LONDON Feb 4 The chief executive of Britain's Premier Oil, Simon Lockett, has decided to step down after nine years in the role, the company said on Tuesday.
Premier said Lockett would remain as CEO until a replacement had been found, and that he would also take part in the selection process.
Lockett said in a statement he was "looking forward to pursuing new business opportunities."
Premier struggled to hit production targets last year, twice cutting forecasts due to problems at projects in Britain's North Sea and Vietnam. Oil production for 2014 is expected to be flat or at most grow 8 percent, due to maintenance and efficiency issues in the wake of successive downgrades last year.
During Lockett's leadership, Premier's share price has increased by over 140 percent, outperforming the FTSE 250 of midcap shares, while average production has jumped 56 percent, the company said.