Santos has appointed their new CEO, who will lead the company as they focus on delivering strong operational results in the low oil price environment.

Energy and resources executive, Mr Kevin Gallagher, who is the current CEO of engineering services group, Clough Limited, has been appointed as the new Managing Director and CEO of Santos.

Mr Gallagher will aim to commence duties with Santos in early 2016, subject to agreement on a release date with Clough.

Santos Executive Chairman, Peter Coates, said he was delighted at the appointment of Mr Gallagher to the Santos CEO role.

“Kevin has nearly 25 years’ experience in managing oil and gas operations in Australia, the USA and North and West Africa,” Mr Coates said.

“He is ideally suited to lead Santos as we move from a focus on major strategic developments to delivering strong operational results in a continuing low oil price environment.

“Kevin will bring fresh insight and a proven track record of achievement for shareholders from a career that spans international oil experience with Mobil, the Woodside operated North West Shelf LNG venture and most recently, as CEO of Clough since 2011.”

“At Clough, Mr Gallagher is widely recognised for his achievements in driving strong financial performance in the face of increasingly tough conditions for resources industry service providers,” Mr Coates said.

“I have said through the course of this year that with the major LNG project investment phase ending and the oil price outlook remaining low, Santos had to take action to become a more agile, low cost producer delivering attractive shareholder value.

“The company has made good progress towards that goal through the year with a $900 million reduction in capex and circa $370 million per annum in cost savings through headcount reductions of some 770 positions, together with meaningful supply chain savings.”

“However, the strategic review which we have just completed has shown that we can further simplify the business and enhance financial discipline,” Mr Coates said.

“Kevin’s record on costs, efficiency, leadership and profitability as CEO of Clough, combined with his experience as a senior Woodside executive on the North West Shelf venture make him ideally suited to lead the Santos senior executive team and to develop the company’s strategy from here.”

Mr Gallagher said “My career foundations are in oil and gas and I believe the Santos portfolio offers some truly exciting, world class opportunities, irrespective of the current global oil price environment.”

“I am very proud to have led Clough for the last 4 years during which I have gained an in-depth insight and understanding of the oil and gas contracting sector to complement over 20-years of oil and gas operating experience. I believe I leave Clough strongly positioned, with an excellent management team in place.”

Mr Coates will continue in his Executive Chair role taking full responsibility to the Board for the company’s operations until Mr. Gallagher commences his duties.

Current Managing Director and CEO, David Knox, has agreed with the Board that he will step down as Managing Director and CEO and will work with Mr Coates to set up a smooth transition to Mr Gallagher.

Ken Dean will continue his role as Senior Independent Director, while Mr Coates remains in his current role as Executive Chairman.

Jessica Dickers is an experienced journalist, editor and content creator who is currently the Editor of Utility’s sister publication, Infrastructure. With a strong writing background, Jessica has experience in journalism, editing, print production, content marketing, event program creation, PR and editorial management. Her favourite part of her role as editor is collaborating with the sector to put together the best industry-leading content for the audience.

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