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    Ukraine appoints new Naftogaz board members


The government has replaced a number of officials appointed by the former CEO.

by: William Powell

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Ukraine appoints new Naftogaz board members

Kyiv has appointed new Naftogaz board members and dismissed COO Otto Waterlander and CFO Peter van Driel, the state company said September 28. The government appointees, which include Mavriky Kalugin, Olena Boichenko, Roman Chumak, and Vladyslav Volovyk, are experienced industry experts with Ukrainian and international experience. Kalugin was appointed as board advisor on upstream matters in June.

"Notably, for the first time in the Naftogaz history, one of the board members is an actual oil and gas professional with the international industry-specific education and operational experience, both in Ukraine and in other countries," the company said.

They will hold office until a new professional supervisory board has been selected, through an open competition "as required by the OECD procedures."

The Naftogaz supervisory board terminated Waterlander's and van Driel's posts at its meeting on September 20. "This decision was made, notably, without any submissions by the company’s CEO [Yuriy Vitrenko] or duly executed resignation letters filed by Waterlander and van Driel," Naftogaz said.

However, Vitrenko had seriously undermined Waterlander's credibility earlier in the month, saying he had given much erroneous information in a television interview that was broadcast at the time of the dismissal and advising journalists to ignore it.

However the government did dismiss board members Sergiy Pereloma and Yaroslav Teklyuk based on the Naftogaz CEO’s submission.

Pereloma had represented Naftogaz as the company joined the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, a global alliance aimed at reducing emissions upstream. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development hailed Ukraine's entry as a "landmark for the whole EBRD region." 

A lawyer, Teklyuk was involved in Naftogaz’s successful Stockholm cases against Gazprom. He had been involved in the hearing at the Hague to recover the company's upstream assets, lost when Crimea was annexed by Russia.

Other officials left the company soon after Vitrenko's surprise appointment at the end of April, when he replaced Andriy Kobolev.