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Tullow Appoints Landsec Man to the Board

Martin Greenslade has been appointed a non-executive Director of Tullow Oil, the Africa focused, London headquartered explorer.

Mr. Greenslade, an accountant, is Chief Executive Officer of CFO of Land Securities Group plc, (Landsec), a large listed property development & investment company with more than $18Billion of assets, focused on evolving consumer, work, retail, leisure & tech trends. He has also been appointed as a member of the Audit Committee and will stand for election to the Board at the 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Greensdale who will be appointed Chair of the Audit Committee, effectively replaces, Steve Lucas, non-executive Director, who is expected to step down from the Board following the conclusion of the Group’s 2020 AGM, following eight years with Tullow.

“Martin brings extensive financial experience to Tullow from his current position as Chief Financial Officer and member of the Board of Land Securities Group plc which he has held since 2005”, says Dorothy Thompson, Chair of Tullow Oil plc..

TOTAL’s Zimbabwe Man Now Heads One of Africa’s Largest Projects

Ronan Bescond was moved in September 2019 from a lack lustre job in Harare in Zimbabwe to oversee one of TOTAL’s biggest projects in the world.

He is Vice President and Country Manager for the Mozambique LNG project, a 12.88Million Tonne Per Annum facility under construction for around $20Billion.

Mr. Bescond will be based in Maputo.

He is, in addition to overseeing Mozambique LNG, also Managing Director TOTAL Moçambique.

TOTAL took over all of Anadarko’s assets in Africa after the American independent sold its entire shares to Occidental. The biggest ticket part of the transaction is the Moza LNG.

Anadarko had, indeed, taken the Final Investment Decision on the project after nailing agreements with buyers taking up to 11MMTPA of the 12.88MMTPA project.

Mr Bescond, a French national, has worked for the French major for 20 years and in the process acquired experience across the country;s business – both upstream and downstream – including a long history with the company’s LNG projects in Australia, Angola, Nigeria and Oman.


Chikezie Nwosu To Take Charge as Chief Executive at Waltersmith

Walersmith Petroman has appointed Chikezie Nwosu as Chief Executive Officer.

He will be in total charge of running the assets of the company, including the 7,000BOPD Ibigwe field in Oil Mining Lease(OML) 16, onshore Eastern Nigeria, the 5,000BSPD refinery currently under construction, and the 8% equity that the company has in NDWestern, which itself holds 45% in OML 34.

Abdulrazaq Isa and Danjuma Saleh, the company’s co-founders and Executive Chairman and Executive Vice Chairman respectively, will transmute, in the next six months, to non –executive chairman and non-executive vice chairman respectively. They will move “upstairs” to run a holding company, which includes other investments the company currently has and will have in the future.

Nwosu’s appointment is the first of many such appointments of planned at Waltersmith, which, Mr. Isa says, “is moving to the next phase of evolution” where owner/founders no longer run the company on hands on basis.

“We’d have a brand new management, including a CFO and a General Counsel, taking office in our new headquarters on Glover Road in Ikoyi”, Isa says. They take over a debt free company and set new targets for growth”. Isa insists, repeatedly that, as an owner/founder who is still going to be very much around, he wouldn’t be looking over Nwosu’s shoulders.

Nwosu is a widely regarded technical operative in the Upstream sector of the industry in Nigeria.

Chairman of the Nigerian Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for 2017/2018, he was, until December 2018, the executive director, technical at Addax Petroleum.

He, in fact, had been interviewed for Executive Director position at Seplat in 2017; with the potential to take over as CEO at some point in the next three years. But he didn’t take it.

Between his leaving Addax and taking the Waltersmith job, Nwosu was Executive Vice President at Tolea Energy in the Netherlands. He had spent 16 years with the AngloDutch major Shell before leaving as Regional Discipline Manager, Petrophysics, in 2012, when he joined Addax as General Manager, Development & Asset Management.


How We Arrived: From Osuno To Akinyanmi

When Ben Osuno was hired by ShellBP Upstream in Nigeria in September 1960, the company’s idea was to mix the expatriate white technical staff with some locals.

After 11 years and eight months in Shell(discounting the civil war period, May 1968-January 1970), the pioneering Nigerian petroleum geoscientist left for a government job and at some point became the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources, the country’s petroleum regulator.

Still, while there have been several generations of homegrown technical staff after Osuno, it took 42 years after 1960 to produce the first Nigerian managing director of a major multinational firm operating in the country.

Basil Omiyi’s appointment as Chief Executive of Shell Nigeria in 2002 was widely greeted as some form of validation of the capacity of the Nigerian to run a large industrial enterprise, but things have shaped up a little differently since then.

Today, it is less fashionable than it was 20 years ago to aspire to be a senior executive in a multinational company. Why not become a founder, co-owner and Chief Executive of an upstream resource company?

The careers that exemplify the new age include those of Layiwola Fatona, Austin Avuru, Emeka Okwuosa and Demola Adeyemi -Bero.

Twenty years after Osuno was hired by Shell, Avuru was a fresh graduate of geology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, serving his mandatory National Service at NNPC, the state hydrocarbon company; Fatona was returning home from Imperial with a PhD in Sedimentology; Okwuosa was two years away from a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at Ife and Adeyemi-Bero was still in higher secondary school in the UK.

Today, Fatona is retiring from Niger Delta Exploration and Petroleum, an integrated company with majority holdings in three upstream acreages in Nigeria and footprints in South Sudan; Avuru is the chief executive of Seplat Petroleum, the only Nigerian firm listed on the main board of the iconic  London Stock Exchange; Okwuosa’s Oilserv operates an upstream acreage in the Republic of Benin and  is the busiest hydrocarbon pipeline construction company in Nigeria. These are some of the industry’s ranking businessmen whose start up stories are profiled in the September 2019 edition of Africa Oil+Gas Report.

Our inaugural PETROLEUM PEOPLE SPECIAL overviews the emerging local and international personnel taking charge of things in the African E&P space. It is part of making sense of the paradigm shift in the industry, for the benefit of our subscribers.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report is the primer of the hydrocarbon industry on the continent. It is the market leader in local contextualizing of global developments and policy issues and is the go-to medium for decision makers, whether they be international corporations or local entrepreneurs, technical enterprises or financing institutions, for useful analyses of Africa’s oil and gas industry. Published by the Festac News Press Limited since November 2001, AOGR is a monthly, 40 page e-copy and hardcopy publication delivered to subscribers around the world. Its website remains and the contact email address is Contact telephone numbers in our West African regional headquarters in Lagos are +2347062420127,+2348036525979 and +2348023902519.

Nabbanja Moves to the Corner Office at UNOC

Proscovia Nabbanja has been appointed interim Chief Executive Officer of The Uganda National Oil Company, the country’s state hydrocarbon firm.

The Imperial College trained 41 year old takes over from Josephine Wapakabulo, who handed in her resignation last May, three years into the job.

Nabbanja had spent her entire career working in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, unlike her predecessor who was hired from outside the sector. She joined the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department PEPD of the ministry in 2000, right out of Makerere University, where she grabbed a Bachelor of Science (chemistry, geology), the first female technical staff to be employed. She rose through the ranks to become Senior Geologist by May 2013, supervising a team of professionals who review the technical proposals from the oil companies, on all oil wells-related issues. The data that her team collected was used to estimate the country’s reserves, from the Government side. She was then promoted acting principal geologist in the PEPD, from where she moved to UNOC at the take-off of the company in 2016.

As COO at UNOC she ran the technical division, which reviews technical proposals especially field development plans and petroleum reservoir reports.

Nabbanja was essentially Wapakabulo’s deputy all through the three years the latter was in charge,.

Her degrees from Imperial College are a Master of Science in petroleum geoscience and an MBA.

UNOC was founded in 2015 to oversee the commercial interests of the state in the petroleum sector. It holds 10% in the $10Billion Albertine Basin wide oil development and is the parent company of the Uganda Refinery Holding Company.




Onichabor is the New CEO at West Africa E&P

Fidel Onichabor has taken over from James Golden as the Chief Executive Officer of the West African Exploration and Production, the upstream oil and gas subsidiary of the Dangote Group.

He was Deputy Chief Operating Officer at Seplat Petroleum until two years ago. In that role, he oversaw all Exploration, Asset Development & Drilling/Completions activities across Seplat’s four operated and two non-operated acreages. Prior to joining Seplat in 2010, Onichabor was, briefly, General Manager Exploration at Sahara Energy Fields, the E&P subsidiary of the Sahara Group.

But it was in the smithy of the exploration departments at Anglo Dutch Shell that his career was forged.

Onichabor had spent 28 years in that company, one of the largest publicly quoted enterprises in the world, which he joined in December 1980, rising from seismic interpreter through Specialist (Special Seismic Studies) and Team Leader- Onshore Eastern Niger Delta, to retire as Team Leader- Niger Delta Growth Team (charged with the responsibility of developing new exploration plays) in May 2008.

A turning point in his career was the role of Principal Seismologist at Sarawak Shell Berhad, in Malaysia, from 1997-2001

At WAEP, Mr.Onichabor will be seeing to the development of Oil Mining Leases (OML) 71 and 72 in shallow offshore, Central Niger Delta Basin, off Nigeria. WAEP purchased 45% of these two acreages from Shell, TOTAL and ENI for $300Million in March 2015, right in the thick of the crude oil price crash. Now is the time to monetise that investment.



South Africa Fires Its Head of IPP

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

The country’s energy sector is prone to haemorrhaging talent

Karen Breytenbach has been asked to vacate her position by South Africa’s Department of Energy (DoE) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

The 62 year old head of her country’s influential Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office had been on the job for more than eight years, but when her last contract expired in February, she was initially reappointed until the end of March and then until April 2020, so her receiving a letter on Monday July 22 indicating that she was no longer the head of the parastatal, was instructive, local media say. “She said no reason was given as to why she was being asked to leave”, Engineering News, an insightful business platform, reported. The medium also claimed that prior to her sacking, Ms. Breytenbach’s salary had been unpaid for five months.

Breytenbach’s exit from a parastatal in the troubled DoE conforms to a pattern.

South Africa’s energy sector has been haemorrhaging talent since the historic rolling blackouts of 2008, which led to a spat between Bobby Godsell, (then) chairman of the power utility Eskom and Jacob Maruga, its CEO. Maruga resigned and Godsell did. In the 11 years since, Eskom has had over six Chief Executives.

South Africa’s state hydrocarbon company, PetroSA has been run by an acting CEO for the last three years. The CEO of its parent company Central Energy Fund, the major parastatal in the DoE, was fired last March. There have been many resignations in the sector, most of which have had to do with alleged graft and underperformance.

In this muddied, chaotic environment, Breytenbach has created an oasis of excellence. Anton Eberhard, one of the country’s leading energy scholars and emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business, tweeted that Breytenbach has overseen $16 Billion investment in 112 renewable-energy projects with “zero corruption”, since 2011.

Breytenbach is highly regarded in the global energy patch, largely because of her superintending the development and roll-out of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, considered one of the best renewables competitive bidding programmes internationally.

The government of South Africa has recently admitted that the Energy Sector is the biggest drag on the economy of Africa’s most industrialised country. With this sacking, they are just reinforcing their own misgivings.


Yetunde Taiwo Is the CEO of AGPC

By Sully Manope, in Owerri

Feisty petroleum engineer takes charge of a $700Million Domestic Gas Project

Yetunde Taiwo has been appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the ANOH Gas Processing Company.

She takes the job three and half years after her appointment as Head of Gas Business at Seplat, the continent’s largest homegrown hydrocarbon producer, where she oversaw the development of one of the fastest growing domestic gas businesses in Nigeria.

On Mrs. Taiwo’s watch, Seplat grew its operated gas production capacity from 300Million standard cubic feet per day (300MMscf/d) to 525MMscf/d.

AGPC will manage a $700Million midstream development that will monetise 300Million standard cubic feet produced every day from the Assa North /Ohaji South fields, straddling Shell operated Oil Mining Lease(OML) 21 and Seplat operated OML 53, onshore eastern Nigeria.

Which means that in her new role, Taiwo takes hold of the biggest Domestic Gas project promoted by an Independent, indigenous Nigerian company. It’s firming up to be the biggest gas project delivered by a homegrown, African non-major oil company since Sasol inaugurated the 312MMscf/d transborder gas project between Mozambique and South Africa in 2004.

AGPC is something of a new NLNG Ltd, in that it is an Incorporated Joint Venture between a private hydrocarbon firm and a Nigerian state hydrocarbon company. In this case, Seplat and the Nigerian Gas Company are co-venturers.

Taiwo moved closer to her current position in January 2018, when she was appointed GM Commercial-ANOH. In that position, she was accountable for delivering all commercial agreements relating to the ANOH Gas Processing Company start-up. Those agreements include gas sales and purchase, gas marketing, condensate offtake, CHA (Crude Handling Agreements), LPG offtake and other commercial agreements with lenders and investors.

Taiwo was head of planning and economics at Seplat before she joined NNPC in 2013, as General Manager, Planning at NAPIMS, the Investment arm of Nigerian state hydrocarbon company. She was a member of the second-level management cadre that was retired as Ibe Kachikwu, swept into office as Group Managing Director of NNPC.

That forced retirement from NNPC, along with some of what oil industry watchers had come to see as “the selected tenth” of the NNPC, including Tim Okon-Group Coordinator, Corporate Planning & Strategy, David Ige- the nerdy, Group Executive Director in charge of Gas Power and Victor Briggs, also a former GM Planning at NAPIMS, cast a cloud of doubt on the quality of the mass retirement that Mr. Kachikwu executed at NNPC.

Taiwo started her career with Chevron Nigeria Limited in 1991, straight from National Youth Service, as a reservoir engineer. By the time she left the American major, for BG, in 2007, she was a planning advisor at the company’s Asset Management Division. She worked for BG as Economics manager before she showed up at Seplat in May 2011 as head of planning and economics.


Dale Rollins Heads to Papua New Guinea

Dale Rollins, the former Shell Nigeria Deputy MD, who retired as CEO of SAPETRO just two months ago, has moved to Oil Search as Executive Vice President of that company’s Papua New Guinea Business Unit.

Oil Search is listed on the Australian and Port Moresby security exchanges and its main operations are in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Rollins will be responsible “for driving overall performance for the PNG Business Unit and maintaining and developing our in-country stakeholder relations”.

The company also hired Bart Lismont to “lead the newly formed Technology and Value Assurance Group as the Executive Vice President”.

Rollins spent more than 20 years with the Shell Group of companies, finally serving as Deputy Managing Director for Shell in Nigeria, responsible for production operations and 25 ongoing major projects, with production capacity of over 1 Million barrels of oil per day, plus significant gas supply.  His last job was Chief Executive Officer at SAPETRO. It lasted till May 2019.

Dale Rollins has “strong governance and stakeholder engagement experience with various governments, community groups, regulators and joint ventures”, Oil Search says.

The appointment of Rollins and Lismont, Oil Search argues, “will strengthen the Company’s capabilities in opportunity maturation, project execution, safe and reliable operations, and capture important benefits from technology and innovation”.


Ibe Kachikwu May Return As Nigeria’s Minister of State For Petroleum

By Uti Wanogho, in Abuja

Almost every credible source, it seems, is “sure” that Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu will return as Minister of State for Petroleum in Muhammadu Buhari’s Second Term.

The Africa Oil+Gas Report had heard this speculation for over three weeks now and had struggled with the story, especially as Kachiku had been widely perceived to have been a lame duck Minister of State for Petroleum in the twilight days of President Buhari’s first term.

He, it seemed, was unable to exert any form of influence in the Ministry as Maikanti Baru, the GMD of NNPC (just retired) supposedly had better access to the President and the President’s top confidantes (Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff and Boss Mustapha, secretary to the Federal Government) and simply sidelined him in matters that, at least ought to pass his table if only for courtesy’s sake.

Still, the feelers we are getting is that he is ahead of the race, than anyone else, to clinch the job again.

President Buhari, it is expected, will keep retaining the job of the substantive minister of petroleum.

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