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Tuesday 17 September 2019
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[UPDATED] Heritage appoints interim team; Wiley receiving cancer treatment in US

Heritage CEO Mike Wiley (Photo courtesy LinkedIn)
Heritage CEO Mike Wiley (Photo courtesy LinkedIn)

Heritage Petroleum Co Ltd CEO Mike Wiley is recovering from cancer in the US.

In the interim, Heritage has appointed an executive leadership team to manage the company while Wiley is being treated.

Wiley, an American oil and gas professional, was appointed last November after former state oil company Petrotrin's restructuring into distinct upstream and downstream operations.

A release yesterday said the team will provide additional managerial support for Wiley, who remains CEO and will continue to direct Heritage's operations remotely.

The team will report to the board, and its meetings will also be open to the board. The members are Derek Lall, land leader; Kerry Rampersad, mid-stream leader; Lisa Ali, head of implementation; Nigel Campbell, CFO; and Richard Burgess, offshore central leader.

This team will be responsible for maintaining the company’s strategic plan. This new reporting structure will remain in place until Wylie returns, the company said, although it did not specify when that might be.

Heritage and parent company Trinidad Petroleum Holdings Ltd's (TPH) chairman, Wilfred Espinet, held a town hall meeting with Heritage's Santa Flora workers yesterday. Newsday was told that at that meeting he informed employees of Wiley's condition and said his treatment is expected to continue for at least six months.

Wiley's projected recovery period is shorter than the time it would take to terminate his appointment and find a new CEO, Espinet said at the meeting.

He also announced the interim leadership teams.

"We want the organisation to be competitive and so, the board has put a team in place to work along with (Wiley) to drive operations of the company," he said.

Espinet said Heritage was a "prized possession" and its predecessor was not sustainable and suffering from an identity crisis.

"We want to create a competitive and sustainable company. In so doing, we must take ownership of what we are doing," he said.

Heritage is responsible for increasing oil production. Along with Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd and Guaracara Refining Co Ltd, it is also one of the guarantors for TPH's restructured inherited Petrotrin debt.

For the first six months of its operations Heritage reported a $143 million profit, even though TPH recorded an overall $1.6 billion loss for the same period.

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