We are a Values-Based Energy Company:
Driven and Inspired by a Shared Philosophy.

With a Values-Based Culture as its bedrock, KJ Energy’s Executive and Technical teams possess well over 300 years of experience in various technical disciplines of the oil and gas and financial fields. With core competencies in innovative drilling and completion, production optimization, operations, and sophisticated financial management and acquisitions, KJ Energy has married best-in-class E&P and Service Industry veterans to form a cohesive and highly effective Leadership Team that is reflected in its results.


To provide unparalleled management and technical expertise in profitably acquiring, restoring, reworking, developing and optimizing mature oil and gas assets in the U.S. onshore market.


To lead and live a values-based culture, which inspires admiration and respect from all of our stakeholders.


ETHICS: “Doing the right thing”
EXCELLENCE: “Going the extra mile”
COMMITMENT: “Honoring our promises”
COLLABORATION: “Achieving extraordinary results”

Executive Team

James Archer, President & Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Archer has over 35 years of experience in oil and gas production chemicals, and six years of experience in production and natural gas processing. He has considerable expertise in foam assisted lift (FAL), using liquid foaming agents to produce marginal wells in both conventional and unconventional oil and gas plays, and he is recognized as a leader in technology for gas enhancement. Mr. Archer founded Multi-Chem and under his leadership grew his company into the third largest specialty production chemical company globally and successfully sold Multi-Chem to Halliburton in 2011. Mr. Archer holds dual associate degrees in Management and Marketing from Midland College and continued his education in Business Administration at the University of Texas Permian Basin, and is a member of the American Petroleum Institute, Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.

Jorge Velarde, VP & Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Velarde, a CPA, has over 30 years of finance and accounting experience and was most recently CFO of Multi-Chem. Mr. Velarde joined Multi-Chem in 2001 and successfully managed its financial operations and significant year-over-year CAGR. Prior to Multi-Chem, Mr. Velarde was CFO of the second largest international Pepsi bottler and Budweiser distributor, BAESA (NYSE listed), responsible for operations in Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile. From 1995 through 1999, Mr. Velarde was Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration in Colombia and Venezuela for Panamco (NYSE listed), the largest international Coca-Cola bottler, and was previously partner at Deloitte & Touche with a focus on cross-border finance, taking companies public in the U.S.

Harold Johnson, VP – Strategy, A&D
Mr. Johnson has more than 36 years of industry operational and management experience in well control, well intervention, production and completion segments. Mr. Johnson’s experience includes senior positions globally as International Director for Cudd Pressure Control, Division Manager for Dowell Schlumberger, and VP for Multi-Chem, a Halliburton Service. Mr. Johnson holds a B.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and Development Board for Buckner International.

Blake Gage, VP – Corporate Development
Mr. Gage has extensive experience in the oil and gas industry having starting his career in the service sector in the early 80’s. He spent the majority of his career in the East Texas market specializing in completions and production. In June 2006 Mr. Gage joined Multi-Chem in Global Business Development and later led their effort as Director of Personnel Development with additional responsibility for their HR, HSE, Fleet and training departments. In the positions he served at Multi-Chem, his first priority was to maintain the unique culture that was developed at Multi-Chem during a time of tremendous growth in both the U.S. and overseas markets. Mr. Gage played a key role in the integration of Multi-Chem’s major support services into Halliburton. He holds a B.S. degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Marcus Lopez, VP & General Counsel
Mr. Lopez represented Multi-Chem between 2003 and 2009 as outside counsel and joined the Multi-Chem executive team in 2009 serving as Vice-President & General Counsel overseeing the entire company’s legal affairs in 17 countries until selling to Halliburton in October 2011. Prior to joining Multi-Chem, Mr. Lopez was a partner with the law firm Jackson Walker, LLP, where he serviced clients in oil and gas, oilfield related services, energy, and heavy machinery industries and gained extensive experience in mergers & acquisitions, debt and equity financings, and international commercial law. Mr. Lopez is a former Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation where he investigated various white collar and public corruptions violations. Mr. Lopez received his B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Texas A&M University in 1993 and his J.D. degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 1996 and has been awarded as one of the Texas Rising Stars in the area of mergers & acquisitions.

Jon Grottis, Director – Finance
Mr. Grottis a CFA most recently performed the Finance Manager role for Multi-Chem a Halliburton Service, preparing and presenting consolidated financial statements to Halliburton’s PSL VP and Division SVP. Previous roles include FP&A Manager implementing planning process and managing the planning process, Treasury Manager where he was responsible for treasury operations, risk management, and credit management functions, including leasing, and corporate finance activity. Mr Grottis worked on a number of M&A transactions both in the US and international. Mr. Grottis received his bachelor’s degree in Finance and is a Certified Treasury Professional. Mr. Grottis was selected by Halliburton to attend Mays Business School’s (Texas A&M) Center for Executive Development Business Leadership programs.

Garrett Ashmore, Director – Corporate Development
Mr. Ashmore has extensive entrepreneurial and corporate development experience. Mr. Ashmore was Director of a Houston investment bank focused on middle market mergers and acquisitions in the E&P, oilfield services, and healthcare industries. An entrepreneur at heart, Mr. Ashmore started, grew, and sold one of Houston’s fastest growing small private companies, having also grown one of his start-ups into the 19th fastest Aggie-owned companies worldwide. Additionally, Mr. Ashmore worked at one of the largest E&P and energy finance companies, globally, where he worked in Onshore and Deepwater Gulf of Mexico production and trading projects, as well as midstream development and transportation throughout Texas and the U.S Gulf Coast. Mr. Ashmore has his M.B.A degree in finance and real estate as a Ford Scholar from Texas A&M University and is a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. Mr. Ashmore was nominated as a Rhodes Scholar finalist and was awarded as one of Houston’s “40 Under 40.”

Technical Team

Murphy Jordan, Production Operations Manager
Mr. Jordan has 38 years of experience in Oil and Gas Operations Management. He has worked extensively in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas and the Gulf of Mexico in management of drilling, completion, production, pipeline facility construction operations. He has held Management and Supervisory positions with Key Production Company, SandRidge Energy and Tanos Exploration LLC. Murphy founded and was President of J-CO Production Management for 17 years that provided contract drilling, completion, workover and pipeline-facility consultants along with Lease Operators, roustabout and Frac flow back crews to operators working in the Ark-La-Tex Region. His company and he personally worked for clients including XTO, NEG, SandRidge Energy, Devon Energy, Mitchell Energy and SONAT Gas along with several other Independent Oil & Gas companies.

David Rhodes, Senior Drilling & Completions Engineer
Mr. Rhodes has over 34 years of Petroleum Engineering experience focused primarily in the supervision and management of completion and production operations. He has held various Engineering and Management/Supervisory positions with Getty Oil Co., Texas Oil and Gas, Marathon Oil Company, and Gastar Exploration working extensively in East Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi basins. His last position with Marathon was Operations Manager for East Texas and Northern Louisiana. In May, 2001, he established an independent consulting firm, Oil & Gas Operations and Consulting, Inc., OGOC, through which he personally works as a Petroleum Engineering consultant in addition to supervising several other well site operations consultants for numerous oil and gas exploration companies. Some of his current and former clients include Statoil, Cubic Exploration, El Paso, EnCana, Matador, Plains Expl., Anadarko, and Gastar. He continues to assist Statoil in their ongoing completions effort. Mr. Rhodes holds a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering from Louisiana Tech University.

Ray Weaver, Senior Geoscientist
Mr. Weaver has 37 years of oil and gas exploration and development experience. The majority has been in the East Texas Basin. The last 20 years of Ray’s career has been as Co-Founder, Principal and Manager for two successful privately held companies. The most recent of these was as Executive Vice President of private equity backed (Quintana Equity Partners) East Texas Oil and Gas LLC (ETOG). Prior to ETOG, Ray was the District Manager and equity partner in T-Bar-X LLC (TBARX) from 1994 – 2006. TBARX started with a $6MM investment and sold 12 years later, in 2006, for $400MM to Burlington Resource. Mr. Weaver was the District Geologist and a manager for Texas Oil and Gas (TXO) from 1980 – 1990. Mr Weaver graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a B.S. in Geology. He also attended the United States Air Force Academy from 1974 – 1975.

Mark Gallagher, Senior Geologist
Mr. Gallagher has 36 years of oil and gas exploration and development experience with the last 26 years specializing in East Texas and North Louisiana. He worked for Texaco, Sonat, Samson, Encana and Rosewood before joining KJ Energy in 2016. He has worked all the major geologic plays in the Ark-La-Tex including the Pettet, Travis Peak, Cotton Valley, Bossier, CV Pinnacle Reef and Haynesville Shale plays. In his career, he has recommended and executed hundreds of development wells and numerous wildcats with new discoveries in the Pettet and Travis Peak of Angelina County, Cotton Valley Sandstone in Harrison and Gregg Counties and the Cotton Valley Lime in Navarro County. Throughout his career, he has mentored new geologists providing his experiences in helping them in their career paths. Mark is a graduate of the University of New Orleans with a B.S. in Geology. He is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG), receiving the AAPG Distinguished Service Award in 2013. He is a Certified Professional Geologist by the Division of Professional Affairs of the AAPG and a licensed geologist in Texas and Louisiana.

Brian Stambaugh, Senior Petrophysicist
Mr. Stambaugh has 37 years of oil and gas industry experience with 21 years of that consulting on projects worldwide and with 25 years of East Texas experience. Graduating with a B. S. M. E. from South Dakota School of Mines, initial assignments were with Schlumberger and as the Computing Center Manager for Numar Corp. As a consultant (NMR Petrophysics LLC), he has taught 58 short courses on magnetic resonance logging, and bypassed/unconventional resources to over 1000 fellow Geoscientists since 1997. In addition to teaching, he provides Petrophysical studies as well as guidance and processing services on magnetic resonance logging to many oil/gas exploration and service companies. Major consulting projects have included pioneering work for ConocoPhillips’ Cote D’Or and Eagleford, Burlington/ConocoPhillips’ Leor Savell and Amoruso Deep Bossier Fields, Marquette Exploration’s Utica, Lundin Petroleum’s Johan Sverdrup Field, and Kerr McGee’s Bohai Bay, along with ongoing work on Eastern European discoveries. Other recent and ongoing projects are in the Permian and Williston Basins. He has authored papers on NMR logging and served as an SPWLA Distinguished Lecturer and SPE Technology Update Speaker, as well as providing AAPG short courses.