Central Petroleum board puts some skin in the game

Richard Cottee took the reins at Central Petroleum about this time last year when the shares were fetching 11¢ apiece.

Richard Cottee took the reins at Central Petroleum about this time last year when the shares were fetching 11¢ apiece.

Mr Cottee, of course, was the man who took Queensland Gas Company from an explorer to a non-conventional gas supplier that was taken over for $5.7 billion in 2008.

The Cottee factor contributed to Central Petroleum's share price getting a decent old wriggle on, hitting 20¢ last year. But for most of the time since then, the stock has been trending downward, with the exception of a short-lived 52 per cent rally earlier this year.

Cottee recently reviewed the past 12 months and said various complex issues had been dealt with and a solid platform created to commercialise its acreage.

He said the group aimed to be in oil production at its Surprise discovery this year and he talked of the company becoming a new Australian force in the onshore conventional and unconventional petroleum industry.

Well, despite those bullish tidings a few weeks ago, the scrip on Friday hit a 52-week low of 7.5¢ before closing at 8.2¢.

That means that anyone who wants to hitch a ride on this conveyance can do so at lower prices than four members of the five-member board paid in recent days.

Mr Cottee, Michael Herrington, Andrew Whittle and Wrixon Gasteen paid somewhere between 9¢ and 9.4¢ for a total of $145,451 of stock.

Elsewhere, two sellers gave explanations of why they sold shares. Louis Gries, the chief at James Hardie Industries, said the proceeds of some of the sale would pay US state and federal tax obligations.

Gerea Aopi, an executive director of Oil Search, sold shares to pay an immediate tax liability arising from the exercise of performance rights.

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