Beach Energy

Beach Energy picks former Santos COO as its new CEO

Australian oil and gas company Beach Energy has appointed a new Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), which will take over the reins from 21 February 2024. In the meantime, the company picked an interim CEO, as its current CEO’s tenure has come to an end.

Beach Energy

According to Beach Energy, Morné Engelbrecht ended his tenure as CEO on 9 August 2023. Beach chairman, Glenn Davis, expressed gratitude to Engelbrecht for his leadership and contribution to the company both as CEO and before that as CFO.

“Morné excelled in his role as CFO and stepped into the CEO role at an uncertain time and has since guided the company through a number of operational challenges. Despite those challenges, our project delivery continues to advance and Morné should be proud of his contribution to Beach. He leaves the company in good shape as evidenced by the strong recent quarterly results. On behalf of the board, I thank him for his commitment and hard work,” outlined Davis.

Engelbrecht, who assumed the role of Acting Chief Executive Officer in November 2021, stepped into the permanent CEO role in May 2022, after what Beach described as an “extensive international recruitment process” led by the firm’s board of directors and external advisors. He has over 20 years of oil, gas, and resource sector experience, including the last seven years with Beach Energy.

“I am proud of what we achieved over the last seven years, especially my involvement as a leader, including as CEO, in the transformation of Beach from a single basin operator to a diversified growing business and safely delivering the biggest offshore development in the company’s history. I want to thank the entire Beach team for their efforts and wish them all the best as I look forward to pursuing new opportunities,” stated Engelbrecht.


Duo to the end of Engelbrecht’s tenure, Beach Energy appointed Brett Woods as its new Managing Director and CEO, starting from 21 February 2024 or such other date as mutually agreed. Woods has over 25 years of experience in upstream oil and gas, including most recently ten years at Santos where he undertook a number of executive roles including Chief Operating Officer (COO), Vice President Developments and Vice President Eastern Australia business unit.

“Brett is an experienced oil and gas executive with a track record in strong leadership, delivering operational excellence, project delivery, and value creation for shareholders. He is a very experienced technical oil and gas leader with the skills and background to continue to strengthen our performance culture and operational delivery,” added Davis.

Woods began his career with Woodside Energy in the graduate programme and held senior technical roles in Australia and Africa. In 2007, he became Managing Director and CEO of African start-up Rialto Energy. Woods was responsible for growing Rialto’s business through acquiring new exploration licences in Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, raising capital and commencing two large drilling campaigns in the highly prospective Transform Margin.

“Beach is in a great position with a strong portfolio of assets and a great balance sheet. I am excited to join at a time where I can help the team deliver the current projects, drive operational excellence and grow the business,” said Woods.

Interim CEO

In the intervening period current non-executive director, Bruce Clement, has been appointed interim CEO and will continue as an executive director. Commenting on the interim CEO role, Davis underlined the board’s confidence in Clement’s ability to continue to deliver the company’s growth projects and drive operational performance.

Bruce is a very seasoned oil and gas executive with over 40 years of domestic and international experience including as a CEO. He is very familiar with our Perth Basin assets having discovered Waitsia when managing director at AWE. The board is confident Bruce can fulfil the role in the interim period and deliver value whilst in the chair,” concluded Davis.

Previously, Clement held engineering, senior management, and board positions with several companies including Santos, Norwest Energy, AWE, ExxonMobil, and Roc Oil. He is the former Managing Director & CEO of AWE and Roc Oil and is currently a non-executive director of Horizon Oil.

Beach Energy is working on various growth projects. The firm is now targeting the start of drilling operations at its development well off Taranaki towards the end of the first quarter of 2024. These activities will be carried out with one of Valaris’ heavy-duty modern jack-up rigs.