All posts tagged petroleum people

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


South Africa’s Electricity Chief Has Resigned

By Sully Manope, in Windhoek

André de Ruyter, CEO of Eskom, the South African electricity monopoly, has quit.

The former President of Sasol’s China Ventures had been at one of the country’s most important jobs for three years, having taken charge in January 2020.

The power utility said in a statement that De Ruyter had tendered his resignation on Wednesday, December 14. While he was obligated to only serve a 30-day notice, De Ruyter had reportedly agreed to stay in his position until March 31, 2023. “Mr De Ruyter has agreed to stay for an additional period beyond the stipulated 30-days’ notice to ensure continuity while we urgently embark on a search for his successor. His last day at Eskom will be March 31 2023,” said Eskom board chairperson Mpho Makwana.

The utility says it has no plan for the chairman to become an interim CEO and that a comprehensive executive search will be conducted to find a suitably qualified candidate.

Mr De Ruyter has often said that he took the job as an act of national service in January 2020 and as a critical plank of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reform agenda. But he has presided over the most challenging period for power outages in the country. “2022 has been the worst year on record for power cuts in South Africa”.

The outgoing Eskom boss has a wide pool of supporters, who point to his forward-looking energy transition plans. “South Africa’s Just Energy Transition Investment Plan  (JET-IP), was lauded at COP27 in Egypt as best-in-class energy transition thinking”, writes Ferial Haffajee, associate editor of the Daily Maverick. The $8.5Billion JET-IP is designed to accelerate the move away from coal in a way that protects vulnerable workers and communities, and develop new economic opportunities such as green hydrogen and electric vehicles.


Nafi Chinery Appointed Interim Africa Director, Natural Resource Governance Institute

The Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI) has appointed the Ghanaian development specialist, Nafi Chinery, as interim Africa director. In this role, she will oversee the activities of NRGI’s Africa team and provide strategic leadership for NRGI’s work in the region and globally.

Ms. Chinery will combine the work with her current role as West Africa regional manager(Anglophone) at the Institute, where she supervises the design, implementation and coordination of NRGI’s strategic engagements and programmes in Anglophone West Africa.

The phrase: “Interim” suggests that NRGI is still scouting for the permanent occupier of the office, a search that has been ongoing since 2016. The Africa director, in NRGI’s description, is one “who can build relationships with a diverse range of critical partners and harness the strengths of the organization to advance accountable and effective governance in Africa”. The institute says that the role is a unique opportunity “to cohesively improve natural resource governance across Africa.

“Reporting to NRGI’s Chief Operating Officer and as the senior-most representative in the region, the position will define strategic engagements and target agents of change”. Central to the role will be to oversee the successful execution of NRGI’s country strategies, ensuring that lessons learned from the organisation’s engagement and the changing political economy inform its work. “The person will also design and implement a regional strategy, that capitalizes on our engagements in priority countries and seizes new opportunities for reform as they emerge”.

Nafi Chinery has over 20 years of experience in development work. Prior to joining NRGI, she worked with Oxfam GB and the African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF), a pan-African grant-making foundation for women’s rights. She has a longstanding career in organizational development and transformative and strategic leadership. For 17 years, Nafi has worked to develop and strengthen credible well informed women’s rights organizations and leaders to accelerate the respect for women and rights of marginalized groups across Africa.

She holds a master’s degree in social development and sustainable livelihoods from the University of Reading, U.K., and a bachelor of arts and diploma in education from Cape Coast University, Cape Coast, Ghana. She was also a 2014 Aspen New Voices Fellow.


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