Your Trusted Partners

Leadership Team

Thomas Smith


Tom Smith has 40 years of experience in the energy business with Amoco, BP and Continental. He has held management positions over contracts, transportation and storage optimization, marketing, physical and financial trading, and business development. He has experience marketing and trading natural gas, NGL’s, power and LNG. He was the COO and then President of the Midwest Region for BP. Most recently, he was Vice President of Natural Gas Marketing for Continental Resources. During his tenure, Tom led Continental by installing an energy risk management system and led them from marketing at the wellhead to selling at the burner-tip. He led the Continental team in the Wildcat project, a 400 MMcfd wet line from the SCOOP and STACK production areas in NW Oklahoma to the Tolar Hub near Dallas / Fort Worth

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Tim Penney

Vice President Business Development

Mr. Penney began his career with United Energy Trading in 2004, while attending college full-time. He started as an Information Technology consultant and was quickly accepted into United Energy Trading’s Internship Program. During his internship, he performed various accounting functions and implemented several new systems, integrating them with existing programs and departments. In 2008, Mr. Penney graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. He then joined United Energy Trading full-time as the Marketing and Information Technology manager.

In 2009, Mr. Penney began development of a natural gas trading book in East Texas and throughout the Gulf Coast, building valuable relationships with the producers and customers. In early 2010, Mr. Penney helped develop the United Energy Trading’s crude oil business, making United Energy Trading one of the first companies to ship unit trains out of the Bakken. UET’s crude oil book included a broad range of significant business opportunities including lease and bulk crude purchasing, crude by rail, pipeline and terminal trading, and developing strategically positioned assets for crude oil market bottlenecks. In 2014, upon seeing an opportunity to further diversify United Energy Trading, Mr. Penney started the United Energy Trading’s refined products department. This included buying and selling refined products to bulk customers along with building out rack sales around the United States. Under Mr. Penney’s leadership both United Energy Trading’s crude and refined products businesses have continued to develop and expand.

Mr. Penney currently serves on the United Energy Trading Board of Directors and is Vice President of Business Development. In this role, he manages both the refined products and crude oil businesses, he is also an integral part of finding new opportunities for United Energy Trading to grow.


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Kurt Batenhorst

Executive Vice-President

Kurt Batenhorst is currently acting as Executive Vice President at the United Energy Trading office located in Houston, Texas, where he covers the Natural Gas Marketing, Trading, and ESG for the United States. Prior to UET, Kurt was employed at Macquarie Energy Company for 8 years, presiding over Gas, Power, LNG and ESG origination. Prior to Macquarie, Kurt worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he ran consumer commodity sales, including Energy and AG’s. Most of his 30+ year career was spent at BP with over two decades of tenure in jobs focused on transportation and trading before he ultimately transitioned into the head of Consumer Structured Product Origination for North America. His team was given the #1 hedge provider award for several years as rated by Energy Risk Magazine. Kurt lives in Katy, Texas, where he is married with three very active daughters who are involved in many activities, most notably on National Champion Volleyball teams, including one who is currently competing on the USA National Volleyball team.


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Thomas W. Williams

Co-Founder, EVP of Customer Services

Tom Williams is the Co-founder of United Energy Trading. Tom has more than 35 years of extensive business development, origination, marketing, and executive management experience in natural gas, crude oil markets, refined products, and related business operations. He is responsible for all aspects of UET’s origination, trading, marketing, logistics, and financial activities, including the growth and operations of 20 offices comprising some 140 employees. Tom has held increasingly responsible positions at oil and gas production firms, pipeline companies, and midstream marketing companies. Tom’s career spans the spectrum from scheduling natural gas transportation, contract analysis, marketing equity production, price risk management, structured deals, midstream asset development, and executive leadership. He is known throughout the industry as an innovative thinker, team builder, deal maker, strong entrepreneur, accomplished communicator, and true leader. Tom’s vision has always been that a successful business is one in which employees and staff have aligned interests and are motivated to provide win/win solutions for both customers and the company. This vision has led to UET growing from a humble start as a newcomer in the Rocky Mountain gas market to a top 20 domestic marketer of numerous commodities.

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Kristi Birdsall

Chief Risk Officer

Kristi Birdsall joined United Energy Corporation in May of 2005 as the Director of Risk Management, and was later promoted to Chief Risk Officer. She started her career in the natural gas business in 1993. Her previous employers include Western Gas Resources, e prime, and Kerr McGee, where she held a variety of positions in accounting, gas scheduling, gas control, marketing, and risk. Seven of those years were spent trading natural gas, mainly in the West Texas area, giving her insight into her current responsibility of monitoring traders and risk. A native of Colorado, Ms. Birdsall graduated from the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Colorado-Denver. She received her Colorado Certified Public Accountant license in 1999, and continues to keep that license current. She is a member of the Colorado Society of CPAs as well as the American Institute of Public Accountants.


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Kyle Smith

General Counsel


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Jim Rexroad

Chief Commercial Officer


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Tyler Salyards

Director – Gas Scheduling

Tyler started his career in the industry in 2011. Since then, he has worked at CIMA, Mieco, and now UET. Tyler has experience with nearly all United States and Canadian pipelines. He has been fully involved in all of the natural gas marketing operations (Trading, Scheduling, Accounting, Risk), as well as the implementation of multiple ETRM systems. Tyler comes from a veteran family in the industry, with his mother, sister, and uncle all being energy professionals. He now manages a team of the industry’s most experienced schedulers here at UET.


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Mike Huggins

Managing Director of Natural Gas Hedging, NW Rockies & Retail

Mike graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in statistics and started his career in 1995 at Western Gas Resources as a Financial Analyst. Two years later, Mike began trading derivatives at Western. He became WGR’s lead financial trader shortly thereafter trading Nymex, Basis, and Options, with a focus on the Rockies.
In 2007, Mike was hired by High Sierra Energy as their risk officer. He went on to help create and manage High Sierra’s wholesale gas marketing group.

Mike joined UET in March 2009. Mike helps manage Callective Energy, Kratos Gas and Power, and Uncle Frank Energy Services – the Retail Energy Marketing divisions of UET. Mike is also part of a group who manages Green products such as RNG, Carbon Offsets, and REC’s nationwide. He also helps with natural gas storage and wholesale gas marketing in the Rockies West region.


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Jason Hill

Chief Credit Officer

Jason Hill is the Chief Credit Officer for United Energy Corporation (UEC) and all of its subsidiaries which include United Energy Trading, LLC. He has been with the UEC since April 2008. He started his experience in the management of global credit operations in the energy industry in 1999. He also participates in the banking arrangements for the company’s lines of credit. Before joining UEC he was employed by Aquila, Inc. where he held various Manager positions in credit operations for its wholesale marketing businesses and played a key role assisting in cash forecasting for Aquila’s Treasury group.


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Dave Sandy

Financial Controller

Dave Sandy is the Financial Controller for United Energy Trading. Dave oversees a staff of fourteen that handles volume actualizing, invoicing, settlements, cash management, foreign exchange, imports, gross production taxes, excise taxes and sales tax reporting. Dave came to UET in August 2006 after a six year stint working for the State of North Dakota. Dave received his bachelors degree in accounting from the University of North Dakota. The UET accounting office is headquarted in Bismarck, ND with its parent company, United Energy Corporation.


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