SPO Group

With over a century of exploration success, management experience, and operational expertise, we know Africa well; its challenges, risks, and rewards. We have a competitive advantage in sourcing world-class opportunities, therefore our shareholders share in this privilege.

Our proven capability and history of making discoveries of scale help us unlock value for our shareholders, partners and the Governments we work with.

The Board shares our passion and are confident we can leverage these strengths to become a leading successful offshore exploration company hunting down only globally material, internally generated ‘’mega-opportunities’’.

Members of our Board have held positions in Management, Senior Exploration and as Executives in the some of following leading Oil and Gas Companies:

Curtis Cohen

Chairman, SP Offshore Group

  • Mr. Curtis Cohen serves as Chairman of SP Offshore Group.
  • Formerly COO, Upstream, for The Sahara Group in Lagos, Nigeria, achieving Sahara’s first oil production within a year of his arrival and drilling three back to back oil discoveries and appraisal wells which doubled the companies reserves. He also led three asset sale efforts of Chevron, Shell and Total assets, and raising $600M, $900M and $1.4B respectively and winning stakes for Sahara in OML 18 and OML 138.
  • Managing Director, for Britania-U Nigeria Ltd.
  • In his 36-year career, Mr. Cohen has discovered of 600 MBO in OML 138 at Esso Nigeria, 500 MBOE in B8/32 at Pogo Thailand and 100 MBOE in Longtom & East Kingfish fields at Esso Australia.
  • He began his career at Gulf Oil in Latin America, then worked fifteen years in ExxonMobil worldwide affiliates, including Esso Exploration Europe-Africa Division in the UK and US, Esso Nigeria, Esso Norway, Esso REP (France), Esso Australia and Exxon Co. International HQ in NJ. Mr. Cohen joined NYSE independent Pogo Producing Co where he led exploration for a dozen years offshore Thailand, the Danish and UK sectors of the North Sea and New Zealand, China and Vietnam. In Thailand Mr. Cohen and his team drilled nearly 500 successful exploration and development wells before Pogo was acquired.
  • Mr. Cohen joined as New Ventures Manager Terralliance Technologies Inc (TTI), a private, exploration start-up of Goldman Sachs and Kleiner Perkins and later became Exploration Manager for its Buenos Aires affiliate Energy Operations Argentina and was formerly an Independent Director of TSX: Alberta Oilsands Inc (now TSX: Marque Energy).
  • Mr. Cohen graduated from The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Baccalaureate) in 1971 and has geology degrees from Lawrence College (BA, 1975) and Columbia University (MA, 1979).
  • He is a member of The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), The Geological Society of America (GSA), The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE). He is also a biographer named in Who’s Who in Frontiers of Science & Technology and has published a dozen and a half professional articles in Bulletins of the Geological Society of America and The American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Tectonophysics, among other publications.

Scott Spears

Managing Director, SP Offshore Group

  • Oil and Gas Operator since 1990 with over 150 exploration and development projects completed.
  • Conducted 3D seismic and drilling programs resulting in 90% completion rate in the Gulf Coast Regions primarily in the Deep Upper/ Lower Wilcox Trends.
  • Director of Exploration, Consolidated Petroleum responsible for managing contiguous complex drilling operations for 4 years with up to 5 rigs running simultaneously (mostly HPHT >12.000’).
  • Producing Property evaluations, acquisitions and divestments including acquisitions and divestments from Forest Oil, Marathon, Pioneer Natural Resources and Standard Oil Company, Sandalwood O&G, Enervest and others.
  • Assets and financial operations currently managed since 2008 include Nigeria, South Africa, Mozambique and the Offshore Territorial Waters of the Comoros located in the Rovuma Delta Basin- Ultra Deep Water.
  • Mr Spears has additionally had M&A and financial experience and was a past Venture Partner, in African Investment Partners, Based in Mauritius and offices in Lagos, Nigeria.
    Mr Spears has concluded $1.8 Billion USD in M&A transactions in Africa since 2004 as Principal Project Advisor in the sale of the largest non-producing Ultra Deep Water Field in Africa, being developed by (2) Major Oil and gas Companies as well the sale of DWC Drilling and CP Oil Nigeria Limited.
  • Past CEO/MD: Consolidated Petroleum Offshore (South Africa), CP Oil (Nigeria) Limited, DWC Drilling (Nigeria), Catamount Resources Corporation (Seychelles) and co-founder of Safari Petroleum, Plc. (Jersey). 

Ian Stuart (Edward) Hoare

Director and Public Officer SP Offshore Energy Services (Africa) Limited and SP Deepwater Holdings Corporation

  • Investor Relations Naval, Maritime and Banking background
  • 15 years Oil and Gas Sector experience
  • Pangbourne University
  • Languages: English, French

Elive Menyoli, PhD

Geophysics, MSc Geophysics and Geology , Head of Technical – SP Offshore, Technical Geophysical Programs

  • Technical advisor to the SP Offshore Group
  • Exploration Manager, Marathon Oil, Geophysicist Total Deepwater, Gabon
  • 15 Years-experience in Oil & Gas exploration projects
  • >500MMBOE in deep water exploration discoveries Congo, Gabon, Angola and Gulf of Mexico
  • Total E&P /SA France Seismic Depth Imaging and research Geophysicists
  • University of Hamburg,Germany –George-August University
  • Fluent Languages: English, French and German

Petrel (Schlumberger), DecisionSpace Geosciences (Landmark), Hampson and Russell (CGG), RokDoc (IkonScience), Epos4-Paradigm (Paradigm), OpendTect, Petrosys, SMT KingdomDr Menyoli is a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicist (SEG); SEG-OTC Technical Committee; American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG); Houston Geological Society (HGS); American Geophysical Union (AGU); Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA); World Affairs Council of Houston (WACH) President Advisor – IAEA Charity

Ivan Remane

Director, SP Offshore Group, New Ventures & Strategic Partnerships

  • Executive Director ETA Star Mozambique a significant natural resources stakeholder in Mozambique
  • Strategy, Vision & Mission Planning
  • Profitability & Cost Analysis
  • Contract Negotiations & Strategic Alliances
  •  Finance, Budgeting & Cost Management
  • Government Regulations & Relation
  • Team Building & Performance Improvement
  • Active Board Seats and equity shareholdings: Benhur Holdings, ETA Star, Indico Investment Holdings, Wepani Ltd, Titan Solar, ALLPG Logistics, Crushing 4Africa, MMX Mining Matrix, LLX Logik Logistics Matrix, Petroinveste Mozambique
  • University of Miami, Business
  • English, Portuguese and Spanish

Dr. Thomas Franzen

Non-Executive Director, SP Offshore Group


  • Current Managing Director / Principal RE Consultant
  • Principal RE, Advisor and Peer Lead, DONG Energy
  • IOR/EOR RE Specialist, Maersk Oil
  • Chief RE, OMV Tunisia
  • Well Test Supervisor, ADX Energy
  • Geothermal RE Studies, Erdwerk
  • RE Academic Lecturer, Berlin Institute of Technology
    2009 – 2011:  R&D Manager, Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany
    2006 – 2008:  Technical Manager: E&P Operations, PetroSA South Africa
    2001 – 2005:  Senior RE, Wintershall Libya
    1998 – 2000:  Senior RE & Reserves Valuation Manager, Veba Oil & Gas Libya & Venezuela (sold to Petro-Canada USD 3.8 billion)
    1992 – 1998:  Petroleum Engineer & Operations Manager, RWE-DEA Germany


  • Rubis Champion, Kappa Engineering
  • Petrel RE & Eclipse Expert User, SIS Schlumberger
  • PVTp, Prosper, MBal and Gap, Petroleum Experts


  • 2012 Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering, Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany
  • 1992 M.Sc. in Petroleum Engineering, Technical University Clausthal, German
  • English, fluent
  • German, native
  • Arabic, basics


Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

German Scientific Society of Petroleum and Mining (DGMK)

Michael Simpson

HEAD of Subsea Project Engineering, Facilities, and FPSO Operations


Electrical Engineering, Chartered Engineer, Ingenieur Professionnel, Corporate Member, Union Internationale Des Ingenieurs Professionnels, Corporate Membership, Institute of Electrical Engineers, Member Society of Petroleum Engineers, Certified Diploma and Accountancy and Finance ICA/79, University of Manchester, BSc (Hons) Institute of Science and Technology, Petroleum Engineering, Imperial College, London, MSc

  • Technical Advisor to SP Offshore Group
  • Providing Consultancy Services, FID, FDP preparations DRB/Board Submittals, Government Approvals, Field Development Strategies, and Economics – SIMCO Energy based in Muscat, Oman Cape Town, and the UK
  • Over 30 years experience in offshore/onshore/operational management engineering and construction. Over 25 years’ experience specifically in the offshore development of which, the majority has been spent project management of fixed and floating production facilities requiring a broad spectrum of knowledge of oil and gas field development, PSC’s, JOA’s joint ventures, methods of finance, operational activities and cost and schedule saving techniques. Michael has held the following positions:
  • Development Manager- for OML 123 Antan Filed and OML 137 reporting directly to the Executive Committee. Responsible for stage gate approvals, budgets and performance, UDC/UTC and cost recovery. Asset Manger OPL 90/225 responsible for the development of Okwori project consisting of 8 wells with FPSO and VLCC based smart completions and tiebacks to export gas pipeline to an existing facility. Responsible for governmental relationships and formal negotiations with Napims, DPR COMD, NNPC and NMA- Addax Petroleum, Nigeria and Addax Petroleum Services Geneva for 9 Years.
  • Operations Manager for Equatorial Guinea Block Q Project Manager for LNG import Facility for Mossel Bay Refinery using SRV vessels and re-gas technology. Project Manager for Venezuela subsea development using FLNG offshore liquefaction development model. 12 years Petro SA
  • Consortium Project Manager-PTTEP BONGKOT Field Development Thailand replacing completely new subsea system from FSO to six leg calm Buoy mooring and dynamic riser and 45,000DWT FSO in 80 days with 10 days of shutdown to resume production with minimal downtime.
  • Project Director, Responsible for FPSO and Offload MASA Field development, Kula LumparPetronas a Statoil-Petronas Consortium 4 years
  • Engineering and Construction Manager-Developed FEED into detailed design package for Statoil Stavanger-Lufeng CNOOC China, Norway Other evaluations conducted in Southeast Asia, Korea and PRC negotiated and placed EPIC contract for upgrade
  • Engineering Manager, -AMPOLEX Sydney Santa Ynez FPSO preparation of tender documents and contractual strategy. Conducted regions first HAZOP based on UK HSE requirements post-Piper Alpha. Responsible for full-scale prototype engineering, manufacturing and testing also worked with Engineering and Construction Division to continue with project 4 years.
  • Commissioning Manager- responsible for the hook-up, planning, mobilization level 4 network and ongoing engineering both onshore and offshore. Member of JV HAZOP committee phased handover to operations group. Tiffany T Block UK-Italy, 3 years
  • Engineering Manager, Topsides Supervisor responsible for all engineering, marine facilities and construction for the Emerald Field FPU/FSO Development, 5 years Sovereign Oil and Gas, UK
  • Project Engineer-Designed and built the tanker for FPSO and mooring swivel interface on the VLCC FPSO-6 and offloading facility offshore Nigeria with a total throughput of 59,000 BPD. Ashland Oil Houston, London and Nigeria – 4 years
  • Senior Project Engineer/Offshore Commissioning Manager- Responsible for all topside engineering, construction, pre-commissioning, hook-up start-up and commission for Helm, Helder and Hoorn Field Development and L11 Gas Platform, Union Oil Company, California, Aberdeen, London The Hauge
  • Project Engineer- Aramco, Berri Field, 14 wellheads and 45km 26” pipeline, Zuluf Field, tie in Platforms ZTP3, ZTP4, West Hanifa, ARAMCO, The Hauge, London & Houston
  • Project Engineer- Engineering and supervision during fabrication at McDermott Scotland followed by 3 years offshore during hook-up, commissioning, certification and approval during the first 12 months of full field production.
  • Numerous Papers Concluded
  • Multilingual