North Sea oil pioneer Algy Cluff said his company was determined to find farm-out partners for its licences after revealing plans to step down from the chief executive role.
The entrepreneur, who was involved in the discovery of the Buchan field in the 1970s, said he wished to step back from his full-time role to let him spend more time on “other interests”.
Mr Cluff, who turns 78 in April, joked he was “too old to be a CEO”.
However, he will remain chairman of Cluff Natural Resources (CNR).
Furthermore, as a significant shareholder in CNR, Mr Cluff will continue to be actively involved in supporting the business he founded in 2012.
But the CEO role will be handed to current finance director Graham Swindells on February 28.
The announcement lowered shares in CNR by 4.26% to 2.25p as of 4pm yesterday.
Mr Cluff intends to start up a new charity which will raise funds for maintaining the war graves of British soldiers killed prior to 1914.
The charity will be launched next month, along with Mr Cluff’s latest book.
Titled “Unsung Heroes”, the book will tell the stories of people whose achievements have been largely uncelebrated, he said.
But Mr Cluff insisted he remained committed to CNR. He said the company was still looking for farm-out partners for its 100%-owned southern North Sea licences – P2248 and P2252. They are thought to contain about 2.4 trillion cubic feet of gas.
CNR said in August that a number of parties had shown “significant interest” in the assets, but admitted the farm-out process was “taking longer than anticipated”.
In November, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) agreed to extend the licences by one year, provided that CNR finds a farm-out partner by May 31, 2018.
He also said CNR had applied for acreage in the 30th offshore licensing round.
The OGA expects to announce the awards in the second quarter.