Oil and gas exploration company Trans-Orient Petroleum Ltd. is pleased to announce that Mr. Garth Johnson has accepted the position of President, effective immediately. To facilitate this appointment, Mr. Peter Loretto has resigned as President, retaining his leadership role as Chief Executive Officer and a director of the Company.
Mr. Johnson is a corporate executive who has been involved in oil and gas activities primarily in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea over the past 12 years. Instrumental in the development of a number of junior international companies from start-up to listing on senior exchanges, he is a Certified General Accountant who has held executive positions within these corporations, including seats on a number of public company boards. Mr. Johnson was also recently appointed the CEO of TAG Oil Ltd., a junior international oil and gas company with producing assets and development programs in the Taranaki basin, New Zealand.
Mr. Loretto commented on the appointment, "I'm very pleased that Garth has accepted the position of President of Trans-Orient Petroleum. With his background, he provides a strong business skill set and vitally important expertise that's often lacking in peer group companies."
Trans-Orient also announced the appointment of Mr. Drew Cadenhead as VP of Business Development. Mr. Cadenhead holds a Bachelor's degree in Geology from the University of Calgary and has extensive technical and executive experience in Western Canada and New Zealand. Between 2004 and 2007, Drew was CEO of TAG Oil Ltd. and was instrumental in transforming this company from a start-up into an oil producer with developing assets. Prior to holding that position, he was VP of Exploration for BTU Resources, and was a Senior Geologist at Ulster Petroleums.
"I am also pleased that Drew has accepted this key role with Trans-Orient. Between his significant North American industry and technical expertise and his hands-on Australasian management and operations experience, his role will be an excellent addition to the Company's operations. His skills are very complementary to the existing executive team," said Mr. Loretto.
To ensure that Trans-Orient's executives and others concerned have long-term incentives the Company's directors have approved the granting of stock options for the purchase of up to 3,000,000 common shares, exercisable for five years at a price of US$0.70 per share. These stock options will vest 12.5% 12 months from the date of grant; the remaining options will vest at the rate of 12.5% every six months thereafter.
Summarizing Trans-Orient's recent activities, Mr. Loretto stated, "Since reestablishing direct operations in 2006, Trans-Orient has built a strong leadership team, completed financings with some of the world's most influential international resource investors, and has won 100% control of a multi-million acre onshore frontier with world-class reserve potential. We're justifiably proud of our achievements, and we will continue to leverage our strengths with a vision to become a premier independent oil and gas company."
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