Interim Chief Executive Officer (aged 55)
Mr Austin served as Executive Chairman of RockRose (“RockRose”) from 2016 until 2020, delivering a 42x return to shareholders through a strategy of counter-cyclical acquisitions of legacy / non-core assets in the North Sea and wider UK oil sector.
RockRose was sold to Viaro Energy in August 2020 at a price per share of £18.50, representing a premium to the prevalent share price of 64 per cent.. Prior to RockRose, Andrew jointly founded IGas Energy PLC (“IGas”) in 2004 and developed it to become the leading onshore hydrocarbon producer in the UK, delivering natural gas and crude oil to Britain’s energy market. Andrew left IGas in 2015, having delivered partnerships with Total, GDF and Ineos. Prior to his tenure at IGas, Mr Austin spent six years in management and consulting roles with clean tech companies including Generics Group and Whitfield Solar.
Mr Austin spent 17 years working in investment banking in the City of London with Merrill Lynch, Nomura, Citibank and Barclays Capital.
Richard Benmore B.Sc, M. Sc, Ph.D
Interim Independent Non-Executive Chairman (aged 62)
Richard Benmore has 35 years’ experience in the Oil and Gas industry with Conoco, Oryx Energy, Nimir Petroleum, EnCana, Nexen Petroleum and IGas. Richard has held a variety of roles starting his career as a petroleum geologist before moving into various commercial, business development and E&P managerial positions. He recently managed Nexen’s unconventional projects in the U.K. and Poland and was a board member of Nexen Exploration U.K.. Richard was a non-executive director of RockRose.
Non-Executive director and chair of audit committee (aged 54)
Julie Barlow joined the Pentex Group of companies in 1999 as Financial Controller. As a result of a MBO in 2003, she was retained as Group Financial Controller and Company Secretary. In 2005 the Star Energy Group acquired the Pentex Group and Julie was promoted, initially to Financial Controller and then Managing Director of the Production Division. In 2008 the Star Energy Group became part of the PETRONAS Global Group of Companies.
In 2011, the Production Division of the Star Energy Group was acquired by IGas. Since 2017, Julie has been an independent contractor, latterly working with RockRose, supporting its M&A capability and integration of acquisitions. She is a chartered management accountant.
Non-Executive director (aged 62)
Alan Booth has 30 years’ experience in oil and gas exploration. He is currently a director of Storegga Geotechnologies, which champions and delivers carbon storage (CCS), hydrogen and other subsurface renewable projects in the UK and internationally.
Between 2013 and 2018, Alan was a non-executive director of Ophir Energy plc, an Official List company, becoming CEO in May 2018. In this role, he led Ophir through its £391 million recommended offer from Ophir Medco Energi Global PTE Limited, which completed in May 2019. Previously, Alan was founder and CEO of EnCore Oil plc, an AIM-listed oil and gas exploration company and was the founder and director of EnCounter Oil Ltd. Alan holds a BSc in Geology from the University of Nottingham and MSc. DIC. in Petroleum Geology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College. He is a former president of the UK Offshore Operators Association (UKOOA) and was a director of the Oil and Gas Independents Association (OGIA) between 2006 and February 2020.