Ability Group of Norway Strengthens Management Team
Ability Group has made three key appointments to strengthen its management team. The move comes at a time of significant growth through acquisitions and the development of the group's own products and technologies.
Arne Aune has been appointed Executive Vice President, M & A and Projects responsible for mergers and acquisitions as well as special projects; Erling Storaune has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ability Group Inc, responsible for the group's operations in North, South and Central America; and Ray Dafter has joined the group as Director of Corporate Affairs, responsible for internal and external communications.
Mr. Aune, aged 48, is a shareholder in Ability Group. He has more than 20 years experience in the international oil and gas industry, recently joined Ability Group having previously been President and Chief Executive Officer of Epcon Offshore AS. Having gained degrees at the Norwegian Military Academy and the Norwegian School of Management, Oslo, Mr. Aune joined Norwegian Contractors AS in 1983, later becoming Vice President Finance. He joined the Aker Group in 1994 where he spent a number of years in senior and executive management positions including Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Aker Maritime Inc, CFO of Aker Maritime ASA, Senior Vice President of International Business Acquisitions of Aker Maritime ASA and Senior Vice President and Chief of Staff of Aker Kvaerner Field Development Inc. He was also a member of the Executive Merger Team of Aker Maritime ASA and Kvaerner ASA.
During the past five years Mr. Aune has been a member of the board in Aker Marine Contractors AS, Maritime Hydraulics AS, Pusnes AS, Aker Stord AS. Aker Oil and Gas AS, Aker Technology AS, Rauma Offshore Oy and Pyramid Inc.
Mr. Aune, who resides in Oslo, Norway, said: "I have joined at an exciting time for the Ability Group. It has a track record of strong and profitable growth, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a culture for successfully commercializing products and technologies."
Mr. Storaune, aged 51, is also a shareholder in the Ability Group. Based in Houston, Texas, Mr. Storaune is leading the expansion in the Americas of the already well-established petroleum services activities while developing the group's drilling services. He will also be introducing Ability's diverse integrity services to markets in the Americas. "Given our track record and strong reputation for quality service, I am confident that the Americas will feature strongly in the Ability Group's continuing growth over the coming years."
A mechanical engineer, Mr. Storaune joined the Norwegian Aker group in 1980. He held a number of positions in Norway, Japan and the US with Aker, until 2001 and then Coflexip/Technip. He was president of Technip's floater product line until 2006 when he joined the Ability Group. Mr. Storaune graduated from the Technical University, Trondheim.
Mr. Dafter, aged 62, is a highly experienced communications specialist, notably in the energy industry where he has more than 30 years' experience both as a journalist and as a senior public relations practitioner.
Having spent 13 years - from 1970 to 1983 - with the Financial Times where he was Energy Editor and Resources Editor, Mr. Dafter was appointed the Electricity Council's Central Director for Public and Overseas Relations to manage the image and corporate reputation of the electricity supply industry in England and Wales in the five years prior to the privatization of the sector. He then spent a period as Managing Director of a large communications company, Valin Polllen Ltd.
For nine years Mr. Dafter was Director of Corporate Affairs with Enterprise Oil with responsibility for internal and external communications. Since 2000 he has been working as a communications consultant, advising a number of companies in the energy related industry including the The Peak Group - now part of the Ability Group - and the Ability Group itself. Mr. Dafter is a former Fellow of the Center for International Affairs, Harvard University and author of a number of energy books including two reference works on enhanced oil recovery (Scraping the Barrel and Winning More Oil).
Ability Group has grown through innovation and development as well as through the acquisition of complementary businesses. The Group is focused on four operating divisions: Ability Petroleum Services, Ability Drilling Services, Ability Integrity Services, and Ability Project Services. Ability Group was floated on the Oslo Stock Exchange on July 3 2006 with an over-subscribed share placing of 27.4 million shares, giving the group an initial market capitalization of 3 billion NOK.
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