Tope Ogunyomi
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Director, Juniper Capital, Houston
28 FortyUnder40 feat. Ogunyomi, Tope

Tope Ogunyomi was introduced to the oil and gas industry at age 5, when his father, a Ph.D. geologist and exploration manager at Texaco (now Chevron), brought his geological maps home. “I was intrigued with the colors and his ability to find the ‘treasure.’ I couldn’t wait to do the same when I grew up,” he says.

Tope is a part of the investment team at Juniper Capital and has been actively involved in the company’s oil and gas upstream investments. 

“I keep learning every day at Juniper. Our investment professionals have various complementary backgrounds from private equity, investment banking, finance and legal to engineering and geology,” says the young achiever. 

Ogunyomi also serves on the board of one of Juniper’s portfolio companies. He plays a pivotal role with regards to portfolio management and leverages his operational experience to collaborate with management teams as they develop assets and create value. 

Career path: During his 15-year career in the oil and gas sector, Ogunyomi has worked for industry giants including Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Marathon Oil Corp. and Chesapeake Energy Corp., where he was responsible for the exploration and development of some of the most prolific oil and gas assets in the Permian, Scoop/Stack and Gulf of Mexico. 

After working for several years in the industry, he decided to pursue an MBA at the University of Oklahoma to learn more about its business side. “Getting my MBA and intentionally seeking out roles where I could learn other parts of the industry to complement my geoscience background gave me a broader understanding of the various value drivers for the industry,” he says.

“I’m excited to be part of the global energy demand solution that is helping to enhance lives.”

Industry outlook: “Working in the oil and gas industry is being a part of something much bigger than myself. Helping to fulfill the global energy demand directly impacts the well-being of people all over the world and drives economic development.” 

Growing up in Nigeria, Ogunyomi saw that some rural parts of the country had limited access to power. “I’ve seen how improved electricity and transportation access can fuel economic growth and improve lives. Today, electricity and transportation access has vastly improved, and much of it is driven by increased energy and infrastructure investments. This same phenomenon is happening across the world, and I’m excited to be part of the global energy demand solution that is helping to enhance lives,” he says. 

Professional achievement: “The professional achievement I am most proud of is being part of the initial Delaware Basin team at Anadarko back in 2013. Delaware Basin development as we know it today was still in its infancy back then. We jokingly called ourselves the original Wolfpack because we were a small team with a strong bond,” he recalls. 

Ogunyomi and his team successfully laid the groundwork to help secure more than 600,000 gross acres and saw the company’s budget grow from $400 million to about $1 billion. “Being part of the team that helped prove up the Delaware position from the initial $500 per acre average entry cost to over $50,000 per acre has been one of the highlights of my career,” he says. 

Mentoring young professionals: Ogunyomi currently serves as a mentor for the 2019 class of scholars in Suits for Sons, a nonprofit organization that enriches the life of college students through training, mentoring and scholarships. “I’ve been so blessed to have great mentors throughout my career. … I’m always happy to try my best to pay it forward to the next generation as they begin to navigate through their respective careers,” he says. 

He advises young professionals to keep learning. “Proactively seek opportunities to expand multi-disciplinary skills and find a good mentor,” he says.