Feb. 2, 2022

Rick Kennedy


Rick Kennedy

Chairman & Managing Director, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL)

CNL continues to focus on improving its position to keep pace with a dynamic, competitive external business environment and evolving technology.


As Managing Director of Chevron Nigeria Limited, Rick Kennedy is responsible for Chevron's upstream operations in Nigeria and West Africa. Prior to assuming this role, he was the director, deepwater and production sharing contracts (PSCs) for Chevron's Nigeria Mid-Africa Business Unit. He joined Chevron in 1984 as a production engineer based in Edmonton, Canada, after graduating from Texas A&M University with a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering. Since then, he has held numerous technical and leadership positions within Chevron's upstream and midstream sectors and in Chevron's technical center. Prior to moving to Nigeria four years ago, he served as senior vice president of operations for Saudi Arabia Chevron.

What are your key focus areas and ambitions for CNL as the company's new MD?

CNL will continue to sustain efforts to ensure safe and continued operations despite the challenges of the pandemic and follow the COVID-19 prevention protocols to keep ourselves, our colleagues, and families safe. The safety of every member of our workforce and their families is core to all we do and remains our key priority during the pandemic and beyond. The Chevron Way and our policies require that we treat every member of our workforce with respect and dignity and that we promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We continue to be recognized for our efforts as a responsible, equal opportunity employer as reflected in our commitment to our people, who are our best assets and ambassadors. CNL provides career development opportunities for its employees. We support a range of job training and workforce development programs that provide opportunities for people to learn career-building skills to succeed in jobs of the future. We will continue to respond to the changing business environment and take required actions to ensure that we are transforming for the better in keeping with our vision. Also, we are responding to the global focus on lowering carbon emissions and reducing gas flaring in our operation. Chevron is part of the solution to global environmental issues. Whether reducing carbon emissions, minimizing carbon footprint, or conserving biodiversity, CNL continues to invest in its operations to improve environmental performance while working with industry to develop new innovations and best practices. For example, we have a portfolio of projects aimed at eliminating routine flaring from older facilities while new projects are designed in line with environmental management standards.

How did the pandemic and the oil crisis affect Chevron's projects in Nigeria, and how quickly have you been able to resume your operations?

The entire industry, Chevron included, continues to face serious headwinds ranging from low product demand, reduced product prices, and the ongoing challenges associated with the pandemic. Difficult times demand difficult decisions and choices. For CNL, these included introduction of COVID-19 protocols and related safeguards. Strict and disciplined adherence to these protocols and safeguards have kept our workforce and their families healthy while enabling our operations to continue throughout the pandemic. While CNL has continued during the pandemic to invest in projects critical to ensuring safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operational performance, we have paused investment on many other projects as part of our effort to manage the business through the related oil price crisis.

What trends, practices, and innovations have reshaped Chevron and the oil sector in Nigeria following the pandemic?

The oil industry, Chevron included, is being reshaped by digital technology and cost efficiency initiatives. Digitalization is pushing the boundaries for automation and analytics. The industry is continuing with its efforts to transform big data and digital technology to business value and seeking opportunities to utilize robotics, AI, and other emerging technologies. Also, the oil industry is looking inward to identify resource-saving measures, opportunities for collaboration, efficiency, and optimized operations to save costs. CNL is enabling digital innovation and acceleration through its digital imperatives to implement next generation IT systems, shift paradigms regarding the value and accessibility of data, build digital fluency and an agile mindset in our workforce, as well as to empower our employees to make better and faster decisions supported by digital technologies and a culture of innovation. For instance, 4D seismic is being adopted as an effective tool for reservoir management, including identifying and optimizing infill drilling opportunities and understanding fluid movement and distribution. Also, design requirements and technology are employed to minimize fugitive emissions as part of CNL's efforts to lower the carbon emissions intensity of our operations. We are also focused on optimizing cost, because the more viable our business, the more we contribute to the economy.