Lionel, Managing one of Total’s Biggest Assets

Lionel, Vice President Al Shaheen, explains what an accomplishment it is for him to manage this giant asset for the Group, as North Oil Company in which Total holds 30% and provides its expertise and resources, prepares to operate the 300,000 b/d field.

A strong bond with the region

“I have a special relationship with the Middle East having previously worked in Qatar, between 2000 and 2003, for the launch of the Dolphin Project. When I was in Abu Dhabi, I fell in love with this region, the culture, and the people. The Middle East has a special concentration of the oil and gas business, and it was very interesting for me to work in this part of the region".

 

A history with Total from Day 1

"Prior to my current expatriation, I was based in Kuwait for the last 5 years. I also had the opportunity to work in Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Norway, UK, Scotland, Netherlands, Angola, Mali, Madagascar and Italy.

I joined total (Elf) in 1979 as a student seeking an internship. Ever since then I have been dedicated to Total, it's the only company I have ever known. Until now, I have dedicated 36 years of my life to Total, of which 27 in expatriation and I can tell you, being on expatriation has always been adventure.

My journey started when I went to Mali on a drilling expedition, just 300 km north of Timbuktu. Following that, I moved to production and I was sent offshore on the Frigg Field and Heimdal Field in Norway. Just after, I was assigned to a pipeline project in the Netherlands  and then to Angola as Operations Manager, on a 4 weeks on, 4 weeks off rotation basis.

Being in an expatriation is a fantastic opportunity, because it gives you the opportunity to do a lot of different jobs in your career, and every time it feels as if you are changing companies, you meet new people, new skills. It’s so rewarding to meet people from all over the world – but all sharing the same goal to provide a better energy".

 

A team involved in making history

"Winning the Al-Shaheen bid was a big milestone for Total in Qatar and worldwide. I’m very proud of being part of this new page written in the long story of Total, one of a kind that has never happened before.

Every day is now a challenge for us. What makes Total different are the work environment and the people. Having a diverse mix of local, expatriate and contracted staff from different nationalities, backgrounds and cultures, is very rewarding and is definitely the key to success. The challenge is to ensure that we all work together as a team.

Today the Al-Shaheen team consists of around 200 persons – the majority being from Total. Tomorrow will be a different story, as North Oil Company will be a new independent Qatari oil company.

My role, as a board member of NOC is to help, guide, and provide the right direction for NOC. With the other Board members, our role is to challenge and question NOC, but above all to support them in any way we can in order that NOC can take up the big challenges they will face in the coming months and years..

Our main objectives are to produce, in the safest conditions, 300,000 barrels per day starting 14th July 2017, to maintain this level of production for the coming years, to work hand in hand with our partner QP. This will be the key to our success. Having technical knowledge is part of the solution, but the real challenge is to merge Total culture with the culture of people operating Al Shaheen, some of them for a long time, while bringing to NOC the benefit of a Group like Total".

Lionel Levha

“When you work in Total you have to be conscious that your job and personality is a mix between Total and yourself. You have to be good at what you do, respect people, enjoy your work, and have fun".

Short Resume

  • 2016 - Present

    Vice President, Al-Shaheen, Total Golfe

  • 2011 - 2016

    General Manager - Total Kuwait

  • 2009 – 2011

    General Manager - Total Madagascar

  • 2006 – 2009

    General Manager – Total E&P Italia

  • 2003 – 2006

    Deputy General Manager, Total E&P Italia, Milan

  • 2000 - 2003

    CEO Dolphin Energy – Abu Dhabi & Qatar

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