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DIVISION of Gas and Oil

VIRGINIA DMME Gas & Oil industry awards

The Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy's (DMME), Division of Gas and Oil (DGO) in partnership with the Virginia Oil and Gas Association (VOGA) recognize outstanding achievements by members of the gas and oil industry in Virginia. The gas and oil industry operates safely, and in an environmentally conscientious manner and performs activities in a very professional manner. The awards are to recognize entities within the industry for their efforts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The awards will be presented during the October VOGA meeting in Abingdon, VA.

How to Enter: Entries must be submitted to the Division of Gas and Oil (DGO) by May 17, 2019. Click here to access the nomination form. Completed forms should be emailed to

Stay tuned for the 2018 award winners! We will announce the winners at the Fall VOGA Meeting in October.

2017 Awards

Operator of the Year
CNX Resources

“Empowering their team to embrace innovative change that would create long-term value for their shareholders” – That is the mission statement of CNX Resources.
From many examples, already mentioned tonight, CNX is carrying out that mission and that’s why they are the 2017 Operator of the Year. The company helped design, install and operate a pipeline system and natural gas processing facility in Buchanan County—benefiting all communities where natural gas is produced.
They developed a fracturing ball and baffle system, which improved costs. CNX worked with Dearing Compressor and Pump to modify the Brown Mountain Station, which resulted in a mechanical revision of the equipment.
They worked with EnerNOC to reduce electrical costs. CNX also collaborated with Buchanan County in an effort to increase tourism through a trail expansion. These projects promote safety and efficiency and stimulate economic growth for Virginia’s citizens. CNX's dedication to continuous improvement and their commitment to support public projects is the reason CNX has been chosen as the 2017 Operator of the Year.

Service Provider of the Year
Cajun Well Service

In 1998, Cajun Well Service first began work in the coalbed methane field for CNX. Today, President Tim Branton continues to provide tremendous insight to well production in Virginia. That is why Cajun Well the 2017 Service Provider of the Year. Cajun Well Service offers a variety of oil and gas services within the energy sector, from roustabout work and predictive data trend analysis, to facility and field management. Through Mr. Branton’s vast background in the shallow oil fields of Louisiana provided a template, similar to that of Virginia’s Coalbed Methane program, which significantly minimized the learning curve associated with such a sizeable geographic and operational change. In addition to Cajun's operational excellence, they also embody the true culture of safety. They place a critical emphasis on every employee returning home in better condition than at the start of their shift. Over the last 20 years of service, Cajun Well Service has not experienced a lost time incident. Congratulations to Cajun Well Service-- the recipient of the 2017 VOGA Award for Service Provider of the Year.

Service Provider of the Year
KLX Energy Services

The foundation of a successful business can be boiled down to a team of knowledgeable, caring workers and a drive to see projects through to completion. For the past decade, the team of KLX Energy Services has checked both of those boxes and many more ensuring the success of well completions throughout the gas field of Virginia. Their team is said to be supportive and positive. Whether logging a well or perforating, the task is handled skillfully and safely. KLX Energy Services is the 2017 Service Provider of the Year. KLX Energy has a reputation for bringing top-quality equipment to Virginia and with nearly 100 wells completed in 2017, the proof is in the results. From upper management to technicians, KLX has proven time and again that they have the skills to perform tasks safely and effectively. A culture of safety and efficiency has been bred into each operation phase. Regulatory compliance and safety are also held to the highest standard. KLX Energy is and has been the top service provider in their field for over a decade. For these reasons, KLX Energy Services is the recipient of the 2017 VOGA Award for Service Provider of the Year.

Localized Distribution Company of the Year
Virginia Natural Gas

Serving the southeastern Virginia region for more than 160 years, Virginia Natural Gas (VNG) has become one of the largest local distribution companies. The company serves more than 300,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers. Through their innovative projects, strategic partnerships and public awareness programs, VNG continues to distinguish themselves as an industry leader strongly dedicated to environmental stewardship, committed to providing outstanding customer service and operating the safest and most reliable natural gas distribution system in the state. That’s why they are being awarded the Localized Distribution Company of the Year for 2017. Their core value, Safety First, remains the center of all their operations. VNG has continued to implement their Steps to Advance Virginia’s Energy plan, or SAVE. The SAVE projects have been critical in replacing more than 240 miles of aging pipeline infrastructure, with state of the art corrosion resistant pipes. Their 811 Student Education program, now in three public school systems, reaching more than 10,000 is continuously being developed and enhanced. VNG also runs radio and social media campaigns in support of Safe Digging Month in April. In 2017, these initiatives led to the lowest damage ratio in VNG history. Among their top areas of focus are helping the environment and the military/veterans in addition to traditional support of children’s education including STEM programs, energy assistance and community enrichment. For these reasons, and many more, Virginia Natural Gas is the recipient of the 2017 VOGA Award for Localized Distribution Company of the Year.

Outstanding Public Relations
Beth Stockner

Her contribution to the positive visibility and education to the public about the oil and gas industry in Virginia is why Beth Stockner is being recognized for Outstanding Public Relations. Ms. Stockner is an award winning public relations specialist with years of experience in the Virginia Oil and Gas Industry. As the media spokesperson and marketing consultant for the Virginia Oil and Gas Association, she is responsible for developing and making presentations with a focus on education to the general public, as well as developing and maintaining bonds with community leaders and media. Through Ms. Stockners’s participation as a volunteer in important public activities, such as the Energy Expo and Arbor Day (to name a few), she has increased the common good and reflected credit on the Association. Her positive energy is beneficial to the industry across many levels. Ms. Stockner continues to go above and beyond her duties to represent the oil and gas industry making her the recipient of the 2017 VOGA Outstanding Public Relations Award.

Outstanding Public Service
Bill Harris

For 26 years of service to Virginia’s Gas and Oil Board—Bill Harris is the recipient of this year’s award for Outstanding Public Service.
A member since 1992—he is the longest serving VGOB representative to date. Mr. Harris’ leadership assisted in the development of the Nora field, Roaring Fork Field, Oakwood 1, Oakwood 2 Field and Middle Ridge Fields. His guidance promoted the development of the industry, protected correlative rights and monitored pooling interests. Mr. Harris is a Public member, which is a non-paid position, appointed by the Governor. He is always conscience of the public and their participation in the hearings. The expansion and current guidelines that the gas industry operates under today were possible thanks, in part, to Mr. Harris. His knowledge, commitment and caring attitude is the reason he is awarded the 2017 VOGA Award for Outstanding Public Service.

Community Outreach
CNX Resources

On June 2, 2017 CNX Resources signed an agreement with Spearhead Trails. The agreement was to assist Buchanan County in a community outreach project to grow the trail system—a crucial part of the county’s tourism. CNX Resources allowed for an additional 11 acres of their land, to be used recreationally by ATV, UTV, Cyclists, Hikers and Horseback riders. This action to attract visitors to a county facing economic hardship is why CNX Resources is receiving the 2017 Community Outreach Award. CNX Land Agents worked diligently, for several months, to prepare and advise the Spearhead Trails management on which areas would be most beneficial to all parties involved. This particular project opened an additional 4.5 miles of trails that display the beauty of Buchanan County. The additional trails provide increased economic growth potential to this specific county. The agreement also created a template for CNX to do future projects with others. Congratulations to CNX Resources the 2017 VOGA Award Winner for Community Outreach.

Safety/Environmental/Quality: Longleaf Pine Restoration Project
Virginia Natural Gas

Virginia Natural Gas strives to ensure that their charitable giving and community involvement reflects their desire to protect and preserve the environment. In 2017, VNG developed a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to support their efforts to restore the longleaf pine back to its former prominence in Southeastern Virginia. Last year the company set out to plant 150 longleaf pines. Two locations were chosen in Virginia Beach - Lake Lawson/Lake Smith Natural Area and Mount Trashmore Park. To assist with the planning and logistics, Virginia Natural Gas met with the Virginia Beach Department of Parks & Recreation, The Nature Conservancy and the Virginia Department of Forestry. Together, they determined the best time and locations to plant the seedlings (plugs) so they would have the greatest opportunity to grow and thrive. On December 14, 2017, Virginia Natural Gas hosted a planting event that included local elected officials, employees, and dozens of volunteers. As a result of this program, the City of Virginia Beach plans to include longleaf pines in their future planting strategy and discussions are being held about future project opportunities with Virginia Natural Gas. For these reasons, Virginia Natural Gas is the winner of the 2017 VOGA Award for Safety/Environmental/Quality.

CNX Resources and Dearing Compressor & Pump

Improvements made to CNX”s Operations Gathering System with Dearing Compressor and Pump wins the two companies the Partnership award. Working together, the two companies were able to improve the overall operating strategy and gathering efficiency of the system. CNX Resources complimented Dearing's continued efforts to provide quality equipment at competitive prices. Dearing's relationship with CNX started in 2005. The innovative ideas from Dearing put to use by CNX has made this partnership long-standing. The results of this specific project were a major mechanical revision of the existing equipment in the gathering system. The knowledge of CNX's operations was critical and allowed Dearing's engineering team to properly implement the correct equipment for the success of the project. This 13 year partnership was built on trust between Dearing’s team and CNX’s team. This trust factor has allowed CNX to reduce the labor cost while maintaining strict quality control. For their hard work and effort, the 2017 VOGA award for partnership goes to Dearing Compressor and Pump and CNX Resources.

Community Outreach
EnerVest Operating, LLC

EnerVest Operating and its employees are committed to the communities in which they work, live and raise their families. Company leaders place a huge emphasis on giving back and that’s why EnerVest Operation LLC is the recipient of the Community Outreach Award. As part of EnerVest’s efforts to support and work within the community, they donate money and employee's time to local charities, schools, clubs, events and churches. EnerVest began a community outreach initiative within the company by giving each employee 16 hours per calendar year to use for volunteering within their communities however they see fit. Employees of EnerVest Operating, LLC donated more than 265 hours in 2017 to the communities of Southwest Virginia. From April 2017 through April 2018 EnerVest donated a total of 22-thousand 225 dollars to the local communities in their operating area. EnerVest Operating, LLC has continued their support with the Southwest Virginia chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The company and individual employees continue to be avid supporters of the local chapter through sponsorships, memberships and participation in the local fundraisers. For these reasons, we would like to award EnerVest Operating, LLC for the 2017 VOGA Award for Community Outreach.

Individual Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality
Mike Doyle

Over 25 years ago, Mike Doyle began a career in the Gas and Oil Industry as a well tender. After working for Virginia Gas and Equitable Resources —Mr. Doyle currently holds the role of Supervisor at EnerVest Operating LLC. His attention to detail and care for his crew make him the winner of the 2017 individual award for excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality. Mr. Doyle has worked 25 years with no loss time injuries. His crews have worked more than 10 years with no loss time injuries. This is an outstanding effort due to conditions and locations where his activities occur. Mr. Doyle has been involved in numerous complaints, incidents and situations over the past 25 years. The resolving of these issues has required overtime and weekends, which has not been an issue for this man. Mr. Doyle views his commitment to the industry and citizens a priority. His response to citizens and regulatory concerns is to be recognized. Therefore, Mike Doyle is the recipient of the 2017 VOGA Award for Individual Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality.

Individual Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality
Ronnie Keen

With over 45 years experience in the gas and oil industry, Ronnie Keen has certainly proved himself in safe work and environmental awareness with each job he’s fulfilled. Mr. Keen is also being awarded an Individual Award for Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality. Currently, Mr. Keen is a Construction Supervisor for Delrick Corporation and manages a workforce of 20-30 people daily. Ronnie is responsible for the safety of his employees while complying with all state and federal regulations. Due to the mountainous terrain in southwest Virginia, the construction and wellsite development can be difficult. Throughout his career, Mr. Keen has strived to communicate with industry and regulatory agencies to assure goals and objectives are met. During his career, which began in 1972, Mr. Keen has filled various roles. His career began as a heavy equipment operator. He was an equipment operator for 20 years and has been a construction supervisor for 25 years. Ronnie has worked 38 consecutive years without a loss time accident. Mr. Keen has either constructed or supervised the construction of thousands of wells during his career. He has been an integral part in resolving numerous complaints and potential environmental issues the past 45 years. Many of the safety and environmental issues have been resolved because of Ronnie’s experience and dedication to doing “A Good Job”. Ronnie Keen is being recognized for his diligence and efforts to doing the right thing. Therefore, Ronnie is the recipient of the 2018 VOGA Award for Individual Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality.

Development/Innovation: Cardinal States Redirection Project
CNX Resources and Dickson Process Systems, LLC

In 2017, CNX Resources partnered with Dickson Process Systems to design, install and operate a pipeline system and natural gas processing facility in Buchanan County. This natural gas processing facility is one of the largest of its kind, in not only North America, but in the entire world. This partnership wins the companies the Development and Innovation award. The natural gas processing facility is truly one of a kind. Thanks to several innovative elements, natural gas produced in Virginia can be sent to Northeast Tennessee and up and down the Eastern Seaboard. A few of the elements incorporated in this advanced natural gas processing facility were a dual platinum catalyst design, simultaneous hairpin heat exchangers, stainless steel heat expansion mitigation, optimized compression and metallurgic corrosion mitigation. The natural gas processing facility will not only benefit the communities where this natural gas is produced, but will also stimulate the local economy by creating sustainable jobs in the area. For these reasons, CNX Resources and Dickson Process Systems, LLC are the recipients of the 2017 VOGA Award for Development/Innovation.

Health, Safety and Environment
EnerVest Operating, LLC

EnerVest's Virginia operations have an exemplary Health, Safety and Environmental Program. While they meet the minimum requirements every day—often, they raise the bar for worker safety and environmental compliance. That is why they are the winners of this year’s Health, Safety and Environment Award. In 2016 and 2017, EnerVest did not tally a single lost time accident or an OSHA recordable injury. EnerVest's Virginia operations boast a below benchmark preventable vehicle accident rate and a reportable spill rate well below industry standards. In the past 12 months new programs such as the Employee Safety Committee and Near Miss Reporting Program were implemented to improve worker safety. In addition, new training opportunities such as table-top drills with local emergency responders and a media disaster exercise helped ensure that their incident command structure is prepared. Regulatory compliance is a thriving internal culture at EnerVest, as well. EPA implemented leak detection regulations. These regulations were met with the use of technology such as a FLIR camera. To date, over 200 inspections have been made and only one small leak was detected and immediately repaired.
EnerVest has a dedication to their employee's well­being and their employee's do their jobs safely. For these reasons, EnerVest Operating, LLC is the winner of the 2017 VOGA Award for Excellence in Safety and Environmental Quality..

Development and Innovation Award
CNX Resources, Corporation & EnerNo

In 2017, CNX Resources Corporation partnered with EnerNOC to better understand and manage CNX’s electrical expenses. CNX relies heavily on electricity to support their operations and their electrical usage is large portion of our operating expenditures expenses.
EnerNoc had different methods to assist in lowering electrical expenditures. The first method was to track Kilowatt demand and usage. This process used a web based software of EnerNOC’s. CNX interfaced with Appalachian Electrical Power (AEP) to meter the large substation accounts. This data was transmitted to the EnerNoc servers every five minutes. Through this process, all parties could see real-time power usage and make more accurate decisions based on the information. CNX also used reports generated by EnerNOC. One good example was: EnerNOC’s programs monitored electrical demand and recorded time periods of peak usage. The EnerNoc program offered alternative times to vary high electrical usage. The program also included pre-set alarms to email all concerned individuals of the high usage electrical periods. With this information, CNX could adjust power usage. Another system provided by EnerNOC is the Utility Bill Management (UBM). The UBM system stored all of CNX’s large electrical accounts for review. This gives CNX the ability to identify billing errors and effectively manage the cost of inaccurate billing. The implementing of EnerNOC’s programs and processes resulted in a 9.33 percent reduction in 2017 compared to 2016. For these reasons, EnerNoc and CNX is being awarded the Development and Innovation Award.

Excellence in Education Outreach
Greg Kozera

With over 40 years experience, three books on hydraulic fracturing, serving as Chair of the Public Relations committee with VOGA—Greg Kozera is most deserving of the 2017 Excellence in Education Outreach. Mr. Kozera is a father, grandfather, registered professional engineer and an advocate of Virginia's Oil & Gas Industry. He currently fulfills the role of Director of Marketing for Shale Crescent USA as well as the President and CEO of Learned Leadership LLC, a company Kozera founded in 2006. Throughout the years, Mr. Kozera delivered several speeches for professionals in the industry and wrote motivational columns for various trade publications within the energy sector. In his third book, Just the Fracks, Ma'am, Greg breaks down the facts about this important method of harnessing energy (hydraulic fracturing) in a way that anyone can understand. The approach to an educative effort Kozera has undertaken has proven to be not only challenging, but fruitful as well, taking him to areas all over the world. Kozera has also taught several classes on hydraulic fracturing at the University of Richmond 's Osher Institute and Pierpont Community & Technical College, to name a few. Greg regularly appears as a guest on over 200 radio programs across the country on the topics of energy and hydraulic fracturing providing the facts and clearing up misinformation. For these reasons, Greg Kozera is the 2017 VOGA Award Winner for Outstanding Public Education.

Partnership: Virginia Values Veterans Program
Virginia Natural Gas, Tidewater Community College and the Virginia Gas Operators Association

Training and developing highly skilled workers ready to assume roles in construction and other areas is critical as the natural gas industry prepares for a new generation of workers. In 2017, Virginia Natural Gas, a Virginia Values Veterans program certified company, launched a new workforce development initiative geared toward training veterans to transition into the natural gas industry. Virginia Natural Gas partnered with Tidewater Community College (TCC) and the Virginia Gas Operators Association to offer former and transitioning military service members a weeklong training program at TCC’s Virginia Beach campus. Using the existing Virginia Gas Operators Association’s training material that is offered to current gas utility employees, the program was outlined and the curriculum was presented to Tidewater Community College’s (TCC) Center for Military and Veterans Education. This weeklong certification program, led by natural gas industry professionals from Virginia, focuses primarily on natural gas pipeline safety, code compliance and operations. Participants learn basic pipeline safety standards and proper field techniques, including line locating and pipe installation, through classroom instruction and hands-on training. Those who successfully complete the program receive a certificate signed by VNG, TCC and the VGOA, which they can then add to their resume to aid in securing employment in the industry. The hope is that this Natural Gas Training Program model will serve as the foundation for expanding the program across the state of Virginia. For these reasons, Virginia Natural Gas, Tidewater Community College and the Virginia Gas Operators Association are the winners of the 2017 VOGA Award for Partnership in the Virginia Values Veterans Program.