Top-Tier Talent Delivers
Experience-Driven Results

At Venari, we leverage our decades of industry experience in deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

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


Chief Executive Officer

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.


Senior Vice President, Commercial and Business Development

Scott H. Cornwell is a senior negotiator who has vast experience in most geographic basins in the contiguous United States. He has focused on the Gulf of Mexico for more than 22 years where he gained expertise in executing successful entries into deepwater ventures and developing relationships with potential project partners. His mission at Venari is to build the company’s value through commercial strategy development and deal structuring, and gain access to significant deepwater portfolio opportunities in the Gulf.

Scott was negotiations manager – North America for BHP Billiton Petroleum where he championed the company’s entry strategy in the Gulf of Mexico, which enabled BHP to become a significant leaseholder, active operator and one of the largest producers in the Gulf. He negotiated major joint venture agreements for BHP that opened the foldbelt play fairway and led to the Neptune, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Shenzi discoveries. Scott negotiated and structured joint bidding and joint venture agreements and other partnering arrangements with every major oil company and most E&P independents working in the deepwater Gulf. He joined BHP in 1977 and subsequently held land and business development positions of increasing responsibility.

At Energy Reserves Group, Scott was director of land and served in other land-related roles. He managed activities for the Midcontinent Region, East Texas, the Texas Gulf Coast and offshore Texas. He began his career as a petroleum landman at Conoco Inc.

Scott is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Landmen, the Houston Association of Petroleum Landmen, the Petroleum Landmen of New Orleans and the Outer Continental Shelf Advisory Board. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration specializing in business management. He is a certified petroleum landman.


Chief Financial Officer

Grant Dreger joined Venari in October 2015 and leads the finance, accounting, treasury and strategic planning activities for the company. Previously he served Venari as the VP, Finance and Planning. Prior to joining Venari, he spent 22 years with Nexen Inc. where he held progressively senior positions most recently as Vice President, Finance for Nexen Petroleum USA. Inc., leading the finance, accounting, planning and information technology functions.  Grant’s Nexen experience also includes investor relations, international finance and corporate reporting.

Prior to his Nexen tenure, Grant was an Audit Manager for Deloitte & Touche where he provided audit services primarily to public oil and gas companies.

Grant is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, with a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting.  He is also a Chartered Professional Accountant (Canada).


Senior Vice President, Subsurface

Jack T. Gregory was the fifth person to join Venari Resources in the fall of 2011, and he was instrumental to the company’s formation and early success. Bringing over 30 years of industry experience, Jack was promoted to Senior Vice President, Subsurface, where his excellent leadership skills and proven capabilities as an oil finder proficient in sub-surface mapping techniques, well log evaluation and correlation, resource and reserve estimations, seismic interpretation, and risk assessment will have an even larger impact on Venari’s value creation for the future. He previously served as Venari’s Vice President, Exploration and Appraisal, Vice President, Exploration – Western Region, Exploration Manager and Risk and Resource Estimation Coordinator.

Prior to joining Venari, Jack was with Nexen Petroleum U.S.A. Inc., where he served as Exploration Manager, Global Exploration Portfolio Manager and Development G&G Manager before leaving in October 2011 to join Venari. In his final role at Nexen, he was charged with cost effectively maximizing production and reserve recovery for Nexen’s Gulf of Mexico assets, ensuring technical excellence in all production projects, and generating and managing tactical budgets and production outlooks while supervising a staff of 17 geoscientists. Other previous employers have included Merit Energy, El Paso Corp., and Texaco, where he spent the first 19 years of his career.

Jack earned a bachelor of science degree in geology from Oklahoma State University. He is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.


Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary

Adam B. Rubin is responsible for legal, regulatory and external affairs. He has been with Venari since our formation in May 2012. Prior to joining Venari, he spent 10 years with Nexen Inc. where he held progressively senior positions and most recently was assistant general counsel for Nexen’s U.S. operations.

Adam previously practiced corporate and securities law for several years where he focused on representing emerging growth companies, with emphasis on securities issues and transactional matters. He represented both privately held and public companies in a broad range of capacities, including formation, venture capital financings, public offerings, international transactions, and U.S. and Canadian reporting compliance. During that time, he completed internships with the Toronto Stock Exchange and Alberta Securities Commission.

Adam earned a bachelor of arts degree in economics from McGill University, a master’s degree in business administration specializing in finance from the University of Ottawa and a juris doctor degree from the University of Calgary. In 2010, he attended the Advanced Leadership Development Program at Harvard Business School.


Senior Vice President, Development

R. Cory Weinbel joined Venari in October 2015. He has more than 30 years of broad industry experience focused primarily on Project Development and Project Execution. The past ten years have been spent in the leadership of teams in execution of diverse oil and gas development activities including the Mozambique Offshore Gas and LNG Mega Project, the Jubilee (Ghana) Offshore Oil Production mega-project, and onshore EOR Development Projects for Anadarko Petroleum and Denbury Resources.

Mr. Weinbel spent over seven years working for Helix Energy Solutions Group as Deepwater Project Manager and General Manager of Production Facilities where he spear-headed the development of the first ship-shaped disconnectible oil production unit in the Gulf of Mexico at the Phoenix Development.

His work has allowed him to work on multiple types of deepwater floating production units including Spars (Gunnison), TLP’s (Marco Polo), Semisubmersibles (Independence Hub), and Ships/FPSOs (Phoenix, Jubilee.) Earlier in his career, Mr. Weinbel worked as a project engineer/project manager for Kvaerner Oil and Gas, Kerr-McGee Oil and Gas, and Kerr-McGee Chemical.

Cory holds a Master of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering and Bachelor of Science degree in Materials Engineering from Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.