GCC has assembled a talented staff of reservoir engineers and geologists with the expertise to address the changing technology impacting today's oil and natural gas industry. These specialists are deployed as needed in unconventional shale plays, conventional reservoirs, onshore and offshore reservoirs, field studies, and situations ranging from exploration projects to development studies to asset sales and acquisitions.


John L. Graves


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John Graves has 41 years of experience in exploration and production and oil and gas consulting. He began his career as a roughneck for Grey Wolf Drilling and joined Texoil Company as a field landman, focusing on South Louisiana. He spent 15 years with Texoil, rising to president and chief operating officer and helping to take Texoil public. Texoil expanded its exploration efforts into coastal Texas and its acquisition efforts into Argentina during his tenure.
He founded Graves & Co. in 1996 as the first buy-side M&A service and support firm in the industry, providing due diligence, valuations, negotiation support, and acquisition sourcing, along with front-line and back-office support to E&P companies in the form of land, accounting, gas marketing, and regulatory services. Our buy-side M&A services expanded into the oilfield service and midstream sectors and, most recently, the downstream sector.
Graves & Co's work has involved assets in every central basin in the Lower 48 States, the Outer Continental Shelf, the Cook Inlet, offshore West Africa, and onshore Argentina and Guatemala.
Mr. Graves holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Texas A&M University and an M.A. from the University of Leicester. He is a member of the American Association of Professional Landmen, Houston Producers’ Forum, and Houston Energy Finance Group.

William W. Vail, JR., P.E., P. ENG.

Executive Vice President

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Bill Vail is a licensed professional engineer in Texas and Alberta, Canada, with extensive experience throughout North America during his 37 years of professional engineering, evaluating various reservoirs in basins undergoing all stages of exploration and development. He has industry experience in production, operations, and reservoir evaluations, having begun his career in the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast with Energy Reserves Group. Bill then moved to Transco Exploration Co., where he was involved in the economics of drilling and development projects and in reserve estimates for corporate reporting and analyses of mergers and acquisitions.
Bill entered the consulting field with L.A. Martin & Associates, moved to C.C. Pace Resources, then returned to the production side of the business with Statoil Energy.
He was active in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures for four years before finally returning to an extended career as a reservoir engineering consultant.
Bill became Director of Petroleum Engineering while at Marshall Miller & Associates for six years before joining DeGolyer and MacNaughton, Inc. for 12 additional years, where he became a vice president, working on reserve evaluations and reports for public companies in the U.S., Canada, and several international countries.
Bill is a co-author of SPEE Monograph 3 and a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers, and Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta. He has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Tulsa and an MBA from the University of Virginia.


The following industry personnel are available to work on various domestic and international projects that may require expertise in a particular discipline or as an additional professional to facilitate timely responses to clients' requirements.

Mel Hainey, P.E.

Senior Reservoir Engineer

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Mel Hainey is a reservoir engineer/asset manager who has worked exclusively in those capacities for the past 24 years, providing production surveillance and forecasting, exploration and development project evaluations, acquisition and divestiture evaluations, and reserve report preparation and reviews. He is highly skilled in volumetric, material balance, decline curve, and rate transient analysis reserve evaluation methods, as well as petrophysical analysis for shaly sands and artificial lift and compression evaluations.
In addition to his reservoir work, he has an extensive background in drilling, well completions, and production for both conventional (South Texas, East Texas, Gulf of Mexico, and Permian Basin) and unconventional operations (Haynesville, Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford, Eaglebine, and Wolfcamp).
Mr. Hainey has exceptional computer skills, which he uses to apply his technical knowledge in a highly productive manner. He is skilled in the use of ARIES, PHDWin, Enerdeq, FieldDIRECT, RTA, Petra, GeoGraphix, and MS Office.
He previously was Texas asset manager and chief reservoir engineer for Davis Petroleum Corporation. Before that, he was a reservoir engineer for Penn Virginia Oil & Gas, KCS Resources/Petrohawk, and El Paso Production/Coastal Oil & Gas. As a consultant, Mr. Hainey provided reservoir, drilling, well completion, and operations management for offshore and international projects for The Huffco Group, Sonat, Baker-Hughes, and GulfStar Energy. He began his career at Exxon, where his engineering work included drilling, subsurface production, and reservoir in South Texas and assignments in Exxon's Headquarters Production and Alaska Interests groups.
Mr. Hainey holds a BSEE and MSEE from the University of Texas at Austin and has pursued post-graduate studies in petroleum engineering at Texas A&M University. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the Tau Beta Pi, Pi Epsilon Tau, and Eta Kappa Nu engineering honor societies.

Lonnie D. Murphy

Senior Reservoir Engineer

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Lonnie Murphy is a senior reservoir engineer who has evaluated oil and gas fields throughout the Gulf Coast areas of Texas and Louisiana, as well as Oklahoma, West Texas, the Rocky Mountains, and Appalachia. Recent focus areas include unconventional resources in the Permian, Williston, and Denver-Julesburg basins.
He began his career in 1981 with Enserch Exploration Inc. in its Rocky Mountain District office, where he evaluated reserves and performed economic analyses on drilling opportunities in several major Rocky Mountain basins. He also gained operational experience with well completions, recompletions, and workovers.
Mr. Murphy moved to a staff engineering position with Enserch in 1986 and worked on reservoir simulations encompassing multiple fields and formations. He was promoted to district engineer in 1991 in Enserch’s Gulf Coast District, supervising the engineering staff. He became Enserch's chief engineer in 1996, with the primary responsibility of overseeing the preparation of the annual reserves report required for corporate financial reporting.
Mr. Murphy joined DeGolyer and MacNaughton (D&M) in 1998, working in the Central Europe and Asia Division evaluating reserves associated with the largest gas and gas-condensate fields in Western Siberia and southern Russia. He also has international experience assessing oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, Libya, Syria, offshore Israel, offshore Norway, and offshore U.K.
In 2001, Mr. Murphy became responsible for evaluating and preparing year-end reserve reports in D&M's North America Division. As assistant division manager, he supervised the creation of reserves reports prepared according to Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) guidelines and Society of Petroleum Engineers' Petroleum Resource Management System (PRMS) guidelines. He was elected a senior vice president with D&M in 2015.
Mr. Murphy has a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University and is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

L. B. “Ben” Branum, P.E.

Senior Reservoir Engineer

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Ben Branum has 45 years of experience as a reservoir engineer in domestic and international valuations, including prospect generation, acreage acquisition, drilling and completion, well stimulation, production methods, contract negotiations, and reserve and economic evaluation and forecasting. He has prepared evaluations of developed and undeveloped projects for filings and stock offerings with U.S. securities and foreign exchanges, including the London Alternative Investment Market and the Hong Kong and Toronto exchanges.
He has extensive experience in evaluating secondary and tertiary recovery projects. He has also worked in the international oil and gas arena, including China, South America, the Mid-East, and other areas. During the past several years, Mr. Branum has concentrated on projects involving the certification of reserves in both conventional and unconventional reservoirs. He has provided expert witness testimony before the Texas Railroad Commission and the Louisiana Department of Conservation.
Mr. Branum began his career in 1974 as a reservoir engineer for an interstate pipeline company, then joined an independent E&P company in 1980. He entered the consulting business with Ryder Scott Company in 1989 and was with Ralph E. Davis Associates, Inc. from 2003 through 2018. Mr. Branum is a graduate of the University of Missouri at Rolla with a B.S. degree in petroleum engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Kent B. Lina, P.E.

Senior Reservoir Engineer

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Kent Lina has 40 years of experience in the domestic oil and gas industry with a strong emphasis on the basins of the Western United States. He has extensive experience in unconventional reservoirs, reservoir evaluation, and reserve estimation for private and public companies, including regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He has served as senior vice president of engineering of a public E&P company responsible for over $2 billion in corporate reserves and a loan facility involving 12 banks.
Mr. Lina began his career in the West Texas region in operations and developed expertise in field operations, including drilling, completion, and waterflood operations. He supervised both company-operated and non-operated joint venture programs and provided expert testimony at regulatory hearings.
Mr. Lina moved to the Rocky Mountain region and became involved in evaluating properties for acquisitions and divestitures, as well as corporate exploration and development. He performed numerous reserve evaluations for financial and regulatory reporting requirements and supervised a staff of reserve evaluators for a public E&P corporation. During his past six years as an independent consulting engineer, he has developed extensive analytical techniques for various shale plays to identify successful completion methods and areas within the plays with increased chances of success.
Mr. Lina holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla with a program emphasis in Petroleum Engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas.

Allen Barron

Retires from Graves & Co. Consulting, Bill Vail to Serve as Executive Vice President

Graves & Co. Consulting, a professional independent reservoir engineering firm to the oil and gas industry, announced today that Allen C. Barron, Executive Vice President, retired from Graves & Co. Consulting on March 11, 2022, after a distinguished 50+ year career in the energy industry. “On behalf of all of our Graves colleagues, I want to extend our deepest thanks to Allen,” said John L. Graves, President. “Allen has contributed a great deal to the success of Graves & Co. Consulting. These efforts have included working to grow the firm’s client base, serving as an expert in litigation proceedings, guiding our younger engineers and leading numerous engineering projects, all of which has positioned us for continued success. Allen will be missed, and we wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Graves & Co. Consulting also announced today that William W. “Bill” Vail, Jr., who currently serves as Senior Reservoir Engineer, has been promoted to Executive Vice President effective March 14, 2022. Mr. Vail joined Graves & Co. Consulting in December 2019. Prior thereto from 2007 to 2019, he served as a Vice President of DeGolyer & MacNaughton and the principal coordinator for a range of project locations in the Lower 48 States, Canada, Trinidad, India and the deep water Gulf of Mexico. Mr. Vail has served in positions of increasing responsibility at Marshall Miller & Associates, Statoil Energy, L. A. Martin & Associates, and Transco Exploration. In 2010, Mr. Vail co-authored SPEE’s Monograph 3. Mr. Vail holds an MBA from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, and a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas and the Province of Alberta, Canada.
Graves & Co. Consulting provides engineering and geological studies, financial analysis and technical evaluations of oil and gas assets for use in annual reports, field development planning, mergers and acquisitions, litigation and regulatory filings. Graves serves public and private E&P companies, banks, private equity firms, royalty trusts and mineral owners with assets throughout the United States, South America and Europe.

David Cole

Senior Reservoir Engineer

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David Cole is a reserve evaluation engineer with over 28 years of domestic and international experience providing valuation, reserve reporting, and support for financings ranging from reserve-based lending to initial public offerings. He has generated reserve reports for use in U.S. and international stock exchanges and has extensive experience in all areas of the U.S., both on and offshore and internationally. He previously served as a senior reservoir engineer at Ralph E. Davis Associates, providing asset evaluations and reserve reporting for various domestic and international clients for acquisitions, divestments, and financial requirements.
In the Republic of Argentina, he was the reserves manager and production manager for Central Resources, Inc., conducting reserve reporting, financials, and reservoir engineering for all of Central's operated fields in Argentina. Before that, he served as Central’s senior reservoir engineer in its Denver office. He has served as a petroleum engineer at Total Fina Elf and Reunion Resources Company (formerly Buttes Gas & Oil). He spent six years at Ryder Scott Company, where he valued assets domestically and across the globe as part of the international group, primarily focusing on China and Egypt, with additional work on projects in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the North Sea, Venezuela, Russia, Pakistan, New Guinea, and Kuwait, and later an additional six years at the consulting firm of Ralph E. Davis Associates, Inc.
Mr. Cole is adept with Aries, PHDWin, DI, 1Derrick, OGRE, PEEP, and Crystal Ball. He holds a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

Kevin J. Lant, P.G., P.G.S.

Senior Geoscientist

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Kevin Lant has over 35 years of experience as an exploration and development geologist in the domestic and international energy industry. He began his career as a geologist-geophysicist working in various basins throughout the Mid Continent, the Rocky Mountains, and the West Coast basins. Mr. Lant then worked within the Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent regions before beginning his international experience in Algeria and North Africa. Mr. Lant moved to Indonesia, where he discovered significant gas reserves before returning to the U.S. as an independent consultant. He established his international consulting firm in 1994 and evaluated exploration and production projects worldwide.
Mr. Lant has extensive experience related to the evaluation and management of exploration projects in both the domestic and international oil and gas arena, the direction of seismic studies and data reprocessing and interpretation, preparing regional play analyses, the evaluation of merger and acquisition opportunities, and providing due diligence support and negotiation advisory services. He served as a part-time faculty member at C.S.U.N. and has authored numerous field studies and development papers for clients worldwide. He has taught an introductory geology course as an adjunct professor at the University of Oklahoma at Norman and maintains his independent consulting geoscience practice in Tulsa, OK.
Mr. Lant received a B.S. in Geology from California State University at Northridge (“C.S.U.N.”) and an M.S. in Geology from Ohio University. He is a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the American Institute of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, and several geological societies such as OCGS, HGS, TGS, and WTGS.