Elisabeth Proust, is a 1979 graduate of Mechanics and Marine Hydrodynamics from the Mechanical Engineering School (ENSM) in Central Nantes, France. She later obtained a degree in Petroleum Engineering at the French Petroleum Institute (ENSPM) Paris, France in 1980.
She joined the then Elf Aquitaine (now Total) as a junior drilling supervisor the same year (1980).
From 1981 to 1987 she worked at various affiliates of the company in Douala (Cameroun) Rio (Brazil) Luanda (Angola) and Pau (France) as drilling supervisor (offshore) drilling supervisor (deep offshore) drilling engineer and subsea specialist respectively.
She was Head of the drilling engineering department in Pau, France from 1987 to 1989 before moving to The Hague in the Netherlands where she held technical and managerial positions as Head of non operated follow up, Development Responsible for all operated assets and Project Manager for the K5 Central complex between 1989 and 1997.
From 1997 to 2004, Mrs Proust was responsible for technical evaluation of new assets, project manager for New Business in Russia, production manager and operations manager in Paris (France) and The Hague (Netherlands).
Between 2004 and 2008, she was Vice President Development Engineering and Head of petroleum engineering competence for TOTAL worldwide and in December 2008, was appointed President and General Manager for Total E&P Indonesia, where she was also the General Manager for other 15 Total companies in that country, Group representative for refinery/chemicals and marketing division and President of the Oil and Gas Association of Indonesia. She served in this capacity till 2013.
On February 12, 2014, Elisabeth Proust assumed duties as Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Total Upstream Companies in Nigeria. She becomes the first ever female managing director of Total in Nigeria, bringing over 30 years of extensive experience in the oil and gas industry. She is also the Group Representative for all Total Subsidiaries (Upstream and downstream in Nigeria).
Born 2nd January, 1957, she is married to Pieter VAN HEESWIJK and they have 5 children. In April 2014, the French Government has awarded her the title of Knight of the Legion of Honour.
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