Watch the CEO Signature Series interview with Trem Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Berry Petroleum (BRY).
Trem Smith, CEO
Mr. Smith has served as the President, Chief Executive Officer and a director since March 2017. Prior to being named Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Smith began an informal consulting relationship in May 2016, followed by a formal consulting relationship in October 2016, and then served as interim CEO while he was a consultant in January 2017. Mr. Smith has over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. In January 2014, Mr. Smith founded TS&J Consulting, where he served until joining Berry Corp. in March 2017 which focused on providing consulting services to distressed companies and assets in the United States and United Kingdom. From January 2007 until January 2014, Mr. Smith was President and Chief Executive Officer at Hillwood International Energy, L.P. and HKN Energy Ltd., which focused on discoveries and production in the United States and northern Iraq. Mr. Smith spent 25 years of his career at Chevron, from 1981 until 2006, where he served in a number of leadership positions with increasing responsibilities in Russia, Thailand and multiple locations in the United States, including La Habra and San Francisco, California. While at Chevron, Mr. Smith was exposed to all phases of the business, including production, operations, exploration, business development, M&A, finance and technology. Mr. Smith graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College with a major in Geology and Russian and received a Master’s degree and PhD in Economic Geology from Pennsylvania State University.
The oil and gas industry is heavily influenced by commodity prices. Since the latter half of 2014, commodity prices have declined and remained at relatively low levels through the middle of 2017 but have generally risen since then. For example, the Brent crude oil futures contract prices declined from a high of over $100.16 per Bbl on June 24, 2014 to a low of $40.67 per Bbl on January 20, 2016. The Henry Hub spot price for natural gas has also declined since 2014. While oil prices remain lower than the 2014 averages, they have improved since early 2016. Our revenue, profitability and future growth are highly dependent on the prices we receive for our oil and natural gas production. Please see "Risk Factors--Risks Related to Our Business and Industry--Oil, natural gas and NGL prices are volatile and directly affect our results.