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Tom Grace


Tom Grace


Brings consulting and executive experience, helping oil and gas companies identify and deliver value through asset-development optimization and operational transformation

Tom returned to McKinsey in 2017 after spending more than a decade in executive roles in the petroleum and energy sectors. He leads our Petroleum Asset eXcellence (PAX) work in North America, helping oil-and-gas operators maximize the production efficiency of their assets to boost value and reduce costs.

With both consulting and operating experience, Tom is able to help executives see the potential in their operations. Step by step, he leads companies through transformational initiatives that result in a stronger operational and financial profile. Working mostly with oil-and-gas independents in North America, he understands the need to establish a coherent strategic and financial footing as a support to achieving operational excellence.

Tom also brings experience in fine-tuning operations management, setting risk-management approaches, and optimizing organizational design.

Examples of his recent work include the following:

  • developing an operational program and performance-management system for the drilling functional group of a major petroleum company that helped achieve $1 billion in cost savings
  • leading the redesign of a national oil company’s strategic planning, budgeting, and performance management processes to achieve greater efficiency
  • designing and implementing a financial-planning and risk-management approach to optimize a Latin American oil company’s multibillion-dollar budget
  • leading a portfolio strategy and financial assessment for a multinational producer with assets in Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, Trinidad, and Venezuela

Most recently, Tom was managing partner at Talon Oil & Gas III, an independent energy company focused on the acquisition and development of oil and natural gas properties. In this role, he was responsible for business development, operations, and finance for the organization.

Published work

Beyond G&A: Maximizing synergy from oil and gas mergers,” McKinsey & Company, April 2023

Success in the M&A rebound: Riding the coming wave of upstream deals,” McKinsey & Company, February 2023

The dos and don’ts of M&A in shale,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Institutionalizing drilling and completions efficiency in US unconventionals,” McKinsey & Company, August 2020

An operator’s guide to transforming E&P,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

Sustaining the base: A new focus in shale’s quest for cash,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

Value over volume: Shale development in the era of cash,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

Paths to profitability in US unconventionals,” McKinsey & Company, August 2019

Past experience

Talon Oil & Gas III
Managing partner

Murex Petroleum
Vice president

Bluescape Resources
EVP, chief development officer

Energy Future Holdings Corp
Vice president, strategy and M&A


Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Texas A&M University
BS, petroleum engineering