BP taps new chief for onshore business

British oil and gas giant BP announced Wednesday that David Lawler will become the chief executive officer of its onshore oil and gas business for the contiguous United States.

Lawler, 46, will take over in September, a few months before BP spins its U.S. onshore business into its own company, still owned by BP. BP announced the spinoff plans in March in an attempt to gain flexibility to better compete with independent producers and private equity firms.

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“With an impressive track record at integrated oil and gas companies as well as independents, Dave is uniquely qualified to lead our onshore business during this exciting transition,” Lamar McKay, chief of BP’s upstream segment and Lawler’s supervisor, said in a statement.

“His experience and skills match up perfectly with our goals for the business. I’m confident he will create a competitive and sustainable operation that will be a key component of BP’s portfolio for many years.”

Lawler brings more than 20 years of oil and gas industry experience, most recently as chief operating officer of Oklahoma City-based SandRidge Energy Inc.

“I’m looking forward to leveraging BP’s talent and resources while running the business as if it were an independent,” Lawler said in a statement.