Business Conference

Thursday, August 13, 2020

The Business Conference Sessions will be live-streamed and will remain available on-demand making education more accessible and convenient. Sessions are scheduled at CST.

Each session is approved for 1 AAPL CEU, 1 TX CLE, 1 OK CLE and 1 CO CLE.


10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST

Tight Oil 2020: Midyear Status Check

Robert Clarke | Research Director, Lower 48 Upstream, Wood Mackenzie




  • How are business models continuing to evolve?
  • How have activity outlooks changed?
  • What are markets responding to?


Robert Clarke has been with Wood Mackenzie since 2005, originally as a member of the company’s initial US Lower 48 Upstream Research group in Houston. He has covered numerous US regions and led much of Wood Mackenzie’s early US onshore, shale gas, and tight oil research. 

He managed the company’s international shale, CBM, and tight gas research from 2009 to 2014 and has widespread experience benchmarking and valuing exploratory global unconventional assets. Over this period, he worked extensively with NOCs and governments.  He relocated to Dallas in 2015 and now works closely with domestic E&Ps, investors, and service companies specific to North Texas.

Robert specializes in geologic play description, portfolio valuation, production forecasting, analog modeling, and sector trend analysis. He has worked on upstream consulting projects, ranging from asset opportunity screenings for the majors, to due diligence work for private equity-led M&A.  Robert regularly contributes his research conclusions to written media and is a frequent speaker and panel moderator at industry conferences.

Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, he worked as a Field Geologist for a private engineering and consulting firm in Houston, Texas.  Robert graduated Cum Laude from Texas A&M University in 2001 with a BA in Geology and received an MBA in 2005 from the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He is also an adjunct professor in the Energy MBA program at the Neeley School of Business at TCU in Fort Worth.

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2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CST

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. CST

Panel: Future of Oil and Gas Capital Markets – Where’s the Money Going to Come From?

Bill Marko (moderator) | Managing Director, Jefferies LLC



Dan Pickering | Chief Investment Officer, Pickering Energy Partners



Mari Salazar | SVP - Manager, BOK Financial



Steven Cobb | Vice President, Pearl Energy Investments




With the challenging market conditions of 2020, and with the backdrop of generally poor asset class returns for a number of years, who are the investors interested in the energy space? How do public and private investors think about current opportunities? Are there newer investors in the space? Have incumbent investors modified the way they think about the space and have particular investors or classes of investors departed the space? Does the volatility and low valuations create room for optimism or just ongoing pessimism? How have ESG considerations changed the way in which investors think about energy investing? Finally, are there signposts out there that signal an opportune time for investors in any particular areas in energy?


William "Bill" Marko is a Managing Director of Jefferies LLC in the Energy Investment Banking Group. He has managed more than $70 billion of asset and corporate transactions. He specializes in applying detailed technical evaluations to M&A transactions. While his activities are focused in the U.S., Bill also works on worldwide projects with Jefferies’ London based energy team and he heads Jefferies’ Canadian upstream activities. Prior to joining Randall & Dewey, subsequently purchased by Jefferies, Mr. Marko worked more than 18 years in various engineering, operations and commercial roles at Mobil Oil.

With more than 38 years of industry experience in worldwide acquisition, divestment and new business development, he has evaluated transactions in all major U.S. basins and more than 70 countries.

Bill is a registered Professional Engineer in Louisiana and is Chair of the Tulane University President’s Council and a member of the Board of Advisors of the Tulane School of Science & Engineering.


Dan Pickering is the Chief Investment Officer of Pickering Energy Partners (PEP). PEP manages client assets via energy strategies focused primarily on public markets and private equity.

Prior to PEP, Mr. Pickering served as the President of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. and Chief Investment Officer of TPH Investment Management. TPH Asset Management managed both public and private equity strategies for institutional and individual clients.

Dan has spent 24 years as an energy portfolio manager, researcher and analyst, first at Fidelity Investments (where he managed ~$1 billion of energy sector funds), then as Head of Research at Simmons & Company and as the founding partner of Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. He currently serves as the portfolio manager of the PEP Energy Equity Opportunities Fund and on the Investment Committee of PEP’s Energy Co-Investment and research-based strategies.

Dan grew up in Missouri, has a BS in Petroleum Engineering from the Missouri School of Science and Technology and an MBA from the University of Chicago.


Mari Salazar has worked for BOK Financial’s Energy Lending team for 17 years. She is currently a Senior Vice President and Manager of the Houston Energy Financial Services Group. Prior to BOK Financial, Mari served as a Senior Credit Analyst at Comerica Bank in Houston, Texas in the Energy, Real Estate, and Loan Workout Groups.

Mari has a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics (Class of ’95) and a Masters in Business and Finance (Class of ’99) from the University of St. Thomas, in Houston Texas.

In 2013, Mari was selected by the Houston Business Journal as one the top 100 most influential Houston business leaders in the energy industry. She& was also recognized as a 2017 “Outstanding Women in Banking & Finance” recipient by the Women’s Resource of Greater Houston.

Mari is an active member of Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, serving as a Captain on the Go Tejano Committee. She serves as a committee advisor for the Small Steps Nurturing Center Clay Shoot, an organization focused on early childhood education. She previously served as a member of the Executive Board Member and Treasurer for Small Steps. Mari also serves as a board member on Texan’s Linebacker Whitney Mercilus’ WithMerci Foundation, the University of St. Thomas Alumni Board and the Society for Performing Arts.

Mari lives in Houston, Texas. When not working, Mari enjoys traveling, playing tennis, running (marathons & ultramarathons), and spending time with her family.


Steven Cobb joined Pearl Energy Investments in August of 2015, prior to the closing of the firm’s inaugural fund in September of 2015. As a member of Pearl’s investment team, Steven is involved in day-to-day portfolio management and strategy as well as business development and LP interaction.

Prior to Pearl, Steven worked for Pioneer Natural Resources in various engineering and financial capacities, including roles in Operations, Budget & Planning and Investor Relations.

Steven holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma and an M.B.A. in Energy Finance from Southern Methodist University.

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