Founder & CEO
Qasim founded Stratum Energy in 2005, providing 100% of the company’s startup capital. He has implemented Stratum’s strategy from its inception to successfully explore and exploit the geologically complex Moinesti Concession located in the Eastern Carpathian thrust belt of Romania. Under his stewardship, Stratum has discovered and is currently developing the large Poduri gas condensate field. It is the most recent oil and gas commercial discovery under development in Romania. Some of the top acclaimed leaders and CEOs of large European energy companies have personally invested in Stratum and joined him as shareholders in support of his strategy for Moinesti. He continues to lead Stratum in its quest to become a leading E&P company in Eastern Europe.
Prior to starting Stratum, Qasim mentored a Canadian company engaged in E&P activities in India. He provided critical leadership to the company and helped them become a successful E&P operator in Gujarat. Qasim led the efforts of the company to comply with the requirements of the Gujarat state-owned-partner and the central government regulator. He also spearheaded the establishment of their business in Bangladesh, providing guidance to the CEO and to the President on day-to-day regulatory and business matters. During his tenure the company’s market cap increased from $20 million to approximately $3 billion.
Qasim started his career in 1983 with BJ/Baker Hughes in Texas as a frac engineer. He designed and executed some of the first Barnett shale frac jobs in North Texas. After five years in domestic operations, the company selected Qasim to work internationally as an expat in Egypt, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore, & South Asia. He was the Country/Area Manager in several of these locations and developed their business for the next 12 years from a top leadership position.
Qasim Sharif is a licensed Petroleum Engineer registered with the Texas State Board of Engineers. He has over 33 years of experience in engineering and senior management with E&P and service companies. He holds a BSE in Petroleum Engineering from West Virginia University.
Chief Financial Controller
Radha is the Chief Financial Controller for the Stratum group of companies. Radha has work experience of more than 40 years in a range of cultures and geographies. His core strength lies in thinking of creative solutions.
Radha has extensive experience in all aspects of oil and gas upstream finance, accounting, and commercial activities. He has worked for ONGC (India’s national oil company), Reliance Industries, Enron Oil and Gas, and BG Group.
In each of Radha’s prior jobs, he has brought innovations in information systems and processes for reporting and analyzing financial data. Radha was the functional lead in implementation of IDEAS and MAXIMO systems at Enron, worked as a Project Manager for SAP implementation for BG in India and Bolivia, and designed and steered the implementation of INFOR EAM and Sun Financial Systems at Mercator Petroleum. He has worked in a number of startup environments and established fit-for purpose systems and processes.
Radha also has extensive experience in commercial matters, including bidding for new E&P licenses, farm-outs, farm-ins, and administration of Production Sharing Contracts with host governments. He has negotiated multibillion dollar oil and gas sale agreements and gas balancing and lifting procedures.
Radha is a graduate in Science, Cost and Management Accounting, a qualified company secretary, a qualified project manager, and has a diploma in Management. Radha is member of the ICMA, AIPN, and IAEE.
Tunde Afolabi has over 40 years’ experience in business management, entrepreneurship, and international finance. He is the Chairman of Amni International Petroleum Development Company Limited, a leading petroleum exploration and production company that he founded in 1993. Amni currently produces 16,000 barrels of oil per day from its fields in offshore Nigeria and holds additional acreage in Ghana.
Tunde has an undergraduate degree from Franklin & Marshall College and a graduate degree from Tulane University, both in geology.
VP of Operations
Mike Harrison has 39 years of upstream oil and gas experience in the U.S., West and North Africa, Turkey, and South America.
Prior to joining Stratum Energy, Mike served as President of TransAtlantic Energy Solutions, a global engineering and operations firm, and as Executive
Vice President of Amicus Oil and Gas, an emerging E&P company focused on U.S. resource plays.
Mike spent 20 years at Amoco Production Company in various E&P technical and
managerial roles. His areas of expertise include asset management, development planning, drilling and production operations, and well engineering.
Mike served as Vice President of Operations and a member of the Board of Directors of Centric Energy Corporation prior to its merger with Africa Oil Corporation in 2011. He spent 3.5 years working as Operations Section Chief and Deputy Incident Commander for BP on the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Mike is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum Engineering.
Grayson is a US national raised in Europe. He has successfully identified, built, and financed a variety of start-ups and early-stage businesses worldwide. He joined Stratum in 2013 and has led Stratum’s commercial development since that time, negotiating and managing all of the company’s offtake agreements with world-class organizations. Following the seed-capital equity rounds, in which he participated at every opportunity, Grayson also led Stratum through several rounds of debt financing, leading to a major re-financing in 2015.
Grayson started his business development career in Hong Kong in 1986, producing and trading electronic goods worldwide. He has developed European leather-goods businesses from Asia, and electronic security equipment businesses in France. He led the JV team to develop a consumer detergent business from Fushun, China, and made a market and traded OTC pulp & paper derivatives from Atlanta. His career in upstream energy was spawned in 1998 when he began integrating derivatives across different commodity classes and physical trading platforms including natural gas storage.
Prior to joining Stratum, Grayson was engaged in business development in European energy, both for large-cap publicly-traded US corporations and private entrepreneurial startups. His focus has been on developing and exploiting both the physical energy assets themselves as well as the commercial and trading opportunities that such assets create. This has involved a full range of successful fund-raising campaigns and commercial developments.
Grayson received an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has a degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Fred is a geologist with 39 years of experience in the international petroleum industry. He has an extensive background in all aspects of exploration and production including exploration geology/prospect development, production and reservoir geology, seismic interpretation, basin/play evaluation, and exploration management.
Fred joined Stratum Energy in 2012 as Exploration Director. For four years he has been directing geoscience activities and supervising a team of G&G consultants. He is responsible for geologic input for reserves and field development, seismic survey planning/execution, seismic interpretation/structural mapping, well location/targeting, and well evaluation. Based on Fred’s proposals, Stratum has drilled five successful appraisal/development wells, planned and executed several 3D/2D seismic surveys, completed a block-wide geological evaluation, and developed a strong long-term strategy for future exploration.
Fred worked for ExxonMobil for 31 years in technical and supervisory roles as a geologist, seismic interpreter, production supervisor, new ventures advisor, and senior technical advisor. Fred lived in Houston, London, and Lagos, Nigeria, covering a wide range of geographic work areas including the US Gulf of Mexico, onshore Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas, offshore Eastern Canada, Azerbaijan, Indonesia, and all of Africa, including major projects in Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Egypt, Algeria, Gabon, Somalia, Mozambique, South Africa. Fred retired from ExxonMobil in 2011.
Fred’s experience also includes two years as International New Ventures Director for Seagull Energy in Houston, responsible for evaluating worldwide new ventures opportunities and Seagull’s strategy for development of acquisitions. Fred spent another two years working as an independent consultant for a variety of clients on producing property acquisitions, acreage tender evaluations, and exploration well planning.
Reservoir Engineering Advisor
Chuck has considerable experience in leading reservoir assessments for large-scale brown-field and green-field developments. After 33 years with Amoco and BP, Chuck began working as an independent reservoir consultant five years ago. He combines strong engineering and petrophysical skills with the ability to assess and apply the appropriate level of technical evaluation for international projects.
Some of the key projects that Chuck has contributed to are the In Amenas gas development in Algeria, Samotlor Field in Russia, and West Nile Gas Development in Egypt. As subsurface team leader in the 1 bcf/d In Amenas project, Chuck led the technical team in achieving 100+ mmcf/d gas wells, significantly exceeding the 35 mmcf/d target per well. Chuck was the Samotlor Technology Manager for BP’s joint venture in TNK-BP, providing technical assurance for all subsurface development investments, which include 150+ new drilling wells and 60 sidetracks per year. He was the subsurface technical lead for the development of a 5 tcf, 900 mmcf/d gas project in Egypt’s West Nile Delta, providing strategic thinking in development strategy, sequencing of wells, economic evaluation, and planning for future phases.
Chuck has a degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Florida and completed the Amoco Petrophysics Program (evaluating the appraisal and development of Liuhua Field in China).
Business Development Manager and General Counsel
Sajid oversees Stratum’s legal and strategy and group-level legal functions. His roles include managing the company’s financial models, analytics, and financial transactions.
Sajid joined Stratum from the Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic advice to Fortune 500 companies in technology, travel, and retail. Before his career as a management consultant, Sajid was an associate at Vinson & Elkins LLP, a leading Houston-based law firm, where he specialized in oil & gas transactions and projects.
Sajid has a BSE in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University and a JD from Harvard Law School.
Head of Legal and Compliance
Dennis joined Stratum Energy in September 2015 as the onsite Field Manager in Poduri, Romania. He brings 20+ years of experience in the oil & gas industry, including both production management and facility management. Dennis’ expertise includes new facility construction, commissioning, operating, and optimization.
Dennis started his career in the contract gas compression side of the oil & gas industry for companies like Weatherford Enterra, CSI, and Production Operators. In 2002, he joined XTO Energy as Operations Supervisor for their Natural Gas Division in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. As an Operations Supervisor, Dennis was involved in managing many large scale construction & operational projects that included the Raton Gathering & Compression Project, the Rio Blanco Amine Treating Facility, and Orangeville/Huntington Facility Upgrades. Following XTO Energy, Dennis joined SG Interests, a privately owned oil & gas exploration company with assets in Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas. At SGI, Dennis was involved in managing a new acreage development plan that included designing, constructing, and commissioning 40+ miles of gas gathering & a 120 mcf/d amine treating facility in Piceance, Colorado.
Harald is a petroleum engineer with 36 years of experience in the international petroleum industry. He has resided in Romania since 1997 and has an extensive background in doing business there from his 18 years in various managerial positions in the upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors. Prior to joining Stratum in March 2015 as Country Manager in Romania, Harald led the natural gas division of OMV Petrom, the largest integrated oil & gas company in Southeast Europe, where he was responsible for all of Petrom’s natural gas-related midstream and downstream activities.
Harald began his career as lecturer and researcher at the Technical University of Clausthal, Germany. This was followed by positions as reservoir engineer for domestic and international assets (US, Canada, Middle East, Russia) and head of the project evaluation group of Wintershall AG Germany, responsible for the world-wide evaluation of new ventures opportunities and acquisition projects. Harald gained mid- and downstream experience as head of the logistics department of WINGAS, a leading German gas marketing and transportation company set up as a joint venture between Wintershall and Gazprom. During his assignment as managing director of WIROM Romania, the import and marketing of natural gas and the construction of gas distribution systems were part of his responsibilities.
Harald holds undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Petroleum Engineering from the Technical University of Clausthal.