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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

BP hires head of U.S. shale unit before spin-off, (NYSE: COP)

Oil major BP has appointed a chief executive to look after its U.S. onshore oil and gas assets, months ahead of its plan to spin off the business to boost the profitability of its shale gas portfolio in the country. SandRidge Energy Inc's former Chief Operating Officer David Lawler will take on the Houston-based role on Sept. 15. He will head the new business - called U.S. Lower 48 Onshore - which includes unconventional resources of around 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent across 20,000 wells.Lawler has decades of experience in the U.S. energy market after working at Shell, ConocoPhillips and Burlington Resources in a variety of roles ranging from drilling engineering to exploration and production business development.The U.S. unconventional oil and gas market is highly competitive and a number of other big oil companies, including rival European producers Shell and BG, have struggled to cope with depressed gas prices after making big investments.BP announced in March it would create a separate U.S. onshore oil and gas unit early next year to allow faster decision-making and shorter cycle times to move from shale drilling to production.

ConocoPhillips is an independent exploration and production (E&P) company, based on proved reserves and production of liquids and natural gas. Shares of COP traded higher by 0.44% or $0.35/share to $80.26. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $62.74 and as high as $87.09. On average, 4973050 shares of COP exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1931870.