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Oyelana Moves to Plusher Offices At CWC

Wemimo Oyelana has been promoted to the position of Vice President for Africa at CWC, the UK based oil and gas exhibition organiser.

Until the promotion, she had been Vice President Production for Sub-Saharan Africa, a job she took after two years as the company’s Project Manager for Nigeria.

Ms. Oyelana has kept Nigeria as part of her portfolio, even when she was Vice President + Production for Sub Saharan Africa. And in her new job of overseeing the entire continent, she says she will still be managing Nigeria “but expanding our business scope” in Africa.

The daughter of a stupendously famous Nigerian musician (Tunji Oyelana), Wemimo has been with CWC for eight years, since she joined as a marketing manager in February 2011. She left CWC briefly in March 2014, joining rival Energy Net as a senior Marketing Manager. By October 2014, she had left that company, returning to CWC.

Oyelana holds a first class Bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing Communications from the University of Pedfordshire in the UK. Her Linked in entry says that she has “a demonstrated history of working in energy events within emerging markets. Certified in Project Management, skilled in Marketing Campaign Management, Business Planning and Sales. Strong media and communication background”.


Tullow Appoints Two Black Women to the Board

Irish founded, London Listed Tullow Oil, which styles itself as The Largest African Independent, has tweaked the membership of its board of directors, appointing two distinguished Black Women.

Sheila Khama, a policy adviser on the mineral, oil and gas industries at the World Bank and Genevieve Sangudi, Managing Director for The Carlyle Group based in South Africa, will join six white men and a white woman at the company’s Board Meeting on April 26, 2019, following Tullow’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 25 April 2019.

It would be exactly a year since Tullow welcomed its first female Chairman of the Board.

Dorothy Thompson, Chief Executive Officer (until the end of 2017), of Drax Group Plc, the international power and energy trading company, has been, for the past year, the only female on Tullow’s eight-person board.

Ms. Khama and Ms. Sangudi join the board as Tutu Agyare, the Ghanaian investment banker and only African on the board, exits after nine years. Mr. Agyare “has provided significant support and insight to Tullow, particularly with regards to Ghana, during his time as a director”, the company says in a release.

Sheila Khama’s job at the World Bank focuses on host government relations with commercial companies. She also represents the bank as an observer on the International Board of the EITI. She had worked in a similar role for three years at the African Development Bank, before taking up the World Bank job in 2016. Khama had earlier spent eight years with Anglo-American in Botswana as their Corporate Secretary before joining De Beers as their CEO in Botswana for five years until 2010.

Genevieve Sangudi has over 15 years of investment experience in Africa in the healthcare, financial services, oil & gas, petrochemicals, agribusiness and telecommunications sectors. She joined Carlyle in 2011 and played a lead role in launching Carlyle’s maiden Sub-Saharan Africa fund, including fundraising, strategy, origination and execution. Prior to joining Carlyle, Genevieve was a Partner and Managing Director with Emerging Capital Partners where she established and managed the firm’s Nigeria operations. Genevieve started her career in business development at Procter & Gamble in Boston.


Oyebamiji Takes Hold of NAPE

By Prospectus Matusha

Ajibola Oyebamiji has taken charge as President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), the largest group of technical professionals in the oil industry on the African continent.

He is the 36th President of the 44 year old body

Oyebamiji had been waiting for the position for a whole year. The 50 year old biostratigrapher with ENI, the Italian explorer, was elected President Elect by the 7,000 strong body in November 2017, but as the NAPE constitution goes, the President Elect serves a term of a full year, waiting on the President, all the while running the continuing education structure of the organisation, which includes the monthly technical meetings and the annual, five day conference, the biggest technical-focused oil and gas summit in Nigeria.

Oyebamiji’s daytime job at ENI is largely as representative on the board of the Stratigraphic Committee of the Niger Delta (STRATCOM). He is currently the Chairman of the Biostratigraphic Subcommittee, a consortium of seven (7) IOCs.

Under Ajibola’s watch the Stratigraphic Committee of the Niger Delta successfully published a treatise titled -“Cenozoic Foraminifera and Calcareous Nannofossil Biostratigraphy of the Niger Delta”  The document published in December 2016 is the first publication on the biostratigraphy of the Niger Delta. He co-authored the publication.

Ajibola Oyebamiji obtained a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech, Hons) degree in Applied Geology from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) in 1991.  He graduated with a Master of Science degree in Micropaleontology, from the University College London, in 1996.

He started his career with Mosunmolu Limited in March 1993, as a Micropaleontologist, where he spent twelve (12) years. He rapidly became the Head of the Micropaleontology unit, in that company, in less than two years, He doubled as the Technical/General Manager of the company before he moved on to ENI.











Helen Clark Is the Next EITI Chair

Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and UNDP chief, has been confirmed as the chair nominee of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)

She will take over from Fredrik Reinfeldt, former Swedish Prime Minister who will conclude his term at the EITI’s Members’ Meeting on 17 June in Paris. EITI is the global standard to promote the open and accountable management of oil, gas and mineral resources.

Clark served three successive terms as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 – 2008. While in government, she led policy debate on a wide range of economic, social, environmental, and cultural issues, including sustainability and climate change.  She then became UNDP Administrator for two terms from 2009 – 2017 and was the first woman to lead the organisation. She was also the chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.

“It is a great honour to be nominated as the next chair of the EITI,” Helen Clark said. “I am convinced that enhanced transparency and accountability in the management of the extractives sector can contribute to real improvement in people’s lives, notably in the form of economic growth, access to energy and better infrastructure, and diminished corruption. I am very much looking forward to working with governments, supporting companies and civil society organisations to ensure that the EITI delivers on its mandate, which will contribute to the accomplishment of the Sustainable Development Goals.”

EITI chairs are appointed for three-year terms. Former UK Secretary of State for International Development Clare Short and founder of Transparency International Peter Eigen have served as previous chairs.

Norway Banks on Taofik Adegbite’s Business Savvy

“We’d set up a consulate service in Lagos”-Ambassador

“If I need to be introduced to a Norwegian businessman, I go to Taofik”.

So says Jens-Petter Kjemprud, the Ambassador of Norway to Nigeria, speaking at a reception organised around the investiture of Taofik Adegbite as Honorary Consul of Norway in Nigeria.

He said it in a way that provoked laughter around the room. But the comment was more of a high praise than a joke, coming from someone who was awarded the Ambassador of the Year prize for 2017 by the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO). Translation: Jens-Petter Kjemprud was regarded the most business-friendly Norwegian envoy anywhere in the world.

“We decided on Taofik Adegbite, (among a few very good candidates), as a prominent Nigerian businessman because of  him doing his trade in sectors important for Nigeria and Norway namely oil and gas industry, his broad network of business partners in Norway, his innovative skills, his prominence in promoting local content and his personality and determination”, declared the envoy.

Adegbite is Chief Executive of Marine Platforms, an oil service company which owns two large Multi-Purpose Support Vessels, used for work in deep water oil fields, located off Nigeria.

Kjemprud is something of an African expert. He has served as his country’s representative on the continent since 2006; as Ambassador or special envoy in four African countries (Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Nigeria), a 13 year stretch punctuated by just two years as Ambassador to Iran. In his 30 months in Nigeria he has witnessed Adegbite, running “a well-established company which could serve Norwegian interests in Nigeria well”.

The primary connection between Marine Platforms and Norway was through construction of the $130Million African Inspiration, the newer and bigger of the company’s two vessels. Commissioned in February 2015, African Inspiration was built in Havyard Shipyard, located in the maritime cluster in the north west of Norway. The vessel deploys Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and associated equipment to water depths that divers can’t reach. The ROVs perform tasks on equipment and structures on the seabed and return to the vessel.

But the relationship between the Nigerian company and the Norwegian business sector goes farther back. Marine Platforms started dealing with Norwegian companies when it chartered its first vessel: African Vision, in 2008. Business dealings with Norway, however spiked with the African Inspiration project, which brought in the Guarantee Institute of Export Credits (GIEC), the Norwegian export credit agency, to guarantee the debt incurred in the construction of the vessel.

Post the vessel’s commissioning, Marine Platforms has, in the last three years, done over $500Million worth of business with both Norwegian companies and Nigerian firms with which it has served as links to Norwegian companies, according to Adegbite.

“Since we have had an Embassy here since 1962 my predecessors have not seen the need for an honorary consul”, Kjemprud says. “On my arrival, being based in Abuja, I decided that we needed a more solid, visible and permanent presence in Lagos since most of the approximately 70 Norwegian companies operating in Nigeria are based there, and thus started the process of identifying candidates. Usually we have Norwegians as honorary consuls but we decided to go for Taofik. We would also like to have an honorary consul in Port Harcourt but Nigerian policy does not allow more than one.

“The Honorary Consul mandate is to serve Norwegian residents and interests generally, but we also see the opportunity in him promoting bilateral relations and trade in cooperation with the Embassy. The consulate will be in charge of consular services apart from visa applications which is handled by VFS”



Kachikwu’s Aide, Gbite Adeniji, Leaves the Nigerian Ministry of Petroleum

Gbite Adeniji is leaving the position of Special Technical Adviser, Upstream &Gas, to the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum, at the end of December 2018.

He will be returning to private law practice, from which he joined the Public Service in December 2015.

A widely acknowledged oil and gas lawyer with a practice spanning more than a quarter century, Adeniji was one of the several key aides appointed by ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s Minister of State For Petroleum Resources, to provide intellectual grounding for policy thinking and execution and help build capacity in a ministry that had nothing to vet the proposals coming from (state hydrocarbon company) NNPC and (industry regulator) DPR.

“I planned to stay for a year”, he said over the telephone from Abuja, the country’s capital. “The plan was to design policy”. At the end of the year it was clear that the job wasn’t done as completely as he envisaged it, “so it became two years and then three”, he said. “But government job is never completely done”! He joked.

Adeniji is grateful for the opportunity. “I have had a ringside seat to seeing how the country runs and to help in a little way”. He has worked on domestic gas policy for a significant part of his career, so he was clearly seen as a fit.  Asked if there had been any substantial move towards integrating natural gas into the mainstream of the national economy in the last three years, he responds that the team at the Ministry of Petroleum had “pushed the needle a little”. There is, he says “a policy on the table, and a legislation coming”, and he refers the reporter to the website on which the Ministry congratulates itself on the progress of the Buhari years. He parries the question on whether the team of professionals assisting the Minister of Sate like himself have been able to build the capacity of personnel at the Ministry.

Adeniji will be going back to Advisory Legal Consultants, a Lagos law firm focused on energy and infrastructure, which he runs with his partner, Ike Oguine, former General Counsel at Chevron and NNPC.



Colin Klappa Breezed In and Breezed Out

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

Colin Klappa had one of the briefest tenures as Managing Director of an International E&P Company operating in Nigeria.

He took charge in January 2018 as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Addax Petroleum Nigeria Limited, the largest subsidiary of the Switzerland based, Chinese owned company, but by September 2018 he was out of the job, reported in the company’s internal memo as having decided to leave “to pursue other interests”.

Considering the gush of optimism in his January 13, 2018 letter to the staff, it is curious whether he was forced out or he simply decided he was leaving.

“It is great to be back and in this new role”, Klappa a dual British-Canadian citizen with a PhD in geology from UK’s University of Liverpool, wrote in his address to his colleagues, referencing, in a very vague way, the fact that he had worked in Nigeria once (between 1990 and 1994).

“I believe in the future of Addax Petroleum Nigeria and look forward to leading a transformation of this company that we and our stakeholders can be truly proud of. This is my goal”.

Klappa was taking charge of a company that was in distress; failing production, a large indebtedness to the Nigerian state and a plunging reputation. There were rumours stirring that Addax Petroleum Nigeria’s entire assets were to be sold and newspaper adverts arguing that if they would be sold, certain stakeholders had the right of first refusal.

“I see nothing but upside at APN”, Klappa had said in that first note. “Will it be smooth sailing and easy to revive the company and realize material growth aspirations? Of course not. But that is what we are here for and what makes the significant challenges that lie ahead of us ever more exciting”.

Depending on whom you talk to, there are varying opinions within Addax, as to why Colin Klappa left. Some tell Africa Oil+Gas Report that the scope of the challenges overwhelmed him. Others say that he didn’t move to douse the fires quickly enough and yet others argue that the Chinese leadership, some members of whom are also resident in Lagos, did not allow him a freehand to work.

Younhong Vchen, who was Deputy Managing Director operations, took over from Klappa on as Acting Managing Director on September 30, 2018.


Okpere To Take Hold of Trinidad From Early 2019

By Jalatu Madiebo, in Warri

The Nigerian geologist, Eugene Okpere, currently Shell’s Vice President Exploration for South America and Africa, is proceeding to a new job assignment in Trinidad and Tobago from January 2019.

Okpere is currently based in the Upstream Division in The Hague, Netherlands.

He will be taking charge as the Managing Director for Shell Trinidad and Tobago, in Shell Energy House, St Clair, Trinidad, in mid-January.

Prior to his promotion to his current job, Okpere was Shell’s Vice President Commercial &Business Development for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The 1990 Bachelor of Science graduate in Geology from Nigeria’s University of Benin, has had an intriguing career in Shell, since he joined the Anglo Dutch major as Seismic Interpreter/Operations Geologist in 1992.

He actually left Shell for Sasol in July 2009, spending close to four years in the upstream division of South Africa’s largest petroleum/petrochemicals company. He literally walked back to pick up where he left off in Shell in 2013.

The move to Trinidad and Tobago is a leap in Okpere’s career fortunes. Shell has been in that country for over a hundred years and at a point was the largest private sector employer. Its footprint was reduced when the state nationalised the oil industry in 1974.

Things began to change in the last five years. First, in 2014, Shell acquired the Spanish player Repsol’s 20% – 25% non-operated interest in Atlantic LNG. With the completion of the combination of BG Group and Royal Dutch Shell in February 2016, Shell assumed a major Upstream position where gas is supplied to both the petrochemical and LNG sectors and a majority interest in Atlantic LNG across the four train facility.

Shell is now present in seven offshore and onshore blocks (both operated and non-operated) as well as pipelines and a larger presence (around 50%) in Atlantic LNG, which was built in 1995 and was, at a time the world’s largest liquefaction facility; today it is the sixth largest LNG exporter in the world.



Forced out of Energia, Felix is Re-appointed By Festus Fadeyi

Felix Aimeyeofori, who was relieved of his position as Managing Director of Energia Limited last March, has got a new job at the Newcross/Pan Ocean Corporation Group, owned by the Nigerian businessman Festus Fadeyi.

He is back at the same place he worked over 10 years ago, only this time his position is higher.

Aimeyeofori takes charge as the Executive Consultant in charge of Technical issues at the Group, and all the General Managers, of Petroleum Engineering, Facilities and Geosciences, report to him.

It is a large place to be for a man who lost his job in a much smaller company less than five months ago.

Energia Limited is a Nigerian marginal field operator which produces less than 4,000BOPD in the western Niger Delta. The Newcross/Pan Ocean group operates four acreages, and has nonoperating position in a fifth; a marginal field, in the Western and Eastern Niger Delta.

Pan Ocean itself produces around in OML 6,000BOPD at optimum in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 98; Newcross Petroleum  has a 40% equity in Platform operated Egbeoma Field (3,500BOPD at optimum) and operates two undeveloped acreages in the Western Niger Delta. A third subsidiary of the Pan Ocean/Newcross Group is Newcross E&P, which operates OML 24, producing around 24,000BOPD at optimum.

Amieyeofori was forced to resign in the wake of restructuring of Energia Limited, carried out when George Osahon took over as Chairman of the company. Citing bloated expenditure and low efficiency, the board kicked out the CEO and the executive management.

From April 2018, Amieyeofori briefly ran Strategic E&P Ltd, a consulting company he co-founded.


Austin Avuru: Three Hard Knocks in The School of Life

By Toyin Akinosho

Austin Avuru, Chief Executive of Seplat, Africa’s largest homegrown E&P firm, most vividly remembers the day the company lost the bid for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in eastern Nigeria.

“That was one of our lowest points in this company because the acreage was going to be a company changing asset for us: it was going to give us the size that we seek”, Avuru reflected, in his office in Lagos, Nigeria, recently, as he prepared to celebrate a milestone that ties his own personal growth with Nigeria’s 60 year trajectory as an oil producing nation.

OML 29 is a sprawling, highly valuable property, spanning an area of 983 square kilometres (or 242,550 acres) onshore and holding some 2.2Billion barrels of oil equivalent, in proved and probable (P1+P2) reserves, in nine fields, according to a 2013 Competent Persons Report by NNS .

To put some context to the figures: Seplat, today, produces, on a gross basis, slightly higher than 60,000Barrels of crude oil and condensates and 400Million standard cubic feet of gas from five acreages, whereas OML 29 alone produces over 80,000BOPD, when there is no vandalism of evacuation pipeline.

“We had the cash on the table but we did not win OML 29. We were only a hundred million dollars away from Aiteo’s bid (to Shell, which was leading a divestment of itself, TOTAL and ENI from the tract). It was insignificant because we were talking about a $2.4Billion bid and $100Miilion was less than 5% of that, so it was insignificant”.

Avuru wonders whether the inability of Seplat to clinch OML 29 wasn’t due to “the politics of who Shell figured would more easily get the approval for the purchase” from the Nigerian government. “Otherwise they” (the company which won the asset) “couldn’t pay for one year after they got it, while we were going to write our cheque immediately because we had our money ready”.

It was the loss of OML29 that made such acreages as OMLs 25 and OML 55 important to Seplat, Avuru noted. “All these issues about OML 25 and OML 55 came because we lost the big fish”.

His disappointment about OML 29, Avuru explained, pales in comparison with a particular challenge he had faced when he was building Platform Petroleum, a marginal field operator. This was before he helped bring Platform, Shebah Exploration and M&P together to create Seplat.

“The biggest setback was the day I woke up and found out that cellar of the appraisal development well that we were drilling in Umutu had collapsed. We borrowed $10Miilion to drill that well and supplemented with our cash and in the end, the well cost us $19Million. We borrowed $20Million for the gas processing plant and our production was declining and we couldn’t borrow more. We were almost in the throes of death. This was in 2009 and that was when I scratched my head and thought ‘this is it’. The only thing that came to our aid eventually was the pipeline network that we had built all by ourselves to the cluster”, he recalled, referring to  a cluster of four oil fields in the Western Niger Delta, which evacuate their crudes into Platform’s facility. “The Ase River Pipeline was generating about $2Miilion in gross revenue in tariff every year. So that revenue stream was enough to negotiate a revolving credit facility with Skye Bank for $5Million. It was that money that we eventually used to work our way back to life”.

Not all of the huge regrets of Avuru’s life in the last 15 years were business related.

“One of the biggest potholes I have had was the day I lost my wife in 2005 after the two of us had inspected the site where we (Platform Petroleum) were building our flow station in Umutu and so on”.

Avuru remarried, several years later, and then this:

“And then the day I had to open my kitchen door to inform my wife that her 57-year-old father, who had been accidentally shot by a police man and was in the hospital, had died.

“I think those were probably my lowest points in the past 15 years”.

Otherwise, much of the path Avuru had travelled, since he left the NNPC in 1992, had been strewn with gold.

At least, so it seems.

Since he left NNPC as a star geoscientist (by his own account), Avuru had worked for Kase Lawal’s Allied Energy (which became Erin Energy, and has since ceased to be a going concern) and moved on to set up Platform Petroleum, from which platform he became the Chief Executive of Seplat, the only African indigenous E&P Company to be listed on the main board of the London Stock Exchange.

In the last 12 years he had been nominated by two successive Nigerian Ministers of Petroleum for the position of the Director of Petroleum Resources and had come terribly close to being appointed to the position of Group Managing Director of the NNPC, the hugely influential state hydrocarbon company. “I had a one-on-one interview with (President) Yar’Adua”.

To mark his 60th birthday on Friday, August 17, 2018, Seplat Petroleum’s management wove a theme around the fact that Avuru was born in the year that Nigeria first exported crude oil. An industry stakeholders lecture, at a princely venue overlooking the Atlantic, entitled 60 Years After: Preparing For A Nigeria Without Oil, was attended by over 300 people, a glittering gathering featuring the country’s top business brass, C-Suite level petroleum executives, energy bureaucrats and ranking politicians.

Full details of Austin Avuru’s career trajectory, his misses and hits, as well as blinding insights into how the world of petroleum E&P works in Africa’s largest hydrocarbon producer, is published in the August 2018 edition of the Africa Oil+Gas Report. Please click here…

This publication wishes him many more fruitful years in the service of his country.


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