John Stafford selected as So. Ute Growth Fund Operating Director of Energy

Photo Credit: Lindsay Box | SU Council Affairs


The Southern Ute Indian Tribe would like to announce the selection of the new Operating Director of Energy for the Southern Ute Growth Fund, John Stafford. Stafford will supervise ventures related to energy resource exploration and development, gas gathering, processing, petroleum refining and transportation, and alternative energy. Stafford will work directly with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s Red Willow Production Company, Aka Energy Group, Red Cedar Gathering Group and their affiliates. While serving in this capacity, Stafford is responsible for identifying and evaluating opportunities for new investments and divestitures subject to approval from the Growth Fund Management Committee (GFMC) and the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council.

Stafford arrived on Monday, April 15. Prior to joining the Southern Ute Growth Fund, Stafford was the President of Laris Oil & Gas, LLC, a private oil and gas exploration company which he founded in 2002. He was also the Vice President & General Counsel for Patina Oil & Gas Corporation, a publicly traded company on the NYSE that was subsequently acquired by Noble Energy for $4.9 billion.

As an attorney in private practice he represented several clients that entered into Section 29 Tax Credit transactions with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. These transactions enabled the Tribe to benefit financially from the enhanced development of coalbed methane and tight gas reservoirs. Prior to becoming an Environmental and Oil & Gas attorney, Stafford was a Senior Geologist for ARCO Oil & Gas Company, where his work included operations on other Indian reservations.

Stafford is a graduate of Syracuse University (BS in Geology), Texas A&M University (MS in Geological Oceanography, and University of Denver (JD). He is a professional geologist in the State of Wyoming and is licensed to practice law in both Colorado and Wyoming.

Chairman Sage stated, “The Tribe looks forward to the expertise and experience Mr. Stafford brings as the new Southern Ute Growth Fund Operating Director of Energy.”

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