LONDON, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Angola’s Sonangol has appointed three new board members to help restructure the state oil company, the same week President Joao Lourenco was sworn into office after 38 years of rule by Jose Eduardo dos Santos.
The former president’s daughter Isabel dos Santos remains the head of Sonangol. She announced plans last year to split the company into three units: exploration and production, logistics and a division handling concessions to international oil firms. Its non-oil interests will be placed in a fund.
“The 17-month restructuring process is now entering a new phase, with well-defined challenges requiring not only reinforcement but also greater specialisation of the council’s elements,” the company said in a statement on Friday.
Angola is a member of OPEC and produced 1.65 million barrels a day in August, making it the second biggest oil producer in Africa behind Nigeria.
Sonangol said the new members would, “strengthen our adaptability, agility and proactivity, through a greater division of responsibilities and thus greater capacity to act”.
Under the changes, Ivan Sá de Almeida will focus on production and exploration, Emídio Pinheiro will manage Sonangol Holdings and other non-core businesses and Susana Almeida Brandão will coordinate legal functions, the statement said.
Almeida has 18 years of oil sector experience, including at Sonangol itself and at Esso Exploration in Angola as well as its offices in Brazil, Mozambique and Houston, Texas.
Pinheiro is the former chief executive of Banco de Fomento Angola and a board member of Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos. Brandão has more than 20 years legal experience, including in investment projects, corporate restructuring and mergers and acquisitions, Sonangol said.
The statement did say whether other board members would leave or whether the board’s leadership structure would change. It said, “other directors who remain in office will see their positions maintained or readjusted”. (Reporting by Libby George; editing by David Clarke)