Dr. Olayiwola Francis Fatona is a Petroleum Geologist with over forty years of oil industry experience. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) in 1973. He obtained both the Masters of Science (1976) and Doctorate (1980) degrees in Petroleum Geology and Sedimentology from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, University of London.
He is the pioneer Managing Director of the Niger Delta Group. He is also the Chairman of Geotrex Systems Limited, a firm of Exploration and
Production Consultants which he joined after seven years stint in the Petroleum Engineering and Exploration Departments of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). A Past President and a Fellow of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists, he is also a Certified Petroleum Geologist (CPG) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). He is the 6th and 2010 recipient of the prestigious, highest-ranking “Aret Adams Award” of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists.
Layi was a Finalist in the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Series (West Africa Region) Master Class Category. As a yearly global, , search, identify and recognize competitive exercise for Entrepreneur, Founder Executives, the award entitles him as an alumni of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Global institution.
He was the 2012 recipient of the Nigerian Mining and Geosciences Society (NMGS) NMGS/DPR/ Chief M.O. Feyide Award in recognition of Excellent and consistent contribution in the general areas of Petroleum Engineering and Geology.
As Managing Director of the Niger Delta group; he actively and in a hands-on-manner drove and pioneered the concept of marginal Oil Field development. He brought to production in 2005 the first-ever- and currently one of the few- producing Marginal Oil fields in the country.
‘Layi and his lean Management team at Niger Delta have brought a new dimension to the commercialization of gas and adding refining to the value chain for Marginal Field Operations and operators. At Niger Delta, he pioneered the monetization of gas resources by building the first-ever Gas scrubbing plant with full value capture from LPG, Propane and Dry Gas production through total elimination of gas flaring. The company he spearheads also set a milestone by the grant of a License by the Hon. Minister of Petroleum to Operate a Refinery at the Ogbele marginal Field in Rivers State.
The Company – Niger Delta Exploration & Production Plc remains today an icon, setting many landmark milestones and as a model having evolved as a fully integrated Independent Nigerian Oil & Gas Development institution. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science
Degree (Honoris Causa), by the Osun State University, in November 2018, in recognition of his multiple Entrepreneurial and inspiring contributions to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry.
‘Layi is a passionate family-oriented person, married and blessed with three sons.