Norwegian drilling services company Archer is looking for a new chief executive after the current boss quit with immediate effect.

John Lechner will remain at the Stavanger-based outfit as an advisor to the current leadership team during a transition period as the company hunts a new chief executive.

In a brief statement to the Oslo Stock Exchange on Friday, Archer gave no indication as to what Lechner is leaving.

Chairman Kjell-Erik Ostdahl will step in as interim chief executive, while the hunt for a permanent replacement has already begun.

Ostdahl told Upstream that it was Lechner's decision to leave Archer and stressed there had been no disagreement between the ex-chief executive and the board.

Ostdahl was unable to say if Lechner has secured employment elsewhere or if he will remain in Norway.

The chairman added that he hopes the search for a permanent replacement will not take more than a few months.

Archer said Lechner’s departure will not alter the company’s strategy.

Ostdahl said: "On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank John for his leadership through a challenging period for the global oilfield service industry. I appreciate John's contribution to Archer and wish him all the best in the future."

Lechner joined Archer in August 2012, serving as president, eastern hemisphere from the following year to 2016. In April 2016 he took over from David King as chief executive.

In a career spanning more than three decades, Lechner has worked on oilfield assignments in North America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Russia and Australasia. In that time he has worked for Schlumberger, Parker Drilling and OiLSERV.

His career started out at oilfield services giant Schlumberger.