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What new ExxonMobil Nigeria CEO said about firm’s rumoured Exit plan 1 year ago

The United States super Oil major, ExxonMobil, has announced the appointment of Richard Laing, as the new Chairman and Managing Director of its 3 affiliate firms in Nigeria with effect from August 1, 2020.

Laing, before his new role announced in a statement by the Manager Media and Communications, ExxonMobil, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha, on Saturday, August 8, 2020, in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, has a view on the rumoured exit plan by the company from Nigeria.

On April 2019, the new helmsman who was then the Executive Director and Production Manager of ExxonMobil Nigeria, an archival document of the Platforms Africa showed, firmly debunked the unsubstantiated rumour about the Organizations exit from Nigeria, expressing his company’s commitment to investing in Nigeria.

He stated this when the then Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu visited the ERHA FPSO operated by ExxonMobil Nigeria on April 13, 2019.

Laing also used the opportunity to further reiterate the ExxonMobil shares in the ERHA field, located in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 133.

ExxonMobil Nigeria holds a 56.25 percent participating interest while Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) holds the remaining 43.75 percent share, he said according to a statement issues by NNPC then.

The Floating, Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) has about 2.2 million barrels of storage capacity making it one of the largest of its kind, globally.

He is now to oversee the 3 affiliate oil firms of ExxonMobil include Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited and Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria (Offshore East).

According to the statement from ExxonMobil, Richard Laing was appointed to replace Paul McGrath, who has been appointed Vice President, Global Projects for ExxonMobil in Houston after spending more than 3 years in Nigeria.

The statement from Ogechukwu Udeagha reads, “Prior to his appointment, Laing was executive director of oil and gas production and related support groups for all of the ExxonMobil affiliates in Nigeria.’

”Laing joined ExxonMobil in 1989 and has held variety of engineering, planning, safety and managerial positions in upstream and downstream operations while working in the U.K, Qatar, U.S. and Nigeria,” he added.

Udeagha said that Laing holds a bachelor’s degree in Mining and Petroleum Engineering from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Master’s in Petroleum Engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.

In his reaction, Liang said; “It is a privilege to lead the ExxonMobil team in Nigeria and build on the work that Paul McGrath had done over the last three years.

“I look forward to the work that lies ahead and continuing the company’s outstanding relationships.”