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Last year was indeed a year that produced unprecedented rollercoaster rides across various business sectors globally. The Covid-19 Pandemic and resulting global lockdown took a huge toll on the global energy industry, driving changes across its landscape, especially for the Upstream oil and gas sector. In 2020, oil and gas demand and prices reached historic lows, leaving plummeting performance numbers in their wake. 2021 is here, and as stakeholders say it is not yet uhuru for the sector. According to industry watchers, the quality of human capital available to companies in the oil and gas sector will play a critical role in ensuring a nimble and strategic response to ongoing disruptions.

This probably explains why Asharami Energy, a Sahara Group Upstream company appointed Henry Menkiti, a resourceful global oil and gas expert to lead its next phase of growth and expansion. Currently, Asharami Energy is one of Africa’s leading independent Exploration and Production (E&P) players with a diverse portfolio of nine oil and gas assets in prolific basins across Africa. Asharami’s operations span across the West African region, with assets at various stages of development and an ambitious target towards achieving robust and sustained optimal production.

The company says it is looking to deepen and expand its operations in existing markets, expand into new markets, and set new industry standards for operational excellence and value creation. A review of Menkiti’s career trajectory shows that he comes with over 27 years of global upstream experience, having held various senior technical, operational and corporate development roles within Schlumberger and BP LYTT (a BP Upstream Technology startup). Most recently, Menkiti was Vice President Business Development for LYTT, where he was tasked with exploring new technology roadmaps & opportunities via Production Insights derived from Real Time downhole Digital Fibre Optics, for the O&G industry. With an objective of Production Optimization and Base Protection leading to CAPEX and OPEX reductions for E&P companies.

In over two decades of working at Schlumberger, Menkiti held several roles, initiating and supporting remarkable value creation and service delivery projects at the organization. As the Global HR Manager for Schlumberger Production Management (SPM), he guided the development of the organization’s workforce plan for talent selection, development, engagement, and performance management, scalable to meet SPM growing operations. In this role, Menkiti maximized the talent experience and owned the development of future leaders to support SPM’s growing operations.

As the Vice President for Schlumberger’s Geosciences & Petroleum Engineers Consulting Organization, he led a global team of PetroTechnical experts, where he drove the organization growth strategy and corporate development for commercial excellence. Delivering record-setting organization performances and value capture for other Schlumberger Services arms, using the Lessons Learned to enable operators Optimize Production and reduce lifting costs on their Asset Evaluations and Oilfield Development. As world-wide Vice President Schlumberger Downhole Logging and Interpretation Services, Menkiti managed a global team of domain experts, leading widescale process revamps and improving data capture, delivery & interpretation processes.

He also initiated service line transformations, leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning on big data for reduced service delivery TATs, and introduced advanced interpretation techniques for enhanced value capture. Notably also, Menkiti served as Wireline Operations Management in both North Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as Product line development manager in Wireline HQ (WLH), overseeing all technical aspects of Schlumberger’s Wireline Acoustic (long spaced Sonic tools) & Borehole Seismic business, amongst other roles within Schlumberger’s field operations organization.

One key lesson garnered from the Covid-19 pandemic is the importance of driving low-cost operations. This has been a survival rallying point for companies in the oil and gas sector. As demand recovers, Asharami Energy says it remains committed to achieving even lower production costs through its growth plan, noting that Menkiti’s global expertise would help transform business operations at Asharami Energy and position the company for its next phase of competitive and sustainable growth. “Sahara Group is delighted to have Henry join the Sahara Family as we continue to seek innovative ways of bringing energy to life across the entire energy value chain.

Henry shares our aspiration of transforming the upstream sector in Africa through investment in technology, human capital and emphasis on sustainability,” said Ade Odunsi, Executive Director, Sahara Group and supervising Director of Sahara’s Upstream Division. Henry will oversee Asharami Energy’s Operations, Corporate Development, Mergers & Acquisitions, Research and Development as well as External Technology Engagement. Speaking on his new odyssey, Henry said, “Joining the Sahara Group to oversee the upstream operations is a project I am excited about having worked at different locations across the globe. The team at Asharami Energy is set to deliver best-in-class E&P operations with a distinctive mark of excellence.”

Recalled that reacting at his new role, he said he considered the opportunity to work with Asharami as “refreshing and historic”. “Joining the Sahara Group to oversee the upstream operations is a project I am excited about, having worked at different locations across the globe. We have a vision to birth something new in the African upstream sector and the team at Asharami Energy is set to deliver this with a distinctive mark of excellence,” he said. Furthermore, prior to joining Sahara, he spent 27 years at Schlumberger Limited in a succession of senior leadership positions in Exploration & Production – including Vice President of Schlumberger interpretation services and worldwide Vice President of Schlumberger’s Reservoir Characterization Group. He was also part of the core management team for Schlumberger E&P initiative (SPM).

Earlier in his career at Schlumberger, he held various Field & Management positions including Domain Manager at Wireline Headquarters & roles in Seismic Operations. More recently, he was vice president, Business Development for LYTT, an Upstream subsidiary of BP. He has also been involved in Business Consulting across North America, Latin America, Europe and West Africa. The stage is set for the next phase of Asharami Energy’s growth and expansion as Africa continues to pursue capacity building that will produce more globally competitive energy conglomerates like Sahara Group.


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