Photo: Illustration. Source: CNOOC Limited

As CEO steps down, Chinese player promotes from within to fill the gap

Chinese oil and gas giant CNOOC Limited has revealed several changes to its board of directors and senior management team after its chief executive officer (CEO) decided to resign from the role.

CNOOC announced multiple changes to its board of directors and senior management team on Thursday, explaining that Xu Keqiang, who served as the firm’s CEO since 2019, has resigned from the role and has been redesignated from executive director to non-executive director.

The Chinese player informed that Zhou Xinhuai has been appointed as an executive director and the company’s new CEO. Xinhuai, who has worked with the CNOOC Group since 1996 in several project manager and geological chief engineer roles – is a professor-level senior engineer with a PhD degree in Energy Geological Engineering from the China University of Geosciences.

Prior to being appointed as the Deputy General Manager of the CNOOC Group in March 2022, Xinhuai served as the General Manager of the CNOOC Hainan Branch and Chairman and General Manager of Hainan Energy from March 2021 to March 2022.

Wang Dongjin, Chairman of CNOOC Limited, remarked: “On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Mr. Xu for his outstanding contributions to the company during his tenure and to extend a warm welcome to Mr. Zhou upon his appointment as an executive director and the chief executive officer of the company.”

Furthermore, CNOOC appointed Yan Hongtao, who has a master’s degree in petroleum storage and transportation from China University of Petroleum, as a vice president. Hongtao has served in several deputy general manager, deputy director and general manager roles during his time with CNOOC. Most recently, Hongtao served as General Manager of CNOOC Tianjin Branch from January 2022.

When it comes to CNOOC’s most recent activities and developments, it is worth reminding that the Chinese giant started production from two oilfield development projects in the Bohai Sea last week.

This is in line with the company’s plans to increase oil and gas production in the next three years while promoting green energy transition initiatives.

Also in April, the company launched an initial public offering (IPO) on Shanghai Stock Exchange, raising about $4.4 billion.