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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 12:18 GMT
Oil chief ousted over misconduct
Oil rig
The board unanimously backed Mr Rhind's departure
The head of embattled oil and gas exploration company Bowleven has been dismissed for "gross misconduct".

Chief executive Philip Rhind, 51, was ousted after an investigation into his conduct in office, the Edinburgh-based firm said.

He will also be stripped of his role as director and receive no compensation.

The news is the latest blow for the firm, which has seen its shares tumble in recent months after disappointing exploration news.

Last month, its share price sank 44% as it revealed it had suspended activities at a site in South Africa after failing to find gas there.

Drilling woes

Bowleven's shares had previously fallen 38% in October after revelations that it had failed to find oil at its well off the coast of West Africa.

There will be no impact on the finances of the company whatsoever
Terry Heneaghan, Bowleven

The departure of Mr Rhind briefly sent shares in the firm to record lows of 154 pence. By 1135 GMT, however, they had settled 1.5p higher at 168p, almost half of their flotation value.

The group made its debut on the Alternative Investment Market in December 2004 at 363p.

Mr Rhind, 51, joined Bowleven after spells as a director of HSBC Investment Bank and as chief executive of South African resources group Mvelaphanda Energy.

Chairman and founder of the group Terry Heneaghan declined to comment further on the reasons behind Mr Rhind's departure, but did add that the decision was not linked to financial factors.

"There will be no impact on the finances of the company whatsoever. It was a breach of contract which resulted in his dismissal," he told the Press Association.

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