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Seplat appoints Roger Brown as CEO to replace Austin Avuru

18 Nov 2019, 05:07 pm
Financial Nigeria
Seplat appoints Roger Brown as CEO to replace Austin Avuru

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Avuru is a co-founder of Seplat and later became its CEO.

Austin Avuru, outgoing CEO, Seplat Petroleum Development Company

Seplat Petroleum Development Company, a leading Nigerian oil and gas exploration and production company, announced on Monday the retirement of its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Austin Avuru, after 10 years of leading the company. In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) today, the oil and gas company said Avuru’s retirement will be effective in July 2020. Avuru, a co-founder and pioneer Managing Director of Seplat, became its CEO on May 1st, 2010.

Avuru’s successor is Roger Brown, Seplat's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since joining the company in 2013. Brown, according to Seplat, will lead the company’s restructuring during the transition period between now and the final exit date of Avuru on July 31st, 2020.

In his 10 years as CEO, Seplat said Mr. Avuru led the development of a strong organization, growing the oil and gas company rapidly from a gross production of 22,700 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) as at December 2010 to peaks of 111,368 boepd as at December 2018.

Avuru also led the acquisition of 40 per cent of Oil Mining Licence (OML) 53, after the company’s 2014 initial public offering (IPO). This created an opportunity for a partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to spawn a mid-stream subsidiary, ANOH Gas Processing Company Ltd, currently progressing what will ultimately be a 300 million standard cubic feet per day (MMscf/d) of gas, 22,500 barrels per day (bdp) of condensate and 1,200boepd of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

“The Board of SEPLAT is grateful to Mr. Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the Board level,” according to Seplat, which is dual-listed on the NSE and the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

“Looking forward, Seplat plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies,” the company said in its statement. “The Company believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organizational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space. In view of this, Seplat will be reviewing its current organizational and systems structure.”

Seplat said since joining the company, Brown has played significant roles in various asset acquisitions by the company. Mr. Brown reportedly brings to the CEO role a deep knowledge of Seplat having been its CFO for six years and a member of the board. Prior to joining SEPLAT, he was an advisor to the company since 2010, while he was the Managing Director and head of EMEA Oil and Gas at Standard Bank Group.

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