Max Petroleum stated that Mr Johnson has over 26 years of experience in the oil and gas sector, including 24 years with major oil and gas companies. He has previously held senior positions with British Gas, Chevron, Texaco and Transworld E&P, with experience in Kazakhstan, the Middle East, West Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and the US.

Mr Johnson was the managing director of the North Buzachi project in Kazakhstan for ChevronTexaco from 1998-2003, where he established the first Texaco subsidiary in Kazakhstan, initiated production operations that grew to more than 9,000 barrels of oil per day.

Jim Jeffs, executive chairman of Max Petroleum, said: The appointment of Mark as CEO means that Max Petroleum now has the senior management team in place to implement its ambitious growth plans. We have met the challenges of 2007. The company is in as strong a position as ever to capitalize on its highly prospective assets in Kazakhstan.