Santos Ltd. Chief Executive Officer David Knox will step down after seven years in the role as the Australian oil producer reviews its options amid a plunge in crude prices, the company said Friday.
Knox will depart once a successor has been named, the Adelaide-based company said in a statement after reporting an 82 percent drop in first-half profit.
The slide in oil prices has put pressure on Santos as the company prepares to start its $18.5 billion liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state. The Australian energy producer has cut spending and jobs while flagging the possibility of asset sales as it copes with the oil market downturn. Santos shares have fallen 62 percent in the last year.
“In light of the continuing pressure on the Santos share price in recent months and approaches from other parties concerning various assets and strategic opportunities, the board has decided to conduct a full strategic review to examine all options” to increase value, Santos said.
Santos Chairman Peter Coates will assume the role of executive chairman and take responsibility for conducting the strategic review with the assistance of Deutsche Bank AG and Lazard Ltd. as advisers, Santos said.