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BP's CEO of Lower 48 David Lawler. Image courtesy of BP.

BP has appointed David Lawler, COO of SandRidge Energy, as CEO for its newly established US Lower 48 Onshore division.

The appointment is effective September 15, 2014. Lawler will leave Oklahoma-based SandRidge on September 3.

Lawler’s appointment is part of BP’s larger plan to restructure its onshore and shale strategies.

BP said the Lower 48 division will help it became more flexible so that it can “aggressively compete in the rapidly changing market.”

Lawler said that he plans to “leverage BP’s talent and resources while running the business as if it were an independent.”

The Lower 48 division will have separate governance, processes and systems from the rest of BP.

The division will also report its financials independently from the rest of BP beginning in 2015.

BP’s Lower 48 onshore assets extend from the Gulf Coast through the Rocky Mountains.

The company estimates its assets have an unconventional resource base of around 7.6 billion barrels of oil equivalent across 5.5 million acres. BP Lower 48 also holds interests in around 20,000 wells.

Lawler, 46, was promoted to COO of SandRidge last spring after a two year post as the company’s Executive Vice President.

Lawler previously served as CEO and President for four years at Oklahoma-based PostRock Exploration and also spent a decade at Royal Dutch Shell working in a variety of roles.

SandRidge Energy has started a search for Lawler’s replacement.