Robert Trice, the CEO of North Sea oil producer Hurricane Energy, resigned, the group said on June 8 after it had to give up its ambition to sustainably produce around 20,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and shut one of its pilot wells.

Trice was a proponent of the so-called fractured basement method, which involves recovering oil from fractures in hard and brittle rock, which some see as a risky way to obtain crude.

Trice will be replaced by Beverley Smith, a former BG Group employee and non-executive director at Hurricane since late last year.

“In evaluating options for the forward work program against an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, we will priorities early low-cost production with the capital discipline needed to achieve financial resilience,” Chairman Steven McTiernan said.

In a coup for Hurricane in 2018, Spirit Energy, backed by Centrica, invested almost $400 million in a Hurricane field.

Hurricane is currently producing around 10,300 bbl/d.

“The operations update is... concerning with production still running below the level we believe is required to repay the bonds and acknowledgment of the possibility a shallower oil-water contact, which could have significant implications for reserves/resources,” said BMO analyst David Round.