(EnergyAsia, December 21 2012, Friday) — UK gas major BG has named Chris Finlayson to succeed the retiring Frank Chapman as chief executive from January 1.

Mr Finlayson, 56, who joined BG from Royal Dutch Shell in 2010, overcame close competition from chief financial officer Fabio Barbosa and chief operating officer Martin Houston to take on the company’s next phase of large projects in Australia and Brazil.

Mr Chris Finlayson, who was named to the BG board last year, is currently its executive director and managing director. In his more than 35 years experience in the oil and gas industry, he held senior executive positions overseeing upstream projects in Nigeria, Russia, the UK and Brunei.

“He has an outstanding track record of delivering large scale projects, optimisation of production and operational performance, and has worked successfully with joint venture partners, national oil companies, and governments at the highest levels,” said BG.

As managing director of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Mr Finlayson led Nigeria’s largest and most complex oil and gas joint venture, managing production of some one million barrels of oil equivalent per day. He was also Shell’s director of Nigeria LNG Ltd, the second largest LNG plant in the world at the time.

As Shell’s executive vice president for exploration and production in Russia, he took charge of cost and schedule issues at Sakhalin 2 as well as smoothened relations with the Russian government and Gazprom.

Alongside responsibility for delivering the project, he helped manage Gazprom’s entry into the project as a joint venture partner. He was asked to remain chairman of Sakhalin Energy Investment Company, when Gazprom became the majority shareholder.

BG said Mr Chapman will retire in June after 12 years as chief executive during which he oversaw its transformation and growth from a North Sea producer to a global gas company. In June this year, he began a course of medication for very early stage myeloma.