Bennett has led teams responsible for the discovery of a number of new oil and gas fields. He has extensive technical, operational and executive experience, and has enjoyed a successful 30-year career creating significant value for oil and gas companies based in Australasia, Britain and Canada
Bennett is a co-founder of Austral Pacific Energy Ltd. and was CEO from 1997 to 2005. During his tenure, he led the team that discovered several new oil and gas fields currently under development in New Zealand's Taranaki Basin and Papua New Guinea's Foreland Basin. In earlier years, with New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd., Bennett led the team that discovered the highly profitable onshore Ngatoro and the major Kupe South offshore gas/condensate fields in the Taranaki. He is presently involved in exploration activities in the East Coast Basin of New Zealand and in the potential commercialization of the Douglas gas discovery via a new pipeline from Papua New Guinea to Alcan's alumina refinery in Gove, Australia.
Bennett received a bachelor of arts in natural sciences from Cambridge University in 1968, a master of science in exploration geophysics from the University of Leeds, and in 1973 a doctorate in geophysics from the Australian National University with post-doctoral work at the University of Texas (Dallas).
He is also a director of Canadian-based Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. and British-based Rift Oil Ltd.
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