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Oil-and-gas veteran Jack Ekstrom ends his short retirement

March 2, 2017 Updated: March 2, 2017 at 2:49 pm
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FILE - In this June 30, 2016 file photo, nozzles pump gas into vehicles at a BP gas station in Hoboken, N.J. A week after New Jersey's gas tax goes up by 23 cents a gallon thanks to a new law, voters will weigh in on whether every cent of the tax should to exclusively to transportation (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Well, that was a short retirement. Jack Ekstrom is back in the oil-and-gas fight as a soldier for hire.

He retired last year as the vice president of corporate and government relations for Denver-based Whiting Petroleum Corp. This week Ekstrom announced he's launching his own firm, PolicyWorks America, based in Denver.

Of no surprise, his specialty will be advocating for energy development on conventional fuels.

After more than 40 years in the oil and gas industry. Ekstrom said he still has more left in the tank.

"Retirement certainly doesn't mean what it used to," he said.

He added, "But the new freedom of working independently for multiple clients is invigorating. Plenty of work remains to ensure the United States capitalizes on our abundant natural resources i balance with protecting our environment."

Ekstrom is perhaps the best salesman around for energy development (apologies, Dan Haley).

He is the former chairman of the Western Energy Alliance and the Western Business Roundtable, as well as a past president of the Denver Petroleum Club.

"This sea change in public land use restrictions has driven multiple industries onto state or private lands to the detriment of the public's right to realize the economic benefits of the lands it owns, and to the detriment of the states which formerly benefited from a larger share of federal royalties," he said in an interview on the Western Energy Alliance's blog in 2015.

Ekstrom adds later in the interview. "The outlook for the near term is not good as regulations on fugitive emissions and endangered species listings loom for the sage grouse and a number of other species. There are forecasts predicting $50 oil and sub-$3 gas for 10 years. Those are dire conditions if they prove true. However, we should never discount industry's innovative record and improving Estimated Ultimate Recoveries (EURs) due to advances in fracking and drilling efficiencies."

In his announcement Wednesday, Ekstrom said PolicyWorks America will offer a long list of services, including policy, regulatory and corporate communications strategies, as well as political services.

The firm also will deal in government engagement, advocacy, branding and audits.

"My hope is that I can share the benefit of my experience and insight in a new way," Ekstrom said Wednesday.

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