Data Science for Oil & Gas


Luther Birdzell

Founder, CEO, Director

Prior to founding OAG Analytics, Luther held executive and technical leadership roles in both software product and services organizations. Most recently, Luther executed top line initiatives for iTKO that were instrumental in positioning their acquisition by CA Technologies (NYSE:CA) in 2011 for $330MM. In 2007 Birdzell delivered the initial strategic vision that became the company’s critical pivot to develop Service Virtualization, the driving technology for iTKO’s acquisition. At iTKO, Luther made distinguished contributions to technology, sales, and strategic delivery. He also lead the growth of the global delivery team, while substantially increasing services revenue.

Luther holds two electrical engineering degrees from Dartmouth College.

Vic Hughes

CFO, Director

Vic has extensive oil industry, financial markets, and new technology development board level management experience. His 20 plus years of oil industry experience, primarily with British Petroleum, include successful technical, operating, commercial, strategic planning, and financial assignments in North America and internationally. He also has six years of experience in the financial services industry, most recently as an Executive Director in the research department of CIBC World Markets, evaluating, advising, and raising funds for public and private small capitalization oil industry companies. Prior to joining OAG Analytics, Vic was was the founding CFO of Ignite Energy Resources, an Australian high tech green-energy oil company. Prior to that he was a co-founder and initial CFO of Gastar Exploration Ltd., a US publicly listed company. After obtaining a BS and MS in Engineering from the University of Illinois, he obtained a MBA in Finance and Economics from the University of Chicago. Vic also attended the Petroleum Engineering graduate program at the University of Houston. Mr. Hughes was an author of the 1992 National Petroleum Council natural gas study, a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, and is a Registered Professional Engineer.

John Taplett

Chief Operating Officer

John has held leadership roles in finance, energy and national defense. Formerly an investment banker with Lazard Frères and Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., he also served as a Naval Intelligence Officer.  He holds degrees from Columbia University, the National Defense Intelligence College and an MBA from Chicago Booth.


Gracie Golonka

VP Business Development

Gracie has extensive experience leading business development strategy and execution in the technology industry.  Her specialties include creating partner ecosystems, go to market solutions, and operational excellence. Most recently Gracie was VP, Business Development in CA Technologies’ DevOps Solutions. Prior to that she held senior positions with IBM, Business Objects and ITKO. Gracie has a BS in Management and Communications from Adelphi University.  




Niall has over 23 years of international experience in the Energy, Technology and Services sectors.

In 1992 Niall began an 11 year career at Accenture in the UK, where he was a Strategy Partner in the Energy practice. During this period Niall worked on a series of high profile M&A deals for global energy companies in London, Brussels, Moscow, Baku and Houston.

In 2003, Niall was recruited to be turnaround CEO of Intigma Limited in India. Intigma was a distressed Indian technology company targeting the global content management sector. The business was successfully restructured and sold to a private US technology company.

In 2006, Niall became CEO of Parkmead Group plc in the UK, with a mandate from institutional shareholders to restructure the company. This involved a multi- year effort to transform the business from a failed Merchant Bank into an Independent Oil and Gas company primed for growth.

Niall is currently an advisor to Gustin Partners and Suez Capital Limited.

Colin has over 50 years of experience in the resources sector globally. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent his early career as a Partner in Touche Ross in London and at Anglo American Corporation in Africa. Colin was a senior executive at BP PLC for over 24 years, in which time he held the role of CFO of BP Europe and Senior Representative in Russia. Since leaving BP, he has held a number of senior Board positions including; Chairman of Dana Petroleum PLC in London, Senior Non- Executive Director of Lamprell PLC in Dubai and Non Executive Director of Sindicatum Carbon Capital Ltd in Singapore. He is currently Chairman of Osmoflo Ltd, a water treatment company operating in the Middle East and Australasia, as well as Chairman of Golden Horde Ltd, an upstream gas company focused on Central Asia.


Executive Director



Executive Director


David holds a Physics degree from the University of Bristol and a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from the University of Birmingham. David had a successful 20 year career at BP until his retirement in 2003. During this period he was Chief Geophysicist (1990-1995), General Manager for West Africa and then Norway (1995-1999), and finally Head of Exploration (1999-2003). From 2004 to 2014, he was a non-executive director at Tullow Oil PLC, in which time he served on the Nominations Committee, was Chairman of the Remuneration Committee, and was Senior Independent Director. David joined the board of Premier Oil PLC in May 2014. In addition, he has served on the board’s of Paras Ltd in the UK, Welltec a/s in Denmark and ASX listed Australia Oriental Energy. David was a founder of Richmond Energy Partners and several media companies that focus on the oil & gas sector, and has served as an advisor to Alliance Bernstein, Opus Executive, the Parkmead Group PLC, and Kimmeridge Energy LLP.

charles Gustin

Senior Advisor

Charles Gustin is chairman and CEO of Gustin Partners, Ltd., a global consulting firm with offices in Boston and London. For over 25 years Gustin Partners has delivered strategic advisory, transformation consulting, and executive search services to multinational’s headquartered in both the U.S. and Europe. The firm’s clients are primarily within the technology/media, energy, and defense sectors. Representative clients include British Petroleum, Sprint, Cognizant, Hewlett Packard, and RSA Security. Gustin also heads the firm’s investment arm, GP Capital LLC, and has invested in and advised over 40 early-stage companies. He is currently an investor and board member of Boston based Iontera a leading cosmetics company and Habitworks a software company delivering a behavior change based patient engagement platform. GP is an investor in OAG Analytics, perhaps the most promising data science and analytics player within the oil and gas sector. Mr Gustin is also an advisor to OAG's board and senior leadership. Mr. Gustin is a member of the Mass Technology Leadership Council, NACD, as well as the Institute of Directors in London.

Kevin Decker

Senior Advisor

Kevin is a seasoned commercial leader with over 15 years as an executive at GE. He has held roles ranging across the sales function in the industrial and financial services sectors of GE, and spent 7 years in GE’s Financial Management Program and Corporate Audit Staff.

Kevin led the team in 2007 that built the GE framework around Sales Force Effectiveness centered on devising market potential, territory alignment, target setting and variable incentive compensation, and inclusive of metrics, competency models and a sales manager training program that was taught to over 3,000 leaders around the globe.

From 2009-2013, Kevin led the GE enterprise wide market development team focused on cross-GE sales to the US Government and other large scale customers, closing over $250MM in orders and helping to build sister-teams in three other regions around the world. Kevin was promoted to lead global market development of lead global market development for the GE Distributed Power business in 2013 and built a global pipeline book of business of $2B within 18 months. In 2014, Kevin was appointed the GE Measurement and Controls Commercial Operations Leader, responsible for an 800+ person organization spanning application engineers, contract managers and customer care personnel.

In addition to his current responsibilities, Kevin volunteers with small businesses via MicroMentors in Latin America. Kevin holds a BSBA in Business from Boston University and lives in Houston, Texas.