Board of Directors

Board of Directors


Get to know our Board of Directors

Learn more about Venari’s leadership by exploring the bios below.


Chief Executive Officer of Venari

Bob Abendschein joined Venari in August 2017 and serves as the Chief Executive Officer.

Previously, he served Venari as the Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Venari, he spent over 30 years at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, where he last held the position of Vice President of Deepwater Americas Operations.

His career at Anadarko included progressive roles in Reservoir Engineering, Exploration, Production Services, Corporate Development and Worldwide Deepwater Operations.

Bob brings a wealth of deepwater and M&A experience to Venari. His track record of delivering outstanding operational results along with his reputation as a strategic decision maker enables him to provide excellent leadership at Venari.

Currently, Bob serves on the Board and Compensation Committee for SEACOR Marine Inc., on the Board and as a Trustee for The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, on the Board for Offshore Energy Center (OEC) and on the Board and Executive Committee for National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA).

Bob holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.


Previous GM of N. America exploration for Chevron Corporation

Steven P. Evans held the position of general manager, North America exploration for Chevron Corporation until retiring in September 2012 after a 31-year career with Chevron/Texaco. In this role, Steve was responsible for leading exploration activities in the Gulf of Mexico (both shelf and deepwater), onshore United States, onshore and offshore Canada, and Alaska, with annual budgets ranging from $500 million to $1.2 billion.

He joined the board of directors at Venari in December 2012 to utilize his industry and Gulf of Mexico experience and assist with the corporate decision making for a Gulf of Mexico deepwater start-up.

Previously, Steve started with Texaco as manager of finance, planning and portfolio for E&P technology in 1989 and assumed various leadership roles in strategy and planning until being asked by the CEO to participate on the Chevron/Texaco merger team. Serving in this capacity from November 2000 – December 2001, he developed the optimum portfolio of opportunities that led to a leading competitor position in exploration as well as generated $300 million in expense synergies for the new organization. Prior to 1989, he completed assignments in reservoir engineering, operations research and planning.

Steve started his career with Pennzoil in 1980 after receiving a bachelor of science degree in mineral economics and petroleum engineering from Penn State University. He is a recognized industry resource in risk assessment and portfolio management.


Heads the energy team at Warburg Pincus

Peter R. Kagan joined Warburg Pincus in 1997 and heads the firm’s energy team. Previously, he worked in investment banking at Salomon Brothers in New York and Hong Kong. Peter is a director of Antero Resources, Antero Midstream Partners, Canbriam Energy, Delonex Energy, Laredo Petroleum, Inc. and Navitas Midstream Partners.

He also is a trustee of Milton Academy, a director of StreetSquash and a member of the President’s Council of Resources for the Future. He received a bachelor of arts degree cum laude from Harvard College and a juris doctor degree and a master’s degree in business administration, both with honors, from the University of Chicago.


Managing Director of Kelso & Company

George E. Matelich is a managing director of Kelso & Company and joined Kelso in 1985. He spent the preceding two years in the Mergers and Acquisitions and Corporate Finance departments at Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb.

George is currently a director of EACOM Timber and Venari Resources. He has served as a director on the boards of many Kelso portfolio companies, including Americold, Charter Communications, The CVR Energy Companies, Fairpoint Communications, Federal-Hoffman, Global Geophysical, Harris Specialty Chemicals, Hunt Marcellus, King Broadcasting, Masland Industries, Optigas, Shelter Bay Energy and Waste Services.

He has served as lead director of two public companies in which Kelso had investments, as well.

George earned an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1982 and received a B.A. in Business Administration, summa cum laude, from the University of Puget Sound in 1978. He was a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Certificate in Management Accounting. He is Chairman of the American Prairie Reserve, where he has been a director since 2008. George is also a director of Evergreen Capital Trust,, Square Roots, and US WorldMeds.

He served on the Stanford Graduate School of Business Advisory Council from 2010 for 6 years and he was treasurer of the University of Puget Sound Board of Trustees, on which he served from 1989 for 23 years.


Managing Director, Americas, Temasek

Khodor Mattar is Managing Director, Americas, at Temasek. Prior to joining Temasek in 2012, Khodor worked at Rothschild & Co for 14 years in investment banking, in London and Dubai, covering the energy sector.

He started his career as a reservoir engineer at Schlumberger. Khodor graduated from Imperial College London with a master’s degree in petroleum engineering.


Upstream Petroleum Business Advisor and Independent Dir.

Brian F. Maxted is an upstream petroleum business advisor and independent director.

He is a proven oil and gas explorer with a global track record of significant, basin and play – opening oil and gas discoveries over the last twenty – five years, including in South America, South East Asia and West Africa, as well as the Gulf of Mexico.

Brian is a founding partner, and a former CEO and chief exploration officer of Kosmos Energy, and has been a director since 2011. Under his guidance, the company made the large Jubilee Field discovery offshore Ghana, as well as the giant Tortue gas find offshore Mauritania / Senegal. Before co-founding Kosmos in 2003, Brian was senior vice president of exploration for Triton Energy, where he led a series of discoveries offshore Equatorial Guinea.

He also managed the discovery of several large gas/condensate fields by the Carigali-Triton Operating Company in the Malaysia-Thailand Joint Development Area. Following the sale of Triton to the Hess Corporation, as senior vice president of global exploration and new ventures, Brian oversaw the company’s Gulf of Mexico deep water exploration strategy, which resulted in the discovery of several commercial oil fields. Previously, Brian held a series of technical and management positions at BP in a number of countries, and was involved in the discovery and confirmation of Colombia’s giant Cusiana and Cupiagua oil fields.

Brian was a member of the board of directors of Broad Oak Energy, which prior to its sale to Laredo Petroleum, was an early Permian Basin Shale start – up. He holds a master’s degree in organic geochemistry and petrology from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and a bachelor of science degree in geology from the University of Sheffield.


Member of the energy team at Warburg Pincus

John K. Rowan is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2011 and is a member of the Energy Group. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Mr. Rowan worked at Goldman Sachs in the Principal Investment area, focused on energy investments.

Prior to that, he worked in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs. Mr. Rowan is a Director of Monolith Materials, Navitas Midstream Partners, RimRock Oil and Gas, Venari Resources, and Zenith Energy. He received a B.A. in economics from Columbia College.