AWE Recruits Roc CEO Clement to Lead Australian Oil Exploration Campaign

AWE Ltd., an Australian oil and gas explorer that has embarked on a A$175 million ($171 million) drilling program, said it named Roc Oil Co.’s Bruce Clement as managing director.

Clement, Roc Oil chief executive officer since 2008, will replace Bruce Wood in February, Sydney-based AWE said in a statement today to the Australian stock exchange. AWE announced July 30 that Wood had decided to retire as he turns 60.

Roc fell 4.6 percent to 41.5 Australian cents a share by the market’s 4:10 p.m. close in Sydney, the biggest drop in five weeks, valuing the company at A$296 million. AWE gained 0.3 percent to A$1.505, giving it a market value of A$785 million. The S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.5 percent.

Roc, an explorer with assets in Australia, China and Africa, has fallen 35 percent in Sydney since the company said Feb. 3 that its reserves would likely decline by as much as 25 percent. The company slashed estimated reserves at the Basker- Manta project off southeast Australia after a review of the field.

Clement, 53, said in a statement today that Roc had “overcome a number of challenges.” The Sydney-based explorer named Chief Operating Officer Alan Linn acting CEO and said a search for a successor would likely take “several” months.

The performance of the Basker-Manta fields “continues to be unsatisfactory and the reduction of existing exposure to the African asset portfolio is taking longer than anticipated,” the company said in a separate statement today. “These challenges will be addressed.”

Roc said it expects to make a final investment decision on the Beibu Gulf project in China before the end of the year to drive growth.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Paton in Sydney jpaton4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Amit Prakash at aprakash1@bloomberg.net.

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.