THE local arm of Australian energy giant BHP is changing leadership in the midst of a proposed mega-merger with Woodside Petroleum, another Australian energy giant.
In a statement on March 28, BHP said its Trinidad and Tobago country manager, Michael Stone, was resigning for “personal reasons,” ten months after succeeding Vincent Pereira.
Stone will be replaced on May 1 by Juan Manuel Vazquez, previously head of operations for BHP’s Trion project in Mexico
On Stone’s appointment, BHP’s president, Petroleum, Geraldine Slattery, said, “I have confidence in Michael to take the reins and add a new perspective. Through various senior roles within Petroleum, Michael has played a key part in major projects, is a genuine people leader with deep knowledge of our business and sector, and is passionate about the success of BHP in Trinidad and Tobago. I look forward to the continued success of our TT business under Michael’s leadership.”
Stone, who has been with BHP for 19 years, has worked across TT and the US, in senior roles in operations, commercial and finance. He has diverse experience within the energy sector in both onshore and offshore operations.
His successor, Vazquez, has been with the company for 14 years and has more than two decades’ experience in the oil and gas industry.
The company said Vazquez was head of operations for BHP’s Trion project in Mexico. Previously, he was general manager and chairman of BHP’s Midstream JV with Kinder Morgan (divested in 2018), field operations manager for the Gulf of Mexico assets, chief of staff to BHP’s CEO in Australia, and engineering manager for TT.
Slattery said: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Juan extensively over the past ten years and I know he will bring value to our TT business through his deep international experience and his unwavering focus on people and community. He is exactly the right person to lead BHP in TT, at this transformational time for our business.”
Vazquez, commenting on his new position, said he looks forward to working in TT again and “leading the business as we work alongside the local industry and community to help supply the resources the country needs.”
Stone will work with Vazquez until July 30 to assure a seamless transition.
In August 2021, BHP said the US$28 billion proposed merger with Woodside will not immediately affect its operations and business plans in TT. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals in each country where BHP operates and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022.