Contango Oil & Gas Company (NYSE MKT: MCF) announced today that its Chairman and CEO, Kenneth R. Peak, would be taking a medical leave of absence from his responsibilities at the Company for up to six months. The Board of Directors of the Company has elected Mr. Brad Juneau as President and Acting CEO of the Company. Mr. Juneau was elected a director of Contango in April 2012. Mr. Juneau is the sole manager of the general partner of Juneau Exploration, L.P. (“JEX”), a company involved in the generation of natural gas and oil prospects. JEX entered into an Advisory Agreement with the Company in April to direct the operations of the Company, including oil and gas operations and new energy ventures. JEX will continue to generate offshore and onshore prospects for the Company. Prior to forming JEX in 1998, Mr. Juneau served as senior vice president of exploration for Zilkha Energy Company from 1987 to 1998. Prior to joining Zilkha Energy Company, Mr. Juneau served as staff petroleum engineer with Texas International Company for three years, where his principal responsibilities included reservoir engineering, as well as acquisitions and evaluations. Prior to that, he was a production engineer with Enserch Corporation in Oklahoma City. Mr. Juneau holds a BS degree in petroleum engineering from Louisiana State University. Mr. Juneau was also elected today as the President and Acting CEO of Contango ORE, Inc. While Mr. Peak’s condition has not been fully diagnosed, Mr. Peak will enter a hospital this week for exploratory tests for a brain tumor and is unlikely to return to active duty with the Company for at least several weeks. Mr. Peak said: “I expect to return to the Company promptly after completing my tests and undergoing any follow-up treatment that may be required. In the interim, I have the utmost trust and confidence in my close friend and long time business partner, Brad Juneau, to lead the Company in my absence. Brad and his team at JEX have been the driving force and innovation behind all our exploration successes as a Company over the years and in April Brad agreed to assume a more direct role in the Company’s operations. The Company has a portfolio of two significant offshore wells currently drilling below 13,000 feet approaching the depth to set intermediate casing, was the apparent high bidder on six new prospects at the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222, approximately 25,000 acres under lease in the emerging Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, as well as ongoing prospect generation efforts. These existing projects will be drilled/evaluated as planned, so we don’t view this absence as materially changing the activities or direction for the Company over the next year or so. In the interim, I want to thank my wife, my family, my friends and my colleagues for their support.”
In trading on Monday, shares of Contango Oil & Gas Co. crossed below their last reported book value — defined as common shareholder equity per share — of $30.68, changing hands as low as $30.63 per share.