How did you come to be in the oil and gas industry?
I joined the company in 1998 in Tbilisi, Georgia. At that time BP was starting up the first project in the region (transporting oil from Caspian Sea in Azerbaijan to Black Sea in Georgia ) through a pipeline. BP was one of the biggest investors in the country as well as the first player in the oil and gas industry, as the industry was non-existent before. This project was a success and was followed by a number of other, much bigger scale projects. I was proud to be part of the big company that made a meaningful change not just within the industry but across my homeland.
As the HR Director for BP in Mauritania & Senegal, where do you see the biggest challenges in the region?
It is fascinating to work in this region and have the opportunity to learn more about the diverse in-country talent and opportunities for capability development. It has been a great learning experience from the start. In terms of specific challenges for the region I think it’s similar to many other emerging regions we have operated in – and these are never insurmountable. With the right approach, a dedication to learning the unknown and being willing to demonstrate flexibility, all challenges can be overcome!
What do you see as the essential next steps so as to increase in-country capacity within the MSGBC region?
I believe it is essential to combine capacity building across both technical and non-technical skills. While a lot of focus on improving technical skills (such as petro-technical) in various areas is of course beneficial, I would not underestimate the need to continue to focus on valuable behavioural skills: interpersonal skills, leadership, agility and flexibility. In today’s changing environment, I believe the combination of a great technical foundation with good behaviours is the key to growing great talent – no matter where in the world you are operating.
How is BP collaborating with local governments to meet their local development objectives?
The development of local and national capability is a key priority for BP in this region. Since entering the basin, we have started a number of initiatives. That includes the announcement of a multi-million dollar investment in the Institut National du Pétrole et du Gaz (INPG) in Senegal, and the building of a long-distance learning centre in Nouakchott – both of which we are developing in close partnership with the relevant national governments. We’ve also awarded a number of scholarships in both countries, and were very pleased with the feedback from our English Language programme that trained 100 governmental officials in 2017/18. We have now started stage 2 this year and it is fantastic to see some of the great progress from our participants – with English as the most commonly used language in the oil and gas sector we believe that is a priority development area when considering building local capability.
I also see real mutual value in the governmental secondees we have hosted in our UK office – both in terms of deepening officials understanding of how a company like BP works, whilst at the same time we are learning from our valued partners.
You’ll be speaking at the MSGBC Local Content Forum – what do you hope to take away from the meeting? What do you expect will be the main focus of the discussion?
I am looking forward to discussing others’ experiences and successes with a view to further strengthening our initiatives in country – I feel this is an area where collaboration and sharing has real value. BP has had a lot of success stories on local content in other regions which I’m looking forward to being able to utilise and adapt as we build our business in the region. Being personally impacted by a successful local content initiative in Georgia, I am very keen to implement some of our learnings to create a successful future for our business, and the wider industry, here in the MSGBC basin.
About Nino Meladze
Nino Meladze is HR Director for Mauritania and Senegal, based in BP’s Sunbury offices. She joined BP in 1998 in Tbilisi, Georgia where she started her career working for BP’s first project in the region, constructing a pipeline from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea.
Most of Nino’s career has been in HR generalist roles supporting onshore or offshore operations in different locations and various business functions. She also worked in Learning and Development looking after learning programmes for technicians across all BP Upstream locations, supporting programmes in Angola, Azerbaijan, Alaska, Indonesia, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and Trinidad and Tobago.
Nino holds a Post Graduate degree in HR from Nottingham Trent University, an MBA from the Caucasus School of Business and a Bachelors degree from Georgian Technical University.
Nino Meladze will be speaking on the panel titled ‘Local Content: Progress Made Since 2017 & Outlining the Next Steps” at the upcoming MSGBC Basin Local Content Forum in Dakar, 24 October 2018.