Keith Head knows energy deals from beginning to end. As an executive responsible for corporate business development, he's been on the front end of deals identifying and valuing potential acquisitions. In his legal positions, he's been on the back end of other deals, handling the legal documents and negotiations involved in acquisitions initiated by business managers.
As vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for Harvest Natural Resources Inc. in Houston, Head brings that combined expertise to a company that has expanded its exploration and production activities in West Africa, Indonesia, China and Oman since he joined it in 2007. Harvest Natural reported revenue of $206.2 million in 2011, growing to $216.8 million in revenues for the first three quarters of 2012.
Head spent the first 23 years of his career essentially with the same company, Texas Eastern Corp. of Houston, as it morphed through mergers with Panhandle Eastern Corp. and Duke Energy Corp.
After earning an undergraduate degree in business administration in 1979 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Head earned an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, finishing both in 1983.
Head grew up in Middletown, Ohio, where his father had worked for one company his entire career, Armco Steel Corp., now AK Steel.
"To me, working for a company, that was just my mindset," he says about his decision process when he graduated with his advanced degrees.
His first job after graduating was as an attorney in the legal department of Texas Eastern Corp. of Houston.
During his first few years in-house, Head says he worked on several transactions for Texas Eastern, including selling refineries and propane companies.
In 1989, Texas Eastern was acquired by another Houston-based pipeline company, Panhandle Eastern Corp., for $3.2 billion, he says.
"And so I became a lawyer in the Panhandle Eastern legal department, as did most of my colleagues," he says.