Mr Alex Underwood

Managing Director

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 Peter Cleary

Chairperson / Non-Executive Director

B.Com. & LLB

Mr Cleary was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in May 2020. Mr Cleary is a leader in the oil and gas sector. He holds relationships with commercial and government entities gained over a distinguished 29-year career representing Santos, the North West Shelf Venturers and BP in Asia. His executive career was in LNG, pipeline gas and chemicals operations.

Mr Cleary is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee and the Australia Korea Business Council. He is Chair and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Energy – SA Branch and the President of Water Polo South Australia.

He previously held positions as a Board member of the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA), the Australia China Council and the Australia Japan Foundation. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Prof John Warburton

Non-Executive Director


Prof Warburton was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in February 2019. Prof Warburton has 40 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 and resided in several regions, including Western Europe, West Africa, Central Asia, Middle East, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and throughout the Asia Pacific Region including Australia and New Zealand. 

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.

John 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 TMK Energy Limited where he also serves on the Audit and Risk and the Remuneration Committee. He previously served as a Non-Executive Director of Senex Energy Limited in the six years before takeover by POSCO/Hancock Prospecting. 

John is a Visiting Professor in the School of Earth & Environment at Leeds University UK where he has served for twelve years on the GeoSolutions External Advisory Board. 

Mr Louis Rozman

Non-Executive Director

B.Eng, MGeoSc

Mr Rozman was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in March 2021.

Mr Rozman has had a distinguished career in the natural resources sector across operations, development and project financing. His experience includes construction, project management, joint ventures and project financing including private equity.

He has held numerous senior management positions in the industry. His experience as Chief Executive Officer of CH4 Gas Limited (“CH4”) a successful Queensland coal seam gas developer and producer, is of direct relevance to Empire’s growth plans. CH4 was one of the first companies to commercialise a Queensland coal seam methane project. CH4 merged with Arrow Energy in 2006, and the enlarged business was later acquired by Royal Dutch Shell and PetroChina for >A$3 billion.

Mr Rozman is a mining engineer and executive with 40 years’ experience in operating and constructing projects in Africa, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Mr Rozman was the Chief Operating Officer of AurionGold Limited and was instrumental in the growth and development of its predecessor, Delta Gold Limited. He was the Chief Executive Officer of CH4 Gas Limited, during its pioneering coal seam gas development in Queensland.

Mr Rozman was a founding partner and director of Pacific Road Capital Management overseeing several of its key natural resources projects.

Mr Rozman is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (“AusIMM”) and a Chartered Professional (Management). He is the Chairman of the VALMIN Code Committee for the AusIMM and Australian Institute of Geoscientists. He has a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters in Geoscience (Mineral Economics) from Macquarie University.

Mr Paul Fudge

Non-Executive Director

Mr Fudge was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in August 2021. Paul brings significant business and investment experience to the board of Empire, having acquired vast investment experience in onshore Australian oil & gas, including being an early mover in the Queensland Coal Seam Gas industry and in the Beetaloo Sub-Basin.

He is the controlling shareholder of Pangaea Resources Pty Limited.

Ms Jacqui Clarke

Alternate Director


Ms Clarke was appointed to the board of Empire Energy in August 2021.

With over 30 years in professional practice with the Big 4, including more than 16 years as a Partner of Deloitte, Jacqui is an experienced professional with extensive executive track record for building a performance culture, driving profitable growth, developing and executing on strategy and delivering results. Jacqui advises a broad range of groups, including private family groups, entrepreneurial growth companies and not-for-profit organisations.

Her experience extends across Australia, NZ, China and Singapore and covers many industries and sectors including property, professional services, technology, agriculture and oil and gas.

Presently, she sits on the Fudge Group Advisory Board, acts as Treasurer and Non-Executive Director of the Humpty Dumpty Foundation and is also a Founder of Maxima Private.

Jacqui is a Chartered Accountant and Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Graduate of AICD (Australian Institute of Company Directors), Chartered Tax Advisor and Justice of the Peace.

Senior Management

Dr Alex Bruce

Chief Geoscientist

Dr Bruce was appointed Chief Geoscientist in March 2020 to lead the Company’s technical analysis and understanding of it’s Northern Territory assets and the wider Basin.

Prior to joining the Company, Dr Bruce was most recently with Cooper Basin focused player Bridgeport Energy which is owned by New Hope Corporation.

He is a well-credentialed oil and gas professional serving in similar roles with other mid-cap ASX oil and gas companies including AWE (now Mitsui), Drillsearch Energy (acquired by Beach Energy) and ROC oil.

Dr Bruce is the President of the NSW Branch of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia and earned his PhD from the University of NSW in Reservoir Characteristics.

Robin Polson

Chief Financial Officer

Robin joined Empire in July 2022. He has been deeply involved in the development of the Australian east coast gas industry for over 20 years and has extensive knowledge of the gas industry in general and the Northern Territory gas market in particular. Robin has strong relationships and experience working with key gas industry financiers, analysts, producers, transport providers, customers, and relevant regulatory bodies. He also has substantial experience in building and inspiring high performing teams within effective business and risk frameworks.

His most recent prior roles include financial advisory partner at Deloitte focusing on the Australian east coast gas sector, Chief Commercial Officer of Central Petroleum Limited and Associate Partner of Enable Advisory Pty Ltd advising Empire and other gas sector clients.

Robin’s wider experience also includes three years as a director of an investment bank, and almost 30 years with the big four accounting firms (Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers) on three continents, covering audit, corporate finance, M&A, and valuation & strategy. Robin has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Ben Johnston

VP Business Development and Company Secretary

Joined Empire Energy as Vice President Business Development. Ben is an energy sector specialist having worked across M&A, ECM and debt / project finance transactions while at leading banks including RBC Capital Markets and Commonwealth Bank. Ben is a chartered accountant having trained with KPMG and holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Ms. Sonia Harvey

VP Community and Government Relations

Sonia was welcomed into Empire’s management team as Vice President, Community and Government Relations, based in Darwin, in July 2021.

Ms Harvey joined Empire from the Energy Club NT where she was the founder and served as Chief Executive. In this role, she built deep relationships across Empire’s stakeholder groups including with Northern Territory Government and Shadow Ministers and Department leaders, service providers and peers in our industry.

These relationships will be invaluable to Empire as we progress through to development and seek to raise our profile in the Northern Territory.

Ms Kylie Arizabaleta

Financial Controller

Ms Arizabaleta was appointed to the position of Financial Controller in March 2012. Prior to joining the Company, Kylie worked in the Audit division of Chartered Accounting firms as a senior and lead external auditor where she gained broad experience in Audit and other Assurance Services in small to medium enterprises, public listed companies and not-for-profit industries.