NPE is led by a highly-experienced management team with a strong track record of acquiring, developing, operating and divesting oil and gas assets.

J. Stephen (Steve) Mercer
One of the initial founders and Managers of North Plains Energy, LLC, Mr. Mercer was a co-founder and CFO of IPR Energy, LLC in Dallas, Texas along with its affiliates – InFlow Petroleum Resources, LP, IPR Energy Partners, L.P. and IPR Oilfield Services, LP starting in April 2002. These companies have been involved in successfully acquiring and developing oil and gas properties in the Gulf Coast and Permian Basin. InFlow recently sold its principal assets for more than $32 million generating substantial returns for the founders and co-investors in InFlow. Through IPR Energy Partners, L.P., Mr. Mercer and his partner have developed a series of acquisitions with development opportunities in North Texas and a series of exploration prospects in Michigan’s Niagaran Reef trend. IPR Energy Partners, L.P. has been financed with the principal’s equity and conventional bank debt. IPR Oilfield Services, LP was formed in conjunction with the IPR Energy Partners, L.P. North Texas property acquisitions to hold certain well services businesses and third-party water disposal business. Prior to forming IPR Energy, LLC, Mr. Mercer spent 25 years in oil & gas acquisitions and development, commercial real estate investment and development, engineering and technical consulting, financial advisory work, and oil & gas banking in a variety of management, technical and financial positions. Mr. Mercer started his career in late 1977 with Exxon Company U.S.A. as a reservoir and production engineer. Mr. Mercer earned a Bachelors Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Through his various banking positions, Mr. Mercer was able to attend graduate studies in accounting and finance at the University of Houston and Stanford University.


Clayton Miller
President and COO
With over 25 years of experience in the domestic and international oil and gas industry Mr. Miller has held a variety of management and technical positions oriented toward asset growth and development. Most recently he was executive vice president and COO at Cornerstone Natural Resources, a private equity operator in the North Dakota Bakken play. Previously Mr. Miller was at Saudi Aramco for eight years in gas exploration and development drilling where he managed multiple deep gas drilling and exploration projects and became manager of Aramco’s Drilling Technology Division. Mr. Miller has held drilling and production manager positions at Patina Oil & Gas and Gerrity Oil & Gas Corporation while his upstream experience also includes production and reservoir engineering assignments with Chevron Corporation in the Rocky Mountains. His mid-stream experience is complimented by consulting for gas storage and processing projects in California and Victoria, Australia. Mr. Miller has published technical papers with SPE and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University.

Rey A. Baribault, P.E.
VP Engineering
Also a co-founder of North Plains Energy, LLC, Mr. Baribault has served for nine years as CEO and President of IPR Energy, LLC (“IPR”), a Dallas-based oil and gas company which has successfully acquired, developed, inventoried and sold producing and undeveloped reserves through its affiliate companies in the Louisiana Gulf Coast, New Mexico Permian Basin, and North Central Texas. IPR has partnered with other operators, including EOG Resources and Devon Energy, to develop its HBP leasehold in the Barnett Shale oil-window.

From 1990 to 2002, Mr. Baribault served as Vice-President, Supervisor, & Petroleum Engineering Consultant with Netherland, Sewell & Associates, Inc. (“NSAI”) in Dallas. Mr. Baribault provided oil and gas reserve determinations; acquisition and divestment evaluations; field studies; expert testimony; underground gas storage field design, performance and expansion evaluations; and economic analyses of onshore and offshore properties throughout the U.S.

From 1985 to 1990, Mr. Baribault advanced from Project Engineer to Senior Engineer at Exxon Company, U.S.A. in the Eastern Division in New Orleans. He conducted reservoir engineering surveillance for deep, pressured gas fields in Louisiana identifying workover programs, drilling locations, and gas compression opportunities. His initial Joint-Venture Group assignment included reservoir and well surveillance of coastal and offshore non-operated fields; evaluation of drilling and facility installation projects proposed by joint operators; and offshore unitization projects with partner companies.

Mr. Baribault has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana State University, is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Society of Mechanical Engineers, a Registered Petroleum Engineer in the State of Texas, and petroleum engineering expert witness in North Dakota.

Randal L. Billingsley
Randy Billingsley is a geologist with over 30 years of experience in petroleum exploration, development and resource assessment in a variety of roles. His principal areas of experience are frontier basin exploration and unconventional resource exploitation. Originally educated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (BA, MSc), his experience includes stints with Shell Oil Company, Amoco, Advanced Resources International, Inc, Tracker Resource Development, llc. and independent consulting. He is a registered professional geologist in Wyoming and a member of AAPG, GSA and RMAG. He is presently involved in Williston Basin (Bakken) prospect generation and development for North Plains Energy, LLC.

Joseph R. (Joe) Pope
Manager of Land & Legal
Mr. Pope is an attorney, counselor at law and a certified professional landman, with more than 29 years experience in upstream oil and gas transactions, skilled in managing the land and legal functions during all phases of the exploration and production, including lease acquisitions, drilling and producing operations, and the negotiation and drafting of pooling, unitization, joint operating, trade and other related agreements. Mr. Pope was with Exxon Corporation for 10 years and has been in private law practice in Colorado for more than 20 years, representing numerous clients in the Rocky Mountain region. His experience includes: lease acquisition, producing property acquisitions and sales, corporate and limited liability company mergers, joint exploration and development agreements ranging in size from a single prospect to basin-wide development programs, management of land and legal issues in multi-year drilling and development programs, negotiation of the sale and purchase of producing oil and gas properties, exploration prospects, farm-in agreements, joint venture agreements, unit operating agreements, investor participation agreements for exploration prospects and development projects, and producing property, leasehold, drilling and division order title opinions. He has represented clients before state and federal regulatory agencies throughout the western United States.

Mr. Pope was previously a land manager with ExxonMobil in Denver and Midland, with oversight for leasing, title and title clearance, due diligence, and production operations land matters for most of the western United States. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, he practiced general law in Monte Vista, Colorado. Mr. Pope holds a B.A. in Economics and J.D. in Law from the University of Colorado.

Mathew (Mat) Ekblad
Mathew Ekblad is an Oil and Gas Landman that has been working out of the Williston Basin for the past 5 years. He started his career with Northwest Abstract and Title, Inc. of Williston, ND. During his time in the oilfield his positions have included title search, well permitting, and most recently directing title crews and lease negotiating. Mat graduated with an Associates Degree from the University of North Dakota - Williston (1998) and a Bachelors Degree from North Dakota State University (2001).

Phil Jore
Phil Jore is one of NPE's key field personnel negotiating oil and gas leases as well as doing title research. He received a BS degree from Bemidji State University in 1978 and a MFA degree from the University of Minnesota in 1982. He lives in the heart of the oil activity in the Williston basin and has worked as an independent Landman for various oil companies. He has been with the NPE team from the beginning and brings strong skills in research and communication.


Dustin Gaspari
From 1995 through 2005, Mr. Gaspari held various positions within Union Bank of California’s Energy Capital Services Group. From 2002 to 2005, Mr. Gaspari served as Vice President of the Canada Branch, representing Union Bank of California’s first entry into the Canadian energy market. Throughout his career with Union Bank of California, Mr. Gaspari was engaged in the placement of senior debt, mezzanine debt and equity capital to entities engaged in the E&P and midstream sectors. Mr. Gaspari holds a Bachelor degree from California State University Northridge and a MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Jeffrey Katersky
Mr. Katersky is a Principal with BSI Energy Partners, LLC. From 2005 to 2011, Mr. Katersky held various positions with GE Energy Financial Services, a division of GE Capital with over $20 billion of energy related investments. From 2007-2011, Mr. Katersky served as Vice President of the International and Midstream portfolio group and the Diversified Energy equity group, underwriting and managing private equity and structured finance investments in the midstream and power sectors. Prior to joining GE, Mr. Katersky was a project manager for Bentley-Simonson, Inc. Mr. Katersky holds a Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from New York University.

Clif Simonson
Mr. Simonson is a Principal of BSI Energy Partners, LLC. Mr. Simonson was a co-founder of Bentley-Simonson, Inc. serving as its President and Chief Operating Officer from 1994 until the sale of its assets to Plains Exploration & Production Company in March of 2005. He has spent his entire career in the oil and gas industry, first as President of D & S Industrial Services, a firm providing operating, management, consulting and environmental services for independent oil and gas producers. Mr. Simonson is a Licensed General Engineering Contractor with Hazardous Material Certification. Mr. Simonson is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Independent Petroleum Association (CIPA). Mr. Simonson holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Petter Romming
Mr. Romming is a Principal with BSI Energy Partners, LLC and currently serves as an Executive Director for True Oil Enterprises, LLC, a service provider to companies engaged in the domestic energy sector. Mr. Romming was one of the principals of Bentley-Simonson, Inc and served on its Board of Directors. He is a petroleum engineer with twenty years of onshore and offshore experience and an extensive knowledge of production and reservoir engineering. He started his career with Phillips Petroleum Company Norway in 1986, and during the nine years he was employed had a wide range of assignments including reservoir engineer, offshore production and drilling engineer. From 1995 to 1998 he was a California-based independent consulting engineer whose clients included Exxon and Venoco. After joining Bentley-Simonson, Inc. in 1998 as one of the principals and VP of Engineering, Mr. Romming was responsible for the reservoir exploitation of all of its fields. He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Oslo State College of Engineering and a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Southern California.

Theodore Bentley
Mr. Bentley is a Principal with BSI Energy Partners, LLC and currently serves as an Executive Director of True Oil Enterprises, LLC, a service provider to companies engaged in the domestic energy sector. Mr. Bentley was a co-founder of Bentley-Simonson, Inc. and its Chief Financial Officer from 1997 until the sale of its assets to Plains Exploration & Production Company in March of 2005. His career started in banking as an Associate Vice President with Security Pacific Bank in their commercial lending department. He has participated in the management of medical technology and device companies, metal and material companies and chemical companies before his involvement with Bentley-Simonson, Inc. Mr. Bentley currently has interests in ranching, real estate, power generation maintenance, and rig services. Mr. Bentley has a degree in Business Administration from Cal State Fullerton, with a concentration in Finance.

Dana Bowen
Mrs. Bowen is a Principal with BSI Energy Partners, LLC. Since 1995, she has served as the external Certified Public Accountant for Bentley-Simonson, Inc. and its affiliates, providing management and tax consulting, certified financial audits, and tax return preparation. From 1985 to 2006, Mrs. Bowen has been a partner with CPA firms in Ventura, California, specializing in oil and gas accounting and taxation for independent producers. Mrs. Bowen began her business career in 1979 with Alexander Grant & Co. in Oklahoma City, OK. She holds a B.Sc. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University.


North Plains Energy, LLC  |   1888 Sherman Street Suite 375
Denver, Colorado 80203
Ph: 303.800.5100
Fax: 303.648.6787
A BSI Energy Partners Affliate