Timor-Leste's cabinet has approved the dismissal of the experienced chief executive of the national oil company Timor GAP.

Francisco Monteiro was the founding chief executive of the state-owned company, which has been in existence for just under 10 years.

The cabinet said it approved a resolution for Monteiro's removal and the appointment of the company's vice-president Antonio de Sousa to replace him.

No reasons were provided for the change.

Last week, the government appointed a new minister for petroleum and mining — Vitor Soares — to replace the long-standing former minister Alfredo Pires.

Pires and Monteiro were instrumental in the creation of Timor-Leste’s oil and gas sector.

Timor-Leste sources said the two appointments were political decisions; both Soares and de Sousa are members of the Fretilin political party.