Osa Owieadolor, Platform Petroleum’s Chief Executive Officer, is leaving the company at the end of May, 2021.
He will hand over to Longfellow Atakele, the company’s General Manager Asset and Deputy CEO.
“It has been 14 years of very fulfilling career Journey with Platform, laced with unique, broad and diverse experiences”, Owieadolor told the Africa Oil+Gas Report in a valedictory interview. “I cherish all the relationships I have made while here and would hold on to the many accomplishments that are part of my history with Platform”.
A Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Owieadolor spent seven years working for Shell and has had close to half of his 29-year postgraduation experience at Platform Petroleum, a marginal field operating company in which he has risen from production operations, served as pioneer technical lead, been chief operations manager and risen to Chief Operating Officer, before becoming the CEO six years ago.
Platform is an exemplary operator in the annals of Nigerian marginal oil field development and to be its CEO counts for a lot. It was the first to reach first oil, out of the 24 operating companies granted marginal fields in 2003/2004. With its JV partner Newcross Petroleum, Platform constructed a crude evacuation pipeline and a gas processing plant on the field. Since first oil in 2007, Platform has extracted 10Million barrels -with a remaining 10Million barrels left – in a field whose estimated reserves at the time of award was less than 10Million barrels. Owieadolor has been with the company sine the year of first oil.
“My learning has been very steep”, he says. “In a small company, you have a lot of responsibilities, you have to be involved in so many things, unlike what you’d typically have in a place like Shell. It’s been a very fulfilling experience, and we’ve also seen a lot of value creation”, he testifies. “I am extremely grateful to the Chairman, Vice Chairman, Board members, Management team and entire staff whom I worked very collaboratively with to achieve our board objectives as a family”.
The outgoing CEO explains that Platform is fortunate to have a robust succession plan in place. “This was carefully designed and we have taken time to ensure it was nurtured and implemented over the years”. Atakele’s ascension to the top job fits the plan. “The current GM Asset who is also my deputy is well groomed and matured to seamlessly fill the role”.
Asked what he would be doing next, Owieadolor demurs.
Austin Avuru, deputy chairman of Platform Petroleum’s board of directors, says he and Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the company’s Chairman of the Board, were hoping that Owieadolor would change his mind when he initially informed the board he was leaving. “We were expecting him to come forward with a request for his second term of three years”, Avuru recalls. “It (the renewal) would have been automatic. Just a formality. Instead, Owieadolor, who turned 51 two weeks ago, came up with the information that he was electing early retirement.
On his part, the chairman says he “felt a great trepidation” when Owieadolor told him in a zoom conference that he desired to go on early retirement, adding that the outgoing CEO “had a meteoric rise”, in the company’s career ladder. “Nothing prepared me for such absence from the Platform Petroleum Ltd family”, Mr. Briggs explains, especially after he had read Owieadolor’s “Forward Looking“ new year message to staff .
“He had done a good job”, Avuru says.