The voice of the entire
Upstream sector in Romania

Managing Committee, Biographies

The Managing Committee of the Association is the executive body, which ensures the implementation of the decisions taken by the General Assembly.

The Management Committee is appointed for a 1 (one) year mandate and consists of seven executive members and two non-executive members, appointed by the General Assembly.

Beginning of 15th November 2017, the Management Committee of the Association consists of the following persons:

Executive members:

1. Harald Kraft, President

2. Saniya Melnicenco, Future President

3. Mark Wagley, Former President

4. Alexandru Maximescu, member of the board

5. Tudor Gafton, member of the board

6. Phil A. Christian, member of the board

7. Rodica Solga, member of the board

Non-executive members:

1. Varinia Radu, non-executive permanent member

2. Daniel Apostol, non-executive member



Harald KRAFT is the President of ROPEPCA and has over 38 years’ experience in the petroleum industry, upstream, midstream and downstream. Harald holds a degree and a PhD in Petroleum Engineering both from the University of Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany. After joining Wintershall AG Germany he has worked as reservoir engineer domestic and international operations and as head of the acquisition and new ventures group. At WINGAS Germany he held the position of head of the logistic department. In Romania since 1997, Harald was Managing Director of WIROM / Wintershall Romania for 8 years and director of OMV Petrom’s Natural Gas Division for 10 years. Currently, Harald is the Country Manager of Stratum Energy Romania.  


imagineSaniya MELNICENCO, ROPEPCA Vice-President and Future President, is Head of Legal and Corporate Affairs of NIS PETROL. She is responsible for legal and regulatory coordination of Upstream, Downstream and Energy divisions of the Romanian subsidiary of NIS j.s.c. Novi Sad, since early 2012. Saniya holds Bachelor of Laws degree (LLB) in Civil and International Law,  since 2001,  and has experience in legal matters acquired during her tenure with oil &gas, IT and construction companies. In 2017, she graduated the Executive education programme INSEAD. She is a member in the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and an active participant to the Legal Committee of the Association.



Mark WAGLEY is the Vice President and General Manager for Hunt Oil Company of Romania and is responsible for all of Eastern Europe operations of Hunt Oil as well as the Former President of ROPEPCA. Mark has been with Hunt for 25 years, and prior to joining Hunt’s Romania operation he worked for various North American ventures based in Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Mark spent over a decade in the Republic of Yemen overseeing Hunt’s production operations. Mark was responsible for developing stakeholder engagement plans in the Marcellus and Utica -  that have become a standard for Hunt. Mark has expanded and tailored those plans to Romania's specific and is at the forefront of the Corporate and Social Responsibility model for the industry. Mark received his degree in Petroleum Technology from the Oil and Gas College in Tyler, Texas and brings with him over 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. 


Tudor GAFTON has more than thirty year experience in upstream oil and gas in Eastern Europe and the CIS, holding numerous top positions. More recently Gafton was the GM of Petrofac in Romania and Head of Operations with Wintershall in Moscow, Russia. In 2014 Tudor Gafton joined Amromco as General Director. Gafton holds a Master Degree in Petroleum Engineering from UOG Ploiesti, a BSc Degree in Management with Law from University of London and an MSc Degree in Financial Economics from SOAS – University of London. 




Phil A. CHRISTIAN has 37 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas business, with most of that time spent living and working internationally. After obtaining a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas in 1980, Phil spent 3 years in various roles with Kerr-McGee in the Gulf of Mexico.  A 25-year career with Amoco/BP ensued during which Phil served in various drilling, operations, management and commercial roles.  He took early retirement from BP in 2008 following which he served as the COO of Far East Energy Corporation, as General Manager of the Eastern Hemisphere Business Unit for Parker Drilling and as General Manager for the Hungarian subsidiary of Aspect Energy.

Phil has lived and worked extensively in international locations, including Scotland, Ireland, Trinidad and Tobago, China (Shekou and Beijing), Colombia, Russia, Singapore and Hungary.

In January 2017 Phil joined Sand Hill Petroleum and now serves as Country Manager in Bucharest, Romania.


Rodica SOLGA has over 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, in Upstream. Currently Rodica Solga is upstream area manager – Romania, of Rompetrol SA (currently named Oilfield Exploration Business Soltions SA) member of KazMunaiGas Group. Rodica has been with Rompetrol in various positions in oil services and upstream abroad in the Middle East (Jordan, Syria, Iraq) and North Africa (Libia) as well as Latin America (Ecuador). Rodica received a Ms. Sc. degree in International Foreign Affairs and Trade from Academy of Economics, Bucharest. Is part of FSU-EE (Former Soviet Union & Eastern Europe) Scout Group organized by IHS.


imagineVarinia Radu is lawyer partner in CMS International firm where she acts as the Head of Oil & Gas in Central Eastern Europe, and Deputy Head of the ECE Practice group, Energy projects and construction. Varinia has fifteen years’ international experience and her practice focuses on the oil & gas, electricity and mineral resources sectors. Varinia has been recognized as a “Leading lawyer” by specialized international publications such as Legal 500 and IFLR1000.
Varinia has been a member of the Bucharest Bar Association since 2002; she holds a master degree in International Relations from the National School of Administrative Studies, a management diploma in petroleum industry and an MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is also a member of other industry associations such as the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, Balkan and Black Sea Petroleum Association, World Energy Council and represents key investors in the industry.


Daniel APOSTOL is a economic journalist with a professional experience of more than 25 years. Editorial Director of the Romanian newsmagazine "Economistul" and columnist and author for DeBizz German-Romanian business magazine. He is also the host of the PROFIT LIVE video interviews series on Previously, first editor-in-chief and then development director, executive director and general manager of The Money Channel TV station (2006-2012). Producer for the Romanian Television Network (2014) and Money Channel (2012-2014), presently Daniel Apostol is the Secretary General of ROPEPCA.









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