Marlan W. Downey, Chairman of the Board

Marlan DowneyMarlan is former President of the AAPG, an elected Fellow of the American Associates for the Advancement of Science, a Senior Fellow of the Institute for the study of Earth and Man at SMU, and a fellow of the Geological Society of the United Kingdom. Marlan was knighted by President Biya of Cameroon for his service to that country. He has been honored by the world’s largest geological society as “A Living Legend in the Oil and Gas Business” and has been a distinguished lecturer for several geosciences organizations. Marlan had a thirty-year career with Shell Oil in management and research, retiring as President of Shell (Pecten) International in 1987. After a brief retirement during which he founded Roxanna Oil Company, he joined ARCO, serving as President of ARCO International for seven years. After retiring from ARCO, he became Bartell Professor of Geoscience at the University of Oklahoma, and Chief Scientist at the Sarkeys Energy Center.

In 2000, he organized and chaired the Presidential Energy Policy Symposium in Washington, DC. In 2002, he received the R.H. Dott award for best geologic publication, and in 2003 he received the Hedberg Medal for outstanding scientific achievements. In 2005, he was honored as a “Legendary Oil Finder” by the Petroleum History Foundation. In 2008, Marlan received the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, the highest honor bestowed by the AAPG, for his outstanding contributions to oil and gas exploration.

Marlan has led exploration teams in 62 countries, has an extraordinary record of consistent successes in his sixty-year career and shows no signs of stopping there.


Julie Garvin, President

Julie Garvin joined Roxanna as President in July 2005.  While at the helm of Roxanna, our company has been directly involved with generating and overseeing the technical and business efforts leading to our successful track record.

Julie’s unique expertise combines business savvy with a deep technical understanding of the science behind exploration.

Prior to joining Roxanna, she had a twenty-three year career with Marathon Oil Company in a variety of technical and managerial positions. Early in her career, she was responsible for prospect generation and evaluation in the shelf and deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico. As Deepwater Team Leader in the early 1990’s, she had technical oversight of the team responsible for the acquisition of leases that led to the discovery of Marathon’s largest deepwater fields. Julie was Shelf Exploration Supervisor for Marathon from 1996-1999, where she was responsible for lease acquisition, exploration drilling, and regional geologic evaluations.  She was named Deepwater Exploration Manager in 2000, focusing her efforts into subsalt exploration and early entrance into the multi-billion barrel Paleogenelay. Julie became Geoscience Advisor in 2002 where she was responsible for the business and technical evaluation of major exploration projects.

Her areas of expertise include unconventional resource plays, seismic interpretation, Gulf Coast geology, brightspot and AVO analysis, as well as risk and portfolio analysis.  She continues to push her technical understanding giving several industry talks each year.  Catch up with some of her former lectures under news and announcements page.


Paul Gucwa, Executive Vice President

As Executive Vice President Paul works with the Roxanna Oil team to manage the Company’s working and royalty interest properties and develop new projects to further grow the company.  He has broad geologic exposure, especially to North American basins and petroleum systems.  His area of expertise is structural geology/tectonics.

Paul has 40 years’ experience as a geoscientist and in technical and business management roles developing exploration and production projects throughout North America.  Paul began his career in 1974 and has served in a variety of positions, including Research Geologist at Marathon, Chief Geologist at BP and Manager of US Exploration at Marathon.  During Paul’s tenure at Marathon the domestic exploration program added in excess of 300 million net barrels of oil equivalent.  Paul retired from Marathon in 2000 and formed Texas 3 Star Energy Investment, LLC., a  privately held oil and gas exploration and consulting company focused on North America.  In 2005 he joined the Tetra Technologies oil and gas unit, Maritech Resources, where he contributed the geoscience work for the successful redevelopment of Timbalier Bay Field.  In June 2011 Paul joined Bahamas Petroleum Company, Plc, as Chief Operating Officer and remained in that role until joining Roxanna Oil in June of 2013

Paul received his undergraduate degree from Franklin and Marshall College, and his master’s and doctorate from The University of Texas at Austin.  He is also a graduate of the Wharton Advanced Management Program.

Paul serves as a member of the Advisory Council of the Jackson School of Geoscience at the University of Texas.


Nick Downey, Administrations Manager

Nick DowneyNick Downey studied geology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and completed their post-graduate level course, “Business of Petroleum Geology.”  He then moved into business where he completed “Masters in Entrepreneurship”.  Nick then started several successful businesses; during those years he continued to take on Oil and Gas Industry courses including ESRI:GIS, Division Orders, Shale Development and Shale Fracturing Fundamentals, Petroleum Geology, PHDWin and several other technical web classes including Petrophysics of Carbonates and Heterogeneity in Carbonate Reservoirs.

Nick joined Roxanna Oil Company in February of 2013 as Administrations Manager where his business and geological talents contribute importantly to Roxanna’s success.  He handles the day to day operations of Roxanna Nebraska, our newly formed operating wing as well as working on corporate finances and our in house IT.  He is a member of the Houston Geological Society, the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the American Association of Petroleum Geologist since 2007 and a Texas Notary Public since 2015.  Nick enjoys learning from the best and brightest everyday here at Roxanna.



Alex Downey, Operations Manager

Alex Downey

Alex began his career with Roxanna as a consulting GIS specialist in 2006, and joined full time in 2011. He began his training in 2005 while attending Southern Methodist University. He continued this specialized training in GIS at Brookhaven College.  He has completed Oil and Gas Industry courses in ESRI:GIS, Division Orders, Shale Development and Shale Fracturing Fundamentals, Petroleum Geology, PHDWin and several other technical web classes including Petrophysics of Carbonates and Heterogeneity in Carbonate Reservoirs, as well as SMU’s post-graduate level course, “Business of Petroleum Geology”, where Alex received special commendation.

In 2007, Alex formed Petroleum GIS, a company specializing in digitizing oil and gas data, creating custom base maps, managing large databases, and analyzing geospatial data for use by related industry professionals. He has been involved in major GIS mapping projects in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Nevada, and Illinois.  Alex currently works at Roxanna Oil as their Operations Manager.



Avery Arendale, Geologist

Avery Arendale

Avery graduated Cum Laude from Texas Tech University (TTU) in Lubbock, Texas with a B.S. in Geosciences and a Minor in Petroleum Geology in the spring of 2011. She was a recipient of the faculty nominated, merit-based Energy Cup Scholarship from the Geosciences Department at TTU. Avery completed two geology and industry business internships upon graduation with both Pedernales Energy LLC and Walter Oil and Gas Company in Houston, Texas. She had the privilege to work on projects onshore in south Texas marker Lobo sands, the Marietta and Ardmore Basins of Oklahoma in the Woodford shale and Hunton limestone, the Williston Basin of Montana, and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, West Delta Louisiana. Her senior thesis project entitled ‘Constraining The Onset of Cretaceous Peraluminous Magmatism in The Ruby Mountains, Nevada’ was chosen to be presented at the Joint Geoscience Society of America (GSA) Section meeting – Rocky Mountain and Cordilleran May 2011.

Avery began her Masters of Science at Rice University in Houston, Texas in Geosciences with a focus in Petroleum Geology in Fall of 2012. Her graduate geoscience internship and thesis work was completed at Hess Corporation with the Global New Business Development Team in the summer of 2013 working in the Marcellus and Utica/Point Pleasant Appalachian shales. She analyzed porosity and the change in porosity in these shales with respect to thermal maturity utilizing petrophysical and pyrolysis core data. Her thesis was entitled ‘Porosity Change as a Function of Thermal Maturity in The Ordovician Point Pleasant Shale, Ohio, USA.’ Avery graduated with her Masters in May of 2014 and began working at Roxanna working with Julie on the Las Animas Arch of southeastern Colorado


Max Chi-An Tsai, Geotech

Max Chi-An TsaiMax joined the Roxanna team full time in 2014 after he completed an internship with the Police Research Center. As a Geotech, Max is responsible for managing, acquiring, manipulating, analyzing and displaying certain geological and geochemical data in GIS software program, mainly, Petra and ArcGIS.

Max graduated in 2013 with a M.S. in GIS from Sam Houston State University, and has been awarded College of Science Special Graduate Scholarship. Prior to entering into the graduate program, Max earned his B.S. in Chemistry back in Taiwan (R.O.C.). A large portion of the data comes from geochemical data that are derived from rock cuttings acquired through the drilling of oil and gas wells. These organic content, thermal history, physical properties and other geological data are integrated into GIS mapping software, to view the spatial relationships of these data from thousands of individual wellbores. Contour mapping of the data allows for selection of area for exploration, based on certain geological criteria.