Board and Management

Leadership Team

Rhett Bennett

Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Bennett is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Black Mountain. Black Mountain was established in 2007 and today the organization includes several business units: Exploration and Production operations, battery metals mining, commercial saltwater disposal, midstream, in-basin frac sand mining, carbon capturing, and energy storage. Mr. Bennett has served as CEO of Black Mountain since its inception.

In 2017, Black Mountain Oil & Gas sold its New Mexico assets to Marathon Oil Corporation for $700 million. Black Mountain continues to identify opportunities to extract value from asset exploitation and optimization across the E&P sector, both domestically and internationally in Australia.

Beginning in 2017 with a growing supply constraint in the Permian Basin, Mr. Bennett built the Black Mountain Sand business to satisfy a void in the market for high quality, cost-effective in-basin frac sand. Black Mountain Sand has built 6 in-basin frac sand facilities across the U.S., producing quality in-basin sand that provides significant cost savings for E&P operators nationally, while becoming the 3rd largest frac sand company in the world.

Black Mountain Metals was established in 2018 to gain exposure to the rapidly emerging Electric Vehicle revolution, with a focus on natural resources extraction, specifically Class I Nickel Sulphide and Copper. Today, the Perth, Australia headquartered company has ownership in 5 nickel mines and related midstream infrastructure in Western Australia.

Mr. Bennett is a member of many industry organizations, serving as a Board Member of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Fort Worth Wildcatters, the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), the Texas Independent Producers & Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO), the National Association of Royalty Owners (NARO), the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL), Young Professionals in Energy (YPE), and the Fort Worth Petroleum Club.

Mr. Bennett has been the recipient of numerous awards in his career: Oil & Gas Investor -Forty under 40, The Oil & Gas Awards – Future Industry Leader, EY Entrepreneur of the Year – Energy Services & National Finalist, and D CEO Magazine – Oilfield Services CEO of the Year.

Mr. Bennett earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Georgia in 2003 and completed the Energy Executive Management Program at the University Of Oklahoma Michael F. Price College of Business in 2012.

Michael Laurent

Executive Director & Chief Operating Officer

Mr. Laurent is a proven leader in successfully developing energy projects, pulling together the many disciplines and expertise required to mature a major development that will ensure BME delivers maximum value for its shareholders. He has been instrumental in numerous successful acquisition and divestiture efforts and the drilling and fracture stimulation of hundreds of wells leading to discoveries and basin opening efforts.

Mr. Laurent is a professional engineer and senior executive with over 25 years of international oil and gas experience. He brings substantial expertise in reservoir, drilling, facilities, production optimization and operations with particular emphasis on resource and business development. He comes from his current role as Chief Operating Officer at Armour Energy, where he provided leadership and direction across all exploration and development efforts and assumed responsibility for site operations and Environmental Health and Safety.

Mr. Laurent has a unique and extensive understanding of the petroleum industry having started his career with service companies and then progressing to energy producers - Encana Corporation, Murphy Oil, Santos and Armour Energy. Mr. Laurent’s experience is underpinned with strong strategic, commercial, and technical acumen in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. He is known for his people centric leadership approach and building high performing teams.

Craig Costello

Non-Executive Director

Mr Costello is an experienced oil and gas industry professional with 25 years multinational exploration & production operator experience across disciplines from reservoir to export and across all levels from roughneck to engineer, and within executive management leadership teams.

He currently serves as a Director of the ResToEx Pty Ltd consultancy, which offers integrated oil & gas asset management and development with a focus on small fields. This work involves developing and executing appraisal and development strategies for a large variety of oil and gas resources across Australia, Asia, Middle East, North Sea & North America. He also serves a Director at petroDIP Pty Ltd, a global oil and gas marketplace and farm-out service.

Mr Costello worked for Apache Corporation for 15 years in Australia, USA, and UK across a range of oil and gas assets, field lifecycle stages and discipline areas. At Apache he held Executive positions in Reservoir, Production & Drilling.

Ben Donovan

Non-Executive Director & Company Secretary

Chartered secretary and member of the Governance Institute of Australia

Served as Sr. Advisor on the ASX and managed listing of 100 companies in three years.

Provides corporate advisory, IPO and consultancy services.

Currently Company Secretary of several ASX listed and public unlisted.


Lee Marshall

Commercial Advisor

Mr. Marshall is a values-driven commercial and finance executive with 25 years in the oil and gas industry and leadership experience that includes ASX100 C-level Executive and International Country Manager positions.

Over a career spanning the entire value chain, Mr. Marshall has developed and demonstrated extensive capability, including exemplary leadership of board-level decision processes, expert negotiator and strategist, and deep technical expertise in commercial/economic analysis. He also possesses comprehensive knowledge of commercial agreements and relationships between key value and risk-allocation provisions.

Notable achievements include:

  • Commercial integration of a company-transformative $1.5 billion acquisition
  • Commercial leadership of investment in one of the world’s largest Carbon Capture and Storage projects
  • >$3 billion of completed acquisitions and divestments
  • Exploration acreage acquisitions in over ten countries spanning five continents
  • $2.5 billion equity accelerated renounceable entitlement offer (AREO)
  • >$3 billion of syndicated loans and 144A bond issuances.

Technical Team

Jarvis 'Jay' Moore, P.G.

Chief Geoscientist

Jarvis serves as Chief Geoscientist for Black Mountain Energy. Mr. Moore has over 24 years of diversified Geological experience in the upstream Oil and Gas industry including positions with companies such as XTO Energy, Clearfork Resources, and Encore Acquisitions Company. His experience includes prospect generation, planning, and drilling oversight of hundreds of vertical and horizontal wellbores in both conventional and unconventional plays (Wolfcamp, Bone Spring, Barnett Shale, Haynesville, Cotton Valley and more)

Mr. Moore is a licensed Professional Geoscientist in the state of Texas and a SIPES Certified Earth Scientist. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Georgia Southern University and a Master of Science in Geology from Texas Christian University.

In addition to being a past-president and current member of the Fort Worth Geological Society, he is an active member of both the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) and the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES).

George Witman


George serves as the President for Black Mountain Energy. George has over 20 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry.

Prior to joining Black Mountain, George spent over 13 years with EOG Resources in a variety of drilling, completions, and managerial roles.

George holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University.

Perry Richmond

Vice President of Reservoir Engineering

Perry serves as Vice President of Reservoir Engineering for Black Mountain Energy. Perry has over 35 years of Reservoir and Engineering experience in the Oil and Gas industry, predominantly at Pioneer.

He has managerial and technical experience in enhanced oil recovery, business development, and reservoir engineering.

Perry holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M.

Brent Smith

Vice President of Production

Brent serves as the Vice President of Production for Black Mountain Energy. Brent has over 24 years of experience in the Oil and Gas industry, including various engineering and managerial roles.

At Devon Energy, Brent worked conventional and unconventional assets across the United States primarily in an operational capacity.

Brent holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Colorado School of Mines and an MBA from Oklahoma University Price School of Business.

Mark Mueller

Drilling Supervisor

Mark serves as the Drilling Supervisor for Black Mountain Energy after spending 7 years with BHP Billiton. He held roles in engineering and operations supervision across the Drilling and Completions function and has planned and executed drilling projects in North American Shale, Australia, and the Gulf of Mexico.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M.