All posts tagged petroleum people

Carrara Is Saipem’s New Spokesman

The engineering service firm Saipem has announced the appointment of a new Director of External Communication and Brand Management.

Rossella Carrara will report directly to CEO Alessandro Puliti, with the responsibility of defining corporate communication strategies and developing the company’s image and reputation.

She takes over from Loretana Cortis, who is leaving the company.

Ms. Carrara will “specifically coordinate media relations activities, digital PR, crisis communication, and develop strategies for corporate image and identity management”, Saipem explains in a release.

The Italian graduate of Political science has more than 20 years’ experience as a strategic consultant supporting multinational companies in various sectors. She joins Saipem after three years as Vice President Corporate Relations and Sustainability of the Costa Group, the leading European company in the cruise sector, for which she managed communication, institutional relations and sustainability activities at global level. Previously, she was Deputy Managing Director of Apco Worldwide in Italy, where she was responsible for public affairs, stakeholder engagement, corporate responsibility and communication activities, both nationally and internationally. Prior to Apco, she was Senior Director at Burson Marsteller, overseeing, in particular, corporate and crisis communications.

South Africa’s New Electricity Minister Is Vested with Enormous Powers

By Marshal Gungubele, in Windhoek

Kgosientsho ‘Sputla’ Ramokgopa, the South African civil engineer appointed as his country’s new minister of electricity, has a mandate that reaches way beyond solving the crises at Eskom, the one-time largest power utility in Africa.

Ramakgopa was appointed in the context of the national state of disaster, declared in February 2023 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, “to respond to the electricity crisis and its effect.”

The escalation of the crisis would allow the government to implement “practical measures that we need to take to support businesses,” President Ramaphosa had declared.

The state of disaster mode would allow the government to remove red tape for energy projects, the President said. It will enable the exemption of critical infrastructure such as hospitals and water treatment plants from crippling power outages, which had held down economic growth for 15 long years.

Mr. Ramakgopa will be expected to facilitate the coordination of the numerous departments and entities involved in the crisis response, work with the Eskom leadership to turn around the performance of power stations, and accelerate the procurement of new generation capacity.

That means he will be performing some of roles that ordinarily would have been the remits of the Minister of Public Enterprises (Pravin Gordhan) and Minister of Mines and Energy (Gwede Mantashe).

Weeks before Ramakgopa’s appointment, Mr. Mantashe, himself a powerhouse in the ruling party ANC, had described the role of the would -be-Minister of electricity, as “project manager”, focusing exclusively on power outages. President Ramaphosa apparently thought differently. “To effectively oversee the electricity crisis response, the appointed minister will have political responsibility, authority and control over all aspects of the Energy Action Plan,” Ramaphosa said in the speech making the appointment.

South Africa experienced more than 200 days of power cuts in 2022, the worst on record. Eskom is saddled with $26Billion of debt, along with an ageing, lack-lustre- performing, fleet of power generating plants.

Ramakgopa, 48, was, prior to the new role, head of the Investment and Infrastructure Office in the Presidency. He was formerly the member of the executive committee (MEC) in charge of Economic Development and Agriculture in Gauteng, the province which hosts Johannesburg and Tshwane (the city formerly known as Pretoria). Between 2010 and 2016, he was the mayor of Tshwane.

Marshal Gungubele is the new Southern Africa correspondent for Africa Oil+Gas Report.

Durogbitan Moves to Plusher Offices at Amni International

The Nigerian independent, Amni International Petroleum has promoted Abimbola Durogbitan to the role of General Manager, External Relations and Technical Assistant to the Group Managing Director.

He is now, in effect, the spokesperson for the company, which operates three shallow offshore acreages in Nigeria and one deepwater tract in Ghana.

An earth scientist with a doctorate degree from the University of Manchester, Durogbitan was previously the company’s General Manager, Subsurface.

He had worked in several senior technical positions at Petrofac Integrated Energy Services, prior to joining Amni. At Petrofac, he interfaced with several E& P companies ranging from Oil majors to independents.

Durogbitan is a recipient of the Petrofac Group Eve Award; which celebrates Petrofac`s best employees (individuals) in their area of work. Before Petrofac-he worked as an Associate Senior Geoscientist with PetroVision Energy UK for two (2) years.

With over 24 years of global oil and gas industry experience working in senior technical and management positions with integrated independents and Oil service companies. Durogbitan is also a Certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI), a fellow of the African Scientific Institute (ASI) and a fellow of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE).

A COMEG Registered Geoscientist, and active member of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), European Association of Geophysicists (EAGE) and Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE). He became the first (founding) UK/EUROPE Chapter Coordinator of NAPE in 2016, the first NAPE Chapter in the diaspora.

Calib Cassim, Former Eskom CFO, is New Interim Head of the Utility

The South African accountant, Calib Cassim, has been appointed interim group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Eskom, the state owned electricity utility.

Cassim served as Eskom chief financial officer in November 2018.

“He is a registered chartered accountant with a master’s degree in business leadership”, Eskom said in a statement.

“With over 20 years of service in Eskom, his qualifications and extensive experience have provided Mr. Cassim with a deep understanding and appreciation of the Eskom business and the electricity industry, especially regarding the challenges facing the financing of operations and future expansion of the industry,” spokesperson Sikonathi Mantshantsha said.

Eskom’s board of directors a had earlier in the week, moved to oust the outgoing CEO, Andre de Ruyter, after he gave an explosive interview, talking about his time at Eskom, exposing the depths of corruption at the state-owned power utility.

Eskom Board Asks its Chief Executive to Leave Immediately

The Chief Executive of Eskom, South Africa’s power utility, has been asked by the Board of Directors to leave the company with immediate effect.

Andre de Ruyter was serving his last month in office, as he was set to leave at the end of March 2023, following his resignation.

“There will be an acting CEO in the meanwhile”, says Eskom spokesperson Sikhonathi Mantshantsha. “The Eskom board, together with the minister of public enterprises, who is the shareholder representative, will agree on the appointment of the acting CEO and Eskom will announce that as soon as possible.”

De Ruyter’s dramatic exit  follows his interview with the Television station, eNCA, in which he spoke up about corruption within the utility, with the African National Congress (ANC) and officials implicated in benefitting from Eskom. The CEO  said that he had contacted a minister after COP27, saying that he was concerned about the $0.5Billion that was being pledged. De Ruyter said that the unnamed minister responded to him: “The response was, essentially, you have to be pragmatic, you have to in order to pursue the greater good, you have to enable some people to eat a little bit.”

Eskom’s media statement said that the utility and De Ruyter had parted ways through mutual agreement.

How I Made it in Oil& Gas -Wole Ogunsanya, CEO, Geoplex

Geoplex Drillteq has, in the last 24 months, extended its business outboard of the oilfield service specialization, for which it is widely known. The Nigerian owned firm acquired a fleet of five land rigs from KCA Deutag; grabbed a technical partnership stake in the Nigerian operations of Yinson Holdings, which owns the Abigail Joseph FPSO, producing crude on Anyala field. Geoplex holds a 40% equity in Ndibe, one of the newly awarded marginal fields and, the company tells us, it has won a contract in the Electricity Supply Industry to build sub stations. What else does it not do? Geoplex is even thinking of embedded power generation.

In an interview with Africa Oil+Gas Report, we felt we had to find out from WOLE OGUNSANYA, the company founder and Chief Executive, how he spotted the opportunity…

AOGR: Do you want to give us a bit of a background history on how you got into the oil and gas business?

Geoplex MD: I graduated from the University of Lagos in 1987 and I went to Schlumberger to do my National Youth Service. After one year, I was offered a job as an engineer trained in different places in electric wireline. I also managed those businesses either as a field service manager or as an operations manager for the country. I worked basically all over the world but mostly in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. After a while, I thought it was time to leave. I left Schlumberger with some of my colleagues to start Geoplex. I spent about 13 years and we established this company in 2002 and we started our first operation in 2004. It took us two years to look for work, raise fund and buy the first set of equipment. From there, the rest is history in terms of us growing from one service to the other. That made us to have these multi-service portfolios which culminated in us acquiring the KCA-Deutang rigs and services in Nigeria in March 2022. I hope that is short enough for you.

AOGR: No, it’s not enough: how did you spot that opportunity because 13 years is really a short time because, relatively, people hang on to companies for a long time.

Geoplex MD: Schlumberger, in our own time, went round the world in the countries that they operate and hired the best engineers that they could find. In those days, you are just one engineer with your two technicians and you would be working for 2-3 days without sleeping. The job was extremely difficult and the attrition rate was high. Some of us had that attitude that we were going to do our job to the best of our abilities, but we also thought, if they were going to ask us to go, then we were prepared to go. There was never a strong mindset to seek a career in Schlumberger. The mindset was to do your job very well, have experience and try and save as much as money as you can so that if they ask you to leave…

This is a teaser…Watch this space for the full interview…

Ed Daniels, Shell’s Director of Strategy, to Step Down, as Unit is Discarded

Shell plc has announced the discontinuation of its Strategy, Sustainability and Corporate Relations (SSCR) Directorate in far reaching organization changes as Wael Sawan, the company’s new CEO, moves to stamp his authority.

Ed Daniels, Director of the SSCR, will step down from the Executive Committee effective July 1, 2023, and leave Group service thereafter. “Strategy will be brought together with New Business Development and, alongside Sustainability, will report direct to Sinead Gorman, Chief Financial Officer, enabling more streamlined planning and better capital allocation decisions”, Shell declares in a statement. ”Corporate Relations will report direct to Wael Sawan, Chief Executive Officer”.

The reorganization effectively reduces the size of the Executive Committee (EC) from nine to seven members “in a decisive move designed to simplify the organisation further and improve performance as we deliver our Powering Progress strategy”, the statement adds..

Under the changes, which are expected to take effect on July 1, 2023, Shell’s Integrated Gas and Upstream businesses will be combined to form a new Integrated Gas and Upstream Directorate led by current Upstream Director, Zoe Yujnovich. The Downstream business will be combined with Renewables & Energy Solutions to form a new Downstream and Renewables Directorate led by current Downstream Director, Huibert Vigeveno.

“I’m making these changes as part of Shell’s natural, and continuous, evolution”, says Wael Sawan, “Our core purpose is to provide energy to our customers, safely and profitably, while helping them, and us, to decarbonise. I believe that fewer interfaces mean greater co-operation, discipline and speed, enabling us to focus on strengthening performance across the businesses and generating strong returns for our investors”.

Chevron Names Mark A. Nelson Vice Chairman

Chevron Corporation has announced that Mark A. Nelson, executive vice president, Strategy, Policy & Development, has been named vice chairman and executive vice president, Strategy, Policy & Development, effective February 1, 2023.

In this new corporate officer role, Nelson will continue leading Chevron’s Strategy & Sustainability, Corporate Affairs, and Business Development functions, and take on additional corporate responsibilities.

“Throughout his career, and as a senior leader, Mark has made significant contributions to the company’s success,” said Michael K. Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive officer. “He has worked in every segment of our business, and his results-driven approach positions him well to help execute our strategy and represent Chevron more broadly.”

Nelson previously served as executive vice president of Downstream & Chemicals, vice president, Midstream, Strategy & Policy, and vice president of Corporate Strategic Planning.


Sagir Jajere is New MD, in Charge of Addax Operations

Sagir (Sajiru) Jajere, General Manager, PSC at the NNPC Ltd’s headquarters, has been seconded to Addax Petroleum, as the state hydrocarbon firm takes ownership of Addax’s Nigerian operations.

With Jajere at the head of the new management as Managing Director are Emmanuel Agwu and Ida Ekerelu, also seconded from NNPC. Ekerelu will act in CFO capacity, while Agwu will be Chief Operating Officer in the transition.

The threesome is effectively “the transition management team to manage oil production and develop the gas potentials of the acreages”.

NNPC’s take-over of Addax comes on the heels of a close-out and signing ceremony of an asset transfer, settlement and exit agreement (TSEA) with Addax, after a drawn-out dispute on Addax operated Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) 123/124, 126/137, that crystalized with a hurried, unilateral transfer of those assets by the defunct Department of Petroleum Resources, to two Nigerian owned companies in 2020.

“The protracted dispute has finally been laid to rest, paving the path for much-needed investment and growth on the oil blocks,” NNPC declared in a statement.

The Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the blocks was initially signed in 1973 between the NNPC and Ashland but was terminated after 25 years. Subsequently, the NNPC signed another PSC with Addax in 1998 on the blocks which were operated through Addax Petroleum for another 24 years. However, the Addax PSCs were associated with significant intricacies and complexities and attendant disputes, the statement added.

“In 2021, issues around the revocation of the licences were reconsidered and   the upstream industry regulator, the NUPRC, advised that the asset be returned to the Concessionaires, NNPC Limited, to ensure clean and amicable exit for Addax…On January 25, 2022, the NNPC Limited commenced formal engagements with Addax and the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Company (NUPRC), followed by series of meetings to ensure a swift closeout of the exit discussions and formalities.


Nosa Omorodion Wins the AAPG’s Outstanding Leadership Award

The Nigerian geologist Nosa Omorodion, has been announced as the winner of one of the most distinguished awards given by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists AAPG).

The award is Michel T Halbouty Outstanding Leadership (MTHOL) Award, given “in recognition of outstanding and exceptional leadership in the petroleum geosciences”.

The AAPG is the world’s leading professional society for petroleum geoscience, with over 30,000 members worldwide.

The MTHOL Award is named for Michel T Halbouty, an American geologist, petroleum engineer, and wildcatter who was credited with discovering more than 50 oil and gas fields.  In a long, storied, life (he died in 2004 at the age of 95), Halbouty twice declared bankruptcy, but came back each time to regain wealth. He authored hundreds of technical articles on petroleum geology, and two book-length histories of famous oil fields. Halbouty is often described, including in his New York Times obituary, as “legendary.”

The award is one of the top two of the 12 awards announced for 23 geoscientists from across the world for 2023.

The honorees, approved by the AAPG Executive Committee, “were selected based on service to the profession, the science, the Association and the public”, the AAPG says on is website.

Most on this year’s award list are American; but there are also Canadians, Italians and Nigerians.

Apart from Mr. Omorodion, who is an Executive Director at the Nigerian operations of Schlumberger (the giant, global oilfield services company), there are three Nigerians on the list, including Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, who is an earth scientist in Chevron’s Houston offices and Mimionitu Opuwari, a professor of geosciences at the University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa. Ekun and Opuwari are honoured for “Distinguished Service” to the profession, the science, the Association and the public.

Philip Ajaebili, a reservoir geophysicist at Shell Nigeria, is honoured with a “Young Professionals Exemplary Service Award”.

Mr. Omorodion, who counts, in his profile, 34 years of post-graduation experience in the oil and gas industry, is one of those individuals you could describe as keen enthusiasts of professional associations.

He is a former President of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) and has been bullish on AAPG, the world’s largest grouping of earth scientists. He has been on the Distinguished Lecture Committee (International); , he has been Secretary/Treasurer AAPG Africa Region; Membership Coordination and Communication, AAPG Africa Region; President, AAPG Africa Region; General Co-Chair, AAPG-NAPE Deepwater West Africa Conference; General Co-Chair, AAPG Africa/Europe Joint Conference, Marrakesh, Morocco; on the Technical Committee, AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Istanbul, Turkey.

The full list of the AAPG 2023 honorees is as follows:


    • Kitty Milliken, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Nosa Omorodion, Schlumberger, Houston, Texas (Africa Region)
    • Robert D. Hatcher Jr., University of Tennessee, Oak Ridge, Tenn.
    • Cynthia Huggins, Aera , Bakersfield, Calif.
    • Linda Price, ExxonMobil, Houston
    • Thomas E. Ewing, Frontera Exploration Consultants, San Antonio, Texas
    • Amy Fox, Enlighten Geoscience Ltd., Calgary, Canada
    • Rebecca Caldwell, Chevron, Houston
    • Joseph R. Davis, BKV Corp., Dallas, Texas
    • Raffaele Di Cuia, Delta Energy Ltd., Ferrara, Italy
    • Akinwande Oluseye Ekun, Chevron, Houston
    • Mimionitu Opuwari, University of Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa
    • Douglas N. Valleau, Strategia Innovation and Technology Advisors, Spring, Texas
    • Virginia Sisson, Yellowstone Bighorn Research Association, Houston
    • Robert Trentham, University of Texas-Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas
    • Kirsten Siebach, Rice University, Houston
    • Neal and Inda Immega, HMNS, Houston
    • William A. Ambrose, Bureau of Economic Geology, Austin, Texas
    • Dan J. Hartmann, DJH Energy Consulting, Fredericksburg, Texas
    • Philip Ajaebili, Shell, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
    • Andrea Lopez Vega, Total Energies, Luanda, Angola
    • William P. Bosworth, Apache, Cairo, Egypt


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