Total’s David Ochanda wins 2020 IOGP Outstanding Young Professional Award

The International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) has presented the 2020 Outstanding Young Professional Award (OYPA) to David Ochanda, Biodiversity Coordinator with Total, Uganda. The award recognises his endeavours in raising awareness of biodiversity and ecological standards when exploring and producing oil and gas in highly sensitive areas.

“David’s commitment is a prime example for leadership, innovation and impact. His work takes our industry’s environmental awareness to the next level. It’s a well-deserved win” said Fawaz Bitar, IOGP Chair, at the opening ceremony of the virtual SPE HSES conference.

This year’s announcement of the OYPA winner was planned to take place in March at the SPE HSES conference in Bogota, Colombia, but, due to the Covid-19 constraints was delayed in line with the postponement of the conference.

IOGP received submissions from over 20 organisations from around the globe. The Awards Committee, consisting of executives from the world’s leading upstream and contractor companies, categorised the nominees based on their leadership, innovation and impact and shortlisted 7 finalists.

Given the high calibre of submissions IOGP decided to choose three runners up. These are:

Saul Moorhouse, BP,
Delina Lyon, Shell, and
Xeniya Yurkavets, Kazmunaigas.

“Witnessing these outstanding initiatives makes me incredibly proud of our young colleagues and I believe the future of our industry could not be in better hands. These are exactly the kind of inspiring people we need,” said Fawaz Bitar.

The 2022 award nominations will open at SPE Offshore Europe from 7-10 September 2021 –

David Ochanda's acceptance speech

David Ochanda's winning video presentation

The finalists of the 2020 OYPA Award

The Finalists

IOGP and SPE have gathered an impressive group of global industry leaders to help judge the award.  The judges are:

  • Tahir Azibekov, ADNOC
  • Mike Borrell, Total
  • Jordan Buss, Precision Drilling
  • Johana Dunlop, SPE
  • Christopher Egwuatu, Nigeria LNG
  • Aleida Rios, BP
  • Thomas Knode, KirbyCorp
  • Celine Mollet, TechnipFMC
  • Marcin Nazaruk, Baker Hughes
  • Cesar Patino, Ecopetrol
  • Deborah Peach, Woodside
  • AnnaMaria Petrone, Eni/KPO
  • Davide Scotti, Saipem
  • Olav Skår, IOGP
  • Vince Spinelli, KazMunayGas
  • Rhonda Yoder, Chevron

The Outstanding Young Professional Award recognizes the achievements of an individual with fewer than 10 years of professional E&P experience. The recipient must have demonstrated professional accomplishments and evidence of outstanding talent, dedication and leadership in at least one aspect of health, safety, security, sustainability, the environment or social responsibility.

IOGP is looking to senior members of the industry to nominate Young Professionals who meet the award criteria.

A global awards committee will choose five finalists and the final winner will be announced and presented with the award by IOGP Chair, Fawaz Bitar.

The winner will receive:

  • Outstanding Young Professional Award certificate and trophy
  • Complimentary registration to the 2020 SPE Health, Safety, Environment and Sustainability Conference
  • Two-year membership to SPE
  • An invitation to join the Award & YP Committees for the 2022 Conference
  • Recognition on the IOGP website and newsletter
  • Recognition on the SPE Conference website

Eligibility and award criteria

The Outstanding Young Professional Award is open to all individuals who have fewer than 10 years of professional E&P experience.

Nominees must:

  • Be well-respected and in good standing within the community.
  • Serve as a role model for other young professionals.
  • Demonstrate noteworthy professional and personal achievement.
  • Demonstrate commitment to excellence and proven leadership.
  • Exhibit expertise, passion and the ability to inspire others.

Please contact Danny Walsh, IOGP Global Media & Communications Manager, at for any communications queries.

Download a brochure

to share with your colleagues

“I am earnestly grateful and profoundly honored for receiving such an important award, the IOGP OYPA 2020. This demonstrates the remarkable inspiration, empowerment and respect I have always received from my seniors and colleagues, not forgetting the great teamwork. The award gives me more strength to challenge myself and perform even better.” 
– David Ochanda, 2020 winner

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