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CLOSE-UP: Meet Elohor Aiboni, the first-ever female MD of a Shell company in Nigeria

CLOSE-UP: Meet Elohor Aiboni, the first-ever female MD of a Shell company in Nigeria
August 03
12:20 2021

For the first time in Shell Nigeria’s over 60-year history, a woman has taken over the reins of leadership of one of its companies.

Last month, TheCable also profiled remarkable women who climbed career ladders to get to the top in the banking industry.

The appointment of Elohor Aiboni as the first female managing director of Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) is another classic example in the oil and gas sector.

On Sunday, Aiboni was unveiled as the successor to Bayo Ojulari with effect from August 1.

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The oil and gas industry has been traditionally male-dominated, with few women ascending to top management positions. But Aiboni, a “self-motivated person with a strong sense of business priorities,” is one of few women to change the narrative, becoming leader of the multinational oil company Shell’s offshore business in Nigeria.

SNEPCo, a wholly-owned Shell company, has interests in four deep-water blocks; two of which it operates. The company develops and deploys the latest deep-water drilling techniques to reduce drilling times, cut costs and increase production, according to details on its website.

It pioneered Nigeria’s deep-water oil and gas production at the Bonga field, a project that increased Nigeria’s oil capacity by 10 percent when output began in 2005.

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TheCable gives you a glimpse into Aiboni’s life up till her appointment as SNEPCo MD.

AIBONI: A WOMAN OF MANY FIRSTS

Aiboni has many firsts to her credit — from being the first female asset operations manager in SNEPCo to being the company’s first female MD.

As asset operations manager, Aiboni was responsible for providing leadership in health, safety and environment (HSE), operational excellence and overall asset management of the Bonga deepwater floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel operated by Shell in Nigeria.

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Elohor Aiboni appointed as first female MD of SNEPCo

The new MD, SNEPCo, Elohor-Aiboni receiving the Shell Safety Environment and Social Performance Charter from her predecessor

The Bonga FPSO vessel has a total production capacity of 225,000 barrels of oil per day and 150 standard cubic feet of gas export per day. 

The height of a 12-storey building, and spanning an area the size of three football fields, the FPSO explores for and extracts oil from more than 1,000 metres below sea level.

TRAINEE TURNED MANAGING DIRECTOR

She has 19 years of working experience in Shell. Aiboni joined the oil company as a trainee production engineer and gradually rose through the ranks over the years.

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“Immediately after I completed the compulsory national youths service, there came the opportunity to sit the Shell Intensive Training Programme examination. I made it, and that’s how I got into the prestigious SITP school. After a year of hard work and successful interviews, I transitioned to an employee as a Trainee Production Engineer about 19 years ago,” Aiboni disclosed in an interview with DMG events – a global energy show, in March.

Within the 19-year period, she served as business adviser to the executive vice president, and also managed third-party interface across several Shell assets in Nigeria and Kazakhstan.

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Afterwards, she became a senior PtA engineer, then a manager at different tiers and transitioned to asset operations manager of Bonga, and presently SNEPCo boss.

The managing director holds a Bachelor’s degree (B.Sc.) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Benin, Nigeria, and a Master’s degree in Integrated Environmental Management from the University of Bath, UK.

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‘A PRODUCT OF DILIGENCE, COMMITMENT TO SHELL’S VALUES’

Under her leadership, the Bonga asset received numerous awards, including the CEO HSSE Awards, Upstream Impact Award, and the Asset of the Year Runner up in 2019, in the Shell Group.

“Elohor’s appointment is a product of diligence, competence and commitment to the Shell ideals and core values, amidst our strong focus on diversity and inclusion,” Bamidele Odugbesan, media relations manager of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), quoted Marno de Jong, Shell’s senior vice president for Nigeria, as saying.

“We take pride in our intention of being one of the most diverse and inclusive organisations in the world, and focus on further improving inclusion and representation in critical areas, including gender.”

‘SELF MOTIVATED WITH STRONG SENSE OF BUSINESS PRIORITIES’

In her LinkedIn profile, Aiboni describes herself as “self-motivated with great ability to work easily without supervision. Result-oriented showing a sense of urgency and can challenge positively. Very good communicator with strong sense of business priorities.”

According to the profile, she is experienced in project to asset handover, operations of oil and gas facilities with HSE, cross-discipline, cross-functional units and multi-operating unit exposure with great interpersonal skills.

She is a certified quality management system (QMS) auditor, trained health, safety, security & environment (HSSE) & control framework auditor.

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