WALTER-SIMPSONDRILLSEARCH Energy Limited has appointed Walter Simpson as chief executive, effective immediately.

Drillsearch chairman Jim McKerlie said the board is delighted with the appointment.

“Walter is a high calibre executive with a wealth of experience in Australia and overseas and a huge passion for the oil and gas industry.”

Mr Simpson joined Drillsearch as chief operating officer in March 2015 from BG Group subsidiary QGC.

In July this year Mr Walter was appointed acting chief executive and has led the company in that capacity while the board continued a global search process for a permanent chief executive.

Mr McKerlie said the board had considered both internal and external candidates for the chief executive position.

“During this process, we have been impressed by the leadership qualities that Walter has demonstrated as acting chief executive. These qualities, combined with Walter’s extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, convinced the board that he is undoubtedly the best choice to take Drillsearch forward.”

Mr Simpson has more than 30 years’ experience in oil and gas, working in a number of roles in the industry worldwide for BG and other companies, including Baker Hughes and BP.

Mr Simpson said he is excited to take on the opportunity to lead Drillsearch.

“As chief executive, my focus will be to ensure the successful execution of our longterm strategy, short-term plans, and the continuation of Drillsearch’s enviable track record of performance and growth.”