Six international oil companies exploring for and producing oil and gas in Yemen: Sven-Erik Lie, Norbert Groeschner, Phil Milford, Hatem Nuseibeh, Francois Rafin and Murray Hawkes
Position Managing director, DNO Yemen
Biography Sven-Erik Lie became managing director of Norwegian oil firm DNO’s operations in Yemen in 2004. Previously, he served as exploration and production manager and has been part of DNO’s Yemen management team since 1998. Prior to joining DNO, Lie worked in various roles for Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro, including as a petroleum exploration geologist, reservoir engineer and petroleum technical project manager. Lie has a master’s degree in geology from the University of Bergen, Norway. DNO entered Yemen in 1998 and was approved as an operator that year. The company holds interests in five assets, all located in the Sayun-Masila Basin in central Yemen. DNO is currently exploring Blocks 72 and 47, and is producing at three others. While it is the operator of the other blocks, DNO holds a 24.5 per cent stake in Block 53, which is operated by Dubai-based Dove Energy.
Contact Tel: (+967) 1 428 230
Position General manager, OMV Yemen
Biography Norbert Groeschner was appointed general manager of Austria’s OMV Yemen in 2007, having previously worked in the areas of operations and development and as general manager of the firm’s business in Tunisia. Before joining OMV, Groeschner spent 13 years working as regional manager and then operations manager for Germany’s Preussag Energy, which was acquired by OMV in 2003. The acquisition gave OMV a strong presence in Yemen, where it now holds five exploration and production licences. Groeschner has a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Technical University Clausthal in Germany. OMV is currently focused on developing in multiple phases the already-producing Block S2 in the Sabatayn Basin. OMV is also expanding the capacity of its subsurface facilities, as well as building permanent surface facilities and drilling further wells.
Contact Tel: (+967) 1 428 860
Position Yemen president and general manager, Nexen
Biography Phil Milford has been general manager and Yemen country president for Canada’s Nexen since November 2008. Milford previously worked as health and safety manager for UK oil major BP in the Asia-Pacific region during 2005-07. Prior to that, he worked for five years as operations manager at BP Vietnam. Milford graduated in 1980 with a degree in electrical engineering from the University of Bath in the UK. Nexen has had a significant presence in Yemen since beginning production in 1993 with two blocks at Masila (Block 14) and East al-Hajr (Block 51). Nexen operates the Masila project with a 52 per cent stake. Development of the block began in 2004, with first production in November that year. The production sharing agreements for the fields and operation of the central processing facility expire at the end of 2011. Nexen is currently working on an extension.
Contact Tel: (+1) 403 699 6291
Position Managing director, Total Exploration & Production Yemen
Biography Hatem Nuseibeh was appointed managing director of Total Exploration & Production Yemen in April 2010, taking over from Martin Duffontaines, who had led the division from 2007. Before moving to Yemen, Nuseibeh was general manager of Total Exploration & Production in Syria, and general manager of Total’s upstream business in Nigeria until 2005. Nuseibeh grew up in the West Bank. He graduated with a degree in chemical engineering from the UK’s University of Salford in 1976. In 1987, Total signed a production sharing agreement with the Yemeni government to develop Block 10 in East Shabwa region, consisting of three fields: Atuf; Kharir; and Jathama. Oil was discovered in 1992 at the Kharir field and production began in 1997. Total is also the operator of Block 10, operator of exploration at Block 70 and a partner in Blocks 5, 69 and 71.
Contact Tel: (+967) 1 414 137
Position General manager and chief executive officer (CEO), Yemen LNG Company
Biography Francois Rafin has been general manager and CEO of Yemen LNG (liquefied natural gas) Company since it began production in 2009. Yemen LNG has seven shareholders, including France’s Total, the US’ Hunt, Yemen Gas Company, and South Korea’s SK Innovation, Korea Gas Corporation and Hyundai Corporation. Rafin joined Total in 1979 and was assigned to various drilling, production, logistics, planning and operation management positions across the company’s global operations. This included stints in Tunisia, Algeria, Venezuela, Indonesia, Thailand and Myanmar. From 1999 to 2003, Rafin worked as managing director of Total in Russia. He then moved to Nigeria for six years to work as executive director and director of the Akpo project, a deep offshore drilling operation. Rafin graduated from the Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees in Paris in 1977.
Contact Tel: (+967) 1 438 000
Position Yemen general manager, Oil Search Limited
Biography Murray Hawkes was appointed in 2006 as Yemen general manager for Oil Search Limited, an oil and gas exploration and development company based in Papua New Guinea. Prior to his work in Yemen, Hawkes was a director at New Zealand-based Alford Geoconsultants for two years, holding various consulting roles in New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Yemen. From 1998 to 2004, Hawkes worked as exploration and production manager at Thailand’s Pacific Tiger Energy, covering activities in Thailand’s Petchabun basin and offshore exploration in New Zealand. Hawkes graduated with a master’s degree in geology in 1981 from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Hawkes spent more than 11 years as exploration coordinator in Myanmar from 1981. Oil Search has stakes in Yemen’s Block 3 and 7, which have yielded two discoveries.
Contact Tel: (+967) 1 423 440
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