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Daily Telegraph: Ex-Shell boss takes the helm at Regal

By Russell Hotten
Last Updated: 12:47am GMT 23/11/2007

Oil explorer Regal Petroleum surprised the City yesterday with the appointment of former Royal Dutch Shell executive David Greer to run the business, throwing into confusion a deal the two companies had signed only 24 hours previously.

Mr Greer, who becomes Aim-listed Regal’s chief executive and chairman, resigned from Shell earlier this year soon after writing a notorious email that was ridiculed as something that could have been penned by David Brent from cult television comedy The Office.

On Wednesday Shell signed a preliminary £198.5m deal to take a 51pc stake in two Ukraine fields controlled by a subsidiary of Regal, founded by the colourful Frank Timis, the company’s largest shareholder with around 20pc. The agreement was seen as helpful to Regal’s continuing rehabilitation, after a share price collapse in 2005 when a drilling programme struck water, not oil.

But yesterday, Regal announced that chief executive Neil Ritson had resigned and Francesco Scolaro was stepping down as chairman, but would stay on the board as a non-executive. No reason was given in Regal’s statement for Mr Ritson’s departure and he could not be contacted last night for comment.

In June Mr Greer stepped down from Shell soon after the leaking of an email in which he urged workers to “lead me, follow me or get out of my way… All real engineers love the sting and clash of challenge,” he wrote. Shell said yesterday there was still much due diligence to do on the Regal deal before is was formally agreed. and its also non-profit sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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