Robert Trice, the Chief Executive of North Sea oil producer Hurricane Energy, resigned, the group said on Monday after it had to give up its ambition to sustainably produce around 20,000 barrels per day and shut one of its pilot wells.
Trice was a proponent of the so-called fractured basement method, which involves recovering oil from fractures in hard and brittle rock, which some see as a risky way to obtain crude.
Trice will be replaced by Beverley Smith, a former BG Group employee and non-executive director at Hurricane since late last year.
"In evaluating options for the forward work programme against an uncertain macroeconomic backdrop, we will prioritise early low-cost production with the capital discipline needed to achieve financial resilience," Chairman Steven McTiernan said.
In a coup for Hurricane in 2018, Spirit Energy, backed by Centrica, invested almost $400 million in a Hurricane field.
Hurricane is currently producing around 10,300 barrels per day.
"The operations update is (...) concerning with production still running below the level we believe is required to repay the bonds and acknowledgement of the possibility a shallower oil water contact, which could have significant implications for reserves/resources," said BMO analyst David Round.
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla, editing by Louise Heavens)