Founder & CEO
Qasim founded Stratum Energy in 2005, providing 100% of the company’s startup capital. He has implemented Stratum’s strategy from its inception to successfully explore and exploit the geologically complex Moinesti Concession located in the Eastern Carpathian thrust belt of Romania. Under his stewardship, Stratum has discovered and is currently developing the large Poduri gas condensate field. It is the most recent oil and gas commercial discovery under development in Romania. Some of the top acclaimed leaders and CEOs of large European energy companies have personally invested in Stratum and joined him as shareholders in support of his strategy for Moinesti. He continues to lead Stratum in its quest to become a leading E&P company in Eastern Europe.
Prior to starting Stratum, Qasim mentored a Canadian company engaged in E&P activities in India. He provided critical leadership to the company and helped them become a successful E&P operator in Gujarat. Qasim led the efforts of the company to comply with the requirements of the Gujarat state-owned-partner and the central government regulator. He also spearheaded the establishment of their business in Bangladesh, providing guidance to the CEO and to the President on day-to-day regulatory and business matters. During his tenure the company’s market cap increased from $20 million to approximately $3 billion.
Qasim started his career in 1983 with BJ/Baker Hughes in Texas as a frac engineer. He designed and executed some of the first Barnett shale frac jobs in North Texas. After five years in domestic operations, the company selected Qasim to work internationally as an expat in Egypt, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, & South Asia. He was the Country/Area Manager in several of these locations and developed their business for the next 12 years from a top leadership position.
Qasim Sharif is a licensed Petroleum Engineer registered with the Texas State Board of Engineers. He has over 33 years of experience in engineering and senior management with E&P and service companies. He holds a BSE in Petroleum Engineering from West Virginia University.
Chief Financial Officer
Kurt brings to Stratum 40-years of global gas, gas pipeline, power, and LNG commercial experience. His energy career started in Chicago with Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America managing marketing & business development teams, which sold gas transportation & storage services as well as developed power, pipeline and Natural Gas Vehicle opportunities.
Following Occidental Petroleum’s acquisition of NGPL, he transferred to the Philippines to lead gas pipeline and power development activities throughout Southeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. Subsequently, he worked for Oxy in Dhaka Bangladesh to commercialize upstream oil & gas assets, and in Mumbai India with Enron developing the MetGas pipeline project. In 2001, he joined El Paso Global LNG to market the Energy Bridge FSRU LNG technology to NE Asian LNG buyers, and later managed El Paso Global Power’s 1752 net MW Asian power plant portfolio.
Kurt joined Chevron in 2004, working 10 years in Chevron’s LNG Division in Houston and London, and for 6 years as GM of Chevron’s Tokyo office. The Tokyo team was instrumental in securing the LNG sales contracts with Japanese buyers to underpin the US $54 billion Gorgon and US $33 billion Wheatstone projects which took FID in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Before joining Stratum, Kurt was Managing Director for the Galway Group, a boutique energy-consulting firm based in Houston, with offices in London and Singapore.
Kurt holds a BS in Business Administration from Kansas State University and an MBA from DePaul University.
Caius has over 22 years of experience in international capital markets with extensive practice in global equities as an analyst and a fund manager. He specialized in emerging markets and has in-depth knowledge of such sectors as energy, utilities, and metals. Caius was rated among the top equity analysts by Institutional Investor, Thomson Extel, Reuters in Latin America and Russia in several sectors for multiple years.
Caius has worked for a number of investment banks and brokers such as Credit Lyonnais Americas, Renaissance Capital, Uralsib, and KIT Finance in a variety of cities, including New York, Sao Paulo, and Moscow. He run a global emerging markets investment fund and was investment manager for a billion-dollar home-office global investment portfolio.
Caius advised Russian regulatory authorities on the privatization of the utility sector and was involved in multiple transactions and listings in the energy sector and other sectors in Latin America and Eastern Europe. He was a transaction analyst for the largest privatization in the Russian energy sector (Rosneft). Caius has also advised a large gas transportation company in areas such as capital markets, investor relations, and financing.
Caius has published extensive research reports on sectors and companies and participates in multiple international conferences and industry events. He is also a regular lecturer at the Young Leaders in Finance program in Sibiu, Romania.
Caius has an MS in Engineering from Polytechnic University in Bucharest and an MBA from Columbia Business School in New York.
Head of Subsurface
Tom has over 40 years of experience covering all types of oil and gas projects in most of the world’s basins. He has held various technical, management, and executive positions for large and small companies, ranging from a large petroleum multi-national to a small, private exploration startup, and a number of companies in between.
Tom spent almost 3 decades at Amoco E&P where he last held the position of Executive VP Exploration. He also held various management and technical positions in several locations in the US and abroad, including the posts of Country Manager, Production Manager, Resource Manager, Production New Ventures Manager, Exploration Systems Manager, and Manager of Geophysics.
Later in his career, he provided upstream guidance strategy, prospect screening, and project development to worldwide fertilizer, methanol, and petrochemical companies. These companies depend upon reliable gas supply to operate their downstream facilities so they made moves to backward integrate as they experienced disruptions to their gas supply. Tom supplied upstream expertise to assess the reliability of their gas supplies and developed mitigation approaches to secure these supplies.
Tom’s latest position was leading Abu Dhabi National Energy Company’s subsurface and exploration efforts. This included conventional and unconventional upstream activities in Canada, the UK, and the Netherlands, as well as pursuit and evaluation of worldwide new ventures opportunities.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
John brings a combination of technical expertise and operational excellence to Stratum’s management team. He has over 30 years of experience in hard-core operational positions punctuated by a series of technical staff positions.
John began his career with Amoco, working in various drilling and operations positions, and culminating in a position as a Research Director at Amoco’s research center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This was followed by positions as Project Manager for Amoco’s Priobskoye project in Russia and later as Vice President of Operations when Amoco assumed ownership of YPFB’s assets in Bolivia. Following this, John took over the position of VP of Operations for Transredes in Bolivia, managing 6000 km of oil and gas pipelines in Bolivia and Brazil for a joint venture of Shell and Enron. John has subsequently worked in various operational positions managing either startup ventures or taking over existing stressed operations in a number of countries, including Kazakhstan, Kurdistan, Nigeria and Mexico.
John graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nevada at Reno.
Fred is a geologist with 39 years of experience in the international petroleum industry. He has an extensive background in all aspects of exploration and production including exploration geology/prospect development, production and reservoir geology, seismic interpretation, basin/play evaluation, and exploration management.
Fred joined Stratum Energy in 2012 as Exploration Director. For four years he has been directing geoscience activities and supervising a team of G&G consultants. He is responsible for geologic input for reserves and field development, seismic survey planning/execution, seismic interpretation/structural mapping, well location/targeting, and well evaluation. Based on Fred’s proposals, Stratum has drilled five successful appraisal/development wells, planned and executed several 3D/2D seismic surveys, completed a block-wide geological evaluation, and developed a strong long-term strategy for future exploration.
Fred worked for ExxonMobil for 31 years in technical and supervisory roles as a geologist, seismic interpreter, production supervisor, new ventures advisor, and senior technical advisor. Fred lived in Houston, London, and Lagos, Nigeria, covering a wide range of geographic work areas including the US Gulf of Mexico, onshore Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas, offshore Eastern Canada, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, and all of Africa, including major projects in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Egypt, Algeria, Gabon, Somalia, Mozambique, South Africa. Fred retired from ExxonMobil in 2011.
Fred’s experience also includes two years as International New Ventures Director for Seagull Energy in Houston, responsible for evaluating worldwide new ventures opportunities and Seagull’s strategy for development of acquisitions. Fred spent another two years working as an independent consultant for a variety of clients on producing property acquisitions, acreage tender evaluations, and exploration well planning.
Reservoir Engineering Advisor
Chuck has considerable experience in leading reservoir assessments for large-scale brown-field and green-field developments. After 33 years with Amoco and BP, Chuck began working as an independent reservoir consultant five years ago. He combines strong engineering and petrophysical skills with the ability to assess and apply the appropriate level of technical evaluation for international projects.
Some of the key projects that Chuck has contributed to are the In Amenas gas development in Algeria, Samotlor Field in Russia, and West Nile Gas Development in Egypt. As subsurface team leader in the 1 bcf/d In Amenas project, Chuck led the technical team in achieving 100+ mmcf/d gas wells, significantly exceeding the 35 mmcf/d target per well. Chuck was the Samotlor Technology Manager for BP’s joint venture in TNK-BP, providing technical assurance for all subsurface development investments, which include 150+ new drilling wells and 60 sidetracks per year. He was the subsurface technical lead for the development of a 5 tcf, 900 mmcf/d gas project in Egypt’s West Nile Delta, providing strategic thinking in development strategy, sequencing of wells, economic evaluation, and planning for future phases.
Chuck has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida and completed the Amoco Petrophysics Program (evaluating the appraisal and development of Liuhua Field in China).
Grayson is a US national raised in Europe. He has successfully identified, built, and financed a variety of start-ups and early-stage businesses worldwide. He joined Stratum in 2013 and has led Stratum’s commercial development since that time, negotiating and managing all of the company’s offtake agreements with world-class organizations. Following the seed-capital equity rounds, in which he participated at every opportunity, Grayson also led Stratum through several rounds of debt financing, leading to a major re-financing in 2015.
Grayson started his business development career in Hong Kong in 1986, producing and trading electronic goods worldwide. He has developed European leather-goods businesses from Asia, and electronic security equipment businesses in France. He led the JV team to develop a consumer detergent business from Fushun, China, and made a market and traded OTC pulp & paper derivatives from Atlanta. His career in upstream energy was spawned in 1998 when he began integrating derivatives across different commodity classes and physical trading platforms including natural gas storage.
Prior to joining Stratum, Grayson was engaged in business development in European energy, both for large-cap publicly-traded US corporations and private entrepreneurial startups. His focus has been on developing and exploiting both the physical energy assets themselves as well as the commercial and trading opportunities that such assets create. This has involved a full range of successful fund-raising campaigns and commercial developments.
Grayson received an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has a degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Head of Legal and Compliance
Andreea is a lawyer with over 10 years in practice. She currently leads Stratum’s compliance and Romanian legal functions. Prior to joining Stratum in early 2016 she worked for one of the leading law firms in Bucharest, where she advised clients in a variety of highly technical legal matters including oil & gas and IT law. She has significant experience in Romanian and international arbitration and has been involved in the implementation of the new Civil Code of Romania into the activity and contracts of many important companies active in the Romanian market.
Andreea graduated from the Law Faculty in the University of Bucharest. She is a certified trainer and project manager.
Chief Financial Controller
Radha is the Chief Financial Controller for the Stratum group of companies. Radha has work experience of more than 40 years in a range of cultures and geographies. His core strength lies in thinking of creative solutions.
Radha has extensive experience in all aspects of oil and gas upstream finance, accounting, and commercial activities. He has worked for ONGC (India’s national oil company), Reliance Industries, Enron Oil and Gas, and BG Group.
In each of Radha’s prior jobs, he has brought innovations in information systems and processes for reporting and analyzing financial data. Radha was the functional lead in implementation of IDEAS and MAXIMO systems at Enron, worked as a Project Manager for SAP implementation for BG in India and Bolivia, and designed and steered the implementation of INFOR EAM and Sun Financial Systems at Mercator Petroleum. He has worked in a number of startup environments and established fit-for purpose systems and processes.
Radha also has extensive experience in commercial matters, including bidding for new E&P licenses, farm-outs, farm-ins, and administration of Production Sharing Contracts with host governments. He has negotiated multibillion dollar oil and gas sale agreements and gas balancing and lifting procedures.
Radha is a graduate in Science, Cost and Management Accounting, a qualified company secretary, a qualified project manager, and has a diploma in Management. Radha is member of the ICMA, AIPN, and IAEE.
Business Development Manager and General Counsel
Sajid oversees Stratum’s legal and strategy and group-level legal functions. His roles include managing the company’s financial models, analytics, and financial transactions.
Sajid joined Stratum from the Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic advice to Fortune 500 companies in technology, travel, and retail. Before his career as a management consultant, Sajid was an associate at Vinson & Elkins LLP, a leading Houston-based law firm, where he specialized in oil & gas transactions and projects.
Sajid has a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Harald is a petroleum engineer with 36 years of experience in the international petroleum industry. He has resided in Romania since 1997 and has an extensive background in doing business there from his 18 years in various managerial positions in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors. Prior to joining Stratum in March 2015 as Country Manager in Romania, Harald led the natural gas division of OMV Petrom, the largest integrated oil & gas company in Southeast Europe, where he was responsible for all of Petrom’s natural gas-related midstream and downstream activities.
Harald began his career as lecturer and researcher at the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany. This was followed by positions as reservoir engineer for domestic and international assets (US, Canada, Middle East, Russia) and head of the project evaluation group of Wintershall AG Germany, responsible for the world-wide evaluation of new ventures opportunities and acquisition projects. Harald gained mid- and downstream experience as head of the logistics department of WINGAS, a leading German gas marketing and transportation company set up as a joint venture between Wintershall and Gazprom. During his assignment as managing director of WIROM Romania, the import and marketing of natural gas and the construction of gas distribution systems were part of his responsibilities.
Harald holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the Technical University of Clausthal.
Dennis joined Stratum Energy in September 2015 as the onsite Field Manager in Poduri, Romania. He brings 20+ years of experience in the oil & gas industry, including both production management and facility management. Dennis’ expertise includes new facility construction, commissioning, operating, and optimization.
Dennis started his career in the contract gas compression side of the oil & gas industry for companies like Weatherford Enterra, CSI, and Production Operators. In 2002, he joined XTO Energy as Operations Supervisor for their Natural Gas Division in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. As an Operations Supervisor, Dennis was involved in managing many large scale construction & operational projects that included the Raton Gathering & Compression Project, the Rio Blanco Amine Treating Facility, and Orangeville/Huntington Facility Upgrades. Following XTO Energy, Dennis joined SG Interests, a privately owned oil & gas exploration company with assets in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. At SGI, Dennis was involved in managing a new acreage development plan that included designing, constructing, and commissioning 40+ miles of gas gathering & a 120 mcf/d amine treating facility in Piceance, Colorado.
Dennis brings over 40 years of technical and operational experience to the Stratum Team. He started his career as a teenager on drilling rigs in Canada and rose in the industry through hard work and innovative thinking.
After 10 years of operational roles on the rig, Dennis started Carmel Oilfield which designs, builds and sells drilling rigs as well as other oilfield equipment. He also has served as the President of Midland Drilling, where he directed all field operations. In 2005, he started at ExAlta as a Drilling Manager, where his responsibilities included license applications, health & safety, and being a liaison with land owners and Natives. Starting in 2007, he became Drilling and Completions Superintendent as Statoil-Hydro.
Dennis has a degree from Tisdale Composite High School and numerous vocational, drilling certifications.