Tullow Oil appoints Rahul Dhir as CEO

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Tullow Oil plc on Tuesday announced the appointment of Rahul Dhir as Chief Executive Officer and an Executive Director of the Group. Dhir will take up his appointment from July 1, 2020 and Dorothy Thompson, currently Executive Chair of Tullow, will return to her position as Non-Executive Chair after a limited period of handover, the company said.

Tullow said Dhir brings extensive leadership experience in oil and gas to the company. He is currently CEO of Delonex Energy, an Africa-focused oil and gas company that he founded in 2013. Under his leadership, Delonex has delivered low-cost drilling and seismic operations along with leading social and environmental performance in sub-Saharan Africa. In Chad, the company has achieved material exploration success and discovered substantial oil resources. Delonex has also delivered exploration campaigns in Ethiopia and Kenya where Delonex operates Block 12A with Tullow as a non-operating partner.

Prior to establishing Delonex, he served as Managing Director and CEO of Cairn India from its IPO in 2006 until 2012. During Dhir’s tenure, Cairn India delivered operated production of over 200,000 barrels of oil per day with operating costs of less than $5 per barrel of oil. Cairn India also successfully delivered over $5 billion of development projects including the world’s longest heated pipeline at a finding and development cost of less than $5 per barrel of oil.

Tullow said Dhir started his career as a Petroleum Engineer, before moving into investment banking where he led teams at Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch, advising major oil & gas companies on merger and acquisition and capital market related issues. Rahul is a UK citizen and was educated at the Indian Institute of Technology (BTech), the University of Texas (MSc) and the Wharton School (MBA).

Dorothy Thompson, Executive Chair of Tullow Oil Plc said she is delighted to welcome Dhir to Tullow and is very pleased that he has accepted the position of CEO. “His oil & gas, financial and African experience combined with his record of strong leadership made him the stand-out candidate for the Board. I look forward to Rahul joining Tullow in July and working with him closely in the coming years.”

Dhir said he is very excited at the opportunity to lead Tullow and re-establish it as an iconic company in the oil and gas industry. “The company has high-quality assets and great people.  It also has a unique position in Africa, built on a proven track record of responsible operations, strong relationships and a commitment to sustainability.  I am looking forward to working with the team and the Board to re-build an exceptional business.”

Tullow said last month that it was disappointed in its operational and financial performance for 2019, and that in 2020 it will work to rebuild the stakeholder trust that had been eroded over the past few months.

Speaking in the company’s Annual Report and Accounts for year 2019, Thompson had sought to recount some of the factors for Tullow’s disappointing 2019 run and how the company plans to reset its production guidance for 2020. Among the poor performance issues she cited, was the lower quality crude the company found in the Jethro and Joe discoveries made offshore Guyana. She had noted that the Carapa-1 well offshore the South American country confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons and importantly, supports the potential of the Cretaceous play from the Exxon‑operated Stabroek licence on both the adjacent Kanuku and Orinduik licences.

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