People with purpose

Vega meets its mission with an unrivalled depth of industry expertise, taking immense pride in all we do. Family owned and operated – for us, energy is more than a profession. It’s a passion. We understand the fundamental humanity at the heart of our industry. We find a deep beauty in providing the resources that people need to live better.

Meet some of the key members of our team

  • Juma Saif Rashid Bin Bakhit Co-founder
  • Kamal Ataya Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder
  • Haytham Ataya Chief Operating Officer
  • Sawsan Ataya Global Communications Director
  • Golak Bihari Patnaik Team Leader / New Ventures Manager
  • Karmesh Abhishek Senior Geologist
  • Muhammed Umer Finance Manager
  • Debbie Mourati Legal Counsel

Juma Saif Rashid Bin Bakhit Co-founder

The late Mr. Juma was a prominent UAE entrepreneur who owned and managed key business interests in the UAE. His last visionary endeavor was to co-found Vega Petroleum Limited in 2011 along with Mr. Kamal Ataya.

He was a cornerstone to the Vega Petroleum Limited enterprise, maintaining extensive relationships with governmental bodies within the petroleum industry in jurisdictions throughout the MENA region.

Mr. Juma brought a background in the field of Aeronautics, holding a degree from the Italian Aeronautical Academy. One of his key successes is Airlink; a leading organization in travel, transport and logistics. Airlink has realized consistent business growth over its 25 years of operations, with an annual turnover of US$ 195 Million.

He was involved with a wide range of acquisitions and partnerships, including the acquisition of Aerogulf Services in 1983, a company engaged in helicopter services. Just two years after assuming the business, the company underwent a complete revamp – with pre-takeover accrued losses of US$ 5.2 Million transformed into profits.

Mr. Juma was involved in ventures in the insurance industry, buying an initial 12.5% equity position in Credit & Commerce Insurance (CCI), UAE. CCI was restructured into Alliance Insurance. He also entered the technology business with the formation of Space Imaging Middle East – the only company of its kind in the region, presiding over rights to market satellite imagery. Following the success of this business, he went on to form a European space imaging enterprise in Munich, Germany.

Kamal Ataya Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder

Mr. Ataya has over 45 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. In his key management roles, Kamal has led many global companies to rapid growth and expansion. These include multinational E&P companies such as Crescent Petroleum Company, Kapa Energy and Dove Energy Group. Given his proven business record, Kamal Ataya has been appointed recently by His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr al Qassimi, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, one of the emirates of the UAE, as the Chief Executive Officer of RakGas LLC & RakGas International. He has played an instrumental role in restructuring the company and growing the business towards better efficiency and returns.

As the CEO and one of the co-founders of Vega, Kamal Ataya provides leadership and guidance for shaping the vision, goals and objectives of the company. He secures and develops Vega’s assets profitably, ensuring superior return as well as expanding the business into new geographies and markets.

He is also the Co-Founder of Nor Energy AS, an Oil and Gas Exploration and Development company incorporated in 2006 in Calgary, AB, Canada.

Mr. Ataya is also the founder of Al Safwah Oilfields Supply & Services (ASOSS) in the UAE, which manages an extensive specialty practice in petroleum services.

Haytham Ataya Chief Operating Officer

As the Chief Operating Officer of Vega Petroleum Limited, Haytham plays an instrumental role in running all the operations and technical functions of the company. This includes optimising and growing the asset base – developing and implementing operating plans that ensure the organisation’s profitable growth and overall success.

Leading all Vega operations, Haytham establishes and leads initiatives to develop world-class technical, operating and project management capabilities. With deep engineering and managerial knowledge, he has the responsibility for setting operational strategy in various competitive markets. Haytham posses analytical and strategic skill to deal with regulatory issues, rising demands for sustainability, political risk, as well as the normal commercial challenges of running day to day business.

His industry career commenced with Schlumberger in Reservoir Evaluation. A petroleum engineer by profession, Haytham Ataya graduated from the UK and has over 15 years of experience in technical and management positions in various geographies and markets such as Libya, Egypt, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, India, UAE, Sudan and the UK.

Sawsan Ataya Global Communications Director

Ms. Sawsan Ataya has worked in the communications industry for over 13 years. She has developed and implemented communications strategies across many business sectors such as real estate, culture and arts, finance, automobile and media.

At Vega, Sawsan engages and inspires employees to contribute to business growth and performance. She does so by developing communications strategies and plans to improve employee engagement and enhance leadership.

In her role, Ms. Ataya cultivates brand equity across the enterprise. She promotes an integrated approach, defining the Vega Culture and ensuring that every unit and business level fully represent what Vega stands for.

Before joining Vega, Sawsan Ataya headed the communication department at the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority under the appointment and supervision of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed bin Rashed Al Maktoum. In this role, she was instrumental in establishing the identity of the authority and building its credentials.

Golak Bihari Patnaik Team Leader / New Ventures Manager

Mr. Golak Patnaik is a Geoscientist at Vega, delivering 10 years of experience in Integrated Geological and Geophysical Interpretation, Field Development, Exploration operations and Business Development. His specialties include Integrated Interpretation, Reservoir Characterization, Asset Evaluation and Project Management. He has served assets in India, the Middle East and East Africa.

Golak provides expertise in seismic data interpretation, attribute analysis, prospect delineation, volumetric estimation and planning of exploratory and development wells. He also has experience in Asset Evaluation, Field Development Planning and preparation of Commerciality Reports.

Prior to coming to Vega, Golak worked as a Development Geophysicist with Reliance Industries Limited for the KG - D6 Deepwater Gas Field and was Business Development Manager for Essar Oil Limited. He has worked on asset evaluation and operations of blocks in India, Jordan, Egypt, Uganda, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Vietnam, Australia, CIS countries and Ghana. Golak has also participated in the evaluation of Oil Sands assets in Madagascar and Canada.

Golak holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Geology and a Master's Degree in Geophysics from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He is an active member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Karmesh Abhishek Senior Geologist

Karmesh Abhishek is another key addition to the Vega Petroleum Limited Technical Team. He brings more than 6 years of experience as a Geoscientist in Interpretation and Integration of geological and geophysical data with volumetric estimates and technical risks assessment; integrated reservoir management and re-development of mature fields.

He has worked in varied geological settings with experience in conventional & unconventional energy in India, Indonesia, China, Jordan, Egypt, Eastern and Southern African countries. He has also worked for Reserve Certification & CPR's for Commerciality of the assets. Associated in assessment of Unconventional Energy (CBM & Shale Gas) of various global basins and associated in development of one of the biggest unconventional gas field of India.

Prior joining to Vega, Karmesh worked as Geoscientist with Essar Energy and Privilege Oil & Gas in multi-disciplinary roles for regional geological framework, seismic data interpretation, resource estimation, asset evaluation; planning of exploratory and development wells, field development and production optimization.

Karmesh holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Geology and a Master's Degree in Geology from Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India. He is an active member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Muhammed Umer Finance Manager

Mr. Umer leads all financial, forecasting and budgeting of Vega Petroleum Limited and its joint ventures. He has been engaged in the design and implementation of the accounting and financial system, and ERP, for the group as a whole. He has also been involved in developing economic models for prospective ventures.

Muhammed started his career with Ernst & Young and worked with the company for over four years. He handled various multinational’s statutory audits, internal audits, agreed upon procedures, fraud investigations, and taxation aspects in detail. He joined a project of World Bank (PIFRA) as audit supervisor and applied his skills in the implementation of audit methodology based on International Standards on Auditing.

Debbie Mourati Legal Counsel

Ms. Mourati manages all legal contractual and commercial issues from tendering to implementation of oil and gas projects. This involves negotiation, clarification and compliance of contracts to Vega’s policies. Debbie also leads on all legal disputes and claims.

She started her career in shipping in Greek Shipowners and Management companies in Greece; mainly specializing in Sales & Purchases, P&I Claims, registration of off-shore companies, wet and dry shipping matters.
Ms. Mourati holds a bachelor’s degree in law from University of Wales, Swansea and a Master’s in International Trade and Marine Insurance from Swansea University, UK.