Our members are committed to ensuring that MWCC’s leadership is some of the best and brightest the industry has to offer. Member companies often provide their top talent to serve as Executive Officers of MWCC on a rotating basis. This ensures MWCC is representative of all members and closely linked to best practices from some of the industry’s most progressive organizations. Additionally, this model helps MWCC to maintain first-hand knowledge of the nature of well activities we are covering, which is an important advantage in a response situation. The Senior Management Team has been hand-selected from an array of prominent backgrounds across the energy industry to help keep MWCC at the forefront in all areas of its business.


David Nickerson Chief Executive Officer


Astley L. Blair Jr. Chief Financial Officer


Terry Costlow Chief Operating Officer


Christopher Harder Health, Safety, and Environmental Officer


Shannon Straube Director, Planning & Strategic Initiatives


Matthew Goldsmith General Manager, Engineering


Sara Willett Director, Communications & Public Affairs


Humberto Molina General Counsel


Teresa Naylor General Manager, Human Resources


Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) is an independent company founded in 2010 to address…

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MWCC’s corporate headquarters and two equipment storage facilities are situated along the U.S. Gulf Coast…

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History & Structure

MWCC was founded as an independent, not for profit organization in 2010 as a result of industry collaboration…

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Astley L. Blair Jr.

Chief Financial Officer

In his role as Chief Financial Officer, Astley is responsible for managing all finance-related, information technology and contracting activities for Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). In addition to his daily responsibilities, Astley acts as the Night Shift Leader in the event MWCC is activated to respond to a well control event.

Astley joined MWCC at its inception in 2010, seconded from Chevron. In 2019, after 38 years of service, Astley retired from Chevron but retained his role with MWCC. Astley began his career with Texaco Ltd in London as an accountant specializing in value added tax. In 1996, he accepted an assignment at Texaco’s headquarters where he was made part of the executive business development program, before being named Manager of Accounting and Trading Controls for the company’s trading and transport business. Following the merger of Chevron and Texaco, Astley was named General Manager of Finance and Global Trading. Before joining MWCC, Astley was named Division Finance Officer of Chevron’s global supply and trading organization.

Astley is active throughout Houston, giving his time to Houston Food Bank, United Way and supporting STEM education. He serves on the Executive Board of Directors and is also Chairman of the Audit Committee for the Houston Grand Opera. He serves as Chairman of the Center of Houston’s Future and is a Board Member of the Houston Airport System Development Corporation. Astley’s experience is built on years of technical education with the Association of Accounting Technicians.

Humberto Molina

General Counsel

Humberto (Bert) Molina serves as General Counsel for Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). With 30 years of legal experience working for an international law firm and major oil and gas companies, Bert supports MWCC executives by providing legal advice, risk analysis and guidance on regulatory and compliance matters. As a senior member of the MWCC Emergency Response Organization, he maintains a role in assuring compliance and management of all legal issues during incident activation and response.

As a secondee from BP America’s Gulf of Mexico legal team, Bert is an accomplished leader with experience in environmental and regulatory legal risk and compliance. He has served as a commercial attorney in both downstream and upstream since joining BP in 2010. He held a leading role in assuring BP compliance in managing legal issues surrounding the Plea Agreement, Plea Implementation Plan and Environmental Protection Agency’s Debarment Agreement, which arose following the Deepwater Horizon incident. In addition, he led internal counsel for interactions and negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) on probation and plea issues.

Bert earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Houston and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas.

Christopher Harder

Health, Safety, and Environmental Officer

As Health, Safety and Environmental Officer, Christopher is responsible for strategic direction on health, safety, security, environmental (HSSE) and emergency response management systems. In addition to his daily responsibilities, Christopher serves as the liaison between Incident Command and MWCC’s Response Leadership Team in the event MWCC is activated to respond to a well control event.

Christopher brings more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas business to his role at MWCC. He gained expertise in offshore and deepwater operations through his work with BP, where he spent 15 years. In 2010, Christopher managed a team through new federal regulatory standards to design and permit the first BP Gulf of Mexico exploration and appraisal well following the Deepwater Horizon incident. Experienced in crisis management from the perspective of the Responsible Party, Christopher served as Incident Commander and Qualified Person (QP) over a five year period and led several operational responses in the Gulf of Mexico.

Among his credits, Christopher has collaborated with other experts to publish work in the Journal of Petroleum Technology and Oil & Gas Journal and has presented his research to the National Academy of Sciences. Christopher earned his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from The New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. He’s continued his education through an executive leadership program of advanced operation modules from MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

David Nickerson

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, David Nickerson leads Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) in achieving its mission of being Continuously Ready to Respond to a future deepwater well control incident. In this role, David is accountable for ensuring that MWCC’s response capabilities are ready to mobilize at all times. In the event of activation, David leads the deployment of MWCC’s Containment System as directed by Incident Command. David brings leadership to his role that drives strategy and engagement with MWCC member companies, government bodies, the industry and in the communities where we operate.

With 29 years of experience serving in various leadership roles for Shell, prior to joining MWCC, David’s focus was on development and production in both domestic and international settings. In these roles, David gained extensive experience in running daily business operations and managing emergency situations. David brings robust maintenance and logistical expertise to bear, which supports the deployment readiness of MWCC’s Containment System and ensure efficient mobilization upon activation. Throughout his career, David has managed a wide variety of well operations including drilling, completion, workover and abandonment – knowledge that is invaluable to a well control response situation.

David earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and his Master of Business Administration from Tulane University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer.

Matthew Goldsmith

General Manager, Engineering

As General Manager of Engineering, Matthew supports Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) in the design and execution of capital projects, including the development of first-of-its-kind source control solutions. In addition, Matthew works with the Chief Operating Officer to ensure MWCC’s Containment System is preserved and maintained in a deployment-ready state. In the event MWCC is activated to respond to a well control event, Matthew leads MWCC’s Advisory Team imbedded within the Source Control Branch at Incident Command to provide strategic counsel on MWCC’s Containment System.

Matthew has nearly 20 years of experience in global offshore and marine operations. He previously served as Senior Offshore Operations Manager at Boa Marine Services, Inc. Here, he managed the operations team in project execution and tender management and was accountable for standardizing the safety controls system as well as deployment and installations procedures for the company. While in this role, Matthew contributed to debris removal and marine operations for the Deepwater Horizon incident. Prior to Boa, he led all vessel operations as Vessel Superintendent for Aker Marine Contractors where he oversaw the safe execution of several offshore installation projects. Matthew completed large scale offshore projects for Anadarko, BHP, BP and Chevron. Through his work, Matthew has developed the technical skills for equipping vessels to support some of the world’s largest offshore operators.

Matthew earned a Bachelor of Engineering in Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering from the Memorial University of Newfoundland. He’s continued his education through executive education programs from Harvard Extension School and the Center for Creative Leadership.

Sara Willett

Director, Communications & Public Affairs

In her role as Director, Communications and Public Affairs, Sara Willett leads strategic messaging, media relations, stakeholder management, corporate giving and community affairs. In the event of an incident response, Sara acts as MWCC’s Public Information Officer (PIO).

Sara brings deep energy industry experience to her role at MWCC. Most recently, Sara served as Corporate Affairs Manager for LyondellBasell, where she managed a global team to direct strategy and execution of integrated communications. As part of this role, Sara fulfilled the role of PIO for the organization’s incident response communications plan. Sara was trained in media relations and crisis management in the renowned Global Strategic Media Group at Weber Shandwick New York where she contributed to strategy development, global media relations and executive positioning efforts for Fortune 100 clients and the world’s leading philanthropies. Among her top tier media placements, Sara counts credits in: CNN, CNN money, Fox Business, National Geographic, National Public Radio (NPR), Sky News, The Financial Times, The Hindu, The Houston Chronicle, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, The Sun (UK), The Today Show and others.

Sara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. She remains active in the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), where she’s been recognized with multiple awards and honors for her work.

Shannon Straube

Director, Planning & Strategic Initiatives

As Director of Planning & Strategic Initiatives, Shannon Straube leads commercial activities, advises on government affairs, oversees project management of key business workstreams and directs budget development for Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). In addition to her daily responsibilities, Shannon serves as the Planning Section Chief for MWCC’s Response Team.

Shannon joined MWCC in 2012, Prior to MWCC, Shannon was a consultant in the Strategy and Transformation practice within Capgemini Consulting, where she was responsible for consulting assignments for energy, financial and manufacturing sector clients. Her experience in planning and operations helped clients adapt to changing business environments.

With roots in Alaska, Shannon began her career in the Alaska State Legislature. At the State Legislature, she served the Senate Leadership, including the Senate President, Senate Majority Leader and Rules Committee. Shannon administered the Senate operating budget and provided analysis for legislative proposals and budget analysis. In her later role at the Senate Committee of World Trade/State and Federal Relations, Shannon developed trade proposals and coordinated with Alaska’s Congressional delegation.

Shannon holds degrees in Master of Business Administration from Vanderbilt University and a Bachelor of Business from the University of Alaska. She also holds a professional certificate of Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University.

Teresa Naylor

General Manager, Human Resources

As the General Manager of Human Resources, Teresa leads the HR and training functions, driving an industry leading human capital strategy for Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC). She is a vital partner in maintaining a culture of continuous improvement, organizational effectiveness, operational excellence and effective communications among MWCC staff. In addition to her daily responsibilities, Teresa serves on the Response Leadership Team providing human resources oversight in the event MWCC is activated to respond to a well control event.

Teresa joined MWCC already a veteran of human resources in the energy industry, most recently serving as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Comverge Inc. In this role, she was responsible for the HR strategy and operational services of 600 employees and oversaw staff operations during the company’s transition from public to private ownership. Teresa has held leadership roles for Dynegy, Illinois Power and most notably, at CenterPoint Energy. At CenterPoint Energy, Teresa was accountable for three major business lines and delivered corporate services to a population of 9,000 employees.

Teresa earned her Associate Accreditation in Psychology from Western Oklahoma State College, her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and Organizational Management from Cameron University and her Master of Science in Health Service Administration from the University of Saint Francis. Teresa is also an active member of the Society for Human Resources Management and the Human Resources Leadership Network of Houston.

Terry Costlow

Chief Operating Officer

As the Chief Operating Officer, Terry is responsible for leading operations and continuous improvement of organizational processes and infrastructure. In the event of an incident activation, Terry serves as the Operations Section Chief for MWCC’s Response Team accountable for efficient and effective deployment of the Containment System.

As a secondee from BP, Terry brings nearly 40 years of industry experience to his role at MWCC, with 15 years of direct oversight for Gulf of Mexico assets. Terry has deep experience in facilities, spending more than half of his career focused on asset integrity and systems reliability through implementation of robust maintenance programs in the offshore sector. Terry had direct accountability for developing and leading the delivery of topside central engineering and technical service operations for the Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Nakika Offshore Installations. At BP, Terry served as Incident Commander and Qualified Person (QP). From April to November of 2010, Terry led BP’s North American Gas operations through the Deepwater Horizon incident. During this challenging period, Terry focused on maintaining employee moral to ensure safe, reliable and efficient operations. He was also responsible for managing 14,000 production, disposal and injection wells – all onshore oil and gas production operations across North America.

Terry received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management from Olivet Nazarene University. He holds professional certification through the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE-International) and is a graduate of the Projects and Engineering Academy Executive Education Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).


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Marine Well Containment Company (MWCC) is an independent company founded in 2010 to address the need for a deepwater well containment response capability in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

MWCC's industry-leading approach to deepwater well control incidents is built on three pillars: dedicated equipment, a highly skilled organization, and a preeminent responder training program.

MWCC has the most comprehensive portfolio of source control equipment to cover a broad range of well characteristics. The ownership of this system comes with great responsibilities to…