Columbus Energy Res (LON:CERP) Directorate Change – Appointment of CEO

Columbus, the oil and gas producer and explorer with operations in Trinidad and Suriname, is pleased to announce the appointment of Tony Hawkins as its Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately.

Leo Koot remains Executive Chairman and will continue to work alongside Tony on a full-time basis in growing the business in a manner consistent with the strategy roadmap.

Mr Hawkins has been employed as the Company’s Legal and Commercial Director since January 2018 and will now join the Board. Tony is a dual British & Australian national with over 20 years of industry experience, including significant time working on projects and operations related to Trinidad, and adds both commercial and legal expertise to the Board.

A video of Leo Koot, commenting on the appointment from the Saffron wellsite, is now available on the Company’s website at https://columbus-erp.com/news/videos/

Leo Koot, Executive Chairman, commented:

“Tony has been instrumental over the last two years in helping plan and then execute on the Company’s strategy. This includes restructuring the BOLT transaction (which has led to the drilling of the Saffron well), the Steeldrum transaction (broadening the Company’s asset base) and the Weg Naar Zee transaction in Suriname (entering another country to expand and de-risk our portfolio). Tony’s role will be to make sure the Company is run efficiently (in particular the optimisation of our producing assets), manage any appraisal and development of the Saffron prospect and co-ordinate the appraisal and development of the Weg Naar Zee block in Suriname.

I will continue in my role as Executive Chairman and see the benefit in separating the role of Chairman and CEO.

I remain committed to the Company and with Tony responsible for the day to day operations, I can dedicate my time to growing the business in a manner consistent with our strategy roadmap. At present, I am working at the Saffron well site, helping the Columbus team in Trinidad ensure we deliver an optimal drilling campaign, whilst Tony is ensuring all other aspects of the business are being managed efficiently and effectively.

I look forward to working with Tony and the rest of the team to continue to advance the interests of the Company and its shareholders.”


Tony Hawkins is a commercial adviser and qualified lawyer of over 20 years’ experience. His experience is in advising on and implementing large scale M&A and project developments. He also has experience in asset management and Legal & Regulatory compliance. These skills have been predominately in oil and gas but also in power, LNG and renewables. Prior to Columbus, Mr Hawkins was General Counsel & Head of Commercial for Sterling Energy plc, a London listed oil & gas company. He was also the company secretary. Prior to Sterling Energy, he spent 6 years at the upstream division of Centrica plc (a FTSE 100 listed utility). During this period, he spent 4 years working on Centrica’s oil & gas assets in Trinidad and gained significant experience of the regulatory and operational requirements of Trinidad. He holds a Bachelor of Law and Bachelor of Arts and is and English qualified lawyer.

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