in Canada, the US Gulf of Mexico, California, Australia, and Indonesia, including 22 years in leadership roles managing organizations and projects of varying size and complexity. In his last assignment with Chevron, he was Manager of Well Engineering and Operations at Chevron Canada Resources. He has experience with both onshore and offshore operations, gas production, light oil and heavy oil production, EOR projects and exploratory well drilling. Lyle is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Education: B.Sc. Civil Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 1978.
Donald Shepherd, B. Sc., P. Eng.
Don Shepherd is a professional engineer with more than 43 years of management, operations and engineering experience in the oil and gas industry in Canada and internationally. Most recently, he was General Manager of Verenex Energy Area 47 Libya Limited, based in Tripoli. Prior to joining Verenex, he held other internationally-focused positions including VP Engineering & Operations with Calvalley Petroleum Inc., an oil and gas company with operations in Yemen, and Asset Management Team Leader & Senior Engineering Specialist with Saudi Aramco, based in Saudi Arabia. Earlier roles included senior executive positions with a number of small independent oil and gas companies in Canada (Highfield Oil and Gas, Roxy Petroleum, Morgan Hydrocarbons, Newscope Resources), following an initial career with Imperial Oil Limited and Exxon, including an assignment in Libya. Don is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Education: B.Sc. Electrical Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, 1970.
Rob Sadownyk, B.Sc.(Hon.), P. Geol.
Rob Sadownyk is a professional geologist with 28 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Prior to joining Valeura Energy Inc., Rob was Vice President Exploration and a co-founder of Berland Exploration Ltd., which was a successful privately-funded junior oil & gas company with tight gas assets in western Canada. Before co-founding Berland Exploration, Rob held the position of Senior Geologist with Vermilion Resources Ltd. for seven years and Canadian Hunter Exploration for eight years, gaining broad experience in tight gas reservoirs, carbonate, and foothills plays. Rob is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG).
Education: B.Sc.(Honours) Geology, University of Calgary, 1988; Civil Engineering Diploma, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, 1984.
Barry Wihak, A.B.Geol., P. Geol.
VP Business Development
Barry Wihak is a professional geologist with 33 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. Barry was formerly President and CEO, director, and co-founder of Cangea Energy, a privately held exploration and production company with a focus on Colombia. Prior to that he spent five years with Vermilion Energy Trust, as Business Development Advisor, instrumental in acquiring assets/corporations in France, the Netherlands, Australia, and Canada. During 22 years of earlier experience as an independent consultant and employee of junior oil and gas companies in Canada, Barry held various positions in exploration and production geological operations, as well as business development (Golden Horizon Exploration, Truax Resources, Richland Petroleum). Barry is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA).
Education: A.B.Geol., Princeton University, 1978.