New CEO takes helm at Mersey oil giant

Former ExxonMobil executive Stein Ivar Bye is the new CEO of Essar Oil UK which supplies 16% of all UK road transport fuels from its Stanlow refinery on the banks of the Mersey. Tony McDonough reports

Stein Ivar Bye
Stein Ivar Bye, CEO of Essar Oil UK


Essar Oil UK has unveiled former ExxonMobil executive Stein Ivar Bye as its new chief executive.

Mr Bye will be based at the Stanlow manufacturing complex on the banks of the river Mersey and replaces Mark Wilson, who departs by “mutual agreement” after less than six months in the role.

The Stanlow facility employs around 1,000 people. It supplies 16% of all UK road transport fuels and each year produces 4.4bn litres of diesel, 3bn litres of petrol and 2bn litres of jet fuel.

The global Essar Group acquired the then loss-making Stanlow in 2011 from Shell and has since invested £650m turning it into a sustainable and profitable business which now generates annual revenues of more than £4bn. Earlier this month it announced a new petrol supply deal with supermarket chain ASDA.

Mr Bye has more 28 years’ experience in the oil and energy sector, working internationally across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He previously spent 25 years with ExxonMobil and was latterly chief operating officer at Sweden’s largest fuel company, Preem.

He said: “I am honoured to be selected as CEO for Essar Oil UK and excited to be part of Essar’s transformational journey. Society’s demand for efficient and sustainable energy solutions is an inspiring challenge and will require creativity and perseverance.

“With the collective competency and commitment of the Essar organisation, and strong stakeholder engagement, I am confident Essar Oil UK will be a part of the solution for the future.”

Prashant Ruia, non-executive chairman, Essar Oil UK, added: “As an organisation, our sights are firmly set on transforming our UK business, ensuring its growth and long term sustainability as we transition towards a low carbon energy economy and deliver the energy solutions of the future for Britain. Stein will be pivotal in meeting this challenge and fulfilling this ambition.”

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