New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) has appointed a new chief executive to replace David Salisbury who resigned earlier this year due to personal reasons.

Andrew Knight will move from a non-executive director position within the company to become chief executive on December 1.

The company said it had received strong interest for the role from candidates within New Zealand and overseas.

Knight is currently a director of Powerco, and several privately held companies, NZOG said.

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He has also held senior executive roles with Vector, Natural Gas Corporation and The Australian Gas Light Company as well as roles with Fletcher Challenge Energy and Coopers & Lybrand.

Departing CEO Salisbury joined NZOG in 2007 and resigned in June, just weeks after announcing a new initiative to explore for oil off the coast of Tunisia.

NZOG said at the time there was no link between Salisbury's unexpected departure and the imminent start of hearings of the Pike River coal mine commission of inquiry.

NZOG holds a 29 per cent shareholding in Pike River Coal, which has been in receivership since late last year, following explosions at the mine that killed 29 underground workers in November.

- NZ HERALD ONLINE