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Directors/Senior Management


Mr Alex Underwood

Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer

LLB, BCom (Hons)

Mr Underwood joined Empire Energy on the 6th March 2018 as Chief Executive Officer of its wholly owned subsidiary Imperial Oil & Gas Pty Limited. Mr Underwood was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Empire Energy Group Limited on 30th August 2018.

Mr Underwood has nearly 15 years of specialist upstream oil and gas investing and financing experience. Previously he spent 2 years with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Singapore as Director in the Natural Resources Division and 9 years with Macquarie Bank in Sydney and Singapore as Associate Director in the Energy Markets Division. Mr Underwood commenced his career at BHP Billiton Petroleum in Perth and Melbourne. Mr Underwood holds Bachelor Degrees in Commerce (Accounting) (Honours) and Laws (Certificate of Specialisation in Corporate and Commercial Law).

Mr Paul Espie AO

Chairman/ Non-Executive Director

Mr Espie was given an Australian Order for distinguished service to the mining and infrastructure sectors through financial advisory roles, to public policy development and reform, and to not-for-profit organisations.

Mr Espie was the founding principal of Pacific Road Capital, a manager of private equity funds investing in the resources sector internationally, in 2006. Mr Espie was Chairman of Oxiana Limited during the development of the Sepon copper/gold project in Laos (2000 to 2003) and prior to that Chairman of Cobar Mines Pty Ltd after a management buy-out in 1993. Mr Espie was previously responsible for Bank of America operations in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and Chairman of the Australian Infrastructure Fund. Mr Espie is a Director of Aurelia Metals Limited, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Trustee of the Australian Institute of Mining & Metallurgy, Educational Endowment Fund, and a Director of the Menzies Research Centre.

Mr John Gerahty

Non-Executive Director

Mr Gerahty is a former investment banker and company director with wide experience in business and commerce. Mr Gerahty was a Founding Director of Macquarie Bank and has served as a director of a considerable number of publicly listed companies, including roles as Chairman of AFP Group PLC and MPI Mines Ltd. Mr Gerahty is currently Chairman of Hardie Grant Pty Ltd publishing group, its major shareholder Associated Media Investments Pty Ltd, and an associated company AMI Advertising Media Pty Ltd. Mr Gerahty is also a Director of Kaplan Partners Pty Ltd and Kaplan Funds Management Pty Ltd, as well as his family owned Liangrove group companies. Mr Gerahty was formerly a Director (and Chairman) of the Sydney Swans, a Director of Cricket NSW, and a Trustee of the SCG Trust.

Professor John Warburton

Non-Executive Director


Prof Warburton was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in February 2019. Prof Warburton has 35 years of professional oil and gas experience in operated and non-operated conventional and unconventional petroleum discovery, development and in new business delivery.

During his career John has worked in Western Europe, West Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and throughout the Asia Pacific Region including Australia and New Zealand. He has resided as an expatriate in a number of these regions where his values demand continuous focus on people, safety, cultural heritage and environment.

Prof Warburton’s career includes 14 years of senior technical and leadership roles at BP. He was Executive General Manager for Exploration & New Business at Eni in Pakistan, and until March 2018 John was Chief of Geoscience & Exploration Excellence at Oil Search Ltd.

Prof Warburton has been a Director of Empire’s wholly owned Northern Territory subsidiary, Imperial Oil & Gas Pty Limited (“Imperial”), since 2011 and was its Chief Executive Officer from 2011 to 2014. He continues to serve as a Non-Executive Director of Imperial.

Prof Warburton is a Non-Executive Director of ASX listed Senex Energy Limited where he also serves on the People & Remuneration Committee. Senex operates conventional oil and gas production and exploration activities onshore South Australia in the Cooper Basin and Coal Seam Gas developments in the Queensland Surat Basin.

Prof Warburton is a Visiting Professor in the School of Earth & Environment at Leeds University UK where he has also served for eight years on the External Advisory Board of ‘Petroleum Leeds’, the centre for excellence in Petroleum Engineering & Geoscience.

Senior Management

Mr Julian Rockett

Company Secretary

Mr Rockett was appointed Company Secretary in March 2019. Mr Rockett is employed by Boardroom Pty Limited in their Corporate Secretarial Services Division. Mr Rockett is a qualified and experienced Chartered Company Secretary and holds a degree in Law.

Ms Kylie Arizabaleta

Financial Controller

B.Bus (Acct) (Fin)

Ms Arizabaleta was appointed to the position of Financial Controller in 2012. Ms Arizabaleta has 8 years experience at Chartered Accounting firms working as an external auditor providing audit and assurance services.