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Akinlawon Is SPE Chairman

Adeyemi Akinlawon has taken over as Chairman of the Nigerian executive council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers(SPE), a global organisation. It’s a big step from his being Vice Chairman,  Chairman – Elect 2009/2010. He was Steering Committee Member of the SPE Applied Technology Workshop on Lessons Learned in Deepwater Field Development in the Gulf of Guinea, Abuja,  Nigeria, held in December 2008.

Akinlawon participated as a Mentor in the SPE e-Mentoring Programme in 2007 and was also Chairman, Technical Papers Committee, SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference & Exhibition (NAICE). His day time job is as Manager, Gas Commercial at Chevron Nigeria. He has more than twenty- six years experience in the Oil and Gas industry, starting as a Graduate Assistant with the Department of Petroleum Engineering of the University of Ibadan in August 1983 after which he joined Texaco Overseas (Nigeria) Petroleum Company Unlimited (TOPCON) in April 1984, as a Petroleum Engineer. He worked with TOPCON up till December 2001, in several positions and increasing job responsibilities as: Petroleum Engineer, Reservoir Engineer, Senior Petroleum Engineer, Engineering Supervisor, Assistant Engineering Manager and Manager, Project Development before transferring employment to Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) in January 2002 after which he worked as Coordinator, Gas Commercialization and Manager, NNPC/DPR Relations (Deepwater & PSCs).


…Addax “Contributes” Two

Edward Skene, until recently GM, Business Services at Addax Petroleum in Nigeria, has joined SEPLAT as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). So has Bryte Oghor, who was GM HSE at Addax. Oghor will be overseeing a portfolio that includes Government and Community Relations.


Surprise: Meziane Is Under Probe

Mohamed Meziane, CEO of Sonatrach, the Algerian state hydrocarbon company, is one of several company officials under judicial investigation. Chakib Khelil, the country’s flambouyant Energy and Mines Minister, told the press in mid January 2010 that Sonatrach Vice-President Abdelhafid Feghouli “has replaced him for the moment.”

It looks like “the moment” is going to stretch a bit. Mr Khelil says he does not know if the investigation into Meziane, and several other senior Sonatrach executives, could have an impact on the firm’s operations. “We should wait a year and then we shall see.”

Sonatrach is the world’s 12th largest petroleum company and the most profitable NOC on the continent. It is the national petroleum champion for Algeria, which supplies about 20% of Europe’s gas needs.

Meziane was appointed in September 2003 to head the firm, which employs 125,000 people. Sonatrach made a profit of $9.2 billion in 2008 for an annual turnover of $80.8 billion, according to its last financial report. The company accounts for 98 percent of the foreign exchange earnings of the North African country.

An examining magistrate ordered Meziane as well as another company vice president and five executives to appear before him concerning allegations of corruption in company tenders for consultancy and security contracts, the El Watan and El Khabar newspapers reported.

Two other Sonatrach vice presidents, the former president of a bank and his son, as well as two children of Meziane and a private businessman have already been detained as part of the probe, El Watan said.

Numerous foreign companies operate in Algeria in partnership with Sonatrach, including TOTAL and GDF (France), Repsol (Spain), Rosneft (Russia), ENI (Italy), BP (Britain), Statoil Hydro (Norway), Anadarko (US) and CNPC (China).

It is rare in Algeria, for officials of Meziane’s ranking to be under probe. The ruling political elite in Algeria is a tight knit group


Frank Timis On The Hunt For Liberian Treasure

Frank Timis hopes his London based firm, African Petroleum (not any relationship with the Nigerian company of the same name), will have the best portfolio in West Africa, “better than Tullow Oil, better than any of the giants,” within the next six months.

He has raised up to at least $200million to list the company, the vehicle with which he hopes to exploit resources in deepwater Liberia and Sierra Leone.

African Petroleum owns the rights to two deepwater blocks in the two countries. The founder expects the company to acquire several other big blocks soon. And whereas the company has yet to drill a well, the Romanian born millionaire is confident of imminent fortune. “If even two of our seven or eight blocks work, we will be a $20 billion company overnight,” he told the Times of London.

There’s some data available to give people like Timis enough courage to take money from others and invest it in acreages in deepwater Liberia and Sierra Leone. In the first deepwater test in the Sierra Leone-Liberian Basin, American independent Anadarko encountered more than 45 net feet of hydrocarbon pay in September 2009. The Venus

B-1 well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 18,500 feet in about 5,900 feet of water i in block SL 6107 offshore Sierra Leone. Anardako said the Venus prospect is one of its “more than 30 identified prospects and leads on its West Africa acreage position, which includes interests in almost 8 million acres across 10 blocks offshore Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana”. The company said that with Jubilee on the east (Ghana) and Venus on the west (Sierra Leone), with Liberia in between, it has “ established bookends spanning approximately 1,100 kilometers (700 miles) across two of the most exciting and highly prospective basins in the world”.

That’s the kind of claim that could draw investors to African Petroleum. But there are problems.

The former head of Regal Petroleum, which was handed the largest ever fine by the Alternative Investment Market in London, is having an issue with the management of the London Stock Exchange, which has halted the flotation of the company, because of concerns about Timis’ controversial past.

Officials at the stock exchange told Timis’s advisers in December 2009 that the float could not go ahead if he had a position on the board. Their decision was based on his role at Regal Petroleum, an oil firm whose share price collapsed in 2005 after it emerged that its giant oilfields were unviable. Timis was chief executive at the time.

Investors lost millions of dollars after investing in Regal. The company produced a series of misleading announcements between January and April 2004 relating to a failed Greek oil well that led to a fine of $l million on November 17, 2009.

The new company, Africa Petroleum, will include assets off the Liberian coast that have been the target of a reverse takeover by Indonesia-focused Sound Oil, which had its shares suspended in October.

Mirabaud Securities was advising on the AIM listing, which should have taken place before Christmas 2009. But the London Stock Exchange wants Mr. Timis’ name out of the company’s board before it can allow the floatation.  If London doesn’t  want him, he told the Times of London, he will go elsewhere, perhaps to Toronto or Hong Kong.  “London’s not the only exchange,” he said, before adding with a laugh.  “I may buy one in Africa,” the newspaper reported.


Shukri Is Back On Seat

Shukri Ghanem, the chairman of Libya’s state hydrocarbon company NOC, whose “resignation” was widely reported in the business press, is back on the job, in the public eye and fully in charge. The NOC website gleefully reports his leading a Libyan delegation to the Council of Ministers of the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC) in Cairo, Egypt.

Dr Ghanem met with Ms Sandra McCardell, the Canadian Ambassador to Libya in late December 2009, before he led another delegation of Libyan officials to represent the country at the ministerial meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) held at the Angolan capital Luanda on December 22, 2009.

The website reports that the meeting with the Canadian diplomat explored the possibility of Libyan participation at the International Petroleum Exhibition to be held in the province of Alberta, Canada in June 2010. “The activity of Canadian companies operating in Libya and the desire of other Canadian companies to engage in exploration and production projects with the National Oil Corporation” was also discussed.

Ghanem was accompanied to the OPEC meeting by Ahmed Mohamed Al Ghaber, Libyan Governor at the cartel, Omar Mohammed Ghazal, the Libyan National Representative at the Economic Committee Ahmed Eljaroushi the former Libyan Representative at the Economic Committee Musbah, Ali Matouk General Manager of Administration and Services , and Mohammed Mahmoud Bin kura Coordinator of (OPEC) Office.

Those who accompanied the NOC Chairman to the OAPEC meeting in Cairo included Ali El Sogher Mohammed Saleh, General Manager of NOC, Mohamed Kamel Alzendah Libyan representative of the Executive Office of the Organization, Omran Abukrah General Manager of Arab Company for drilling, Ibrahim Abudreadah General Manager, Human Resources Development and Mr. Jamal Talha.


Ex OPEC Secretary General Named NNPC Chief

For the second time in 18 months, Nigeria has fired the group managing director of the state hydrocarbon company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation NNPC. The latest appointee to the insecure position is Mohammed Barkindo, a former Acting Secretary General of the elite Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries(OPEC). Mr Barkindo, who was Coordinator of Special Duties at the NNPC, took over from his boss, Lawal Yar’adua.

The appointment, though made by President Umar Yar’adua, took place less than a month into the appointment of Mr Rilwanu Lukman, as minister of Petroleum. Businessday, Nigeria’s influential financial daily, interpretes it as a Lukman move, but Mr Barkindo has operated at the very top echelon of Nigerian oil industry for some time. He was at various times head of the London office of the NNPC, Deputy Managing Director at the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited and Managing Director of Hyson and Carlson, a joint venture between Vitol and the NNPC, which lifts more than a quarter million barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil daily. The new NNPC chief holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science from Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, and an MBA from South-eastern University in Washington DC.


Vincente Gets A Fourth Chance

The Angolan government has re-appointed Manuel Vicente to a fourth three-year term as chairman of state-owned oil company Sonangol, a spokesman for the company said today.

Vicente will oversee the construction of an $8 billion liquefied natural gas plant in Soyo and a new refinery in Lobito, wrote Reuters, the global news agency. Sonangol is also expected to be listed on the Luanda Stock Exchange, which is due to be established in 2009. Angola rivals Nigeria as sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest oil producer, pumping almost 2 million barrels per day.

 


What Are They Doing Now?

Osten  Olorunsola was the reserves and technology manager for Shell Regional directorate, E P Africa until May 2008. He was high enough in the management of the Anglo Dutch major, to represent the Managing Director of the major subsidiary Nigeria at key functions. Now, he is the strategic Business Adviser to the country’s Minister of State for Petroleum.

In what’s seen as quite a routine with Shell and the Nigerian government, he was seconded to the ministry. It doesn’t happen like this with other majors. In their book, The Next Gulf; London, Washington and Oil Conflict in Nigeria, the authors Andrew Rowell, James Marriott and Lorne Stockman, argue that Shell management is inextricably tied to the Nigerian government that its difficult sometimes to determine which is which. It is the sort of appointments like Olorunsola’s that they refer to. But is this not a flawed conspiracy theory?


Chevron Appoints First Nigerian Deputy M.D

Ezekiel “Supo” Shadiya has been appointed to the position of Director NNPC/CNL Joint Venture in Chevron Nigeria Mid-Africa Strategic Business Unit.

The position is Chevron’s Number 2 job in Nigeria and it’s the first time a Nigerian

is stepping into it. Shadiya succeeds, and reports to Andrew Fawthrop, whose appointment as Managing Director was recently announced.

The Chevron Nigeria portfolio is the second largest in Africa after Angola, where Chevron’s production has exceeded the output of the Nigerian unit for upwards of three years.

Chevron’s decision to put an African in a deputy MD position follows examples by Shell, ExxonMobil and TOTAL.

But Shadiya’s position is powerful, as it oversees the entire JV portfolio.  In terms of capacity, it is in excess of 350,000BOPD gross.

Shadiya received his Bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Nsukka in 1979, his Master’s degree in Geophysics from the University of London in 1981 and his Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s College of California in 1996. He joined Chevron in 1983, as an Exploration Geophysicist and has held numerous technical and management positions of increasing responsibility.

Ali  Moshiri, the corporation’s President  in charge of Africa, said that the decision was based on “the broad leadership and technical skills, business acumen, and Chevron Way behaviors of this highly  respected individual”. The decision was taken by the corporation’s Global Upstream & PDC and the Human Resources Committee (HRC).


Bio Therm Elects Former Eskom CEO As Chairman

Allen Morgan has been appointed as chairperson of South Africa’s renewable and clean energy generation project developer Bio Therm Energy.

Morgan served as CEO of Eskom, the country’s power utility, from 1994 until 2000 and is currently a non executive director of the power utility and JSE.listed Kumba Iron Ore. He will continue to serve on the Eskom board. Bio Therm recently announced a $228Million equity commitment by Denham Capital. Bio-Therm was founded in 2003 and has a significant project pipeline in the energy recovery, clean and renewable energy field in South Africa.

“Allen is highly respected for his contributions to both Eskom and the electricity sector in South Africa. We are fortunate to have someone of his stature joining our team at this critical juncture in the global and domestic economy,” said Bio Therm Energy founder and CEO Charles Liebenberg.

“It’s going to be exciting to be part of a young and growing company at this stage of its development,” stated Morgan.

Bio Therm Energy makes use of carbon finance as created by Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol (the Clean Development Mechanism) to finance projects.

The company is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and develops, owns and operates turnkey energy waste to energy, renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the sub-utility range of 5 MW to 100 MW.

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