How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?
I started as a research scientist for Schlumberger which was interested by my PhD works for some oil & gas applications. Then, I went to the field as wireline engineer and later joined Total as a reservoir engineer before shifting to business and management roles.
What do you believe is the greatest challenge to our industry’s future growth?
Two key challenges come to mind – firstly, encouraging and retaining the next generation of oil and gas specialists will be a great challenge for our industry, especially as industries which didn’t exist three decades ago grow. That said, I am really excited by the local opportunities this presents emerging oil and gas countries, such as those in the MSGBC basin, to fill the potential skills shortage. Secondly, we need to be sure that we are pursuing oil and gas developments that add to the energy mix of a country or region and importantly, do this in a way which is sustainable for the community and environments in which it is located.
Where do you see the greatest opportunity in the local oil and gas market and how are you positioned to capture this opportunity?
Unsurprisingly, I see our SNE Field development as being the greatest opportunity in the local oil and gas market. To ensure this meets local, regional and international demand, we are working very hard to achieve a final investment decision in 2019 before targeting first oil in 2022.
What have been the main developments for Woodside Energy in the MSGBC Basin over the past year?
Woodside and our joint venture partners have made substantial progress on the SNE Field Development since last year’s MSGBC Conference. We have completed capacity training for the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development; submitted our Evaluation Report with our Exploitations Plan to be submitted to the Government shortly; substantially progressed our Environment and Social Impact Assessment; and technically matured the project in anticipation of front-end engineering and design entry by the end of the year.
What are you most looking forward to at the MSGBC Basin Summit & Exhibition? What would you like to take away from the gathering?
I am very keen to understand what other MSGBC players are progressing so that we can look for ways to work together. I believe this will have benefits for all stakeholders, from the developments themselves, to the communities in which common user facilities would be located and to the governments who need to oversee and manage the industry.
About Eric Bonnin
Eric Bonnin holds a PhD in physics for which he obtained both a US and European patents. He has been working in the oil and gas industry for almost 30 years through major companies like Schlumberger and Total. Eric worked in more than 15 countries and has a strong international and multicultural experience. He also covered a large field of activities from research, operations, business to management. Before being appointed Managing Director of Total E&P Senegal based in Dakar, Eric was the Managing Director of Total E&P Tajikistan based in Dushanbe.
Eric Bonnin will be presenting an industry keynote focused on an overview of Total's upstream activities in Senegal and Mauritania, at the upcoming MSGBC Basin Summit & Exhibition taking place in Dakar, 24 – 26 October 2018.