Irish oil and gas explorer Providence Resources has appointed Alan Linn as a new CEO. He hopes to help the company with the development of long-delayed Barryroe offshore oilfield. He will also join the board as an executive director.
In a statement on Thursday, Linn said: „I am delighted to be joining Providence and look forward to working with the team. The opportunity to lead the commercialization of an oil and gas field with the potential of Barryroe is very compelling. I look forward to working with the board to bring new investment into the project to ensure value creation at the earliest opportunity.”
Barryroe, located in the North Celtic Sea offshore Ireland, is estimated to hold 2C resources of independently audited at 346 MMBOE gross. Linn is a Chemical Engineer with over 35 years of experience in the international oil and gas business. He has previously worked for the likes of Cairn Energy, Tullow, Roc Oil, and Afren as part of the restructuring process.
Providence has described Linn as someone with a successful track record of operating and developing businesses in diverse and often challenging environments, with the ability to devise and implement strategic change within established businesses.
These traits may prove essential as the oil company has had a rather turbulent year.
Providence's previous CEO Tony O'Reilly stepped down from the position and resigned from the board in December 2019 having spent more than two decades with the company.
His resignation came following a months-long saga with Chinese investor APEC.
Providence and its partners Lansdowne had in 2018 agreed to farm-out a 50 percent working interest in the in SEL 1/11 license offshore Ireland, containing the Barryroe field, to a Chinese consortium led by APEC Energy Enterprise, a privately-owned Chinese company which has a strategic partnership with China Oilfield Services.
The terms of the agreement called for APEC to pay for 50% of all the cost drilling of 3 vertical wells, plus associated side-tracks and well testing, and to provide a drilling rig.
APEC was also expected to provide an advance loan of $9 million, to be used for a survey and pre-well consenting for the Barryroe. However, after several delays and excuses, the loan never ended up on Providence's bank account.
Lack of funding meant Providence had to fire all of its technical and support staff, downsize its board, vacate its current Dublin office and re-locate to a smaller serviced facility, as announced in August 2019.
Come October 1, 2019, Providence decided it would no longer wait for APEC, and it said it would initiate a license reversion process of APEC’s 50% working interest, end APEC's exclusivity over the license, and pursue other partners.
Commenting on the new CEO appointment, Pat Plunkett, Chairman of Providence, said Thursday: "I am pleased that Alan has agreed to join Providence at this time of significant opportunity within the Company. He has the ideal mix of operational and strategic experience for the position, and will bring valuable insights to the board as we rebuild the business after the challenging past year. Alan recognizes the considerable potential of the Company’s assets, in particular, Barryroe, and I am sure he will enhance our options in taking this exciting project to the next stage. I look forward to working with him in the coming years.”