Paul G. Van Wagenen, a native of Provo, has been appointed chairman and chief executive officer of Pogo Producing Co., a Houston-based oil and gas exploration company with 1990 sales of $155 million. His appointment came during a special meeting of the board of directors.

Van Wagenen succeeds William C. Liedtke Jr., Pogo founder, who died March 1. Van Wagenen's parents, Dean E. and Belle de Jong Van Wagenen, live in Provo.The new president joined Pogo in May 1979 as the company's first in-house counsel and was promoted to vice president and general counsel in April 1982. He has been a director of Pogo since 1988 and also serves on the board's executive committee.