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OMAN - John Malcolm.

One of Shell's heavyweights, Malcolm became PDO's managing director in early November 2002. He succeeded Steve Ollereanshaw, a former Shell CEO in Nigeria who was moved to Oman a few years earlier and who in late 2002 moved to Australia to take over as CEO of the North West Shelf (an integrated natural gas and LNG business in which Shell holds 34%).

A process control engineer, Malcolm began his career in the British chemicals industry before working in the Middle East oil refining business. In 1984, he took two years off to teach at the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. He joined Shell in 1986 and his first job was with PDO, as head of instrumentation and process control. He stayed at PDO for just over two years before taking up a range of different positions in the UK and the Netherlands.

In 1999, Malcolm moved to Syria to take up the position of general manager of al-Furat Petroleum Co. (AFPC), by far the main oil producer in that country which is a JV between the state-owned Syrian Petroleum Co., Shell and a Chinese-Indian partnership which recently acquired the stake of Petro-Canada. Later Malcolm became Shell country chairman in Syria and general manager of Syria Shell Petroleum Development (SSPD).

The Shell reason for moving Malcolm to Oman was partly the same as the one that took him to Syria: to turn the oilfields' precipitated production fall to a managed decline mode in the first phase, 2003 to mid-04; to stabilise their production, using three different EOR technologies, and increase the output by up to 40,000 b/d in late 2004 to 2006; and then to raise PDO's production to 800,000 b/d by 2008 (see Oil & Gas Market Trends No. 6). But the schedule was not kept and now he says PDO's production of crude oil and condensate would reach a plateau of 820,000 b/d by 2009.

In Syria Malcolm succeeded in stabilising production at 300,000 b/d and was replaced there by Chris Haynes, who until October 2002 was Ollereanshaw's predecessor as CEO of North West Shelf (see survey of Syria which is to be serialised from March in Review Nos. 10-13).

Muhammad al-Barwani is a local entrepreneur with a long history in oilfield services. He is the owner and CEO of MB Group, which provides upstream services to PDO and other E&P operators in Oman. There Barwani successfully established a pattern of developing marginal fields. The group's affiliate Petrogas runs Daleel Petroleum, and E&P company operating the Sahmah field in Block 7. Petrogas took over this area when it was relinquished by Elf of France. The field now produces 2,400 b/d of crude oil.

Petrogas in 2001 bought the stake of Japex in Block 5, when the Japanese company was producing 4,400 b/d of crude oil from the Daleel field. Petrogas subsequently farmed in the state-owned China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) and the two formed Daleel Petroleum as a 50-50 JV which raised Daleel's output to 16,000 b/d (see gmt6Fields-Feb6-06).
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Publication:APS Review Downstream Trends
Date:Feb 20, 2006
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