Empire Oil & Gas has appointed New Standard Energy executive Ken Aitken as its new chief executive.
He has been employed on a three-year contract on an annual salary of $430,000 as well as 90 million Empire options.
Empire chairman Tony Iannello said Mr Aitken had extensive technical knowledge as a petroleum engineer and immense commercial experience gained through managing and operating projects in Australia and overseas.
"Ken's operational knowledge will be invaluable to Empire as we seek to maximise the production performance of the Red Gully project," he said.
Mr Aitken is expected to begin at Empire in May.
Empire also announced today it had withdrawn from EP 437 joint venture by agreement with partners in the permit Key Petroleum and Caracal Exploration.
The company said the project was not core to its business and did not meet future risk/reward parameters.
Empire said the move would save it $600,000 in capital expenditure.
The forfeiture of its 35 per cent stake in the project means Key's stake will increase to 77 per cent while Caracal's holding will rise to 23 per cent.
Empire shares last traded for 0.8 cents.