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Enigmatic British native likely to become the new chairman of Ukrnafta

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Image 0The mysterious elected candidate for the new chairman of the board position of Ukrnafta, an oil and gas company, is still not fully revealed to public. However, a major hint – his British citizenship – boils it down to the name Mark Rollins.

“We finished the Nomination Committee regarding the appointment of the Ukrnafta director. An awesome professional was unanimously chosen. A foreigner,” wrote Economy Minister Aivarus Abromavicius on his Twitter. Naftogaz says that the elected is a British citizen who managed some of the biggest global oil and gas companies for more than 25 years.

According to Interfax-Ukraine, a news agency, that foreigner is Rollins. But BG Group refused to comment to Kyiv Post's inquiry regarding Rollins receiving the new position.

The “dark horse” to the Ukrainian public, Rollins is a University of Oxford graduate with a doctorate in mathematical methods applied to engineering.

Today he works as senior vice president of BG Group, a British multinational oil and gas company. He is known to have managed as president of the company's Kazakhstan branch and to have more than 20 years of experience in the oil sector working for such companies as Shell, Clyde Petroleum, Nuon, Avante Petrolem and ARCO.

The seeking for a replacement of the old management team is part of Ukraine's “unbundling” of Naftogaz where the government hopes to privatize and liberalize the market. Back in March, Naftogaz's managing director Yuriy Vitrenko told the Kyiv Post that privatizing the state monopoly is the management's long-term goal.

Ukrnafta, a public joint-stock company, is 50 percent plus one share owned by Ukraine's state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, while 42 percent of the shares belong to Privat Group run by Ukraine's oligarch Ihor Kolomoiskiy.

Currently the chairman of Ukrnafta is Belgian national Peter Vanhecke. The official results of Vanhecke's replacement will be confirmed during the general meeting of Ukrnafta shareholders on July 22.

More than 80 candidates from countries such as Great Britain, United States, Gerogia, Norway and Denmark participated in the competition for the Ukrnafta position which was launched less than a month ago.

Yevgeniy Chichvarkin, a Russian businessman pressured out of his own country by the Russian government, gained attention as a potential nominee for the position. However, “not Chichvarkin” wrote Abromavicius on his Twitter account.

The young businessman does not have any background in gas and oil company management but was the founder of Russia's leading mobile phone retailer Euroset.


July 13 2015, 10:15

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