AFTER a world-wide search PNG’s largest petroleum Oil Search Ltd has picked a replacement from its own ranks to replace its legendary managing director Peter Botten.

Mr Botten had months ago that would retire from Oil Search on 25 August 2020. This triggered a major executive hunt for a suitable replacement, with the company deciding to replace him with a highly regarded oil and gas and long-term Oil Search man Dr Keiran Wulff, who will now take up the reigns on 25 February 2020, when Mr Botten steps down from the Oil Search Board.

Dr Wulff is currently Oil Search’s executive vice president, Alaska and president of Oil Search Alaska. This is his second stint with the company after he initially worked at Oil Search from 1993 to 2008, holding several senior technical, operational and executive roles, and re-joined the company in 2015.

Mr Botten joined Oil Search in 1992 and has been the company’s managing director for 25 years. He is currently one of the longest-serving CEOs in the ASX 200.

Oil Search chairman, Rick Lee, said that with extensive knowledge and operating experience in Oil Search’s core business units of PNG and Alaska, demonstrated leadership skills and strong and relevant relationships both within Oil Search and with key stakeholders, the Oil Search Board believes that Dr Wulff is the ideal successor to lead the Company through its next phase of growth.

“The Board is extremely appreciative of Peter’s long and dedicated service to Oil Search over the past 26 years. Under his leadership, Oil Search has grown from a small exploration and production company to a regionally significant oil, gas and LNG producer and exporter. Peter is recognised as one of the world’s most successful corporate executives, as well as a leader in environmental, social governance and corporate social responsibility.

“Peter has decided that as Oil Search embarks on its next phase of growth, with major expansion projects in both PNG and Alaska, now is the right time to transition the leadership. He does this with the full support of the Board.

The Board has been preparing for Peter’s potential departure for several years. Keiran’s appointment as successor is the culmination of a comprehensive and rigorous executive development and global search process, which has considered a range of highly qualified internal and external candidates. The Board has agreed unanimously that Dr Wulff is the best person to succeed Peter, with the necessary experience, leadership skills and vision to take Oil Search into the future.

“On behalf of the Board and everyone at Oil Search, I offer my heartfelt thanks to Peter for his leadership, vision, loyalty and enormous hard work over the many years he has been with the Company. We look forward to a seamless transition of responsibilities from Peter to Keiran and to working closely with Keiran on Oil Search’s next chapter.”