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Mustafa Indimi Is New CEO of Oriental Energy

Mustafa Indimi has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oriental Energy Resources, the Nigerian independent and operator of the Ebok field in the country’s shallow water south east offshore.

A son of the company’s founder and owner Mohammed Indimi, he has worked on the company’s core assets for the past ten years.

He takes over from Ignatius Ifelayo, the personable, but self-effacing petroleum engineer and former General Manager with Chevron and Texaco. That Mr. Ifelayo, for over five years, ran the Indimis’ family E&P company, in which five of the seven-person board of directors are all  Indimis, is itself a measure of management skill.

Mustafa Indimi, who holds a master’s degree in petroleum production engineering from Robert Gordon University, was a planning engineer with Afren, the London listed firm which funded the development of the Ebok field and operated it from farm in agreement in 2008 through first oil in 2011, until Afren’s bankruptcy in 2015, when Oriental became the full operator, by default.

Ebok currently produces between 13,000-14,000Barrels of oil per day, a steep drop from around 22,000BOPD five years ago, which was itself a plunge from 40,000BOPD output recorded I January 2012. Part of the new CEO’s remit is to secure investment to boost the output as well as finalise development of Okwok field, the company’s other asset.

Indimi began work as planning engineer in the year of Ebok’s first oil His undergraduate studies focused on Economic Evaluation & Investment Decision methods at the Colorado School of Mines.

He was promoted project manager two years later in 2013, with oversight of Ebok field.

The new CEO was appointed Executive Director Oriental Energy Resources when the company took over operatorship of the asset, by default in 2015 and has held the position since.


Ruth Nankabirwa is Uganda’s New Petroleum Minister, Will Oversee FID for Lake Albert

By Akpelu Paul Kelechi

President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has appointed Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, former Chief Whip in the government, as the new Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, a powerful position which includes oversight of power supply and exploration and production of petroleum resources.

With a new cabinet in place after a bitterly fought election, the Ugandan government can proceed to consider the one major item on the table: the Final Investment Decision for the Lake Albert development project, the Ugandan basin wide crude oil development, which has been on course for 15 years.

Nankabirwa, 55, is a career politician who has been in government since 1998. She replaces Irene Muloni, the Ugandan engineer who had headed the Energy and Mineral Development Ministry for 10 years since 2011, and saw much of the challenging twists and turns of the Lake Albert development, all through to April 2021, when the partners TOTALEnergies, CNOOC, and the Tanzanian and Ugandan governments, concluded the final agreements required to launch this major project.

The discovery of oil, via the drilling of Mputa 1 onshore Uganda, was made in 2006, a year before the well that led to Ghana’s first oil in 2010 was drilled. But the tyranny of geology (landlocked, waxy crude, over a thousand kilometres from the coast), and one of the industry’s most arduous regulatory processes (the Ugandan bureaucracy), stalled the development.

Uganda’s new energy minister served as Chief Government Whip, a Cabinet-level position in the country’s executive apparatus from March 2015 to May 2021, when the cabinet was dissolved. Before then, she was State Minister for Fisheries from May 2011 to March 2015 and was State Minister for Microfinance from February 2009 to May 2011.

A graduate of Fine Art (Bachelor’s degree) and Conflict Studies (Master’s), from Makerere University, Nankabirwa started her political work in 1994, when she served as a delegate to the Constituent Assembly.

In 1996, Ruth Nankabirwa was elected to serve as the member of parliament for Woman Delegate for Kiboga District. From 1998 through 2001, she served as Minister of State for the Lowero Triangle in the Office of the Prime Minister. Between 2001 and 2009, she served as State Minister for Defence. The Energy Minister’s j position, then, is her first as a senior Minister.


Tim Woodall Walks Out on FAR

FAR has announced Timothy Woodall’s resignation from its Board, one day to his proposed re-election as a director.

The exit, announced by the company June 21, 2021, was “effective immediately”. 

Mr. Woodall has been a Director since August 2017 and an Executive Director since September 2019.

He was FAR’s commercial director, overseeing the company’s upstream asset sales and purchases and overall deal making. 

Prior to taking executive role at FAR, Woodall, an Australian national, was managing director of Miro Advisors for six years, chief executive of oil and gas technical consulting firm RISC and chief financial officer of New Orleans based intermediate E&P company, Energy Partners.

His resume says he has worked as an executive director in the energy division at UBS’ London offices and spent three years in the Credit Suisse oil and gas team in New York. He was also head of corporate development at Woodside Energy, Australia’s largest E&P firm.

FAR said of Woodall’s decision to quit: “As a result of Mr.Woodall’s resignation, the resolution to re-elect Mr. Woodall as a director (Resolution 2) to be voted on by shareholders at the Company’s Annual General Meeting has been withdrawn. The Annual General Meeting will be held tomorrow, 22 June 2021. FAR advised on 7 May 2021 and in the Notice of Meeting dated 21 May 2021 that Mr. Woodall’s executive role would cease on 2 July 2021”.


Lekan ‘Remains CEO of Lekoil Nigeria’, Fights Termination by Lekoil Cayman

Lekoil Nigeria, has reacted to the termination of Lekan Akinyanmi’s contract as Chief Executive of Lekoil Limited, the AIM listed company which is actually Lekoil Cayman.

It says that the decision, announced June 3, 2021, is the culmination of the efforts of the consortium led by Metallon Corporation to take control of Lekoil Cayman as foreshadowed in the circular to shareholders of Lekoil Cayman dated 11 December 2020. 

Lekoil Cayman had said that the sack of Lekan Akinyanmi, with immediate effect, was due to a corporate governance breach. “The Company will commence a search for a new CEO and, in the interim period, Anthony Hawkins will act as interim Executive Chairman of the Company”.

But Lekoil Nigeria Limited declares, in a counter release: ”Mr. (Lekan)Akinyanmi remains on the Board of Lekoil Nigeria Limited and also its Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Akinyanmi created and executed the vision of an independent indigenous Nigerian energy company that is Lekoil, for this generation and in this emerging market and he has always worked with the best interest of Lekoil shareholders in mind”. It then says that “Lekoil Nigeria remains committed to the vision of developing Nigeria’s energy sector’.

Does it look complicated?

Lekoil Cayman is the investment vehicle which raises money on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange, for the property acquired by Lekoil Nigeria. Lekoil Nigeria owns the assets, the more substantial of which are, 40% of the Otakikpo Field onshore (producing roughly 5,500 Barrels of Oi Per Day gross) and 17% equity in the undeveloped Ogo field, in shallow to deep water Benin Basin offshore Lagos. The estimated reserves, unproven is stated as in excess of 500 Million Barrels of Oil Equivalent.  Lekoil Cayman has 10% of Lekoil Nigeria in equity, but may have up to 90% of the economic interest. This part is not clear.

Back to the issue at hand.

Lekoil Cayman’s notice of termination had added that Anthony Hawkins became interim non-executive chair only in April 2021, after Michael Ajukwu resigned, after having been in the chair since January 2021. 

But Lekoil Nigeria’s response argues that “recent additions to the board of Lekoil Cayman by Metallon Corporation and its collaborators should have been vetted (as is the practice of LekoilCayman) and due diligenced as required by the AIM Rules and as would be normal for listed companies”.

It notes that “seasoned oil sector executives such as George Maxwell, and former directors with deep knowledge of the continent, such as Mark Simmonds, have resigned and been replaced with directors lacking industry expertise, knowledge of the continent, impartiality and objectivity and appointed to secure for Metallon Corporation and its collaborators, the full takeover of Lekoil Cayman”. 

Lekoil Nigeria contends that “the procedure leading to the termination of Mr. Akinyanmi’s service is not compliant with the company’s corporate governance policies. Together with the appointment of unvetted new appointments to the board of Lekoil Cayman by the Metallon Corporation consortium, it is clear that the majority of the board of Lekoil Cayman is failing persistently to comply with its corporate governance code, yet the board of Lekoil Cayman determines on this ground to terminate the service of Mr Akinyanmi”. 

Conclusion, for now, by Lekoil Nigeria: “While we take legal counsel regarding this decision by Lekoil Cayman, we wish to assure our numerous stakeholders, especially the Nigerian people that the strategic national assets under our purview will be protected by all legitimate means available to us”

Conclusion, for now,  by Lekoil Cayman: “Lekoil is the lender under a loan agreement with Mr. Akinyanmi, of which outstanding balance, as of May 31 2021, was approximately $1.5Million. The company will commence proceedings to recover the Loan”.


Dorothy Thompson Eased out of Tullow’s Chair

Tullow Oil plc announced, June 3, 2021, that Dorothy Thompson CBE, Non-Executive Chair, had decided to step down from the company’s board of directors.

She hadn’t spent three years on the seat; having joined the Tullow Board in April 2018 and become Chair in September of the same year.

So, was she eased out or did she leave on her own?

The former, more likely, although Tullow didn’t respond to our query.

At the time of her appointment, Tullow had noted that Ms. Thompson was bringing executive leadership to the table, as well as public company governance and leadership, investor relations, corporate finance, accounting and audit, business development, risk management, technology and innovation.

15 months into her tenure, in December 2019, the company experienced a headlong crash in stock price as a result of poorly managed perception around production challenges in its Ghanaian assets, the jewel in the Tullow crown.

Tullow Board, under Ms. Thompson, saw off the company’s Chief Executive and its ‘legendary’ exploration director, then turned to the shareholders, pleading that the company had failed the market, with hardly any upbeat tone in the messaging. 

The statement made too much fuss of the gas offtake in Ghana, which is not one of Tullow’s main revenue earners; it expressed too much worry about Tullow’s debts, which had not yet reached unmanageable territory (no near-term debt maturities), and most crucially, it struggled to show that what had happened in the course of the second to third quarter operations were very minor slips in an otherwise smooth journey. Tullow’s story was far better than was painted in the December 9, 2019 statement.  Ms.Thompson had acted, at the time, like someone deeply uncomfortable with the day-to-day risks of the E&P game.

In the view of Africa Oil+Gas Report, the sharp crash in stock price came about as a result of an unnecessary own goal. 

Admittedly, Ms. Thompson has done a lot of work in the last one year on strategy. Tullow is laser focused on Ghana now; it plans to invest $2Billion into operations in the country over the next 10 years, hoping to reach peak production of 275,000 Barrels of Oil Per Day (close to double current production) and 150Million standard cubic feet per day from the investment. But the mistakes of 2019 were so expensive and had rattled the company badly. They had also been ill timed: happening unfortunately just before the year of the great crash. 

A search process to find a new Chair has been launched and is expected to conclude towards the end of the summer. Ms. Thompson will remain Chair of Tullow until the new Chair is appointed and an appropriate handover has taken place.


Schlumberger Appoints Siemens’ Vice President as its New Chief of Strategy

Schlumberger has announced the appointment of Katharina Beumelburg to the position of Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer, Schlumberger Limited, reporting to Olivier Le Peuch, Chief Executive Officer. The appointment is effective Monday, May 17, 2021.

Ms. Beumelburg was Senior Vice President, Global Transmission Services at Siemens Energy, a subsidiary of Siemens, a global technology company, headquartered in Germany.

She took a doctorate degree from the University of Stuttgart in 2005, after earning her first engineering qualification at Universität Siegen, over a five-year period (1995 to 2000), during which she also trained in industrial engineering at the University of Tulsa (1997-1998), 

“As a member of the executive team, Dr. Beumelburg will oversee corporate strategy, sustainability, marketing and communications activities across the Company”, Schlumberger says.

“Dr. Beumelburg has held various leadership positions in Siemens, including strategy development incorporating sustainability; management consulting; business excellence; and operationsmanagement”. 


Kaine Cliffe is Oilserv’s New GCOO, Replacing Gbite Falade

Oilserv Limited, the Nigerian gas pipeline contractor, has appointed Celestine Kaine Cliffe as the new Group Chief Operating Officer, [GCOO], of the company.

He replaces Gbite Falade, who left the company in February to become the CEO of Niger Delta Petroleum, an oil producing company.

“Cliffe is a 1990/1991 session First Class graduate of Chemical/Petrochemical Engineering from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology who is widely recognized as a highly accomplished Oil & Gas industry executive”, Oilserv Limted says in a release.

Mr. Cliffe has his work cut out. This company is quite busy.

Oilserv was one of the two main contractors which constructed the Oben to Obiafu-Obrikom (OB-OB-OB) pipeline, currently in commissioning. It is, as we write, building half of the 614 kilometre long Ajaokuta Kaduna Kano (AKK) Gas Pipeline.

The company says of its new GCOO, effectively its No 2 man, after founder/ CEO Emeka Okwuosa: “Cliffe has exceptional leadership skills and esteemed international exposure”. Oilserv explains: “Throughout a career that spans over 29 years, Cliffe has garnered a reputation as an innovative, result-oriented visionary leader in the global Upstream Oil & Gas industry. In close to three decades in the industry he has held various roles that span four continents and 14 countries including prime energy markets such as the United States of America (Gulf of Mexico), United Kingdom (North Sea), Nigeria, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Congo, Gabon, Cameroun, Ivory Coast, Chad, Sao Tome and Yemen”.


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.

 

 

 

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