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Upstream: Process & Technology: Assala Energy IT Transition

Assala Energy is an oil and gas exploration company, backed by Carlyle Group, focused on opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Assala Energy strategy is to invest in mid-life and mature assets to increase production and extend field lifecycles, while prioritizing integrity, safety and responsible operations. In March 2017, Assala Energy announced the purchase of Royal Dutch Shell’s onshore assets in Gabon, West Africa for a total of US$628 million. Opportune was engaged to manage all aspects of the IT transition within an overall multi-functional transition program. 

From an IT perspective this was made more challenging by the fact that Assala Energy was a brand-new start up with no existing IT infrastructure, applications, office or personnel, so Opportune needed to stand up a complete corporate IT landscape in less than six months. 

Implementing this IT landscape required the following:

  • Setting up IT services for the U.K. office of Assala Energy to support the transition program team and the new Assala management team;
  • Selecting some 70 key applications to support finance, supply chain, operations, HR, HSSE and petroleum engineering;
  • Establishing the underlying IT infrastructure of networks, data centers;
  • The transfer of Gabon IT assets such as application data and documents, servers, laptops, desktops and local area network; and
  • The transfer of 450 employees and their associated contractors and third-party services companies at the point of transition. 

One of the most significant IT success stories was the design and delivery of a new integrated SAP S/4 HANA and HR SuccessFactors solution, a first in the E&P sector, and the successful migration of the Gabon data from Shell’s own SAP systems. Assala Energy CEO David Roux is quoted as saying, “The readiness of Assala’s SAP system is an exceptional achievement for both the Shell and Assala teams, given the timeframe of just over six months.” 

The acquisition by Assala Energy was large, complex and had an aggressive transition timeline; however, transition and ownership transferred to Assala on Nov. 1, 2017. Assala relied on Opportune’s transition experience to provide the right SAP, application and infrastructure expertise to reduce risk and increase the confidence in achieving their “Day 1” and “post-Day 1” objectives. 

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