François LABAUGE

Gabon Production Manager

After five years of rotation assignments during which he has enjoyed learning and sharing his knowledge, driven several projects at the closest of the teams and ensured appropriate safety for all, François has just joined Gabon as an expatriate, as a Production Manager.

What is your background? Why Perenco ?

I am a graduate of ENSTA in Brest. I was planning to be a naval architect and work in ship and platform dimensioning and oversee construction. During my gap year I did an internship in Singapore. This is where I heard of Perenco and I decided to redirect my career. I enrolled at the IFP School (French Institute of Petroleum) before joining the company in 2013.

What is your career pathway at Perenco ?

I thought I would start as a production engineer. I was actually assigned to Peru as a project engineer. It was a demanding mission which enabled me to acquire skills that have proven to be very helpful later. In 2014 I went to Cameroon as a production engineer, and then as a site manager. I now have that same position but in DRC. I am about to go to Gabon as a production manager after five years of rotation assignments. It is a significant change for me and my family.

What does your job entail and which challenges do you face ?

The missions of a site manager are very broad. They consist in supporting and optimising the smooth running of operations while guaranteeing the safety of staff and facilities. These can be production, maintenance and well operations, etc. I must ensure they are conducted properly and follow safety rules and procedures while being pragmatic.

To achieve this I need to deal with several professional bodies and departments, plan, prioritise, and manage costs to stick to budgets. Management is a very important part of my job. I interact a lot with teams in the field, especially superintendents, department heads and subsidiary managers.

I am also deeply committed to addressing safety issues relating to staff and facilities. I am constantly working with the HSE Department. In a way I am their first representative on site.

And tomorrow ?

As a production manager I will be the focal point within the Gabon subsidiary for the various site managers. This is a deeply involving role covering a wide range of matters!

How would you describe the company ?

Perenco is a family company with a human size - it works differently.
We tackle challenges and operate mature fields to extend their lifespan. Giving up is a word that is not in our agenda.

Which corporate value(s) do you most admire at Perenco ?

All seven! But I would choose trust.
The trust that managers give us and that pushes us to move forward.

Staggered questions
  • What is your favourite word ?

    One expression: There is no problem, there are only solutions.

  • And the one you hate ?

     One sentence I do not like to hear: "That's not my job"

  • A remedy against stress ?

     Not one … but several! Reading, sports and photography.

  • In a football team, what position would you play ?

     At the rugby! 2nd or 3rd line.

  • What is your favourite acronym ?

    MRVC (special in rotation)

  • A personality you love to follow.

     Lebron James, the basketballer

  • What do you miss the most when you are far away ?

    My family (but also cheese and salami!)

  • How do you stay connected to your loved ones ?


  • Your favourite country ?


  • Your favourite holidays ?

    Relaxing in family or backpacking in the mountain.