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 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.

Prof 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.

Mr Peter Cleary

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.

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.

Mr Ben Johnston

VP Business Development

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.

Mr Andrew Phillips

Company Secretary

Mr Phillips was appointed Company Secretary in November 2020. Mr Phillips has over 25 years’ experience working in senior financial and commercial management positions with public and multinational companies based in Australia and New Zealand and has served as Company Secretary for a number of ASX listed companies.