James F. Watson

James F. Watson is Director of Unconventional Operations and joined ABARTA Energy in 2014. His responsibilities include oversight of all aspects of the company’s unconventional shale oil and natural gas development.

Jim brings over 22 years of experience, including 17 years in the Appalachian Basin. Prior to joining ABARTA Energy, Jim was employed by Gulfport Energy Corporation as Operations Manager, OH – Drilling, where he managed eight 1,000 HHP triples, drilling horizontal shale wells in the Utica formation. Jim’s team at Gulfport drilled the longest lateral (located in Belmont County) to date in the entire northeastern United States. Jim has also served in executive positions responsible for drilling and completing unconventional wells with Inflection Energy, LLC, Mountaineer Keystone, LLC, Rex Energy Corp., and Range Resources/Great Lakes Energy, LLC.

Jim has the distinction of having been the leader of the development team at Range Resources that drilled and completed the first horizontal wells ever drilled in the Marcellus Shale. He also has a service company background with Superior Well Service (now Nabors Completion Services) and The Western Company of North America. Jim served in the United States Air Force for seven years before entering the oil and natural gas industry.

Jim is a graduate of Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Geology and a minor in Environmental Science.