Chris Newton has been appointed chairman of Tap Oil Ltd., effective immediately, the Perth-based company said Oct. 15.

Newton is a geology graduate from the University of Durham, England, and also holds a graduate diploma in applied finance and investment from the Securities Institute of Australia (SIA). He has had a 40-year career in oil and gas covering the spectrum of the industry—from exploration, development, production and petroleum economics to strategic planning, business development and senior leadership.

Newton has spent more than 25 years in senior resource industry roles in South East Asia including as managing director of Fletcher Challenge in Brunei and of Shell Deepwater Borneo, president of Santos' Indonesian operations, and CEO of Jakarta-listed oil and gas company EMP. In 2010 he co-founded Singapore based Risco Energy and successfully drove Risco’s operations and business development functions.

Newton was an active director of the Indonesian Petroleum Association (IPA) between 2003 to 2008, including serving as president from 2004 to 2007. he is also a non-executive director of ASX listed Lion Energy Ltd. and remains the oil and gas advisor to the Jakarta-based Castle Asia Group and Northern Oil & Gas Australia (NOGA).

Tap is an E&P headquartered in Western Australia with production and cash flow from the Manora Oil Field in the Gulf of Thailand and an Australian exploration portfolio.