Colombia General Manager

Attracted by a career fostering operational and human experiences, Reza joined the group in 2000. From 2015 to summer 2018 he was appointed general manager for Perenco Tunisia, a growing subsidiary where he had to drive change by getting newcomers to embrace the values ​​of the company. Since then, Reza has moved to Colombia as a General Manager.

Can you describe your career pathway? Why did you choose Perenco?

I have a degree in Civil Engineering, completed with a specialisation in Petroleum Engineering, from the IFP School (French Institute of Petroleum). I started my career at Halliburton, a service company, where I stayed for four years. I joined Perenco in 2000.
I chose Perenco because it is a young company that operates on a human scale and that offers motivating career pathways in the oil field, as it quickly assigns responsibilities to its employees.

Can you describe your professional journey with Perenco?

I started as a Production Engineer in Gabon and then as a site manager, on rotational shifts, based on an isolated offshore site in a fabulous environment. This particular situation allowed me to quickly gain autonomy. I learnt a lot from these first experiences by being close to the teams and the operations.

I then moved to Cameroon, still on rotation, before being posted as an expatriate to Gabon, in the role of Production Manager in Port-Gentil. This change in pace was more suited to my family life.

In 2005, I moved to Great Yarmouth North Sea, where I was on charge of Petroleum Engineering and Well Interventions. This new position allowed me to deepen my knowledge in the exploitation of gas, in a very different context. We had to adapt, so it was fascinating.

I stayed there for two years before going to Cairo for four years, where Perenco was operating an isolated field off the Sinai as part of a joint venture. In 2011 I returned to Cameroon at the time of the takeover of new assets. The challenge there was essentially technical and human. It consisted in supporting the teams in place to integrate the change.

Can you describe the Tunisian subsidiary to us and its specificities ?

Above all, it is important to understand that Tunisia is not an oil country. There are a few service companies around but most of them are sole proprietorships. In the future, we will have the opportunity to integrate complementary activities to what we do.
Nowadays, the country mainly has mature fields. 

Our head office is located in Tunis. Our historical sites are located in the centre of the country. The subsidiary has very few expatriates and favours local employment. In 2017, we acquired shares in an offshore concession in the Gulf of Gabes. This is a complex but high potential field. It shows our will to develop a long-term partnership with Tunisia. Our goal is to grow the subsidiary by optimising costs and developing synergies between our different sites.

What are your objectives?

I actually have the role of a conductor. We must articulate operations from an administrative and legal point of view, but also from an operational and technical aspect.

I also have a representative role both internally and externally. It is essential to build long-lasting relationships of trust with partners and local authorities.

In your opinion, what is your greatest achievement, your best memory ?

Tunisia. When I arrived the subsidiary was very small. I am very proud to have contributed to its growth, by consolidating our acquisition projects despite a complex context, with real human issues at stake in terms of transition. I am also proud to have increased the subsidiary's visibility at group level.

I was also deeply committed to valuing local resources. I was keen to encourage the expatriation of deserving, high-potential employees to other subsidiaries of the group or to headquarters.