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Frank Chapman: Adventurous in his pursuits

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Adventurous in his pursuits

Published: May 29 2008 03:00 | Last updated: May 29 2008 03:00

A veteran of the energy industry’s travel demands, Frank Chapman will nonetheless be tiring of return trips to Australia in his quest to secure an Asia-Pacific beachhead with his Origin takeover bid.

The mechanical engineer, who turns 55 in a few weeks, has made it his quest since becoming BG chief executive in 2000 to turn the UK company into a global force.

The son of a truck driver and matron’s assistant, he was the youngest of three. He went to Shipton Road secondary school in east London then gained a first at Queen Mary’s college.

He started his career at BP’s research centre in Sunbury and three years later joined Shell, where he stayed for 18 years. Ever since Shell hit reserve troubles five years ago, he has been dogged by speculation that he will return to run the oil group.

On leaving Shell, he had a stint at Kvaerner in Norway which, it is said, “didn’t work out”. He joined British Gas in 1996 to run its exploration arm and landed a board seat in 1997 when Centrica was spun off.

He married a Norwegian with whom he has two young children, and has two older children from his first marriage.

An experienced sailor, he competed in the Fastnet Race. Also a keen coastal fisherman, his sense of adventure is described as being very Norwegian. and its sister non-profit websites,,,,,, and are owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia feature.

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