Dr. Olufunmilayo Coker is recognised as a leading international authority on natural gas, in particular, LNG. He also has extensive experience in refineries and upstream exploration and production. He has a First Class Honours Degree in Chemical Engineering from Loughborough University and a PhD from the University of Nottingham. He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers and of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in the UK.
He started his career working on refinery projects in NNPCâ€™s Engineering and Technology Division and then moved to the Nigeria LNG Project, where he led the engineering design team in 1990. He also established the NLNG London Office for co-ordinating NLNG Project Development activities outside Nigeria, including the operations of a shipping subsidiary, which chartered LNG tankers to third parties prior to the start-up of NLNG. In addition, he co-ordinated the establishment of the London based NLNG Escrow Scheme with international banks and fund managers into which the funds for the NLNG Project were deposited by its shareholders.
Between 1994 and 1997, Dr Coker worked with Shell International Gas Limited London as a Business Development Adviser, where he worked on major Shell gas projects including the Sakhalin LNG Project in Russia and on initial development of the West African Gas Pipeline,
He returned to Nigeria in 1997 as the Deputy Expansion Co-ordinator of NLNG and was appointed Expansion Co-ordinator in 1999. He led all aspects of the expansion of NLNG, from its initial capacity of 5.8 million tonnes per year to its current capacity of 22 million tonnes per year. The scope of work included upstream gas supply, LNG plant design and construction, LNG Sales Agreements, LNG shipping capacity and third party financing for both the LNG plant and the ships from international and Nigerian creditors. While he was at NLNG, he co-ordinated the establishment of the Nigerian Gas Association (NGA) in 1998.
In 2004 Dr Coker became the first Executive Director Joint Venture Operations of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) where he successfully managed the transfer of operatorship of a number joint venture oil fields from International Oil Companies to NPDC.
In 2005 he became the Managing Director of Olokola LNG (OKLNG), a major international LNG, NGL and condensate project. He led all the project development and initial site and EPC activities and, at the time he retired in 2012, the Project was ready to proceed to the construction phase. Although the Project has not been realised, facilities have been installed at the site that will facilitate implementation of the OKLNG Project and can support offshore E&P activities.
Apart from successfully delivering large-scale technical projects, Dr Coker has implemented unrivalled Nigerian Content programmes in both upstream E&P and LNG Projects in terms of extensive training and competence development programmes for Nigerian staff, Nigerian engineering design and equipment and materials procurement and local community assistance. The projects also had world class Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) and Environmental Management Plans.