Severson Entrepreneurship Academy presents panel discussion

MINOT, N.D. – The Minot State Severson Entrepreneurship Academy is sponsoring a panel discussion titled The Entrepreneurial Perspective: Stories from the Bakken on Sept. 18 at the MSU Student Center Conference Center.

The panel discussion will focus on the entrepreneurial spirit of energy industry leaders in the Bakken Oil Formation in western North Dakota.

“We are excited to host an exceptional group of entrepreneurs for our students and others in the community,” said Randy Conway, director of the Severson Entrepreneurship Academy. “All of our guests have taken unique paths and overcome extreme challenges to become leaders in their industry."

The event begins at 11 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

The event features Bruce Larsen, president and CEO of Kraken Resources, LLC; Preston Page, founder and president of Dakota Energy, LLC; and Jason Baker, owner and CEO of Baker Energy Services, along with moderators Kevin Black, CEO of Creedence Energy Services and member of the North Dakota State Board of Higher Education, and Conway.

"Being an entrepreneur isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me,” Larsen said.  “The success that an entrepreneur strives to achieve is most often paved with a trail of failures. I look forward to discussing what I’ve learned, both successes and failures, with the next generation of aspiring entrepreneurs."

Larsen has 25 years of oil and gas exploration and production experience specializing in leadership, business development, resource identification, geologic modeling, reservoir characterization, and operational geology. Kraken Resources is a top 10 producer of oil and gas in the Williston Basin and one of the more active operators over the last six years, having drilled nearly 350 new wells and more three-mile horizontals than most other operators.

Before forming Kraken in 2012, he was the executive vice president of Ursa Resources Group LLC, where he led the company’s Williston Basin entry, developed the company’s Bakken Shale geologic model, and oversaw leasing of 120,000 net acres prior to selling the company.  Larsen was born and raised in Sidney, Montana. He is a member of the AAPG, earned a bachelor’s degree in geological engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from Tulane University.

Page’s Dakota Energy, LLC is an oil and gas company with royalty or non-operated working interest in over a thousand oil and gas wells throughout the Rocky Mountain Region. He is also involved in his family's company which has developed a mobile vehicle security barrier designed to stop a vehicle as a weapon.

Page serves on the board of directors of the North Dakota Petroleum Council and North Dakota Oil and Gas Research Council. He is a North Dakota State College of Science graduate with an associate's degree in electrical technology and holds a bachelor's and master's degree in business from the University of North Dakota 

Baker has over 13 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. After growing up in western North Dakota, he moved to Fargo and attended North Dakota State University where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering and obtained his professional engineering registration. In 2010, he moved back home to Mandaree where he started Baker Consulting with his father, Paige Baker, who has since retired. He has overseen the growth of the company to multiple divisions including roustabout, crane, trucking, hydrovac, environmental, pipeline, workover, and completions services, and its expansion to three locations across the Bakken. 

In addition to his leadership of Baker Energy Services, Baker is also a pilot, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt, volunteer firefighter, and owner and CEO of Ahwah Energy, which is a newly formed frac sand processing and supply company.

Black will serve as a co-moderator with Conway and is no stranger to the Bakken or higher education. He was appointed to the ND State Board of Higher Education in 2022 and currently serves on Academic & Student Affairs, Budget & Finance, and the Higher Education Grant Review committees.

He is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Creedence Energy Services, a leading specialty chemical provider in the oil and gas industry with operations in North Dakota, Montana, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.

Black has previously served higher education as a trustee of the North Dakota State Development Foundation, Minot State Board of Regents, and past chair of the University of North Dakota Petroleum Engineering Advisory Board. He also serves on the board of the Minot Chamber EDC, Minot Sunrise Rotary Club, and the North Dakota Petroleum Council, and he was appointed by Gov. Doug Burgum to serve on the North Dakota Economic Development Foundation in 2019.

He earned a degree in industrial engineering and management from NDSU in 2010 and currently resides in Minot.

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Published: 09/01/23   

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