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Key Petroleum Strengthens Board With Appointment Of Ian Paton As A Director

Key Petroleum (ASX: KEY) has appointed Ian Paton as its technical non-executive director and Dennis Wilkins as its chief financial officer and company secretary.

Paton is a geophysicist and petroleum engineer with substantial worldwide experience in the oil and gas industry having held senior technical and management roles in both exploration and development with companies such as Santos (ASX: STO), Conoco, Coogee Resources, New Standard Energy (ASX: NSE) and PTTEP.

He was been instrumental in many oil and gas discoveries in Australia and South East Asia and the United States over the last 30 years.

This experience will be especially valuable to Key as it focuses on early oil and gas discoveries.

"With Ian's track record in the oil business, his appointment to the Board comes at the perfect time," Key managing director Kane Marshall said.

"We are in the final stage of divesting the company's international non-core assets. Key has an exploration focus for 2012 to mature its Canning Basin Prospects with drilling likely to commence in the second half of 2012.

"Ian will be involved in the technical development of our projects as well as providing management skills at a time when we are aggressively accelerating the maturation of both our Australian conventional and unconventional play types to drilling status. Ian will be integral in also assessing and finding new opportunities."

Meanwhile, non-executive director Wilkins will now serve as the company's chief financial officer and replacing John Ribbons as its company secretary.

Marshall said Wilkins' extensive expertise in accounting, corporate finance, capital raisings and company strategy provide skills that are essential for the future success of Key.

"This marks an exciting time for Key and we are very pleased to secure the services of Ian and retaining Dennis on the board of the company. We have four directors and our model of keeping it lean and mean is consistent with these appointments, providing the skills necessary for Key's growth.

"We are in the oil business and our shareholders expect us to get on with the business of exploration, working up the prospects and drilling them. We now have the team in place to take the company forward and make oil and gas discoveries."

Key strategy

Key had in April unveiled its new technical strategy aimed at delivering early oil and gas success from its Canning Basin acreage.

As part of "The Canning Push", the company will map and identify additional drillable Carboniferous aged gas plays associated within the Anderson Formation in permits R1 and EP 104.

This includes testing of the Stokes Bay -1 well to upgrade contingent gas resources to reserves status and re-evaluating the Point Torment-1 gas discovery that flowed 4.2 million cubic feet of gas per day during drill stem testing.

Key will also seek to restore oil production from the West Kora-1 well and understand the additional Carboniferous oil and gas play types within the L15 production licence and identify additional Ordovician aged oil play opportunities in EP438 where operator Buru Energy (ASX: BRU) has recently completed 2D seismic and is planning to drill the Cyrene-1 exploration well.

Last, but not least, the company is in talks to bring in a new partner to EP 448 where it has been mapping the interpretation of existing seismic; collating geophysical data; and carrying out further technical work to unlock the potential of the Goldwyer shale there.

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