Mr Wood will replace Claiborne Deming, who will retire effective December 31, 2008. Mr Deming will continue as a member of Murphy’s board of directors, and he will succeed William Nolan as chairman of the board’s executive committee. Mr Nolan will remain chairman of the board of directors.

Mr Wood joined the company in 1994 and has held several positions including vice president and senior vice president of frontier exploration and production and president of Murphy Exploration & Production Company.

Mr Deming said: David is an extremely talented and accomplished individual who has excelled in building an exploration and production program, recruiting exceptionally skilled professionals and executing world class projects. He has the leadership ability and skill to grow the company’s business well into the future and I wholeheartedly commend him to shareholders.