Ophir Energy Appoints New Chairman

Ophir Energy plc announced Wednesday that Nicholas Smith will retire as a director of the company on April 30 after nine years on Ophir’s board, the past seven of which he served as chairman.

William Schrader has been chosen to succeed Smith as chairman of the company. Schrader has over 30 years of industry experience and has previously held senior positions at BP plc, the Azerbaijan International Operating Company and TNK-BP. He joined the Ophir board as a non-executive director in February 2013.

Ronald Blakely has also notified the board that he will be stepping down from his roles as senior independent director and chairman of the audit committee and retiring in the first quarter of 2017. A process to recruit two new non-executive directors to replace Smith and Blakely has commenced and is expected to be concluded during 2016.

Following a review of the board, Ophir’s upper management decided that the role of chief financial officer will be elevated to that of an executive director. Consequently, Anthony Rouse, Ophir’s CFO, will become an executive director with immediate effect. Rouse joined Ophir in October 2014, and has over 30 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas sector.

Ron Blakely, senior independent non-executive director at Ophir, commented in a company statement:

“On behalf of the board and management I would like to thank Nic for his highly valuable contribution to overseeing the transition of Ophir from a private company to a well-established London-listed company. It has been a pleasure to work alongside him and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

“I would also like to extend our congratulations to Bill on his appointment as chairman. Bill was the outstanding candidate for the role of chairman, combining over 30 years of industry experience with three years on the board of Ophir. He has been an excellent board member and I have no doubt will prove to be an outstanding Chairman. 

“Finally, having completed a board review and determined that the role of chief financial officer should be an executive position, I am delighted to welcome Tony to the board. Tony’s extensive experience in the oil and gas industry will be a valuable addition going forward”. 

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