Empire Energy Corporation International announced that the board of directors has expanded to include founder Malcolm Bendall, Graham Rogers and Phil Simpson and board member Dr. Clive Burrett has been elected chairman of the board. The board also appointed Graham Rogers as CFO, Malcolm Bendall as CEO and previous CEO John Garrison as President.
The appointment of the board members to these executive positions reinforces the technical focus and capital raising efforts. Officers and directors have recently provided over AUD$2 million in financing to the Company and subsidiaries in support of the 2008 exploration program. This is a reflection of the confidence and determination of the new Board to realize the vision of commercial production of oil and gas onshore in Tasmania, Australia.
Chairman Dr. Burrett stated, "We have created a strong executive team focused on realizing the potential of the Tasmanian oil and gas basin. These significant additions include CFO Graham Roger, with 30 years of academic, business and financial experience in the banking, resources and energy sectors. Phil Simpson has 30 years in business logistics, agribusiness management and has backed his commitment as a direct investor in the company's shares. Malcolm Bendall's return to the Board reflects the desire of the team to refocus on the original vision. His 30 years' geological and geophysical investigation, supervision of the drilling of seven stratigraphic wells, flow testing of natural gas and helium and 37 years of geological experience onshore in Tasmania will help steer the exploration program forward. Mr. Bendall's redefinition of the seismic parameters during the 2007 AUD$4 million 2D-seismic program helped overcome a major limiting factor enabling effective seismic acquisition in the Tasmanian Basin, a step that has proved essential to defining our current drilling targets and has proved critical in encouraging drilling funds into the project on these seismically defined structures."
The AUD$2M capital contribution has also allowed the company to retain its contract with Hunt Energy for Rig #3 and crew. Hunt Energy is poised to mobilize the equipment and ship to Tasmania for commencement of the drilling program, subject to the completion of the company's current fundraising program.
Phil Simpson, Executive Director of the Company's Great South Land Minerals Limited subsidiary (GSLM), brings expertise in corporate finance and logistics. He is acting as a liaison between the local landowners and the Company in relation to access and site works for the drilling program. Mr. Simpson has 30 years' experience in fisheries and agribusiness management and is a consultant to leading banks and superannuation funds. He is also a member in good standing of The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Graham Rogers, B.Ec. M.Sc., CPA, PNA, MAICD, PIA, SA Fin, is Director and CFO of Empire and its subsidiary GSLM. He currently directs and oversees legal, commercial and financial activities with a primary focus on managing capital for exploration activities at GSLM. He joined GSLM in December 2006, bringing over 30 years' experience in the strategic financial analysis and management in the banking, resources, and energy and tertiary university education sectors.
Malcolm Bendall had the original vision in 1977 of oil and gas in Tasmania and was a founding director of Great South Land Minerals Limited and predecessor companies. He was Director and CEO of Empire until August 2007. He has been involved in predecessor organizations investigating the viability of petroleum resources included in Special Exploration License 13/98 since 1977. Mr. Bendall has worked as a mine manager, drill supervisor and has been published in three international petroleum journals. He is a fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD).
Dr. Clive Burrett serves as Managing Director of Great South Land Minerals Limited. He was a Professor of Geology and Head of the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Tasmania. He previously served as Chairman of the Department of Geology from 1998 to 2002. He has published over 100 scientific papers and edited the standard volume on the "Geology of Tasmania." He has supervised many graduate studies on the Paleozoic basin evolution in South East Asia and Tasmania. Dr. Burrett consulted on applied aspects of basin evolution, petroleum, lead and zinc deposits to companies such as Shell, CRA, Oxiana and BHP in Australia, Oman, Laos, China and Thailand.
Noble Trenham, Chairman of First Global Securities, Inc., Pasadena, California, said, "I traveled to Asia with the Empire management team and met with interested investors. I have been impressed with the professionalism of the Company management, demonstrated by the relationships built and the quality of the technical presentation to the potential investors. I am glad to see that the founder has returned to provide guidance and financial support to the company at this important time."
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