About Us

OfficeERG "California" (ERG Operating Company, LLC) is a privately owned subsidiary of ERG Resources, LLC.  With corporate offices in Bakersfield, CA.  Our most extensive operations are located and headquartered at Cat Canyon in Santa Barbara County.

ERG California Management

Rick Clark, Field Superintendent

Mr. Clark is responsible for all aspects of ERG’s oil and gas production operations in the Cat Canyon Oilfield. Mr. Clark directly manages all field employees and contractors, and directs all maintenance activities, rig work, and production scheduling for this fast-paced thermally-enhanced field. Mr. Clark has lived in the Orcutt area for most of his life where he attended local schools and raised a family. He started working in the Cat Canyon area oilfields in 1979 and has spent his entire career producing the heavy-oil for which Cat Canyon is known. Mr. Clark has been with ERG since 2011.

Ben Oakley, EH&S/Gov’t Affairs Manager

Mr. Oakley has worked for ERG since 2010 and is responsible for maintaining compliance with all environmental, health, and safety regulations as well as sustaining relationships with the local community, regulatory agencies, and elected officials. Additionally, Mr. Oakley serves on the county Air Pollution Control District’s Community Advisory Council and the Northern Santa Barbara County EconAlliance Board of Directors. Mr. Oakley holds a BS degree in Geography and Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from Utah State University.

Steve Horner, Reservoir Engineer

Mr. Horner has worked in the oil industry as a reservoir engineer since 1982 when he began his career with Occidental Petroleum, eventually achieving the rank of Engineering Manager. Since that time, Mr. Horner has worked for various companies both internationally and domestically, including many years in Latin America. Prior to joining ERG, he worked for 10 years as team leader for Venoco’s offshore California assets. Mr. Horner received a BA in Physics from Oxford University, an MS in Geophysics from London University, and an MS in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford in 1982. Mr. Horner has served as ERG’s senior reservoir engineer since 2010.

Oleg Prokopiev, PhD, Production Engineer

Dr. Prokopiev joined ERG in 2013. He has more than 25 years of engineering experience, 10 of them in heavy oil industry. Prior to joining ERG, Oleg held Project and Facility Engineering positions with Nations Petroleum and Oxy/Vintage. At ERG, he focuses on enhanced oil recovery operations and facility design. He holds degrees of MS in Thermal Power Plants from Saint Petersburg Polytechnic University, Russia and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from New Mexico State University.

Ty Hunt, Instrumentation & Electrical Foreman

Raised in Morro Bay, California, Mr. Hunt has worked in a multitude of industries on California’s central coast. Mr. Hunt has over 10 years of local automation and electrical experience, with 5 years of enterprise IT administrative experience. He is responsible for all instrumentation, networking, process controls, and electrical infrastructure and has a keen understanding of ERG’s thermally-enhanced production process areas, making him a critical component of the operation. He has been working with ERG since 2010.