​Former Trinidad Drilling CEO Lyle Whitmarsh will lead post-takeover Savanna Energy Services

Lyle Whitmarsh has been appointed as president of Savanna Energy Services, following Total Energy Services’ drawn-out $444 million hostile takeover of heavily indebted Savanna Energy Services (based on a March 27 valuation).

The acrimonious transaction led to the resignation of all of Savanna directors, with the exception of Allen Brooks. In connection with the reconstitution of Savanna’s board, former Savanna president Chris Strong also resigned, along with other members of the management team.

Whitmarsh, who left Trinidad Drilling as its president and chief executive officer in mid-March “to pursue other interests,” will assume the duties of Savanna’s top role effective June 1, 2017.

He brings over 33 years of oil and gas industry experience to Savanna.

Whitmarsh started his career as a roughneck working in southern Alberta on the rigs and worked way up. He became president of Trinidad in 2002 and took the company’s helm as CEO in 2008.

Whitmarsh was credited as being the driver of Trinidad’s growth. He saw the company grow from five rigs when he started to over 130 today.

In 2013, when Trinidad had operations throughout North America, the company announced plans to expand into new markets such as Saudi Arabia through a joint venture with Halliburton.

“Lyle's strong operating knowledge and leadership skills will be of significant value as we look to compete in the global energy industry," said Daniel Halyk, chairman of Savanna and president & CEO of Total Energy Services.

Integration of Savanna into Total began after the takeover bid expired on April 27, Halyk told analysts during the company’s first quarter results call.

“We’ve commenced integration in certain areas, specifically in the rental side where we’re bringing Savanna’s rental group into Total Oilfield Rentals. We’ve also begun the integration of drilling. Going forward we will be rolling [Total’s] Chinook Drilling into Savanna drilling, continuing as Savanna,” he said.

He added that Total intends to operate Savanna Well Servicing as its own work division, which is a “relatively easy integration” since Total does not currently offer well servicing.

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