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MOL UK boss Chris Bird leaves post

MOL Group news
MOL Group news

Hungarian oil company Mol has confirmed the departure of its UK boss, Chris Bird.

Mol said its ambition was to ensure the firm’s upstream portfolio was “self funding” at $35 a barrel oil this year as it unveiled the new managing director of its UK business.

Nico Brunsmann, a former Talisman Sinopec executive, will oversee “value optimization and further production growth” from Mol’s assets on the UKCS, the firm said.

Before joining Mol, Mr Brunsmann also worked for Verus Petroleum, a private equity based start-up and has had a number of operational roles with Amerada Hess, Maersk, Elf and Occidental.

The company confirmed it had achieved first oil on its Cladhan field at the end of 2015, while an infill drilling programme had commenced successfully on Scott. It added that Scolty/Crathes is on track, with drilling of development wells due to commence in the coming months, and first oil anticipated by the first half of 2017.

Dr. Berislav Gaso, Chief Operating Officer – E&P at Mol Group said: “Overall Mol Group has a healthy upstream portfolio with the vast majority of production robust and profitable even at current oil prices. Having said that, we set for ourselves a clear objective for 2016, which is to make sure that the entire portfolio will be self-funding at 35 USD/bbl. “I’m confident that with Nico’s experience and leadership and with close cooperation with our partners, we’ll be able deflate our costs and optimize our operations at the UKCS as well.”

Mol became a North Sea player in 2013 when it acquired assets worth £220million, including non-operated stakes in the Broom field, interests in the Catcher, Cladhan, Scolty and Crathes developments and a share in Shetland’s Sullom Voe terminal from Germany’s Wintershall.

A year later it did a £76million deal with Premier Oil for a 21.8% stake in the Scott field, a 1.6% share in Telford and a 15% interest in Rochelle, all operated by Nexen.

Former Venture Production executive Mr Bird joined the company as its managing director in 2014.

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