Rob Jager

Country chairman & Chief operating officer, Shell New Zealand

Shell New Zealand credits Chairman and General Manager Rob Jager for aggressively pursuing a growth strategy that has seen the company expand its local exploration efforts for the first time in 10 years.

Rob’s inspirational local leadership continues to convince Shell Global that investment in New Zealand is worthwhile, despite the country being seen as a ‘hard sell’ due to its tough geology and relative isolation.

Rob’s recent efforts have seen the company front exploration in the Great South Basin, where it now operates two permits. Shell took over operatorship of PEP 50119 from partner OMV in April 2012 and followed that up by participating in an adjacent licence awarded in the 2012 blocks offer.

Shell is currently processing 3D seismic data and exploring potential development options to determine whether to move to the next phase and drill an exploration well.  During this time Shell has been progressing the environmental, social and cultural impact assessment and actively engaging with the local communities, with Rob taking a personal lead.

Earlier this year Shell applied for a prospecting permit in the frontier New Caledonia Basin in partnership with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC). The proposed permit covers almost 147,180 square-kilometres of ocean and extends more than 600 kilometres north-west of Cape Reinga, to the north-west border of New Zealand's extended continental shelf.


Rob’s vision and influence are two of the key factors driving the company’s strengthening relationship with China, evidenced by the CNOOC partnership, and in the leasing of the Chuanqing rig for the recent development drilling at Kapuni.

The Kapuni tight gas project is one of several development projects underway at Shell’s part-owned producing fields in Taranaki, thanks to Rob’s focus on the need to ensure the group’s assets are optimally invested in, maintained and modernised.

The Pohokura gas-reinjection project, commissioned in December 2012, is aimed at increasing liquids production from the field.  At Maui - 83.75 per cent-owned by Shell - efforts to extend the life of the field continue. 

Rob has taken the lead in championing the Maui end of life project, with success evident in the award-winning 2011/2012 Maui B drilling programme that booked substantial new reserves for the company.

Rob is well known for his health and safety leadership and is chair of both Be Safe Taranaki and the Business Leaders Health and Safety Forum. He was recognised for his commitment to safety when the Minister of Labour last year invited him to chair an independent Government taskforce on workplace health and safety.

The process the taskforce adopted, and its recommendations, have been widely applauded.


The Energy Executive of the Year award category is sponsored by Transfield Worley