Africa Oil & Gas: Carlos Saturnino, the new face of Sonangol

Sonangol - Carlos_saturnino
Carlos Saturnino, the new Sonangol CEO

Almost a year after being compulsorily exonerated from the position of chairman of Sonangol’s Research and Production executive committee by Isabel dos Santos, Carlos Saturnino now arrives at the leadership of the state oil company, precisely to replace the businesswoman.

The appointment of the economist Carlos Saturnino to chairman of the board of directors of the National Fuel Company of Angola (Sonangol) was made this Wednesday by the Angolan head of State, João Lourenço, the Civil House of the President of the Republic announced, adding that at the same time that Isabel dos Santos was exonerated from the CEO functions, in the position since June of 2016.

Carlos Saturnino led the state-owned oil company Sonangol Pesquisa & Produção when, on December 20, 2016, he was exonerated by Isabel dos Santos, who took over his position, claiming she detected financial deviations”.

“Sonangol P & P is the company of the Sonangol group that during the evaluation carried out the greatest management weaknesses and consequently of financial deviations,” announced the group led by Isabel dos Santos, in a statement, pointing out that the decision was “in line with position of the new board of directors of the oil company, to be consistent with the principles of rigor and transparency for which its management is based.

Sonangol Pesquisa & Produção is a subsidiary of that group, with the objective of carrying out exploration, research and production activities for liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons.

“It is neither correct nor ethical to attribute blame to the team that was only running the company in the period between the second half of April 2015 and December 20, 2016,” Carlos Saturnino, who meanwhile was called by João Lourenço at the end of September, to assume the position of Secretary of State for Petroleum, thus supervising Sonangol through the Government.

Carlos Saturnino leaves that government job to lead Sonangol, while João Lourenço appointed to the Oil Secretariat Paulino Jerónimo, another of the exonerated last September by Isabel dos Santos and his father, while Angola head of State, José Eduardo dos Santos.

Operating since 1994, Sonangol guarantees 46,000 barrels per day operated production, as well as Angola with partnerships in several blocks in Angola, Brazil, Cuba and Iraq, according to information from Sonangol.

On October 18, in London, Isabel dos Santos said she had come to Sonangol with a “sense of mission” and with the desire to “make a contribution” to the country.

“When they called us to this challenge, they gave us a business that means so much to our economy and population, but it was in a very difficult situation because of the low prices and the fall in incomes,” She said.

In recent years, she said the company has undergone a “complete diagnosis”, with an audit and evaluation of human resources and computer systems and other sectors, which has undergone more rigorous expenditure, greater decision-making criteria and greater transparency.

“We optimized the organization as much as possible. But all this is a huge task. This is a job for several years. I would say three, four, five years or more,” said Isabel dos Santos at the same time in London. (source:Lusa)


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