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ENERGY >Genel Energy appoints Stephen Whyte to succeed former BP boss Hayward

LONDON - Reuters

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Genel Energy, the Iraqi Kurdistan-focused oil producer co-founded by former BP boss Tony Hayward, on April 24 named Stephen Whyte to succeed the retiring Hayward in June.

Whyte, who has over 30 years of experience at Royal Dutch Shell, BG Group and Portugal’s Galp Energia, will join the board as non-executive director and chairman designate with immediate effect, Genel said.

Hayward, a former chief executive of BP and one of Genel’s co-founders, will retire from the board at the conclusion of annual general meeting on June 6.

Whyte is currently chairman of London-listed Sound Energy, which holds exploration permits in Morocco and Italy.

Genel listed in 2011 claiming to be the largest independent U.K. listed firm by reserves but has been hit by a string of unsuccessful exploration campaigns in Africa.

It has also slashed its estimates for reserves at its largest Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) field, Taq Taq, to 59 million barrels from 172 million in 2015 and 683 million in 2011.

Hurt by a fall in oil prices since 2014, the company faces a challenge as it shifts its focus to supplying gas to Turkey.

Violence in Iraq and neighboring Syria has also led to long delays in payments for oil it sold to the KRG.

Genel’s market valuation hit an all-time low last month after it lowered its Taq Taq reserves estimate and suspended its 2017 production forecast.

April/24/2017

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