AOP Announces Winners of Big Five Energy Awards

The AOP Big Five Energy Awards honor lifetime achievement in Africa’s energy industry. The awards were given at Africa Oil & Power’s Gala Dinner Monday evening by NJ Ayuk, Centurion Law Group CEO.

Cape Town, June 05, 2017 — Titans in Africa’s oil and gas industry were honored Monday evening during the Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the second annual Africa Oil & Power conference. Recipients of the Big Five Energy Award — which honors leaders who have made a long-lasting and positive impact on the African energy industry — are H.E. Gabriel M. Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Akinwumi Odumakinde, Founder and Managing Director of Deltatek; Kase Lawal, Founder and Chairman of CAMAC International Corp; and Prince Arthur Eze, Founder and Chairman of Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum.

NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion Law Group, presented the awards, celebrating trailblazers and strong leaders in the African oil and gas industry.

Dr. Kase Lawal founded Camac Group in 1986 and grew the company from an agricultural commodities trader to a global energy corporation with activities across the energy spectrum. “We have got to cultivate that culture of giving, whether it is in terms of your talents, expertise, knowledge, money, resources or time,” said Lawal. “We must always give back, because it was on other people’s shoulders that we are able to sit here tonight. … It took other people’s efforts and giving back that got you where you are today. It wasn’t by yourself.”

Akinwumi Odumakinde, who began his career with Chevron and Dow Chemical in the United States, has more than 20 years of experience in engineering in the oil and gas industry and is a leading voice for local content in Nigeria. “I feel there is so much in Africa — the resources beneath the earth, the hydrocarbons, the minerals; and also the people. I see power changing hands. Africa is going to be great. It starts with our leaders who create that enabling platform,” said Odumakinde.

Brian Maxted, who co-founded Kosmos Energy in 2003 and served as the company’s CEO for three years, is now Kosmos Energy’s chief exploration officer. “Through the course of the last 20 years we have found a lot of hydrocarbons, and I’m delighted to participate in the economic development of all of the countries in which we have the honor to participate and contribute,” said Maxted. “When I look at the people I’ve known for many years here, the progress they’ve made as countries and the progress they’ve made as people, it is the most satisfying and rewarding thing.”

H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, the Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, oversees the oil and gas industry of the third-largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa, and is widely regarded for his incisive leadership and guidance of the sector. “I used to go to conferences and sit at tables like this, and other ministers used to sit with me and advise me. … I used to be the one taking notes. And today, everything that we have done in Equatorial Guinea is thanks to those advisors at those tables …. When we actually were at those tables, those were best seminars you could have,” said H.E. the Minister.

Prince Arthur Eze, the chairman of Nigeria-based pan-African exploration and production companies Atlas Petroleum International and Oranto Petroleum, and the major shareholder of both companies, was awarded his Big Five Energy Award in absentia.

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