Michael Verm was appointed chief operating officer of Australis in February 2016 and is based in Houston, Texas. Mr Verm, previously chief operating officer of Aurora in June 2011, continued in this role as president of Baytex Energy USA subsequent to the acquisition of Aurora by Baytex Energy in June 2014. He has over 25 years’ experience within the oil and gas industry and held a number of senior executive positions in North America and internationally. Mr Verm started his career at Kerr-McGee as an engineer and progressed to managing operations and reservoirs both on and offshore in the USA. This was then followed by senior positions in Canada and London culminating in his appointment as asset manager for producing platforms in the North Sea. In 2003, Mr Verm was appointed vice president and managing director of Kerr-McGee China Petroleum. Prior to joining Aurora, he provided Texas-based expertise in operations and production management services to local and international companies including establishing operating teams, asset acquisition and divestment as well as day-to-day operator capability with a focus on application of unconventional technology.