Andrew Austin

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Andrew Austin founded UK oil and gas exploration and production company IGas Energy. He was an executive director from 2004 and chief executive officer with full-time responsibility for the day to day operations and business development from 2009[1] until 2015.

Austin resigned as IgasCEO following the official completion of the company's landmark acquisition of Dart Energy, announced in late 2014.[2] At the time, Austin held a 5.3 per cent shareholding in IGas. Austin now works for Rockrose Energy.

Background

Prior to joining IGas, Andrew has been involved in a number of ventures as principal, specialising in energy projects in the gas, electricity and renewable sectors with a track record of raising substantial funding from both private and public equity. Andrew is responsible for the transformation of IGas from a non-operating partner to delivering material hydrocarbon production to Britain’s energy market. [3]

Fracking: 'a dreadful word'

At a 2013 all-party parliamentary group (APPG) event discussing the public perceptions of shale gas in the UK Austin noted that 'the industry has lost control of the language used to describe shale gas extraction, calling fracking a “dreadful” word.' [4]

Ministerial access

In 2014 Austin received a hand-written note from Matthew Hancock, the former minister for skills in both the Department for Business and Department for Education and later energy and climate change minister. Released under Freedom of Information rules, the note shows that the pro-fracking Hancock had emphasised that 'onshore oil and gas is a key agenda for me'.

Company shares

In January 2014 Austin bought 300,000 IGas shares, taking out a three-year loan, arranged by Meridian Equity Partners, with Equities First Holdings. [5]

Notes

  1. About Us, IGas website, undated, acc 16 April 2014
  2. Niamh Burns, IGas chief exec steps down, Energy Voice, 8 May 2015, accessed 16 September 2016
  3. Speaker biography Unconventional Gas Aberdeen 2014
  4. All Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas meeting on ‘The Public Perception of Shale Gas’ with Professor Sarah O’Hara, Pro-­‐Vice-­‐Chancellor, Nottingham University, 11 December 2013
  5. Ruth Hayhurst, IGas says disclosure of CEO’s share dealings was correct, DrillorDrop, 14 November 2014