Mr Willes has over 25 years of extensive international experience in the oil and gas and energy industries. He is the Managing Director of Challenger Energy Ltd (ASX:CEL) and has previously served on a number of boards including the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), North West Shelf Gas Pty Ltd, North West Shelf Liaison Co. Pty Ltd, North West Shelf Australia LNG Pty Ltd, North West Shelf Shipping Services Co. Pty Ltd, Carbon Reduction Ventures Pty Ltd and Perth Centre for Photography.
His early career with BP involved several positions in petroleum product supply, trading and marketing, and as a lead negotiator for numerous gas transactions in Europe. He subsequently joined BP’s Group Mergers and Acquisitions team, where he led the divestments of Burmah Castrol’s Chemicals Division and Great Yarmouth Power Ltd, and advised the Corporation on a number of acquisition opportunities.
In Australia, Robert was BP’s General Manager of the North West Shelf LNG Project. Robert also had overall accountability for BP’s interests in the Browse LNG and Greater Gorgon LNG Projects, and for Business Development activities in Asia Pacific.
More recently, Robert was CEO of Eureka Energy Limited, and was instrumental in managing the recommended A$107million on-market takeover by Aurora Oil and Gas Limited.
He is currently Managing Director of Challenger Energy Ltd, an ASX-listed oil and gas explorer with exposure to the emerging world-scale shale gas province in South Africa’s Karoo Basin.
Robert is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. He holds an Honours Degree in Geography from Durham University in the UK, and has completed Executive Education Programmes at Harvard Business School in the USA and Cambridge University in the UK.