The former head of BG Group is heading east to take up a new job chairing a major gas project in Papua New Guinea.
InterOil Corporation said Chris Finlayson would chair the group as it pushed ahead with the development of a natural gas export project.
The firm, listed in New York and Port Moresby, said Mr Finlayson would chair its operations working with French giant Total on Elk-Antelope, one of Asia’s largest gas fields.
Finlayson, 58, left his role as chief executive of BG Group in April after only 15 months in the job, amid disagreements with chairman Andrew Gould over the company’s strategy.
Since his departure BG has accelerated asset sales and is thought to be considering a sale of North Sea assets. It continues to search for a new chief.
InterOil has plans to build an onshore liquefied natural gas plant in the Gulf of Papua, which will use gas from the Elk and Antelope fields.
It will become the second LNG development in Papua New Guinea after Exxon Mobil’s £11.3bn LNG project started production there in April.
Finlayson has joined the board with immediate effect and will replace current chairman Dr Gaylen Byker, after an “appropriate handover”.
The company said Mr Finlayson, whose previous roles included managing Shell’s interest in the Sakhalin 2 venture in Russia, said he brings “big-project experience” to InterOil after the company brought in a new management team.
Michael Hession, a former executive at Woodside Petroleum and BP, was named chief executive officer of InterOil last year. In January, the company named Jon Ozturgut chief operating officer and Donald Spector chief financial officer.
Finlayson said he was excited by the prospect of working on one of the largest gas finds of recent years that is “very close to the main Asian markets.”
He was also attracted by InterOil’s plans for a “very active exploration campaign”, with a number of wells expected to be drilled in the next 12 months.