Darshan Naik, CPL is a Senior Landman at ConocoPhillips, one of the world’s largest independent E&P companies. He started working for the company in February 2009 after graduating from the Energy Management program at the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. His first assignment in Lower 48 Land was in Midland, Texas working unique projects on company owned minerals extending from Washington to Minnesota including leasing ~9,000 acres for coal mining. The company added coalbed methane assets in Alabama and a federal unit in Utah to his responsibilities in 2010 giving him the opportunity to work with federal/state agencies, operating agreements, and leases. In 2011, Darshan was transferred into the Bakken asset to commence an aggressive drilling program, manage brokers working curative, and approve the division of interests for the ~30,000 acre Corral Creek Federal Unit in Dunn/McKenzie County, North Dakota further building onto his knowledge of managing federal/state properties. In 2013, Darshan relocated to Houston, Texas at the company’s request to play an integral role in the planning and development of 120,000 acres in the recently acquired Niobrara asset in Adams/Arapahoe County, Colorado. His accomplishments included building a tool to assist with acreage capture, budgeting, and expiration/extension forecasting. This assignment pivoted to leading negotiations and brokers in securing extensions, renewals, deferrals, and surface use agreements for the largest leases during the downturn from 2014-2016. He was also responsible for managing capital expenditure budgets, forecasting extensions/renewals, presenting weekly financial and progress updates to upper management, and preparing exhibits and other materials for a virtual data room during a planned divestiture in 2016. Upon completion of the divestiture work, Darshan was transferred to the Eagle Ford asset in DeWitt/Karnes/Gonzales County, Texas where he was responsible for preparing ~100 horizontal wells including sharing wells for drilling on the ~30,000 acres he managed over a 3 year period with ~80 wells drilled and completed from 2016 to mid-2020. In addition to managing company operated units, Darshan identified, negotiated, drafted, and secured management approval to enter into 2 sharing well joint venture agreements culminating with EOG Resources, Inc. drilling 14 strong performing wells with a 50% WI and the potential for 10 additional JV wells from 2017-2020. He also managed a partner operated farmout area that resulted in ~23 wells with a 50% WI being drilled from 2018 to mid-2020 in a previously under-performing area of Eagle Ford resulting in significant upward adjustments to performance forecasts for the area impacting up to 150 future Eagle Ford/Austin Chalk locations. These JV’s built onto his expertise in negotiating high value deals, drafting complex operating, securing sharing agreements, and evaluating a potential acquisition target. In March 2020, Darshan was given the unique opportunity to begin working Eagle Ford Special Projects centered around lease provision review and interpretation and working closely with Royalty Compliance, Accounting, Commercial, and Legal on royalty, affiliate sales, and litigation matters. He is currently leading multiple projects using the ThoughtTrace Product Suite which leverages machine learning to extract provisions from agreements, amendments, and extensions for high impact research, due diligence efforts, and fire drill projects during the coronavirus induced downturn.
Outside of work, Darshan is heavily involved in planning and promoting educational seminars for the Houston and American Association of Professional Landmen and building a strong network of colleagues and friends in the industry. He is currently serving his second year on the HAPL Board of Directors, second year as the Chairman of the HAPL Spring Saturday Seminar, and second year as Chairman of the AAPL Texas Land Institute. He received his designation as a Registered Professional Landman in 2012 and Certified Professional Landman in 2017 from the American Association of Professional Landmen. Darshan has over 350 hours of internal/external continuing education and is proficient in virtually every tool/resource used in the oil & gas industry. Darshan lives in central Houston and enjoys playing/watching sports/movies/shows, listening to music/comedy, traveling, trying new places to eat and drink, exercising, and spending time with family and friends.