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Solo Oil Plc (SOLO)

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Thursday 26 July, 2018

Solo Oil Plc

Proposed Director Changes

RNS Number : 7850V
Solo Oil Plc
26 July 2018

For immediate release, Embargoed for 7 am                                            26 July 2018




("Solo" or the "Company")


Proposed Director Changes

Solo (AIM: SOLO), the natural resources investment company focused on acquiring and developing a diverse global non-operated portfolio of strategic oil and gas assets, today announces the proposed appointment of Alastair Ferguson as a non-executive director and Chairman-designate of the Company following the proposed retirement of Neil Ritson as Director and Chairman. The appointment is subject to the completion of Director checks by the Company's Nominated Adviser.

Mr Ferguson is a Chartered Engineer and has over 40 years' experience in the oil and gas industry, the last seven of which have been spent in various Chairman and non-executive director positions. He spent 25 years with BP plc and a further 8 years with the TNK BP joint venture, based in Moscow, where he held a variety of senior business roles.  Most recently, he was an Independent Non-Executive Director on the board of JSC KazMunaiGaz Exploration Production, a subsidiary of the Kazach state-owned gas company and has served as Executive Chairman of AIM-traded Zoltav Resources Inc. and as non-executive director of JKX Oil & Gas plc (traded on the London Stock Exchange's Main Market). Mr Ferguson has considerable commercial management experience and has specific expertise in business development and managing projects in complex political environments.


Neil Ritson, Solo's Executive Chairman, commented:


"I am very pleased to welcome Alastair to the Board of Solo.  Alastair's years of commercial and business experience, developing international gas projects in the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Russia, will strengthen the Board and potentially expand the Company's geographic reach.  I look forward to continuing to assist the Company in a technical capacity after my retirement from the Board."   

Alastair Ferguson commented:

"As the Company enters a critical phase in considering the commercialisation of its core assets in the Ruvuma Basin, the Horse Hill discovery and its exciting helium asset, I am delighted to be invited by the Solo Board to become a non-executive director and Chairman-designate. As the strategic focus of the Board turns to how to provide a return to Shareholders through the monetisation of its assets and the eventual reinvestment of at least part of the proceeds, I look forward to bringing my own expertise to the Board to deliver this outcome."


It is intended that Mr Ferguson will take over as Non-Executive Chairman following the conclusion of the Company's AGM on 6 August 2018, when Mr Ritson will retire as Executive Chairman and as a director of the Company and assume the role of Technical Advisor.  It is additionally anticipated that Don Strang will retire as a director in the coming months, alongside a further appointment of an Independent Non-Executive Director.


Mr Ferguson currently holds 5,714,286 ordinary shares in the capital of Solo Oil plc equating to approximately 1.21% of the Company's current issued share capital. Full details of the Directors' options and shares are as follow:



Options / exercise price

Ordinary shares


% of issued capital

N. Ritson

2,700,000 / 10p

2,500,000 / 7p




D. Maling

3,250,000 / 7p




J. Fitzpatrick

2,500,000 / 7p




D. Strang

2,000,000 / 7p




A. Ferguson






Alastair Muir Ferguson, age 60, holds or has held directorships in the past five years preceding this appointment as follows:


Current directorships     Past directorships


None                                 JSC KazMunaiGaz Exploration Production (resigned May 2018)

                                          Zoltav Resources Inc. (resigned September 2016)

                                          JKX Oil and Gas plc (resigned January 2016)


No further information in connection with his appointment is required to be disclosed under Schedule Two, paragraph (g) (i) - (viii) of the AIM Rules for Companies.



For further information:

Solo Oil plc

Neil Ritson / Dan Maling

+44 (0) 20 7440 0642



Beaumont Cornish Limited

Nominated Adviser

Roland Cornish / Rosalind Abrahams

+44 (0) 20 7628 3396

Shore Capital


Jerry Keen

Buchanan (PR)

Ben Romney / Chris Judd / Henry Wilson

+44 (0) 20 7408 4090

+44 (0) 20 7466 5000

Notes to Editors:

Solo Oil plc

Solo is a natural resources investment company with a diverse portfolio of onshore assets, principally in Europe and Africa. The Company seeks to deliver returns through early stage investment in promising projects and uses management's own sector expertise to assist in strategic asset development. Solo's portfolio currently includes extensive interests in the prolific Ruvuma Basin in Tanzania, the Horse Hill oil discovery in the Weald Basin, Helium One Limited, the Tanzanian helium exploration company, and Kiliwani North, a natural gas producing project in Tanzania.   

Alastair Ferguson

Alastair started his career in 1978 and as drilling and petroleum engineer with BP and took up the role of Operations Manager at Wytch Farm in 1987.  From there, he progressed to hold a wide variety of senior operational and business roles globally during the 1990s, before, in 2000, being appointed Chief Executive of BP's PetroChina joint venture, negotiating the JV framework agreement, gas marketing initiative and leading the integrated team which worked on the evaluation and negotiation of the West-East Pipeline project. 

Following roles as business unit leader in China, Middle East, East Mediterranean and India, Alastair moved to Moscow at the time of the TNK BP merger in 2003, progressing to Executive Vice President for Gas and Power.  He was responsible for leadership and development of TNK BP's gas and power business in Russia and Ukraine; strategy and planning, trading, major new gas projects and associated gas business.

From 2011 until 2014, he was Senior Adviser to Xenon Capital Partners, advising Russian and International clients on investing in Russia.  He was also an independent non-executive director of JKX Oil & Gas plc from 2011 - 2014.  In 2014, he was appointed as an independent non-executive director and, subsequently, executive chairman, of Zoltav Resources Inc. He was substantially involved in the company's turnaround and the appointment of a new board and management team whereupon he stood down from his role in September 2016. From 2013, he was an independent non-executive director of JSC KazMunaiGas Exploration Production ("KMG EP") until it delisted from the London Stock Exchange in May this year. KMG EP raised over US$2bn at its IPO in 2006 and produced over 245,000 bopd in 2016.

Alastair is a Chartered Engineer and holds an BSc. (Hons.) in Mining Engineering from the University of Strathclyde and an MBA from the University of Warwick. He is a member of the Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.


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