Papua New Guinea's leading domestic oil and gas company Oil Search said managing director Keiran Wulff has resigned following concerns about his state of health and recent complaints about his behaviour.

Oil Search said Wulff has been managing a long-term medical condition which had recently deteriorated.

The company's chairman Rick Lee said the board entered into discussions with Wulff after receiving some complaints relating to his behaviour.

Lee said the board considered that Wulff had behaved in a manner inconsistent with the standards expected in relation to his management style.

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Since his appointment as managing director in February 2020, there had been significant challenges for the company.

“This period has been marked by extreme challenges including global lockdowns associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, a plunge in oil prices, crisis measures to protect the company’s financial position and developing a clear strategy to steer a path to a sustainable future through the energy transition,” said Lee.

Wulff thanked all of Oil Search's staff for their efforts, particularly since the pandemic began, as the company put in place strategies to safeguard its operations in PNG and Alaska.

“It has been a great privilege to work at Oil Search and I believe the company is very well-positioned for the future. It has however, become apparent to me that due to my health challenges, it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to perform at the level required of the position. After considerable reflection and consultation with my family and others including my medical advisers, it is an appropriate time to leave to focus on my health,” said Wulff.

Acting CEO: Peter Fredricson Photo: OIL SEARCH

Peter Fredricson, who joined the company earlier this year as chief financial officer, has agreed to become acting chief executive with immediate effect.

A search for a permanent managing director/chief executive including interviews will begin shortly.

“I look forward to working with the highly experienced Oil Search leadership team, each of whom understands the role they have in executing the company’s strategic priorities which will ensure we keep delivering results for our shareholders and the broader communities in which we work,” said Fredricson.