Board of Directors

Michael Blaha - Executive ChairmanTo top

Michael Blaha is a petroleum engineer with 35+ years of oil and gas experience in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He was co-founder and Executive Chairman of Cove Energy plc, guiding the company in 3 years from a £1 million cash shell through to Cove's £1.2 billion (US$1.9 billion) sale to Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd (PTTEP).

Prior to Cove, Mr Blaha held a number of senior roles in Royal Dutch Shell plc. He was Country Chairman in Algeria, Director of External Relations for E&P Africa, Vice-President E&P for Russia (Sakhalin and Salym) and Vice-President E&P for Iran. Earlier in his career, he worked at the Shell headquarters in The Hague on developing business in China, Iran and Russia. He also held senior roles in the Philippines, Syria, Thailand and the UK.

Michael Blaha has an MSc in Chemistry from the University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands).

Mr Blaha co-founded Discover Exploration Ltd and joined the Board of Directors in October 2012.

John Craven - CEOTo top

John Craven is a petroleum geologist with 40+ years of oil and gas experience worldwide. He was co-founder and CEO of Cove Energy plc, guiding the company in 3 years from a £1 million cash shell through to Cove's £1.2 billion (US$1.9 billion) sale to Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd (PTTEP).

Prior to Cove, Mr Craven was co-founder and CEO of Petroceltic International plc, the London- and Dublin-listed exploration company with African and Mediterranean assets. Under his leadership, Petroceltic grew into a business with a diversified portfolio of exploration and appraisal projects in Italy, Algeria and Tunisia. John Craven also held senior executive positions with Gulf Oil Corp. Dana Petroleum plc, Vanco Exploration and Tuscar Resources.

Mr Craven is the former Chairman of Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd.

John Craven has an MBA from Queens University (Ireland) and an MSc in Petroleum Geology from the Royal School of Mines (UK).

Mr Craven co-founded Discover Exploration and joined the Board of Directors in October 2012.

Michael Nolan - CFOTo top

Michael Nolan is a chartered accountant and has worked in the natural resource industry for 20+ years. He was co-founder and Finance Director of Cove Energy plc, guiding the company in 3 years from a £1 million cash shell through to Cove's £1.2 billion (US$1.9 billion) sale to Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd (PTTEP).

From 1999 to 2007, Mr Nolan was CEO of mining company Minmet plc. He is currently also a co-founder and Non-Executive Director of Fastnet Oil and Gas plc, Rathdowney Resources Ltd and Orogen Gold plc.

Michael Nolan is a Fellow of the Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Mr Nolan joined the Board of Directors of Discover Exploration in October 2012.

Marcel van Poecke - Non-Executive DirectorTo top

Marcel van Poecke is an industry veteran and a seasoned investor in the energy sector. He is a Managing Director and Head of Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), an investment fund sponsored by The Carlyle Group to invest in oil & gas exploration & production, midstream, oil field services and refining & marketing in Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Mr van Poecke founded Petroplus from a management buyout in 1993 and successfully led its growth into the largest, independent oil refiner in Europe through several major acquisitions and divestments. After achieving a public listing on the Zürich stock exchange in November 2006, he exited Petroplus. The transaction was the highest multiple return investment for the Carlyle/Riverstone Energy Fund.

In 2007, he started and built over time AtlasInvest N.V., a private investment company with over US$1 billion of capital invested across the energy sector. AtlasInvest’s core investments are in the field of conventional oil and gas. AtlasInvest's investment portfolio is diverse in both scope and geography, encompassing all parts of the energy chain including exploration & production, midstream and downstream. In addition, complementary investments exist in a range of alternative energy companies. In 2009, AtlasInvest made its largest investment to date, Oranje-Nassau Energie B.V.

Marcel van Poecke is the Chairman of AtlasInvest and Oranje-Nassau Energie, and Vice-Chairman of Energy Intelligence, the leading provider of independent, objective insight, analysis, and data to the global energy industry. He is also a Non-Executive Director of VARO, HES International, Black Sea Oil & Gas and Assala Energy.

Marcel van Poecke has an MBA from the William E. Simon School of Management, University of Rochester (USA), and a degree in Agricultural Business Administration from the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands).

Mr van Poecke joined the Board of Directors of Discover Exploration in November 2012.

Andrew Marino - Non-Executive DirectorTo top

Andrew Marino is a Managing Diretor at The Carlyle Group. He is the co-Head of the Carlyle Global Infrastructure Opportunity Fund (CGI) and serves on the investment committee of Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), Carlyle Power Partners II and NGP Natural Resources XI. Previously, he was the COO of Carlyle's Natural Resources group.

Until 2012, Mr. Marino was a member of the U.S. Buyout team where he focused on investments in the chemical, metals and energy sectors including Kinder Morgan, Axalta, PQ Corp. and JMC Steel.

Prior to joining Carlyle, Andrew Marino was a Vice President at Morgan Stanley where he focused on mergers, acquisitions and restructuring assignments in a variety of industries in both the US and Europe. For several years prior to business school, Mr. Marino lived and worked in Hong Kong and China identifying private equity investments in China and Southeast Asia.

Mr. Marino is a Non-Executive Director of Traxys and a former Non-Executive Director of PQ Corp., JMC Steel and Varo Energy. Mr. Marino also previously served on the Board of Trustees of Capital City Public Charter School.

Andrew Marino is a graduate of Dartmouth College (USA) and has an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School (USA).

Mr Marino joined the Board of Directors of Discover Exploration in December 2013.

Paddy Spink - Non-Executive DirectorTo top

Paddy Spink is a geologist with nearly 40+ years of oil and gas experience worldwide. He is a Senior Advisor to Carlyle International Energy Partners (CIEP), an investment fund sponsored by The Carlyle Group, and to the Board of Directors of AtlasInvest N.V. and Oranje-Nassau Energie B.V.

Prior to this, he spent 20+ years with Perenco in various roles including business development, exploration and operations during a period where the company grew from less than 5,000 barrels per day to over 200,000 barrels per day, and became one of the largest private upstream companies. Activities extended through Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, Australia and North and South America, and included activities from exploration, through development, to optimisation of mature fields. Prior to Perenco, he was involved in building a portfolio of exploration and production assets in the UK for a large construction company, and earlier in various geological and petroleum engineering oilfield services roles with a predecessor of Baker-Hughes.

Mr Spink is a Non-Executive Director of Black Sea Oil & Gas SRL and Assala Energy. He is also a former Non-Executive Director of Ophir Energy plc and former Executive Committee member of Perenco.

Paddy Spink has a BSc in Environmental Science from the University of Lancaster (UK).

Mr Spink joined the Board of Directors of Discover Exploration in November 2012.

Alexander Berger - Non-Executive DirectorTo top

Alexander Berger is a petroleum engineer with 20+ years of oil and gas experience in Europe and Africa. He is the CEO of Oranje-Nassau Energie B.V., the largest privately owned Dutch exploration and production operating company. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Cairn Energy plc.

Prior to this, he was the Managing Director of Dyas Exploration and Production B.V. and held several non-executive directorships at Capricorn Energy, Delta Hydrocarbons and Ithaca Energy. While working for Dyas, Mr Berger was instrumental in doubling the oil and gas portfolio through numerous successful North Sea and overseas acquisitions. After leading a consortium composed of Dyas, ONH B.V. and Sumitomo, which successfully acquired the energy interests of the Wendel Group's owned Oranje-Nassau Groep, he left Dyas in 2009 to become the new CEO of Oranje-Nassau Energie.

Mr Berger started his career with Royal Dutch Shell plc where he held various technical and commercial positions in the UK and the Netherlands.

Alexander Berger has an MBA from the Rotterdam School of Management (the Netherlands) and an MSc in Petroleum Engineering from Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands).

Mr Berger joined the Board of Directors of Discover Exploration in November 2012.