All articles in the Petroleum People Section:


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.


It’s Competence, Not Skin Colour

By Fred Akanni, Editor-in-Chief

Baker Hughes’ First African born Country Director in Nigeria says he is proud to be a local..

IF IMAGERY WERE WHAT THE JOB WAS all about, Tayo Akinokun would determine that his stint in Algeria, North Africa was the best in his 18 year career with Baker Hughes, the ranking oil field service technology provider.

It was a decade ago now (1998) and Akinokun was a Senior field engineer who flew in “those tiny planes”, and was dropped on various airstrips close to well sites and was taxied straight to locations to lead field crews in deployment of the latest technology in Electric Wireline Logging services for the acquisition of various forms of petrophysical data.

The view from the sky was an endless stretch of desert sands, barbed wire fencing the wells, gendarmes guarding the fences and oil workers of various tones of skin colour. “Unlike in Norway (an earlier assignment) which was mostly Norwegians, the workers here were French, Arabs, Americans, Africans, you know, like colours of the rainbow”, he recalls.

But the images that come back to him, most vividly, were those of the rock formations. In Algeria, the essential rock sequences are carbonates. “I was acquiring an image log and it looked like a movie. The fractures in the formation leap at you”. In acquiring the acoustic log “you cold easily see the changes in the “acoustic travel time” very vividly”, this signifies essentially varying lithologies.

Akinokun joined Baker Hughes straight out of National Youth Service (a mandatory, one year post-graduation, quasi military service in Nigeria) in 1990. For a fresh bachelor’s degree holder in Electrical engineering, the opportunities, in his own words, were there to work in any service or E&P company”. He chose Baker Hughes because it was a place he thought he could make a difference. “The service companies are good building blocks. They roughen you up and build you for the future. Yours is just to perform”. Before long he was leading and supervising crews as a young wireline logging engineer.

Four years into his career he was transferred to Norway as a field engineer in the North Sea. Algeria, in North Africa, came after three years in Norway.

As this is the country that hosts the wealthiest state hydrocarbon company on the continent, this magazine is keen on what Akinokun has to say by way of experience in Algeria.

“There were lots of issues with security when I was there. But it’s like any other place-Nigeria, the United States-if you go to the wrong place you are dead meat.”

He went to Algeria because he “wanted to gather a lot of experience in a different environment”. He worked on various locations operated by various multinational operators and all operated out of Hassi Messoud.

Akinokun’s first management job came after the Algerian experience. He was appointed Operations Manager in Port Harcourt for one of Baker Hughes’ operating divisions, Baker Atlas in 1999 and then his career really took off.

“It was the first time I was managing as many as a hundred people”. He became a sales manager thereafter, a job which, in the upstream oil service company sector, is considered elitist, as it focuses on customers. The job description was Customer Service Manager, Baker Atlas, Port  Harcourt Nigeria. This was to prove a step to a bigger, more strategic sales & marketing job in Houston which, if you look closely at the CV, might have been the training ground for his current position.

In Houston, Akinokun worked as the Senior Technical adviser in the Baker Atlas Global Marketing Group. He was deeply involved in new tool development across the corporation, in the justification to build new technology services. “My job was to initially provide technical and financial justification to senior management for investment in specific new technology work and subsequently work with the scientists to intimate them with what the external customers wanted and interface with internal customers who engage with outside customers”. When a product reached the testing stage, Akinokun’s job was look for a candidate field, anywhere in the world, to test the product, receive the test data as collated from the field, engage the scientists again in refining the tool/product and then help in the deployment in the market. “I was traveling to every corner of the globe doing this job. It allowed me to know the corporation extensively”.  That job provided the greatest opportunity for exposure and global networking and was probably the leeway and to his present position.

He returned to Nigeria in 2004, as Business Development Manager for Baker Hughes in Port Harcourt. The following year he became the Deputy Country Director for Nigeria, a job which, with the benefit of insight, has proven to be just a stewardship for the current job.

Now he runs all of the Nigerian operations which consist of approximately 400 staff, taking over from Phil Vogel, who was the Country Director until December 2007.

In a sense, Akinokun’s rise to Baker Hughes’ top job in Nigeria feels like a breeze and it’s clearly atypical, in the international segment of the oil service sector in Nigeria, let alone in the major E&P companies, where technical people throw big parties if they make it to field superintendent at 50 and go for huge thanksgiving services, if they become General Manager of any unit at all, at age 55. “I have never been stagnated”, he notes. “Every two years, something happens”.

He quickly chips in that he’s not telling what will happen in 2010. “I have an assignment to further develop, stabilize and reposition the organization for bigger successes in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Does that include, we ask him, getting an African, or a Nigerian for that matter, ready to succeed him? “It could well be a Nigerian as we have several bright Nigerian rising stars working for us both in Nigeria and around the world, but as an International multinational Company with several nationalities it doesn’t have to be a Nigerian”, he says. “The way we operate; the Country Director’s role is about the skill set, competencies and experience just like a Nigerian with the right skill set could lead the business in any of our locations and countries around the world”

If I can get here, anyone else can and it is not a matter of skin colour. Baker Hughes employs more than 34,000 people around the globe.

The Baker Hughes workforce in Nigeria is 90% Nigerian and 10% Expatriate. “Several Nigerians are also making a great career as key players in our international locations around the world”, he contends. “Training and development is a culture well entrenched in our organization which has contributed greatly to our success story. All our young engineers right from the first day at work are scheduled to attend training programmes in our educational training centres spread across the United States, the United Kingdom and the Middle East where they have the opportunity to compete and learn along with other international employees from several countries. A process which continues all through our career”.

Akinokun explains that the company has operated in Nigeria for 40 years and has been in the forefront of the development of the skill set and critical mass required for the development of our industry through the recruitment and training of young Nigerian graduate engineers who have eventually blossomed over the years to be key players at various levels of leadership across the industry.  “Such has been the case with my career and development over the last 18 years”.

 


Kingsley Is Crowned King Of NAPE

IN NOVEMBER 2005, Kingsley Ojoh earned the prestigious fellowship of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), Africa’s largest umbrella organization of petroleum professionals. He took the award a few months after he became Executive General Manager, Geoscience and Reservoir Engineering(GSR) at TOTAL’s Nigerian upstream subsidiary. In just a year after the fellowship award, he was elected President-Elect of the association, in a keenly contested election in which he beat the association’s former vice president, Victor Agbe -Davies, who is Exploration Manager at Amni, the Nigerian independent oil producer. As President-Elect, Ojoh will work for the next one year with the substantive NAPE president, Emmanuel Enu, incidentally his former teacher at the Obafemi Awolowo University 27 years ago.


Kelly Takes Luanda

KELLY HARTSHORN, FORMER General Manager, Exploration for Chevron International Exploration and Production, has settled into her new job in Angola as the oil major’s General Manager, Asset Development for the Southern Africa Strategic Business Unit(SASBU). Chevron operates 500,000BOPD, (its largest production in sub-Saharan Africa) in Angolan shallow offshore and deepwater leases. Hartshorn replaced Jeff Shellebarger who has been moved to Australia. Hartshorn started work with Gulf Oil in Houston in 1979 and has worked in Bolivia, Columbia and Venezuela. As a daughter of a diplomat, she says she is used to living in a new culture and learning a foreign language. Before she went to college in the United States, she lived with her parents in Costa Rica, the Phillipines, Mexico, Bolivia and Argentina, where she graduated from high school. In her new job, she says “I am looking forward to learning Portuguese”. The position Of GM, Asset Development in Angola is the No 2 job in the business unit, so Hartshorn has a lot on her plate. “I am looking forward to the wide variety of challenges this business faces every day-identifying and capturing new acreage to bolster our portfolio of assets; identifying and drilling new exploration and appraisal prospects to load the growth queue; finding creative, cost effective ways to move existing resources to reserves, etc.”


Agip Annoints Tope Olaleye

AGIP NIGERIA has chosen Tope Olaleye as the exploration manager for its largest, most productive asset: the 200,000BOPD Joint Venture acreages in the central Niger Delta. The quiet, self effacing career geologist was a surprising choice over the visible Geophysicist Charles Ojo, who delivers most of Agip’s technical papers in the conference circuit and comes across, often, as the face of the company. Olaleye took over the job from Ayo Ogunde, who has moved upstairs to run the Nigerian Agip Exploration, the new affiliate in charge of frontier acreages. Mr Ogunde is also more involved in top management decisions, doing scenario planning for the company. Olaleye trained at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Ile Ife, Nigeria, graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Geology in 1977 and earned a Masters In Business Administration MBA (Management) from the University of Lagos in 1989. He started work in Agip on April 1, 1980 as an Assistant Exploration Geologist and rose through various positions from Subsurface Geologist to Senior Exploration Geologist and Project Leader at various times. He was appointed Deputy Manager, Exploration Assets Development in January 2005 before the current move.


A Higher Calling For Yves-Louis Darricarrere

TOTAL, THE FRENCH OIL AND GAS supermajor, has announced the appointment of Yves-Louis Darricarrere, as President, Exploration and Production worldwide. He moves into the position in February 2007, when Christophe de Margerie takes hold of the entire corporation as Chief Executive Officer. Yves-Louis Darricarrere, 55, has had extensive international experience in the company, including 10 years working in Australia, Egypt and Colombia. With undergraduate and graduate degrees in economics from the Ecole Nationale Superierure des Mines and the Institut d’Etudes Politics in Paris, he joined Elf Aquitaine in 1978, working first in the mining division in Australia and subsequently in Exploration and Production. He held a variety of senior management positions starting in 1984, successively Managing Director of the Egyptian and Columbian subsidiaries, director of Acreage Assets Negotiations and New Ventures and Chief Financial Officer, Exploration and Production and Oil &Gas. In 1998, he was appointed Senior Vice President, Europe/United States for the Exploration &Production business and a member of the Elf Aquitaine Management Committee. In 2000, he was named Senior Vice President, Northern Europe for the Exploration & Production business and joined the Corporation’s Management Committee. He is moving to his next job from his current position of President of TOTAL Gas &Power, a job he has held since 2003.

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