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Osa Owieаdolor, Platform Petroleum’s CEO, Elects Early Retirement

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.

Oghogho Effiom Will Take Over from Iledare as SPE’s Africa Director

By Moremi Mthembu, in Cape Town

The Nigerian geologist, Oghogho Effiom, has been elected Africa Regional Director of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for 2022.

She has five months to take over from Wumi Iledare, a Nigerian reservoir engineer and professor of petroleum economics, whose term ends in September 2021.

The baton exchange will be a generational handover.

As far back as 42 years ago (1979), Iledare had graduated and was reservoir/production engineer trainee with Mobil Producing Nigeria. In contrast, Mrs. Effiom is 41.

The regional director-in-waiting “is a senior development planner for Shell Nigeria, where she enables integration between all disciplines to ensure consistencies across projects regarding development concepts, scenarios, and decisions”, the SPE says in a statement. She formerly was a senior production geologist with the AngloDutch major.

Effiom was the 2020 chair of the SPE Lagos Section, winning the 2020 Presidential Award for the section. In 2019, she received the SPE African Regional Service Award. She served as chair of the 2018 Nigerian Annual International Conference and Exhibition, and the 2016 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition Soft Skills Workshop on Strategic Planning.

Effiom holds a master’s degree in asset integrity management from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Benin in Nigeria.


George Maxwell, VAALCO Energy’s new CEO, is All Over the News

George Maxwell, the former Chief Executive Officer at Eland Oil &Gas, has kept a place in the media headlines since he led the sale of the company to Seplat Petroleum.

He has just been appointed Chief Executive Officer of VAALCO Energy, a smaller crude oil producer, but one with a prominent public image.

Three months ago, Mr. Maxwell was right in the middle of a boardroom spat at Lekoil, in which the founder Lekan Akinyanmi, squared off against the Zimbabwe based goldminer Metallon Corporation, which holds the company’s largest share (15%). Metallon prevailed, and the shareholders accepted its nominated directors, including Maxwell, Michael Ajukwu, who became chairman and Thomas Richardson to Lekoil’s board.

In his new role at VAALCO, Maxwell is expected to deliver the company’s goal “to continue to be one of the leading independent exploration and production companies in West Africa, with a strategy of achieving significant shareholder returns by maximizing the value of, and free cash flow from, its existing resources, coupled with highly accretive inorganic growth opportunities”. For the “accretive inorganic growth opportunities”, read: the new CEO is charged with increasing the company’s portfolio beyond the Etame asset in Gabon, VAALCO’s only producing property, which produced 4,662 net revenue interest (“NRI”) barrels of crude oil per day (BOPD), or 5,359 working interest (WI)(BOPD in Q4 2020 and reported year end 2020 independent Competent Person’s Report (CPR) of 10.4MMBO.

Maxwell, who has been a Non-Executive Director of VAALCO since June 2020 and resides in the U.K., “will continue to serve as a member of the Board”, VAALCO says in a statement. Considering that Andrew Fawthrop, former Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria, is VAALCO’s chairman of the board, there have been speculations that VAALCO, on their (Fawthorp and Maxwell’s) watch, will look closely at the possibility of acquiring mature Nigerian asset.




Melissa Bond is ExxonMobil’s New CEO in Angola

Melissa Bond has taken over from Andre Kostelnik, as Lead Country Manager / Managing Director for ExxonMobil Angola.

“I’ve supported Angola twice previously in my career and could not be more excited to get to lead this amazing team”, Ms. Bond says, adding that she was “Honored and humbled” to take the appointment.

The Civil Engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo was promoted to the new job from the position of Development Manager of the Delaware Basin at XTO Energy, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, in March 2021. She is the first female to hold the position.



Bond holds extensive technical and supervisory experience in strategic planning, drilling and development planning in both mature and emerging markets, including the U.S., Canada and Papua New Guinea.

Her career highlights include roles as Subsurface Engineering Manager at Imperial Oil between August 2014 and March 2016 and Operations Technical Manager in Papua New Guinea.

ExxonMobil has been active in Angola since 1994 and holds interests in three deep-water blocks spanning nearly Two Million acres, including a 18% stake in the prolific Block 17 that accounts for the majority of the country’s output.  


Nicholson, Shinol are Kosmos’ New Top Earth Scientists

Kosmos Energy has promoted Tim Nicholson to Senior Vice President (SVP) and Head of Exploration, and John Shinol has been promoted to SVP and Chief Geoscientist.

Nicholson and Shinol joined Kosmos in 2018 and have been integral to the company’s infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) efforts over that period, primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and Equatorial Guinea. The two earth scientists were both formerly at Cobalt International Energy where they were responsible for several large discoveries in West Africa (Angola) and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (North Platte, Anchor, and Heidelberg).

Tracey Henderson, the previous SVP of Exploration, has left Kosmos to pursue other interests.

Andrew G. Inglis, Kosmos Energy’s chairman and chief executive officer said: “As we see momentum return to our ILX activities in 2021, I am delighted to have two highly experienced, oil finders leading our exploration efforts. Tim and John have a long track record of proven-basin exploration success in our focus geographies of West Africa and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. We have a deep hopper of high-quality ILX opportunities, a strong bench strength of exploration talent and have already seen early success in 2021. I would like to thank Tracey for her time at Kosmos, particularly her contribution to the company’s frontier basin success in the past.”


EI’s New CEO is BP’s Former Head of Alternative Energy

Nick Wayth, formerly Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy at BP, will take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Energy Institute (EI), beginning May 4, 2021EI is a British headquartered global chartered professional membership body, which says it “articulates the voice of energy experts, taking the know-how of around 20,000 members and 200 companies from 120 countries to the heart of the public debate”.Wayth takes over from Louise Kingham, who has headed the EI and its precursor bodies for more than twenty years.

Ms. Kingham is stepping down this month to become UK Head of Country and Senior Vice President for Europe at BP.Wayth, who holds a PhD in Mechanical / Electrical Engineering and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from the University of Southampton, has spent nearly 22 years at BP plc in a broad variety of executive and management roles. Most recently he held the post of Chief Development Officer of Alternative Energy, where he led BP’s strategy and business development in a broad range of renewable technologies, including solar, offshore wind and digital energy. Through this role he was also a member of the BP Ventures Investment Committee, sponsoring several of BP’s venture investments.

Elohor Takes Over SNEPCO From Bayo Ojulari

By Sully Manope

Elohor Aiboni has taken over from Bayo Ojulari as Managing Director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO).

She is the first woman to take the job, which has become increasingly important as AngloDutch Shell increases its focus on deep-water, hub-scale opportunities.  

Mrs. Aiboni’s chief immediate task is to find a way to achieve Final Investment Decision (FID) for the pending Bonga SouthWest Aparo (BSWA) project, a job that Ojulari laboured over in the last three years. If she is lucky, she might even witness, on her watch, the 150,000BOPD (peak production) project from construction to first oil.

A 1999 bachelor of science degree holder in Chemical Engineering from the University of Benin, and Masters’ degree in Integrated Environmental Management from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, Aiboni has moved through the ranks, serving as operations support engineer in Shell’s Eastern Nigeria Division and team leader on the relatively large Obigbo oil field (around 160Million barrels reserves as of 2008), straddling two Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 11 &17. 

Her first look-in into Upper Management philosophy was as Business Analyst to the Executive Vice President Shell E&P Africa. She then moved on cross posting to Kazakhstan, where she was part of the Kashagan project, returning to assist in overseeing the divestment of Shell’s onshore eastern assets(OMLs 18, 24 & 29) in 2014/2015.

Aiboni’s first work on a Nigerian offshore asset was as operations manager of the Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) facility on the shallow water EA field, which is a SNEPCO asset, in 2015. She moved into deeper waters three years ago, when she was appointed Asset Manager for the Bonga project, Nigeria’s flagship deepwater field.

That appointment can now be interpreted as the training opportunity for Elohor Aiboni to take the reins of SNEPCO.

Newcross’ Finance Man Crosses Over to Niger Delta E&P as CFO

Adegbola Adesina has been appointed Chief Finance Officer at Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP), the operator of the Ogbele oil producing field and a 11,00BOPD gasoline refinery complex in eastern Nigeria.

He started on the job on March 22, 2021, crossing directly from Newcross E&P, where he was Head, Corporate Finance until the early weeks of-March 2021. Newcross E&P is a Nigerian independent producer and operator of the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 24, also in eastern Nigeria.

Adesina had previously worked as Chief Finance Officer at Greenville LNG Ltd, a downstream supplier of natural gas in the country.

“He will add leadership, strength, content and capacity to our existing vibrant Finance function team”, said Ladi Jadesinmi, Chairman of the board of directors of NDEP. The company’s finance team, the chairman added, has “hitherto, managed successfully the healthy upkeep of our financial activities and, yearly improving robust performances and success of the organization”.

Adesina takes hold of NDEP’s CFO job after a vacancy the company had painstakingly tried to fill for two years.

He comes armed with an Executive MBA (2019) from the INSEAD Business School, as well as a First-Class Bachelor’s degree in Accounting (2002) from the University of Lagos. He is an Associate Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), and has also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

“His immediate past 10 years have been spent leading multi-disciplinary project teams that provided management, financial and accounting advisory services for project-specific and corporate transactions”, NDEP says in a statement. “These roles involve a working understanding of the entire business value chain, with emphasis on how commercial arrangements and business risks impact cash flows and profitability. He brings to the group, these rich experiences and understanding of both domestic and international capital markets, having advised clients on listings and capital raises in Nigeria, London and Canadian exchanges”.





Kenya’s Petroleum Regulator Resigns over Graft Allegation

Pavel Oimeke, director general of Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), has resigned.

He is in court for allegedly demanding a $4,500 (Sh500,000) bribe from an employee of a petrol filling station. He was arrested by detectives from the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) in December last year for

EPRA had closed the station because of sales of unauthorised fuel. Despite paying a fine, EPRA allegedly continued to delay authorising the reopening of the filling station.

The charges stated that on December 2, 2020, Mr. Oimeke requested for a financial benefit of $4,500 (Sh500,000) from Wycliffe Odhiambo Oyoo, allegedly sending the message through a private messenger App, and assuring him that he would authorise the opening of the station: Nyang’ina Filling Station in Oyugis, Homa Bay County.

The EACC said an employee at the fuel station handed over the cash to Oimeke at his office. The employee had tipped off the anti-corruption agency. Following the handover, the EACC arrested Oimeke.

The anti-corruption court, headed by chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti, heard that on December 10, Mr. Oimeke received a bribe of $1,820 (Sh200,000) from Mr Oyoo, so that he could authorise the opening of the filling station.

The EACC said Oyoo handed over the cash to Oimeke at his office after he had tipped off the anti-corruption agency. Following the handover, the EACC arrested the EPRA chief.

At the first hearing, the court ordered the EPRA chief to deposit a bond of $6,400 (Sh700,000 )or an alternative cash bail of $1,820 (Sh200,000), to secure his release. Oimeke paid the cash.

Oimeke has had a stormy time in office since the commencement of his second three-year term on August 1, 2020, when an EPRA board meeting decided to send him on leave pending the outcome of a case where a petitioner, Emmanuel Wanjala, challenged the legality of the tenure. Wanjala had accused Oimeke of “abuse of office, mismanagement of a public institution and public resources, corruption, tribalism and favouritism which is uncharacteristic of a public servant”. The EPRA reinstated Oimeke on October 9, 2020 following a court hearing on October 6, 2020.



Andrew Mackenzie Is the Next Chairman of Shell

The Board of Directors of Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced the appointment of Sir Andrew Mackenzie as the new Company Chair with effect from the conclusion of Shell’s 2021 Annual General Meeting, scheduled for May 18, 2021.

He will succeed Chad Holliday who will step down on May 18 having served as Chair for six years and as a Board Director since September 2010.

Mackenzie, a British national, joined Shell’s Board in October 2020, after a distinguished career in the energy, petrochemicals and resources sector, latterly as Group CEO of BHP from 2013 to 2019. From 2004 to 2007, at Rio Tinto, he was Head of Industrial Minerals and Diamonds. Prior to this, over a 22-year career at BP, he held senior leadership roles in exploration, research and development, and chemicals.

“His contributions to geochemistry and earth science led to his appointment as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2014”, Shell says in a statement, “and he received a knighthood in 2020 for his services to business, science and technology”.

The statement adds that Mackenzie is bringing to Shell “his experience of leadership, his global outlook, and a deep understanding of the energy business and climate action”.

The search for the new Chair was led by Euleen Goh, Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director. The thorough and robust process included engagement with some of Shell’s larger investors, seeking input on the skills, attributes and sector knowledge that they considered important for the role. In addition to proven experience of leading a large, complex international organisation, the requirement was for someone with significant experience in capital discipline and with the ability to balance, and judge the timing, of the transformational changes that Shell needs to make.


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