How Mark Ellis continues to grow LINN Energy’s portfolio of long-life oil and natural gas assets

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Mark Ellis, president and CEO, LINN Energy, LLC
Mark Ellis, president and CEO, LINN Energy, LLC

Exploration & Production
Mark Ellis
President and CEO
LINN Energy, LLC
As the president and CEO of LINN Energy LLC, an upstream exploration and production company, Mark Ellis demonstrates innovation in a unique business model, and his steadfast commitment to a strategy differentiates LINN from any other competitor in his industry.
Ellis’ guidance has been instrumental to LINN as it has grown from a handful of natural gas wells with a few employees into a top-15, publicly traded, multi-billion dollar E&P company employing more than 1,100 people in more than 24 offices across the U.S. Ellis employs a very diverse management team and relies on them to make quick and valuable decisions.
To avoid a big company mentality, he balances LINN’s entrepreneurial spirit and values consistent with a smaller company, while pushing for continued growth and expansion. In his view it’s a marriage of financial and operational.
A common theme in Ellis’ career has been acquiring smaller companies, which plays into the unique business model at LINN. Since inception, LINN has completed 58 acquisitions, including the most recent acquisition of Berry Petroleum. LINN’s acquisition program focuses on U.S. oil and natural gas basins that provide significant opportunities for future growth. The program also targets assets that are financially accretive and provide long-lived, high-quality production with relatively predictable decline curves and low-risk development opportunities.
Ellis’ strategy has allowed the company to grow proved reserves at an average of approximately 59 percent per year to 4,796 Bcfe in 2012 from 255 Bcfe in 2006.
LINN is dramatically different from its upstream peers in vision and business structure and is larger than all the rest put together. LINN has upheld a strategy of acquiring, developing and maximizing cash flow from a growing portfolio of long-life oil and natural gas assets. Ellis has been able to maintain LINN’s distribution stability through the recent credit crisis, while 23 percent of its competition has been forced to either reduce or suspend distributions.
How to reach: LINN Energy LLC,