All articles in the Petroleum People Section:

Kyari, Two Rabius, Front Runners for NNPC GMD Job

Mele Kyari, Rabiu Suleiman and Bello Rabiu have been frequently mentioned in the last weeks as front runners in succession to Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of Nigeria’s state hydrocarbon company, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Next month Mr. Baru, a career NNPC staff, turns 60, which is the mandatory retirement age..

Kyari is both the Group General Manager in charge of the influential Crude Oil Marketing Division of NNPC, as well as the country’s National Representative to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Suleiman is Group Executive Director at NNPC but currently on secondment to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources as Senior Technical Adviser Refineries, Gas & Power Infrastructure. He chairs the Ministerial Steering Committee (Steer Co) of the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme (NGFCP).

Rabiu is Chief Operating Officer, Upstream at NNPC. He joined the corporation in 1991 with a degree in Statistics, and has moved up rapidly, by NNPC standards, from senior planning officer through Technical Assistant to the GMD to Group General Manager, Corporate Planning& Strategy, the last job before the current position. He earned a Master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from London’s Imperial College in 1998.

Kyari is a geologist by training. Suleiman joined the NNPC with a degree in Chemical engineering.


Woji Weli is BW Offshore’s New Point Man In Nigeria

Woji Weli is the new Country General Manager for BW Offshore in Nigeria

He is responsible for the Dutch oil service provider’s Business Development, Project Execution and FPSO Fleet Operations activities in Africa’s largest oil producer.

Weli’s last job was as project director for the high profile, Shell operated Bonga South West Aparo project, a 150,000BOPD development currently on course of reaching Final Investment Decision.

He has spent thirty years with Shell, of which seven (7) was on onshore projects and  23 was in deepwater, in countries spanning Nigeria, USA and France. He claims vast experience in engineering, project management, assets management, production operations and petroleum economics. Five years previously in heavy metals manufacturing, in engineering and production. Project Director of mega projects, commercial arbitrator and mediator (ACIArb). Educated at University of Ibadan, BSc (Eng.) and Heriot-Watt University (MBA).

Puliti Is ENI’s  New Chief Upstream  Officer

The Italian geologist Alessandro Puliti has been appointed ENI’s new Chief Upstream Officer.

On September 1st, 2019, he will replace Antonio Vella, who will leave the Company at the end of the year, after a career spanning over more than 30 years.

“Alessandro Puliti has a solid professional experience, built over the years, in Italy and abroad, handling diverse and highly complex situations”, ENI says in a release.

Mr. Vella has strengthened ENI’s Upstream activities in the last five years, the company explains in the release, in spite of the challenging market situation. “He has done so by ensuring a significant production growth, a constant focus on operational efficiency and a substantial cash generation by his department, at a time of a highly volatile oil price”.

The 56 year old Puliti joined ENI’s Reservoir department in 1990, and since then he has held positions of increasing responsibilities within the Upstream business, both in regional management – as Managing Director in key countries such as Egypt and Norway – and in headquarter strategy, in departments such as Reservoir and Drilling. In September 2018, he was appointed Chief Development, Operations & Technology Officer. Alessandro Puliti holds a degree in geology by the University of Milan, and has graduated from Eni’s Master’s programme in Energy and Environmental Economics (MEDEA) at the Enrico Mattei school.


Dale Rollins Quits SAPETRO

Dale Rollins has quit the Nigerian independent E&P company, South Atlantic Petroleum Ltd, (SAPETRO) as Managing Director.

He left the company effective 31st May 2019, after about three years.

Toyin Adenuga will act as Managing Director of the company pending when the Board appoints a new MD.

It is not clear whether Mr. Rollins left of his own volition or was forced out.

Dale Rollins didn’t deliver on getting a new producing asset in Nigeria, or for that matter, anywhere in Africa, for SAPETRO, which is desperate to diversify its assets beyond equity in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130, which hosts two producing fields: the 104, 000Barrels of Oil Per Day and the 170,000BOPD Egina field.

But SAPETRO’s publicly tendered goodbye message to the outgone CEO was positive.

“Dale has played an important role in executing SAPETRO’s new business direction since 2016”, the company says on its website “We want to thank him for the three years of exceptional service and contribution to SAPETRO”, it explains. “We wish him all the best in his future endeavours”.

A former Deputy Managing Director of Shell Nigeria, Rollins has over 38 years oil industry experience, 26 years of which he worked for Shell (beginning August 1981). Long before he became DMD at Shell Nigeria, he was vice president, production and HSE for Shell Russia and chief executive of Salym Petroleum Development, a joint venture between Gazprom Neft and Royal Dutch Shell. He was senior vice president Africa, for Petrofac, the oil service company, before he joined SAPETRO.



Memo on The Global Energy Village

By Grard Kreeft

Outlining the Vision

In 2020 the Global Energy Village will be celebrating it’s 20th anniversary. We enjoy the institutional support from GIE (Gas Infrastructure Europe) and IGU (International Gas Union).  What started in Paris as a gas storage event focusing on the storage operators has now evolved to become an institutional strategic link. Hydrogen storage. The strategic missing piece in the renewable energy and energy transition debate. Battery storage can provide some relief but the huge capacity of the gas storages are in essence the key  strategic links in any discussion regarding energy transition.

The Global Energy Village has viewed the gas market unbundling, the evolvement of the storage market, the optimism of gas buyers and sellers, and the pessimism that has clouded the market for the last 5-7 years . Reactions have been mixed. Some storage operators are waiting for a better day; others are beginning to shut  their storages down; and still others are merging their activities.

One bright note has been the power-to gas transition: first the discussion of whether the gas networks could tolerate   a minimal mixture of hydrogen (H2). This discussion has evolved to new visions . Not whether natural gas networks can tolerate a minimum amount of H2 but how in the next 25 years the natural gas networks can be converted to H2 networks. Witness H21 in Leeds and the plans of Gasunie in the Netherlands. This is the vision.

The technical implementation and roll-out to a critical public are the next vital steps. Technically we are fast approaching acceptance from the energy community. RAG’s Sun Project has demonstrated that hydrogen storage will happen! Further evidence is being shown by the field trials now being carried out by Gasunie. And of course the Leeds H21 project.

The Rollout

The next phase will be the rollout to the Storage Community, both in Europe and Asia.  Given its long track record, my consulting company, EnergyWise,  can play a serious role. Our staging area is Leeds. In 2019 and again in 2020. Parallel to the European Global Energy Village GEV) we will be also launching a GEV in Japan to coincide with the Japanese 2020 Summer Olympics.  The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMC) seeks to promote hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs) and use the Olympic Games as a springboard.

Japan’s goal is that by 2030, it will reduce its CO2 emissions 26% below 2013 levels. In 2014 the Japanese Government unveiled its strategic Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Roadmap.

At the last three Global Energy Village venues Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) has presented and updated us on its Green (Hydrogen) Value Chain.  The project is focused on the mass production of H2 utilizing brown coal imported from Australia. The value chain uses similar patterns adopted for Japan’s LNG imports. A long lead time and a project with a long-term perspective (25 years plus). We hope to build on these experiences for our Japanese Global Energy Village.


April – November 2019 Marketing and Drafting Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

Note: We are looking for industry champions who see this as an opportunity to expand their energy horizons!

December- March 2020 Finalization Programme

Advisory Committee Meetings Europe & Japan

April 2020 Global Energy Village 2020 Summit

September/October 2020 Global Energy Village Summit


Gerard Kreeft, MA (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is founder and owner of EnergyWise.  The company has since 2001 managed and implemented the Global Energy Village in various European venues. The company has worked throughout  the globe: Angola,  Brazil, Canada, India, Kazakhstan, Libya and Russia  implementing oil and gas  conferences, seminars and master classes

Mantashe’s Appointment Comes with Loads of Expectations

By Toyin Akinosho, Publisher

Gwede Mantashe’s appointment as Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new cabinet comes with a lot of expectations.

Perhaps the most influential minister to come on board in the last 10 years, Mr. Mantashe is expected to provide much needed clarity in South Africa’s oil and gas sector.

Decades of legislative uncertainty have driven down investment in the hydrocarbon value chain. There are fewer tendencies towards new build refineries and the upstream Exploration and Production could do with far more encouraging signals.

It’s not entirely clear if the country wants to drive industrialisation with massive gas resources just outside its borders (in Mozambique and Namibia), enable the utilisation of several indigenous undeveloped discoveries struggling for financial sanctions, or improve the impetus for new finds.

Former Energy Minister Jeff Radebe, who has served in every Cabinet since Nelson Mandela was elected in 1994, is not included in Ramaphosa’s new, streamlined team of 28. Which means that the President wants transformative changes.

Mantashe is former Secretary General of the ruling party-African National Congress. He has a lot of clout. He was made Minister of Mineral Resources in a cabinet reshuffle in February 2018 and with this re-appointment, he combines the portfolios of energy and mines.

Mr. Mantashe must answer the question: “Does South Africa want to play in the oil patch”?


‘My Life and Career in the Prism of the Geologic Time’ -Fatona

Layi Fatona, Managing Director of Niger Delta Exploration and Production, sees his career in the prism of the geological time scale.

He delivers a lunch hour talk today, May 15, 2019, to the Nigeria Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), in that context.

“I am presenting my NAPE paper in a characteristically geological age format”, he declares to friends.

The event is the first in a series of events, spread over the next two weeks, to mark his 70th birthday.

The geologic time scale is a system of chronological dating that relates geological strata to time. It is used by geologists, paleontologists, and other Earth scientists to describe the timing and relationships of events that have occurred during Earth’s history.

The earth is 4.5Billion years old. Its oldest rocks were laid in the Precambrian. The current epoch is the Holocene.

Fatona doesn’t confirm whether his own personal Precambrian era is the time he was born, at a town called Ilewo, a satellite of Abeokuta, in Ogun State of Nigeria, on June 1 1949, but he does allow that his time at Geotrex Systems, which became some sort of laboratory for ideas to birth an E&P company, “falls within my Tertiary times of the geological scale”.

A doctorate degree holder in Stratigraphy from Imperial College, London, Fatona joined Shell, the AngloDutch major, in 1974 and has had a total of three careers, leaving Shell early to work at Geotrex Systems, a consultancy firm and moving from there to co-found NDEP, one of the continent’s top, home-grown independents, running the company, in its current form, for 23 years.

At the NAPE Technical session he will speak for one hour on Reminiscences on my 40+ Year Old Journey in the Oil &Gas Industry in Africa.

Two other main events in the 70th birthday programme are a Panel Session scheduled for May 27, designed to interrogate the subject of local entrepreneurship in Nigeria’s E&P industry and an industry lecture, tentatively titled: For How Long More Will the World Need Nigeria’s Oil?” to be delivered on May 30 by Bayo Akinpelu, former Exploration Manager at Chevron Nigeria, and founding President of the Africa section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).





Joyce Dimkpa Leaves as Group Head Oil&Gas in Access Bank

By Sully Manope, in Accra

The Group Head Oil & Gas in Access Bank has quit the job.

Joyce Dimkpa has moved into the “next chapter”, she says in email to friends and associates.

Ms.Dimkpa spent 16 years with the company.

She was in the position of Group Head Oil and Gas for at least a third of this period.

She is leaving at a time that Access Bank is turning, with its takeover of Diamond Bank, into Nigeria’s largest lender and one of Africa’s three largest.

It was widely expected, in the industry, that she would head the Oil and Gas team in the larger bank, considering that Diamond had only recently hollowed out its Oil and gas team with a number of sackings and forced retirements. Dimkpa says she is leaving “to enable me pursue other personal aspirations”.

With a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Port Harcourt,in Nigeria’s oil rich region, Dimkpa started her career with FSB. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant (ACCA) with a diverse professional background and extensive experience in International Corporate Banking, Finance Analysis and Project Finance.

She has attended several Executive Leadership Programmes at leading educational Institutions. Her outstanding performance over the years earned her a one year secondment with the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) where she was responsible for leading FMO participation in originating several project finance and equity transactions across Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Seven Items on Agenda for Industry Icon at 70

By Prospectus Mojido, West Africa Regional Correspondent.

Layi Fatona, the Nigerian petroleum geologist whose career most symbolises the idea of growth of African indigenous E&P companies into functional, thriving, integrated entities, will turn 70 on June 1, 2019.

Two industry lectures and a panel session, spaced out over the course of two weeks, are some of the highlights of the series of seven events, planned to mark the milestone.
Fatona’s core constituency, the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE), will host the first lecture on Wednesday May 15, 2019.

An industry lecture, planned for a more diverse, inclusive audience, will take place on May 30, 2019.
In between the two lectures, is scheduled a panel conversation, which comes up on May 27.

All three events are to hold at the Eko Hotel, located a whistling distance from the south Atlantic ocean in Lagos, the hub of Nigerian commerce.

The NAPE lecture on May 15 will be delivered by Fatona himself. Centering around the celebrant’s 45 year industry career, from the first postgraduate job at Shell, through consulting work at Geotrex, to building the Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) into the country’s first homegrown integrated oil company, “Reminiscences on my 40+ year Journey in the Oil and Gas Industry in Africa”, will be the May 2019 edition of NAPE’s monthly, lunch hour technical session.

The industry lecture on May 30, to be delivered by Bayo Akinpelu, former Exploration Manager at Chevron Nigeria, will tackle the large elephant in the room. For 50 minutes, the founding President of the Africa section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), will process the question: “For How Long More Will the World Need Nigeria’s Oil?” The event will be chaired by Ben Osuno, former Chairman of NDEP, former Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, (the Nigerian oil industry regulatory agency) and the first Nigerian earth scientist to be employed by Shell, the AngloDutch major.

Fatona, the celebrant, is especially fixated on the Panel Session scheduled for May 27, members of which are entirely his own selection. Their remit will be to interrogate the issue of Where Nigeria’s NEXT Real Oil & Gas Industry Entrepreneurs will come from. “The nation is in search of the real defenders of a prime development sector”, he argues.

Fatona worries that career earth scientists, petroleum engineers and other professionals with experiences spanning several decades, forged in the smithy of the E&P sector, are often not interested in either investing or running the business of the sector and too often, non- professionals fill the gap.

The “Vibrant Panel Session”, as he calls it, will be moderated by Uche Dimiri, founder and CEO of Depthwize, a Drilling services and rig operating company. Members include Eke U. Eke, VP & Group Managing Director West Africa at Schlumberger; Demola Adeyemi-Bero, CEO of First E&P; Bank Anthony Okoroafor, Chairman Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN) and Chief Executive, CB Geophysical Solutions Ltd; Toyin Akinosho, Publisher, Africa Oil+Gas Report; Emeka Ene, Chief Executive, Oiltest and a Director at both Energia and Eroton, both E&P companies; Austin Avuru, Chief Executive of London listed Seplat Petroleum, AbdulRazaq-Isa, Executive Chairman Waltersmith Petroman, and Bashir Koledoye, Chief Executive, D’Harmattan, an E&P consulting firm.

Did Beni Peters Wield the Axe?

An immediate response to the news of Aiteo’s restructuring of its executive management was the question: Did the company’s founder and CEO ask its top two executives to proceed to retirement?

Did Benedict Peters ask Chike Onyejekwe, the pioneer Managing Director of Aiteo E & P Limited and Emmanuel Ukegbu, the company’s Chief Operating Officer, to move over for a new set of executives?

Africa Oil+Gas Report learnt that the two of them had been given seats on the board of directors, shortly before the announcement.
But that action still doesn’t answer the question. Aiteo’s press statement, released last Friday, said the retirement of the two and all new appointments were “with immediate effect”.

Victor Okoronkwo takes over Onyejekwe’s job. Emmanuel Ogagarue will move into Ukegbu’s role, which has been rechristened ‘Director in charge of Asset Development and Engineering’.

Part of the former COO’s job will be overseen by James Iwoh, who moves up from General Manager Operations, to Director in charge of Production and Operations.

The query around Onyejekwe’s and Ukegbu’s retirement arises from comparison of Benedict Peters’ management style with peer companies in the industry as well as how leadership changes in similar companies have been effected in the last five years.
Aiteo E&P Ltd, like Seplat, Shoreline Natural Resources, Neconde, FHN, Newcross E&P, NDWestern, and Eroton, is a product of Shell’s divestment of several of its leases in the last 10 years.

None of these companies, with the exception of Neconde and Eroton, has effected changes in the topmost management positions since they acquired Shell’s assets between 2010 and 2015. In the case of Neconde and Eroton, the Managing Directors who were appointed at the time of the start-up of the companies were consultants who had helped in executing the acquisition strategies and their contracts specifically stated that they were to be at the helm for a short amount of time.

Again, contrary to the practice by other companies, Aiteo’s directors; in executive management or otherwise, are not published on its website. The founder’s name and career history are the only such items on the site. Africa Oil+Gas Report learnt that Mr. Onyejekwe had been a little ill for a while, which may explain his ouster, if indeed that is what Mr. Peters did.
The one area in which the Aiteo management restructuring fits the industry mode is that the new Managing Director is a former Shell employee.

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