Zhouliang (Nick) Zhang, Ph.D., P. Geol.

Career Profile
A Ph.D. in geology with over 27 years of experience in the oil and gas industry as well as in research and teaching, an accomplished professional geologist and manager with track record of successfully finding commercial oil and gas, implementing exploration and development projects, and managing production operations and company businesses. Expertise includes: oil and gas asset evaluation and acquisition, drilling prospect generation, project management and execution, strategic planning and business management.

Professional Experience
Chief Executive Officer and Director, Vital Energy Inc. Jun 2014 – Feb 2019

  • Initiated and completed corporate merger of Ceno Energy Limited with Sundance Energy Corporation to form the new public company Vital Energy Inc.
  • Successfully carried out exploration and development drilling plans on Vital’s key assets in SW Saskatchewan and Alberta to significantly increase company oil production with limited capital.
  • Led technology team for technical evaluations for exploration and development drilling plans, asset acquisition and farmout.
  • Managed production operations and implemented cost-saving measures to significantly improve the company’s business performance and cash flow.

Chief Executive Officer and Director, Ceno Energy Limited Jul 2011 – May 2014

  • Acquired high quality petroleum land assets in public land sales.
  • Drilled successful wells in Baxter Lake area and increased company’s oil production to regain shareholders’ confidence.
  • Drilled a successful exploration well at Gull Lake and farmed out 50% of WI to an industry partner for drilling more development wells at no cost to Ceno.
  • Significantly increased reserves and value and made Ceno more attractive to investors.

Senior Staff Geologist, Apache Canada Ltd. Oct 2010 – Jun 2011

  • Carried out geological and seismic interpretation and mapping in the Deep Basin of NW Alberta for drillable prospects.
  • Identified a liquid-reach gas play and proposed a drilling program which turned out to be successful.

Senior Staff Geologist, BP Canada Jul 2008 – Sep 2010

  • Conducted resource assessment and depletion planning for Cretaceous tight gas resources in the Deep Basin.
  • Carried out seismic stratigraphic interpretation and seismic geomorphology for key stratigraphic horizons in NW Alberta.
  • Performed petrophysical analysis for reservoir characterization and created regional reservoir and resource maps. • Proposed hopper lists for new drilling locations and well work candidates.
  • Coached junior geoscientists.

Staff Geologist, WCSB, Shell Canada Ltd. 2005 – Jun 2008

  • Provided geological expertise to multi-disciplinary teams for regional tight gas exploration in NW Alberta and NE British Columbia.
  • Established regional sequence stratigraphic framework by well log correlation, 2D and 3D seismic interpretation and mapping.
  • Evaluated land sales and managed land expiries.
  • Proposed new well locations by prospect mapping, risk assessment and economic evaluation, which resulted in successful gas production wells.

Staff Geologist, Beaufort-Mackenzie Basin, Shell Canada Ltd. 2003-2004

  • Established regional sequence stratigraphic framework by well correlation and seismic interpretation.
  • Carried out basin and play analysis for identifying play fairways.
  • Mapped out exploration target prospects in a variety of settings, including continental shelf, slope and basin floor.

Senior Geologist, East Coast Offshore, Shell Canada Ltd. 2001-2002

  • Carried out seismic interpretation and geological evaluation of structural and stratigraphic prospects in the Sable Basin, offshore Nova Scotia coast.
  • Represented Shell Canada in technical discussions with partners.
  • Contributed to regional studies in other offshore oil and gas bearing basins, such as the Orpheus Basin.

Senior Geologist and External Affairs Manager, Shell Exploration (China) Ltd. 1997-2000

  • Conducted technical evaluation of exploration and production opportunities in many hydrocarbon-bearing basins in China, including the Ordos, Tarim, Bohai Bay and Pearl River Mouth Basins.
  • Represented Shell in dealing with partners and stakeholders in the capacity of External Affairs Manager.
  • Managed trial production operations of Changbei gas development project.

Associate Professor, University of Petroleum, Beijing 1993-1997

  • Completed six oil and gas exploration research projects and published technical papers.
  • Lectured in Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy.
  • Supervised postgraduate students.


Ph.D. in Geology, University of Muenster, Germany 1992

Diplom-Geologe, University of Muenster, Germany 1988

B.Sc. in Petroleum Geology, Northwest University, China 1982

Industry Training

Numerous technical, management and interpersonal training courses of one week or longer.


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