Andy Brown, the former head of upstream at Shell, is set to take the reins at Galp Energia, replacing Carolos Gomes da Silva as chief executive of the Portuguese major.

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Brown, who left the Anglo-Dutch supermajor in late 2019, will take over from Gomes da Silva on 19 February, Galp said on Tuesday evening.

He will also assume the position of vice chairman of the board, a post that Gomes da Silva is also vacating.

"Carlos will remain in office until February 19, 2021, supporting the transition to Andy," Galp said.

"The board is grateful to Carlos for his important contribution to Galp as an executive manager over the last 14 years and wishes him continued professional successes," the statement continued.

In a note on Wednesday, analysts at RBC Capital Markets said: "It’s difficult to say at this stage what this means, if anything, for Galp’s well laid out strategy.

"Execution in Brazil is paramount to Galp’s investment case in the short term, and Andy’s experience and relationships with operator Petrobras and partner Shell should only reinforce operations for Galp, in our view.

"Outside of that, in our recent conversation with Andy, he noted his positive views around the potential for hydrogen, and over time this could play a role in Galp’s strategy."

Shell announced in January 2019 that Brown was stepping down as head of upstream at Shell, to be replaced by Wael Sawan.

Brown joined Shell in 1984 after completing a degree in Engineering Science at Cambridge University. From then until 2000 he worked in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Brunei, Italy and Oman for the company in engineering and project management roles.

Stepping aside: Galp's departing chief executive Carlos Gomes da Silva Photo: GALP ENERGIA

In 2001 he became private assistant to Shell's chairman and from 2002 to 2012 was managing director and country chair in Qatar, leading the $18 billion Pearl gas-to-liquids project.

He was appointed executive vice president of operations in Qatar in 2009 and upstream international director in 2012 until 2015, responsible for all global upstream and integrated gas businesses outside of the Americas.

Brown joined the supervisory board of Dutch floater specialist SBM Offshore in February last year, but it was revealed earlier this month that he is leaving that position.