Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Chibuike Njoku: Engineer’s latest opportunity features a cool twist

Born in Nigeria to a military household, Chibuike Njoku became used to relocating throughout his early life.

This quality would support his career over the years, with his most recent move coming mid-pandemic to Calgary, where he works as a staff reservoir engineer supporting the Montney asset.

Chibuike during his first wellsite visit after starting full-time for ConocoPhillips in 2008. This San Juan Basin wellsite was located near Farmington, New Mexico, where ConocoPhillips was field-testing new artificial-lift technologies.

Chibuike began his career at ConocoPhillips in 2008 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University.

With experience gained through two internships (both onshore and offshore), he was drawn to ConocoPhillips because of the international assignment opportunities for young engineers, the New Hire Training program and the company’s (then) assets in his home country of Nigeria.

ConocoPhillips sold the Nigeria business unit years later, but Chibuike remained with the company and continued to gain experience from his work with ConocoPhillips.

“I began my career in the Global Wells organization under Artificial Lift, Well Integrity and Production Surveillance subject matter experts,” Chibuike said. “This was a dynamic group of senior technical experts who supported my development both professionally and personally. We still keep in touch.”

Over the next four years, Chibuike held several roles in the Lower 48 in Houston and Midland before beginning a cross-disciplinary assignment as a reservoir engineer. In the decade to follow, Chibuike would gain experience across many assets, including the Delaware Basin during late appraisal and early development, Lower 48 and South America exploration, and now Montney.

Did you know?

Chibuike means “God is Strength” and Njoku means “Good Harvest”

In his position as staff reservoir engineer, Chibuike is part of an active and exciting team in the exploration and production space, with a focus on making projects more competitive within the global portfolio. From a team and project lead perspective, Chibuike looks for opportunities to drive towards critical business goals while having fun.

“Positive vibes can be incredibly impactful, and that energy is a key to success.”

Chibuike Njoku

“Positive vibes can be incredibly impactful, and that energy is a key to success. With this in mind, I work hard to keep the excitement up and ensure my staff are supported.”

While his colleagues know him as a reservoir engineer, Chibuike is first and foremost a husband and father. His transfer to Calgary also included his wife, Bilkisu, and two children, Rose, 6, and Kanayo, 4.

Clockwise, from top left: Ice skating; the family endured a two-week quarantine after arriving in Calgary. It was a true test of patience, featuring Rose and Kanayo, who entertained themselves by hosting fashion shows, crashing zoom calls and enjoying games of hide-seek-sleep; a summer trip to The Enchanted Forest in Revelstoke, BC

“We have enjoyed our time in Calgary; so far it has exceeded our expectations. The various city-sponsored community programs to support the growing immigrant population, along with the diverse grocery, restaurant and service options have allowed us to feel like we aren’ t missing anything.”

The Montney Reservoir Characterization Team includes (back row, lr) Abhay Kumar, Chibuike Njoku, Brian Coffman, Brett Miles and Alemayehu (Alem) Aklilu; Front row: Travis Nicolle, Elizabeth Watt, Jen Sarnecki and Vishal Bang.

Outside of work, you’ll find Chibuike with his family enjoying the outdoors and experimenting with winter sports – something that is new to them.

“Watching the kids get into ice skating has been really fun. For me, until soccer starts up again, I’ll be running by the Bow River trail or biking virtually. You can find me on Zwift until summer.”

Additionally, Chibuike is thankful to work with talented, but also fun and active colleagues on the Montney Reservoir Characterization Team who also love trying new things.

“Since arriving, we’ve had a few team hikes, played cricket as a team, and most recently went curling. These were firsts for me! I look forward to more, and to see if my soccer experience translates to hockey.”

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