Babatunde Cole

President and General Manager of Delaware Basin Business Unit, Onshore Resources and Carbon Management, Oxy, Houston

Having lived in Nigeria, Canada and the U.S., Babatunde Cole is able to bring his international knowledge and experience to the oil and gas sector.

As a proud supporter of Oxy’s mentoring programs and its volunteer team supporting the Astros Foundation Community Leaders and Children’s Museum of Houston, Cole invests time in educating and supporting the young minds responsible for the future of the energy industry.

Why did you enter the oil and gas industry?

“Being born in Nigeria, an oil-producing country, I was familiar with the importance of oil and gas to the economy and its role in supporting jobs, providing lower energy costs and energy security. My dad worked in downstream in the chemicals and marketing segment of the industry and was my role model. I entered the oil and gas industry to follow in the footsteps of my dad.”

Which of your professional achievements are you most proud of?

“In May 2018, our New Mexico business unit embarked on a proactive effort to further reduce emissions from its operations and increase its use of recycled produced water within its operations. I was the asset director responsible for improving operational excellence and optimizing our surface and downhole operations. We performed an extensive internal audit of our operations and identified opportunities to enhance the remote surveillance capability, optimize the design of production facilities and also the detection and repair of leaks. The New Mexico business unit has launched several impactful initiatives to reduce VOC emissions across our operations. In June 2020, Gaffney Cline named Oxy as a top-tier operator with best-in-class flaring and emissions reduction operational practices and cited examples of enhancements that had been made in the New Mexico business unit, as well as other areas in Oxy.”

What has helped you develop your leadership abilities during your career?

“I have been incredibly fortunate to have a diverse network of strong mentors and advocates who have supported and helped me gain confidence and grow in my career. In addition, I have also lived in a few countries, traveled the world and experienced different cultures. I believe the multicultural experience has helped me become a better communicator and aided me in adapting my communication in a way that different people can understand.”

Who are your mentors?

“I have had so many people that have had a real positive influence on my life. Starting with my parents, my mom taught me to be resilient and always be a role model for others. My dad had a strong influence on me and had a gift of making the complex seem simple, which allowed better clarity and decision making. Lastly, of recent, one of the senior leaders at Oxy, Jeff Bennet, advised me to emphasize the need for principle-based leadership and to put it into practice every day.”

What keeps you motivated and passionate about working in the oil and gas industry?

“The oil and gas industry provides numerous opportunities for individuals to pursue a career with small, medium, large and multinational corporations, from rural field offices to executive suites on the top floor. Also, the industry is composed of individuals from all different backgrounds, and you get to interact with some of the brightest, most innovative and hard-working people.”

What do you think young industry members as a group have to offer that is unique to them? 

“Young industry members can bring a fresh perspective and a different way of thinking to the industry. They are eager to learn, refine their skills and gain experience. Young industry members have a natural affinity for technology and help the industry’s adoption of new software and technology."

Three More Things

1. I am a huge football and soccer fan, and my two daughters are in competitive soccer leagues.

2. I have been to one of the most easterly points in North America: the Cape Spear Lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador.

3. The coldest temperature I have experienced is minus 42 F when I lived in Cold Lake, Alberta.