Heavy oil explorer Xcite Energy announced a string of changes to its senior management today, including the departure of its chief executive.
Co-founder Richard Smith is to retire from the post and has been replaced by chief financial officer and Xcite co-founder Rupert Cole, said Aberdeen-based Xcite.
Steve Kew, also a co-founder and currently exploration and development director, will take over the role of chief operating officer.
In a string of other appointments the Aberdeen-based firm also has a new finance director, Jon Dale, for its subsidiary Xcite Energy Resources, a new group corporate affairs director, Andrew Fairclough, and Matt Bower has been appointed operations director.
The announcement came as the firm said an extended well test on its Bentley heavy oil field, 100 miles east of Shetland, was now flowing at 3,200 barrels of oil per day, up from 2,900 a fortnight ago, and that so far more than 47,000 barrels of oil had been collected from the field.
Bentley, the firm’s core asset, which it had hoped to start developing this year, is thought to contain 150million recoverable barrels of oil.
Roger Ramshaw, Xcite’s chairman, said: “We thank Richard for his important contribution up to this point and as one of the founding members of the company. We wish him well in his future endeavours.
“With the good progress being made in the current well operations, together with this strengthened management team now in place to continue driving our ongoing operational, financial and commercial progress, the company remains firmly on track to deliver its strategic objectives.”
Xcite shares were up nearly 3% at 77p this morning.