Steering Committee

The PUG Steering Committee is responsible for leading the PUG and owns the vision, mission, goals and budget. Their main two purposes are to grow and support the PUG community, and to carry out projects which promote a more active and useful resource for the community. They are also responsible for collaborating with Esri on selecting the content and managing moderators for the annual Esri Petroleum GIS Conference in Houston.

The Steering Committee is a purely volunteer run organization made up of dedicated people who freely give their time, energy, knowledge and guidance to our global community. They meet monthly as a group and put in many more hours on their projects and work.

For more information or to get in touch, please contact:

Current Steering Committee:

Samantha Murray

Samantha Murray – Chairperson – Samantha is a Strategic Account Director with Wood Mackenzie. She has fifteen years of oil and gas experience based in Houston, Texas as a member of a global oil and gas software and services team. She has excellent management and technical skills that have made me an invaluable sales and account manager. This experience has been with upstream oil and gas software as well and bespoke software customization projects. Over the last 10 years she has also been charged with ensuring marketing success at conferences across North America.

Chris Shanks

Chris Shanks – Co-Chair – Chris has been involved in GIS for more than 20 years and has used GIS in a variety of industries but he has spent the last 10 years in Oil and Gas.  Chris previously worked for Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals Inc. and he developed their GIS program specializing in LNG construction projects across the globe.  Chris currently works for Statoil as a Principal IT Analyst/GIS Architect.  In his architect role, Chris is taking a comprehensive look at the total IT system architecture and how GIS can best be deployed and utilized in a global oil and gas company.


Geoff Wade – Esri Liaison – Geoff has more than 25 years of experience in the application of technology to the Natural Resources industries. Beginning his career as a Geologist, with what is now CGG Robertson in the UK for 10yrs, Geoff gradually gravitated to Oracle database management, digital data supply methodologies and GIS. After a short time with Schlumberger, he joined ESRI in 1995 as Petroleum Industry Manager. Geoff still takes a very active role in the Petroleum and Mining markets for Esri, and also helps coordinate activities across the wider Natural Resources sector. Geoff holds a BSc Geology (Hull, 1983), MSc in GIS and Geodetics (UC London 1992) and an in MA Management Science (Redlands, 2003).

Nathan Marx – External Relations – Nathan is a certified GIS professional (GISP) with 20 years’ experience applying GIS technology to the petroleum industry. He works for Chevron’s Information Technology Company as a GIS Coordinator where he helps lead the team responsible for Chevron’s enterprise GIS implementations.  He also leads Chevron Emergency Response GIS Functional Team.  Nathan says his favorite part about GIS is working with new users and introducing them to geospatial analysis techniques and applications to help them solve their business problems.



Andrew Klein – Education Chair – Dr. Klein is a Professor of Geography at Texas A&M University. His own research applies Geospatial Technologies to the study of the Earth’s Cold regions – tropical glaciers, seasonal snowcover and the impacts of humans in Antarctica. He is involved with the PUG because many of his GIS students are employed in this industry and he is working to ensure our undergraduate and graduate programs produce graduates with the skills required by this industry. Here is why he enjoys many of the analytical aspects of GIS and remote sensing – “What most excites me about working with the PUG is the opportunity to meet my former students and hear about their successful careers. It is what makes teaching worthwhile.”

Sylvain Bard-Maier

Sylvain Bard-Maier – International Regional Liaison – Sylvain is a GIS technology specialist with Total E&P in Paris, with 15 years of experience in GIS industry / research and 5 years as manager of a small team of 15 people.


Nathan Wood – Technical Chair – Nathan is the GIS Manager for Geoscience Technology for Enervest, based in Houston Texas. He manages our corporate GIS implementation including system of record GIS, web GIS, and mobile field solutions. His take on GIS? “GIS allows us to work with people from all disciplines within the company and I enjoy learning how those different groups operate, create, and consume data”


Andrew Norris – Technical Chair – Andrew has worked in the Petroleum industry for 15 years; With experience ranging from Exploration and Production to Midstream and everything in between.  He is currently at BHP where he not only has responsibilities for the Geospatial Platform in support of the Petroleum Business but also Mining Americas (Copper and Potash).  Designing and deploying Enterprise Geospatial Solutions is where he is most passionate and likes to spend his time.

Susan Horvath – Professional Discipline – Susan is an Associate with Goldman Sach’s Global Natural Resources Group – Investment Banking Division, where she serves as the geospatial data coordinator for upstream and midstream projects.  Previously a Senior GIS Analyst for Rosetta Resources, she has also worked as a Research Scientist Associate at University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology and the Arkansas Geologic Survey, assessing Unconventional Reservoirs and Geo-hazards. She holds a BSc in Geology (2002) and an MSc in GIS (2007) from Eastern Michigan University.  In addition to the PUG, she is a member of the AAPG and the Houston Geological Society.

Cristina Rouse – IT & Logistics Coordinator – Cristina is owner of Geomorrow Inc. and lead consultant. She has supported the MC252 Deepwater Horizon Response and Gulf Coast Restoration Organization for almost eight years. Her roles have consisted of Mobile Incident Command Center GIS analyst, Response Metadata Lead, Response and Natural Resource Damage Assessment initiative (NRDA) Environmental Data Manager, Operations Environmental Data Management Lead, and BP America Upstream IT&S Information and Data Management Organization Data and Information Management Lead. She plans on progressing data management, GIS, emergency response, and environmental assessment communities by sharing best practices influenced by her time supporting the Response, NRDA, and GCRO operations.

Vance Hefley – Regional Liason – Vance has over 14 years of GIS experience in the energy industry. He launched his GIS career in Oklahoma with Chesapeake Energy, followed by a similar role with Devon Energy. He then accepted an opportunity in the Marcellus Shale managing GIS and Lease Records with EXCO Resources, PA. In this role, he created the GIS department and simultaneously co-founded and sat on the board of APUG. In 2012, he joined Arsenal Resources (previously Mountaineer Keystone) where he is currently Director of GIS. In this role, he has created and fully integrated a GIS department into the organization.


Scott Sitzman – Chairman Emeritus – Scott is the outgoing Chairman of the Steering Committee. He has worked for ConocoPhillips for the last 16 of his 26 years in the petroleum industry. He has vast experience with applying GIS technologies in many functional areas including Exploration, Environmental, Litigation, Pipelines, Land. He currently serves as the IT Supervisor for Enterprise Geospatial Services for ConocoPhillips.


Tarun Chandrasekhar – Chairman Emeritus – Tarun is the Senior Vice President for Information Strategy for DrillingInfo. Most of  Tarun’s career has been in GIS, Oil and Gas and GIS AND Oil and Gas. He has been actively involved in the PUG since 2012 and has served multiple roles within the organization. He has a Master’s in Planning and GIS from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

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