SANTOS chairman Peter Coates announced Peter Hearl and Guy Cowan will be appointed to the Santos board as independent non-executive directors shortly after the 2016 annual general meeting (AGM).

Mr Coates said that the appointments of Mr Hearl and Mr Cowan, following the retirements of Ken Dean and Jane Hemstritch at the conclusion of the AGM, were part of the Santos board’s ongoing renewal process.

Mr Hearl and Mr Cowan will also be appointed to the audit and risk committee.

Mr Hearl is a director of Telstra Corporation, where he is a member of the nominations committee and the remuneration committee.

Mr Hearl has over 30 years’ experience in operating and development roles, including 18 years in the oil and gas industry with Exxon where he started his career with Esso Australia.

Mr Cowan is a director of UGL, where he chairs the health, safety and environment committee and is a member of the audit and risk committee.

According to Santos, Mr Cowan was a Shell appointed alternate director of Woodside Petroleum Limited from 1992 to 1995.

Mr Cowan has over 30 years’ experience in international commercial and finance roles, including 25 years in the oil and gas industry with Shell.

Mr Coates said he looked forward to welcoming Mr Hearl and Mr Cowan to the Santos board, and thanked Mr Dean and Ms Hemstritch for their contribution to the company.

“On behalf of the board and shareholders, I would like to thank Ken and Jane for their many years of outstanding service on the Santos board and its committees, including as chairs of the audit and risk committee,” Mr Coates said.