Northern Offshore CEO resigns

The CEO of E&P firm Northern Offshore resigned from the company this week for as-yet unknown reasons.
Marion Woolie, the former head of international drilling at GlobalSantaFe, resigned “effective immediately” the company said in a statement.

“The Board of Directors of the company thanks Mr. Woolie for his dedicated service and wishes him well. Jim LaChance, currently Chairman of the Board for Northern Offshore, will serve as interim president and CEO until a permanent replacement is appointed.”

Board member Scott O’Keefe also stepped down earlier this month.
Northern Offshore was started in 2000 by a group of European investors to acquire rigs that independent energy companies would contract to drill for oil and natural gas.
In 2007 Woolie joined the firm after leaving GlobalSantaFe. It was the meger of GlobalSantaFe and Transocean that let Northern buy two semisubmersible rigs on favorable terms as the merger meant the companies had to divest themselves of some assets, as we reported in this story.
Woolie recruited a number of former GlobalSantaFe colleagues to join him at Northern, including CFO Michael Dawson, Senior Vice President of Marketing Steve Gangelhoff, and Vice President of Deepwater Drilling Fred Brooks.
“It’s really rare to have all the stars line up like this,” Woolie said in the 2008 article.
Also this week Northern reported third quarter net income of $31.2 million, or 20 cents per share, up from $15.5 million, or 10 cents per share for the same quarter last year.
Northern expects to take a $1.9 million charge in the fourth quarter related to Woolie’s employment agreement. His options to purchase 750,000 common shares comapny stock will all become vested and exercisable for a period of 90 days, and 400,000 restricted shares the company granted in January 2009 will all become vested and converted to shares of common stock.
Northern Offshore, incorporated in Bermuda but based in Houston, has one floating production unit and five drilling units (a drillship, a semisubmersible and three jackup drilling rigs) spread around the world, including the North Sea, the Indian Ocean, offshore Russia, the Mediterranean Sea and Southeast Asia.

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