Specializing in the development and production of natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids along the Texas/Mexico border
Rio Grande is a privately held company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of natural gas and oil assets in South Texas. Rio Grande was founded in June 2017 by Glenn Hart (the former Chief Executive Officer of Michael Petroleum Corporation and Laredo Energy) and GS Gas LLC (whose principals include Governor Jeb Bush and Jeb Bush, Jr).
The Rio Grande management team, which includes industry veterans Jerry Holditch and Brian Butler, specializes in South Texas natural gas production, particularly in Webb County, and the area surrounding Laredo, Texas. The management team has collectively drilled more than 500 wells, acquired interests in over 1,000 wells, and held oil and gas leases of over 500,000 acres in the area of specialization.
Columbus Energy, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Grande E&P, LLC.
Glenn D. Hart
President and CEO
Glenn D. Hart is the President and CEO of Rio Grande and has more than 30 years of experience developing oil and gas resources throughout South Texas.
Following graduation from Texas A&M University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering, Mr. Hart began his career as an engineer in the late 1970s with Tenneco Oil Company’s Gulf Coast Division. He moved on to serve as an engineering manager for Sanchez-O’Brien Oil & Gas Company before founding Michael Petroleum in 1983.
In August 2001, Houston-based Michael Petroleum was sold to Calpine Natural Gas and, with other members of his management team, Mr. Hart formed Laredo Energy in October 2001.
Mr. Hart holds membership in the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
Jerry F. Holditch
Senior VP (Geoscience)
Jerry F. Holditch is the Senior Vice-President of Geoscience.
Mr. Holditch graduated with a B.S in Geology and proceeded to work for Gulf Oil Corp. From there he served as a geologist for TransAmerican before becoming a partner at Michael Petroleum. He has served as department head of Geology through Michael and all Laredo Energy Companies.
Mr. Holditch holds membership in the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Houston Geological Society, and The South Texas Geological Society.
Michael W. Hart serves as Chief Financial Officer of Rio Grande, and prior to that as Director of Corporate Finance for Laredo Energy, both South Texas-focused natural gas exploration and production companies.
Prior to joining Laredo Energy, Mr. Hart was with Citigroup’s Global Energy Investment Banking Group in Houston, Texas where he focused on M&A advisory work and public capital raises within the energy industry.
Mr. Hart is a graduate of Rice University where he received a Masters of Business Administration. He also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Texas A&M University.
Mr. Hart serves on the Alumni Board of the Jones School at Rice.
Brian Butler is Vice President of Operations for Rio Grande, and has over 30 years experience in the E&P business. Prior to this, he served as Corporate Manager for Swift Energy where he managed operations and engineering for the company’s Production, Completions and Facilities functions. In this position, Brian led multiple teams responsible for optimally developing and producing the company’s high-performing Eagle Ford Shale assets.
Prior to joining Swift, Brian served as Production Manager and Technical Expert for Southwestern Energy. There, he was responsible for managing the rapid growth and optimization of the Fayetteville Shale, a large world class resource play. Under his leadership, the company became recognized as one of the nation’s most efficient natural gas producers, with the division growing to over 2 Bcf per day in production.
Prior to their sale in 2007, Brian was Asset Manager for Seven Energy’s U.S. business unit where he directed multidisciplinary teams in prospect evaluation and field development, concentrating on resource plays and tight gas. Brian began his full time career by joining Marathon Oil Company as Drilling Foreman & Field Drilling Engineer in the Gulf Coast Region. He later advanced to a technical advisor role, where he worked closely with the company’s research arm in Littleton, Colorado on R&D projects to improve well performance and reliability. Brian holds a B.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from The University of Louisiana – Lafayette and is a member of SPE and AADE.
John D. Williams
VP, Reservoir Engineering
John Williams is Vice President of Reservoir Engineering for Rio Grande with over twenty years of experience in the oil and gas industry.
Most recently, John held the position of Vice President, Reservoir Engineering and Exploitation with Memorial Resource Development Corp. While with Memorial he was responsible for managing the reservoir team’s contribution to development planning, reserves, budgeting, and acquisitions and divestitures. Prior to Memorial, John worked as Team Lead and Reservoir Engineering Manager in the Fayetteville Shale division at Southwestern Energy.
John served as Corporate Reserves Engineer at Southwestern in his initial role with the company. Prior to Southwestern, John was Vice President at Ryder Scott Company where he was responsible for reserves and economic evaluations for clients throughout the United States. He began his career working for Ken Andrews and Company.
Mr. Williams is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas, is a member of SPE and SPEE, and holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Texas.
Will Ylitalo is Vice-President of Land for Rio Grande and has oil and gas land experience covering Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Montana.
Prior to Rio Grande E&P, Mr. Ylitalo was with Battlecat Oil and Gas LLC. He oversaw several acquisitions and a successful divestiture to Lonestar Resources in 2017. At Battlecat, Will negotiated PSA’s, CA’s, JOA’s, worked directly with landowners and operation teams for drilling and workovers, directed leasing efforts, and handled title curative.
Prior to Battlecat, Will worked as an in-house Landman for Central Montana Resources, LLC. He worked in both the San Antonio corporate office and the regional office in Billings Montana where he managed a team of 10 landmen on various leasing and title projects. Will negotiated and secured leases, cured title defects and help manage the nearly one million acres leased.
Mr. Ylitalo has a BA in Government from the University of Texas and holds membership in the AAPL and the HAPL.
VP, Finance & Accounting
Robert L. Swanson is Vice President of Finance and Accounting for Rio Grande, and was part of the management team at Michael Petroleum that co-founded Laredo Energy after Michael Petroleum was sold in 2001.
Prior to serving as Vice President of Finance for Michael Petroleum, Robert was Controller, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of Southwest Ice Enterprises LLC.
Mr. Swanson is a certified public accountant licensed in the state of Texas and is a member of the Houston Chapter of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas Tech University, where he studied accounting and business practices. He has been employed previously in a supervisory capacity at CPA firms in both Houston and San Antonio, Texas, and for Enterra Corporation, a specialized services provider to the oil and gas industry.
In his leisure time Mr. Swanson is a marathon runner. At Rio Grande, he keeps astride of the company’s financial and tax reporting, cash management, human resources and risk management.
He and his wife, Melissa, have three children: Travis, Krista and Sarah.
VP, Information & Analytics
Steven B. Jaques, Rio Grande’s Vice President of Information and Analytics, and a company co-founder, was previously Vice President of Information for Laredo Energy and Michael Petroleum prior to that.
Mr. Jaques is a former programmer for Upstream Energy Services and has more than 19 years of experience in managing data and information systems for oil and gas exploration and production providers.
His work at Rio Grande is a process he describes as enabling wisdom by turning data into information, and information into knowledge. As such, he holds responsibility for managing all of the company’s data, software, Geographic Information Systems, and IT infrastructure.
Mr. Jaques is a graduate of the University of Houston and attended the university’s downtown campus, where he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance. Through his extensive knowledge of energy information systems, he has helped develop several in-house and commercial software products for the E&P industry. He is an active member of the Professional Petroleum Data Management Association.
He and his wife, Wendy, have a daughter, Lily, and a son, Nathan.
10000 Memorial Dr., Suite 500
Houston, Texas 77024
5903 Hwy 359
Laredo, TX 78043