Sarki Auwalu: Director/CEO of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)

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Born in 1965, Sarki Auwalu, the Director/CEO of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Chairman PTI governing council had a good record of sterling academic accomplishments before he joined the DPR.

Sarki Auwalu attended the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, from where he bagged a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering in 1989. Thereafter, he proceeded to the Bayero University, Kano where he earned a post-graduate Diploma in Management in 1993.

Done with BUK, but certainly not done with acquiring knowledge, Sarki Auwalu moved to the Chevron Academy where he was awarded a certificate in Oil and Gas Handling, Facilities Maintenance, and Troubleshooting in 1999.

Sarki Auwalu: Director/CEO of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)
Sarki Auwalu: Director/CEO of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)

Auwalu was also at PETRAD Norway, where he got a Diploma in Drilling Risk Assessment in 2000. Two years later, he got another Diploma in Petroleum Policy and Management from the same institution.

In 2006, Auwalu obtained a Diploma in Offshore Technology from PetrolSkill USA, and in 2007, he returned to the PETRAD Norway and earned yet another Diploma in Petroleum Policy and Operations. In 2017, the new DRP boss was at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos.

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Obviously, these academic acquirements did a yeoman’s job in preparing Auwulu for an industry where he has since been a major player.

Sarki Auwalu started his working life at the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) in Lagos as a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member, serving as a process engineer in charge of sewage and water treatment plant between 1989 and 1990. From 1990 to 1992, Auwalu was with the Kano State Ministry of Industry and Commerce where he was able to develop an industrial inspection module for Kano State.

He also successfully initiated the concept of small-scale technology in business incubation, While there, he reviewed a number of industrial proposals and oversaw their implementation. Some of such industrial concerns were Kuma Sheet Glass Company, Intravenous Fluid Production Company, Surgical Gloves, Syringes, and Needle Production Company, and the Fertiliser Blending Plant.

At the Kano State Environmental Planning and Protection Agency, where he worked as an environmental engineer and project manager at various times between 1992 and 1998, the new DPR boss was instrumental in the construction of the Central Industrial Effluent Treatment Plant for Challawa, Sharada, and Bompai Industrial Estates, Kano River Pollution Project, and Wase Earth Dam Pollution Control Project, among others.

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Since his move to the DPR, Sarki Auwalu has held some key positions in the organization. Indeed, in the statement announcing him, the Presidency hailed him as a driving force of the agency.

Having started out in the agency in 1998, Auwalu rose through the ranks to the position of assistant director before his elevation as director of the organization.

As principal chemical engineer between 1998 and 2002, he successfully supervised a number of collaborative projects of the DPR with oil giants such as Chevron and Shell, among others.

He was also, at various times in his 21-year stint at the DPR, assistant chief chemical engineer, chief chemical engineer, deputy manager, manager, safety control, manager, upstream facilities as well as assistant director.

An engineer registered by the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria COREN), the DPR helmsman is a member, Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), member, Society of Petroleum Engineers, and associate member, Institute of Chemical Engineers, United Kingdom.

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As DPR director, Sarki Auwalu is no doubt a round peg in a round hole. And not too many people would be surprised that he hit the ground running, literally, immediately after his appointment.

Just days after he was named Director, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the agency, under his leadership, unveiled a set of new guidelines of operations for the upstream sector of the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The regulatory document, one gathered, is part of efforts geared towards limiting the cost of oil production in the country by five percent, as demanded by the federal government and to make companies focus more on exploration.

Some of the new guidelines are Work Programme and Budget Automation, Rig and Vessel Work Automation, Drilling/Completion/Re-entry Work Process Automation, and the Nigerian Oil and Gas Contract Advertising Portal (NOGCAP).

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Chila Andrew Aondofa

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