Oil firm chief to stand down

The Limerick-based exploration firm Circle Oil has commenced the search for a new chief executive after announcing that the incumbent, Professor Chris Green, intends to step down and resign from the company’s board. 

He has been with the company for nearly nine years.

Circle Oil — whose main operational focus is on northern Africa and the Middle East — said that it is commencing a process to find a new chief executive, adding that additional appointments will also be made to its board of directors, in order to further broaden its experience and expertise.

Chairman Stephen Jenkins said that Prof Green’s technical knowledge and extensive industry experience had helped transform Circle into its current position as a full-cycle Middle-East and Africa-focused oil and gas exploration and production company.

Prof Green joined Circle as a non-executive director in 2005 before taking over as chief executive four years ago, following the passing of former chief executive David Hough.

Prof Green said yesterday that after more than eight years at the company, the time had come to step down.

“Circle Oil has a very exciting future ahead. I wish the team well and I am confident in their abilities to deliver on the company’s significant potential,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an operational update also published yesterday, Circle said that farm-in plans for assets in both Tunisia and Oman are under way, with drilling ongoing in Morocco and production levels on target in Egypt.

After its AGM in Dublin two months ago, Circle’s management confirmed its intention to seek a development partner for its highly-rated offshore Tunisian interests. Results from its maiden offshore drilling exercise at the Mahdia Permit, off the coast of Tunisia in August suggested recoverable resources of around 100m barrels of oil at the first well tested.

Yesterday, Circle said that expressions of interest have been noted “from a number of companies to participate in a farm-out process”. Circle is currently looking for a three-year extension to its permit at the Mahdia asset and will “actively” pursue a partner over the coming months.

It added that, in Oman, discussions are continuing regarding the possibility of a farm-out deal at its offshore asset, while a drilling rig has been identified and preparations have begun for a commencement of drilling at its onshore assets.


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