METGASCO has appointed Alexander Lang as its new chairman, replacing Greg Short who is standing down from the role for family reasons.

Mr Lang has more than 20 years’ experience as a senior commercial, finance and risk management executive with broad experience leading multi national businesses.

He has held senior roles with companies such as Thiess, Laing O’Rourke and McConnell Dowell Group, as well as non-executive director roles with companies such as Boulder Steel Limited.

In its announcement, Metgasco said Mr Lang combined lateral and strategic thinking with strong collaborative leadership and people management skills.

With professional qualifications in law, Mr Lang has strong negotiation skills with a track record of closing complex negotiations with multiple stakeholders, Metgasco said.

Mr Lang was appointed to the board alongside incoming non-executive director Terry White, who has more than 30 years as a senior petroleum executive with board exposure across the exploration and production business, having spent some of that time with BHP Billiton.

He also has a track record of exploration success in Australia and the USA with extensive experience of new ventures activities, deep-water exploration, field appraisal and joint ventures.

Outgoing chairman Greg Short said both men would be valuable additions to the Metgasco board as they replaced himself and Leonard Gill, who has also resigned from the company board.

“Mr Lang’s and Mr White’s skills will contribute to the company’s strategic objective of maximising shareholder returns via effective capital management and the prudent assessment of new opportunities to create value in the energy sector,” he said.

Mr Lang said both he and Mr White were joining the board at a time that the company was well placed to secure significant value in the oil and gas sector.

“The downturn in market conditions is creating a significant opportunity for a company with a very healthy balance sheet,” he said.

He also thanked Mr Short and Mr Gill for their contribution to the company.

“Both were instrumental in guiding the company through an extended period of significant challenge, culminating in the commercial settlement with the NSW Government for $25 million. We wish them well for the future,” he said.