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Board and Executive Announcements
02 Feb 2022

Board and Executive Announcements

As the company transitions to a new phase, focusing on efficiency and how its assets can be used as part of the energy transition, Spirit Energy has today announced Board and Executive appointments within the company.

Chris O’Shea, Chief Executive of Centrica, has replaced Mark Hanafin as Chairman of the Board of Spirit Energy with immediate effect.

Neil McCulloch, pictured above, currently Spirit Energy’s Executive Vice President Technical and Operated Assets, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive, also with immediate effect. He succeeds Chris Cox, who will leave Spirit Energy on 28 February 2022 after six years with Centrica and Spirit Energy.

Chris O’Shea, Chairman of the Board of Spirit Energy, said: “Both Centrica and Stadtwerke Munchen are extremely grateful for Mark’s contribution in leading the Spirit Board since the formation of the company. Mark has brought tremendous experience, passion and support as he has skilfully guided the Board in delivering its multiple accountabilities. Mark leaves the Board in excellent shape for me to take over and, whilst I am honoured to be succeeding Mark, I will miss working with him.

“Chris Cox has been instrumental in shaping Spirit Energy and has embedded a culture and set of values that will be the foundation which supports Spirit’s continued future success. Chris has achieved a huge amount in Spirit, most notably passionately driving Spirit’s safety performance to reach top quartile within our industry, turning around the performance of Morecambe, and delivering the Statfjord field life extension sanction.

“I am delighted to announce Neil McCulloch as Interim CEO. Neil’s initial priorities will be to lead the Spirit team to complete the Norwegian transactions and to establish our refocussed business for success as a company safely delivering production from our existing assets, meeting and de-risking our decommissioning obligations, and exploring strategic energy transition opportunities from our existing assets.”

Neil McCulloch, Spirit Energy CEO, said: “It is a privilege to be asked to serve as Interim CEO at such a pivotal time for the company and industry. I would like to thank Chris Cox for his leadership in forming and building Spirit Energy into the company it is today, and also to Mark Hanafin for his wisdom and guidance as Chairman. I look forward greatly to working with our new Chairman, Chris O’Shea, and the Board to manage the transition to a more focussed company and, more broadly, through the energy transition where we see exciting opportunities as excellent stewards of our existing assets, industry leaders in cost-effective decommissioning, and also in being at the forefront of pursuing Net Zero opportunities in our portfolio.”

Mr McCulloch has held leadership roles across operated and non-operated assets in Europe and further afield. A chartered engineer, having studied both chemical and petroleum engineering, Mr McCulloch’s career started as a Graduate Trainee Petroleum Engineer, working on Spirit Energy’s Morecambe Bay field. He was previously Senior Vice President of Engineering and Production at OMV and spent 11 years in asset and functional leadership roles at BG Group plc. Before joining Spirit Energy, he held the position of Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer at EnQuest PLC.

Mr McCulloch holds a number of external assignments. He is a Non-Executive Director of the Net Zero Technology Centre; a member of OGUK’s Board; a member of the Net Zero Steering Group, with leadership of the Decommissioning and Repurposing Task Force, and a Fellow of the Energy Institute.

Facts about Spirit Energy

  • An oil and gas exploration and production company with two shareholding entities: Centrica (69%), and Stadtwerke München GmbH SWM (31%).
  • Operated and non-operated interests across the UK, Norway, and the Netherlands, with more than 30 producing fields and approx. 128 exploration licences (2020).
  • 2020-production of 44.9 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
  • Proven and probable (2P) reserves of 246 mmboe (2020).
  • Total workforce of approx. 850.

In December 2021, Spirit Energy announced that it had entered into agreements to divest its Norwegian business, including the Statfjord UK field. Read the full story here. 



Jill Glennie, Head of Communications in Spirit Energy
Mobile (+44) 7557 614018

Tom Gederø, Communications Manager in Spirit Energy (Norway)
Mobile (+47) 922 47 082