Sapura Energy has lined up a former top executive at Petronas to be its new chief executive as long-time leader Shahril Shamsuddin prepares to retire next year.

The Malaysian contractor stalwart has named Anuar Taib as chief operating officer and chief executive designate, effective from 1 October.

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He will have a six-month transition period before Shahril retires on 22 March, after turning 60.

Taib was named as a director only last month. He quit state giant Petronas almost exactly a year ago in September 2019, where he was chief executive of upstream.

Industry veteran Anuar was a long-term Shell employee, rising to the position of Shell Malaysia chairman, before joining Petronas in 2012.

Shahril founded Sapura in the mid-1990s, and has led it for a quarter of a century.

“Under his leadership, Sapura Energy has grown from a domestic focused player into a renowned global oil and gas company serving the entire upstream value chain. This includes becoming a regional independent oil company via SapuraOMV, with net resources in excess of 260 million barrels of oil equivalent, serving a significant part of Malaysia’s natural gas requirement,” Sapura chairman Shamsul Azhar Abbas said.

Energy transition drive

“Shahril’s legacy will be the group’s highly-skilled and technically capable multinational human capital, strategic world-class assets, sound processes and strong project management capabilities."

Shahril himself added: “We are transforming Sapura Energy to remain relevant and competitive in the new energy landscape. Our agile strategy, the right capabilities and entrepreneurial spirit nurtured throughout the years will enable us to embrace the new energy transition."