Exploration company Providence Resources has appointed Alan Linn as its new chief executive.

Mr Linn also joins the Providence board as an executive director.

He has over 35 years of international oil and gas industry experience and after starting his career in the UK, has worked internationally with Lasmo, Cairn Energy, Tullow Oil, ROC Oil, and with Afren part of a restructuring process. 

He joins Providence from Third Energy Onshore where he was CEO. 

A chemical engineer, Mr Linn lives in Ireland.

After more than two decades in the position, Tony O'Reilly resigned as Providence CEO in December. 

Alan Linn said the opportunity to lead the commercialisation of an oil and gas field with the potential of Providence's Barryroe is very compelling. 

"I look forward to working with the board to bring new investment into the project to ensure value creation at the earliest opportunity," he added.

Providence chairman Pat Plunkett said that Mr Linn has the ideal mix of operational and strategic experience for the position and "will bring valuable insights to the board as we rebuild the business after the challenging past year". 

"Alan recognises the considerable potential of the company's assets, in particular Barryroe, and I am sure he will enhance our options in taking this exciting project to the next stage," Mr Plunkett said. 

Providence's Barryroe project is the most advanced and appraised oil project offshore Ireland.

But it still needs to be appraised by additional drilling before major capital commitment to its development will be made.

In October, Providence Resources failed to received $9m in expected funding from Chinese investor APEC Energy Enterprises. The funds had been intended to cover the exploration costs at the Barryroe site off the Cork coast.  

Mr O'Reilly said he had staked his reputation on the issue of the Chinese funding, which initially had been due in June and the deadline for which had been extended on several occasions. 

Earlier this year, Providence also announced a redundancy programme where its technical and support staff will be made redundant as part of the re-engineering of its business model.  

It also voluntarily surrendered the frontier exploration licence for the Diablo prospect.

Shares in the company rose by 3.2% in Dublin trade today.