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Taiwo Olusina Is the New Helmsman at Conoil Producing

By John Ankromah, in Warri

Nigerian independent executes a generational and ideological change at the top

Taiwo Olusina has made the transition from asset manager at Afren to the very top of Conoil Producing. He took over from Ebi Omatsola, the iconic explorationist who built the company from scratch. Dr. Omatsola has moved on to be a Non- Executive Director of Mike Adenuga and Co, a sister company to Conoil and the telecoms giant Glo, both owned by the enigmatic Nigerian businessman Mike Adenuga.

The handover of the levers of Conoil Producing from 73 year old Omatsola to 48 year old Olusina, is interesting as much for the age difference as it is for the contrasting backgrounds of the two men. A passionate explorer, Omatsola was Chief Geologist at Shell when he left to work at Conoil in 1990. Although Conoil ended up being largely a production company, (2014 average, ~ 9,000BOPD), Omatsola’s personal, ongoing interest, has remained how to look for radically new ways to find oil.

He is the co-creator of the escalator regression model, a comprehensive explanation of the architecture of the Niger Delta basin. He is widely regarded as the continent’s foremost exploration thinker.  In his last three years at the company, Conoil turned up a string of discoveries at the mouth of the Niger Delta basin and in the south east offshore.

It is also instructive that Omatsola was fond of criticizing drilling engineers for not being faithful to the play concept that the average well is meant to probe. In private, he would make such jokes as “Is he a driller?” This is why it is deeply ironic that the man to take over from him after 25 years is a career drilling engineer.

Mr Olusina’s profile was forged in the crucible of ExxonMobil’s globally reputed drilling department. A supremely self-assured man, he has over 24 years’ experience on the oil patch. His experience covers project and design management; operations, drilling and completions management.

A member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Olusina has worked extensively in Nigeria and the United States. None of the two men returned our telephone calls. Omatsola’s shoes may be enormous ones to fill, but Olusina’s remit is clear: double the production at Conoil in the first two years and seek to quadruple it in the five year term. Those who know that former asset manager for Ebokfield  insist that there are no challenges he can’t handle.


Igiehon Takes Charge of Shell Gabon

By Fred Akanni

Anglo Dutch major effects leadership changes in its Africa operations

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Ojulari To Step in As SNEPCO Boss

By Sully Manope, in Abuja

Bayo Ojulari is expected to take over as Managing Director of SNEPCO,

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Kachikwu Gets What He Negotiated

Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, appointed Group Managing Director of state hydrocarbon company NNPC in early August 2015,

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Sankie Storms Out The Door

Sankie Mthembi-Mahanyele resigned as chairman of South Africa’s Central Energy Fund (CEF),

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Equatorial Guinea Restructures Its Petroleum Sector

The Ministry of Mines, Industry and Energy of Equatorial Guinea has announced new government appointments and mergers of key internal departments that it says will streamline its operations and contribute to an overall improvement of governance in Equatorial Guinea
Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines, Industry and Energy, appointed Mr. Jose Manuel Abaga Mba to become his Chief of Staff.

Mba replaces Lucas Nguema Mbulito, who recently became the CEO of the public power company SEGESA. Meanwhile, Mercedes Eworo Milam has been named Director of Petroleum Economics, replacing Tomás Felix Ongo Ehapo. Mrs. Milam will also retain her position as Director General of Hydrocarbons, representing a merger of the Hydrocarbons and Petroleum Economics.

The Ministry has also merged the departments of Industry and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). Cesar Augusto Hinestrosa Gomez, who has overseen Equatorial Guinea’s application to become an EITI member, has been appointed Director of Industry will Jose Luis Elema Borengue is now Director of Quarries and retains his role as Director of Mines. Oscar Vicente Garcia Berniko is the new Director of National Content, replacing the outgoing Agustin Mba Okomo. Leoncio Amada Nze has been named Director of Company Relations.

These new appointments are coming several weeks after Antonio Engonga Oburu emerged the General Director of GEPetrol, the state hydrocarbon company, replacing Candido Nsue Okomo, who was appointed Secretary of State in the Ministry of Youth and Sports in April. GEPetrol also promoted Vicente Abeso Mbuy, as Deputy General Director, and Gabriel Mbaga Nchama, as Second Director.


Okoye is CEO of Neconde

With operatorship in hand, Malije Okoye has his work cut out:  doubling production from average 11, 709BOPD in 2015 to 23,000BOPD by mid-2016.

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George Osahon Bows Out of DPR

George Abiodun Osahon has turned in a letter, giving notice of the expiry of his two year tenure as Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). The department is the regulatory agency for upstream, midstream and downstream activities of Nigeria’s oil sector.

Mr. Osahon, 62, was appointed to the position on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 for a renewable two year term. He is one of the few appointed heads of parastatals of the Ministry of Petroleum that have remained in their jobs after the exit of President Goodluck Jonathan, who appointed them. Others have either not been rehired for another term, or fired out rightly by Jonathan himself.

Although Osahon serves at the pleasure of the incumbent President of the country, he expects to hand over to the most senior deputy director at the department by the close of business on Friday June 19, 2015. He wasn’t exactly forthcoming, when we asked him, on the question of what he would do if President Muhammadu Buhari requests him to stay on.

A former Group General Manager of the influential NAPIMS, the quasi regulatory and commercial subsidiary of the NNPC, through which the state hydrocarbon company interfaces with the major oil companies and the last General Manager of the corporation’s National Content Department (NCD), which transformed into the independent National Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Osahon was clearly the most experienced of the four Directors who passed through the DPR in the last 64 months. He has been part of most of the committees around policy overhaul, policy drafting, and policy implementation in the industry.

There’s no doubt that, for a man passionate about upstream consulting, who also happens to be the founder and substantial shareholder of Energia (the Nigerian independent and marginal field operator, currently producing 6,000BOPD), Osahon, has enough to do when he leaves, but who will succeed him at DPR?

The DPR used to have a vibrant bunch of deputy directors. But the generation of Segun Ogunjana (who superintended the relatively transparent 2003 Marginal Field Bid Round), Abiodun Ibikunle (latterly the Executive Executive Secretary of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency PPPRA) have all retired from the system.


Constable Will Hand Over Sasol In 2016

Sasol president and CEO David Constable has decided not to extend his contract of employment with the company, which expires on May 31,

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Ibeneche Takes Hold of Eroton

By Sully Manope, in Abuja

He’s the third former Shell MD to work for an indigenous company operating a former Shell Nigeria asset.

Four years after he retired as CEO of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), Chima Ibeneche has taken charge at the helm of Eroton, the Nigerian E&P independent.

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