Mr Ojunekwu Austin Avuru is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seplat Petroleum Development Company. Avuru hails from Abbi, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta state, Nigeria. He studied Geology at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, second class upper division in 1980.
Avuru had his NYSC at the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC) and worked there for 12 years. He proceeded to the University of Ibadan for post graduate diploma in Petroleum Engineering and left with a distinction in 1992. He then moved to Allied Energy Resources (Nig.) Ltd, a pioneer deepwater operator where he worked as the Exploration Coordinator till 1996.
During his stay in Allied Energy Resource, the Delta state born oil expert planned and supervised one full-cycle Field Development/Production start-up project, as well as two deepwater Exploration and Drilling Projects.
In 2003, Avuru co-founded Platform Petroleum Limited (Operator of the Asuokpu/Umutu Field) as Managing Director/CEO. Till 2010 when he moved to Seplat, he built the company from scratch to a staff strength of 85 and developed Umutu Field to its current point of production. In 2010, Platform Petroleum teamed up with two other companies to create Seplat Petroleum Development Company Ltd and Avuru became the pioneer Managing Director/CEO.
Adding to his series of awards and recognitions, Avuru won the highly prestigious and coveted Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the Master Category for the Nigeria and West African sub-region in 2013; an award that was last won by Aliko Dangote in the preceding year.
Avuru, a thoroughbred industry professional and vocal advocate of indigenous participation in the exploration and production sectors of the Nigerian oil industry, has served the oil and gas industry in various capacities including his work as the technical co-ordinator for the review of the industry’s memorandum of understanding, membership of the ministerial committee on the restructuring of the Department of Petroleum Resources [DPR] and his role as a consultant to the Senate committee on petroleum resources between 2000 and 2003.
He is a sought after speaker and writer on oil and gas issues, a mentor and role model to several young and aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make a landmark in their generation.