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OSRL's New CEO on a World Tour: Strengthening Relationships Across the Business

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

OSRL's New CEO on a World Tour: Strengthening Relationships Across the Business

Our new CEO, Vania De Stefani, has been on a world tour since joining the company in January. This tour has included visits to different regions and meetings with numerous colleagues, member companies, shareholders, and business partners. 

We met with Vania to ask her a few questions about her recent trips. 


What has been the highlight of your recent tour around OSRL’s locations? 

Meeting so many people in person has been a real privilege, especially after months of virtual meetings. These meetings have allowed me to strengthen relationships with employees, members and other stakeholders across the business. 


Where did your tour start? 

After a first week in Southampton, I visited Aberdeen, visiting the North Sea team and inspecting the OSPRAG capping stack. I also met with members, government officials, and business partners. 

From there, I travelled to Teesside, where I met the 2Excel team operating the aviation fleet in the UK. I even boarded the Boeing 727, one of the most distinctive-looking airliners ever built, with its sleek lines and innovations. 


Where next? 

I then travelled to the US and visited the base in Fort Lauderdale. There I discussed research projects at the Oceanographic Center of NOVA Southern University and visited the Coral Reef Ecology and CRRAM Laboratories. 

After that, the I visited Houston and met several members, including Chevron, Shell, Exxon, Hess, and Apache. I also met with the leadership of MSRC (Marine Spill Response Corporation), the largest dedicated oil spill and emergency response organisation in the United States. After that, I visited the MWCC (Marine Well Containment Company) facilities, including the incident command centre. 

I also visited the Trendsetter facilities, meeting the team who maintain the OSRL capping stacks.  

Heading back to Europe, the tour continued in Norway, where I spent time with the team in Stavanger and met with our chair, Astrid Sorensen. I saw the 15 kpsi capping stack located in Norway and met with several stakeholders at Equinor and NOFO


From Scandinavia to Milan 

Next, I travelled to Milan to meet with our members ENI and then to Trieste, where we store the Offset Installation Equipment (OIE). Together with our business partner Saipem, we've developed a unique system designed to intervene during subsea wellhead spills when direct vertical access is impossible. The OIE equipment is being kept there in efficient working order to be available in the event of an emergency. 


Off to the other side of the world: Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand 

Next stop was APAC, visiting Perth, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. In Perth, I spoke to many member companies, including ShellSantos, Woodside, and NOPSEMA.  

In Singapore, I met with the talented team at the base and had a mini-townhall in the warehouse. I then travelled to Kuala Lumpur to visit PETRONAS and sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between OSRL and PIMMAG to cement their relationship and collaboration. 

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Signing the MOU with PIMMAG


In Thailand, I met with key stakeholders, mainly the Marine Department, the lead agency for oil spill preparedness and response in Thailand waters, and PTT, Thailand's national and largest oil and gas company. 

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OSRL and Thailand's Marine Department meet 


Back to the UK and then off to the Middle East 

After a brief stop in the UK, my journey took me to Bahrain, a country with a rich history in the oil and gas industry. Having spent several years in this region, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed its many achievements. 

Despite the unusual rainy weather on our arrival, we were warmly welcomed by the team there. During our visit, we had the opportunity to explore the new base and meet with BAPCO, a leading player in the region's oil and gas industry. We were even given a tour of the incident command centre, which was an impressive display of their commitment to preparedness and response. 

In Saudi Arabia, I had the opportunity to drive through the magnificent King Fahd Causeway to Ras Tanura, the oldest refinery on the Persian Gulf coast. I met with Mohammad Saber and his team at the Marine Department, where we shared valuable insights on oil spill response strategies.  


Next and final stop was Kuwait and where I had a fruitful discussion with Mr Sami Sawagh and Capt. Al Ajmi at the KOC offices.  

Vania Travels KOC Meeting.png

Meeting with Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) 


What was your main takeaway from your travels around the world? 

I feel great pride and confidence in OSRL's potential, every place I visited, I was greeted with gratitude and respect from our members and stakeholders. This tour has been a valuable opportunity to strengthen relationships with our employees, members and other stakeholders across the business. Just one more stop to go – Brazil! Then back to the UK and fully into the role of CEO at OSRL on 1st April, I can't wait to get started. 

Author Bio(s)

Vania De Stefani

Chief Executive Officer

Vania has spent over 20 years in the oil and gas business with professional experience in engineering, operations and process safety. Vania began her career at Imperial College as the head of the scientific team developing fire and explosion models. She continued to become an executive and has spent the majority of her career working for BP, most recently as the Vice President of Operations for Mauritania and Senegal. She has worked in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East while leading teams that were geographically and culturally diverse. Vania played a key role in the response to the Deepwater Horizon incident in the Gulf of Mexico and has led operational crises in other regions. In 2023 she was appointed CEO of Oil Spill Response Limited.

Vania holds a Master's degree in Process Engineering from the University of Padua and a PhD in Thermophysics from Ecole Nationale Superieure de Mines de Paris.