Oil & Gas Middle East Power 50 2016: 1-10
Oil & Gas Middle East presents its annual list of the upstream sector's most influential figures
01. Amin H. Nasser
President and CEO, Saudi Aramco
Anew year and a new man to head Oil & Gas Middle East’s Power 50, following Amin H. Nasser’s ascension to the hot seat a Saudi Aramco, succeeding last year’s number one, Khalid Al-Falih, who is now the chairman at the energy giant.
It has been something of a baptism of fire for the organisation’s former senior vice president - Upstream, with the oil price falling significantly since he was confirmed as the new CEO.
But the power of the company has allowed it to renegotiate contracts and rates with its customers, lessening the financial impact of the oil price decline.
At the turn of the year, rumours were also rife that Aramco was considering an Initial Public Offering, although Nasser indicated any sale would come from its downstream operations, rather than its upstream portfolio.
Despite the challenging market, Aramco continues to drive forward with myriad projects and initiatives, including the $2bn expansion of the Khurais oilfield and the $5bn Fadhili gas plant in the country’s eastern region.
Recently, Nasser made one of his most significant announcement’s to date, saying it plans to nearly double its gas production to 23bn standard cubic feet a day in the next 10 years.
“Work is under way to execute an ambitious plan to implement this during the coming 10 years,” Nasser was quoted as saying.
02. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber
Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State, was appointed to lead Abu Dhabi National Oil (ADNOC) in February, replacing Abdullah Nasser Al Suwaidi.
The new man at the helm will oversee the organisation’s drive to produce 3.5mn barrels of oil a day by the end of 2017 from 3mn today, with 1.8mn bpd coming from onshore fields and 1.7mn bpd from offshore. To achieve this, the national oil company is slated to spend $32.67bn this year, $32.39bn in 2017, $19.6bn in 2018 and $17.96bn in 2019.
It is also developing natural gas assets to meet domestic energy needs. Al Jaber is also responsible for Mubadala’s oil and gas portfolio as CEO of its energy division, and is chairman of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company. He was appointed Minister of State in the UAE Cabinet in 2013.
03. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi
CEO, Qatar Petroleum
It has been quite the year for Qatar Petroleum (QP), most notably including a significant reorganisation programme, which included the integration of Qatar Petroleum International – a result of a struggling market.
Speaking about the move, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, explained the reasoning behind the move, saying: “The reorganisation was designed to meet QP’s new strategic objectives to become one of the best NOCs in the world, enabling it to be at par with leading international oil and gas companies,” adding that the vision is to ‘be a world-class oil and gas corporation with its roots in Qatar and a strong international presence’.
“Leading companies frequently re-organise to meet the requirements of the ever-competitive environment and deliver on their strategic objectives, which is exactly what QP did,” Al-Kaabi added.
“We are in a period of oversupply in the industry, and we need to be very efficient. Whilst we have no control over market size and prices, we do have control over our cost and expenditure,” he said.
Away from the restructure, Al-Kaabi has had his hands full with a number of other projects and initiatives, including buying a 30% stake in three deep-water offshore leases in Morocco from Chevron Morocco Exploration, and beginning the evaluation process for the selection of a partner to undertake the future development of the Al Shaheen field, as the current agreement expires in mid-2017.
04. Roknoddin Javadi
CEO, National Iranian Oil Company
The face that runs the place at the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), Roknoddin Javadi, knows that the eyes of the world will be on the organisation this year, as it presses ahead with plans to increase the Islamic Republic’s oil production in the post-sanctions era.
Iran has already had a dramatic effect on the world’s oil industry, resisting calls from its OPEC peers to freeze output, insisting that it would consider the move once it had achieved its target of 4mn barrels per day.
Javadi has also revealed that NIOC will be releasing bonds worth $1.5bn to help fund the country’s oil projects. Many of the company’s fields are ageing and underdeveloped, meaning billions of dollars are needed to bring facilities up to standard.
In January, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between Total and NIOC, apart from a framework agreement for the purchase of crude oil, in particular for French and European refineries. Following the MOU, NIOC will provide the technical data on some oil and gas projects, so that Total can assess potential developments in Iran.
Following the agreement, Javadi indicated that the agreement with Total is just one of a number of deals the organisation is working on, while reiterating the desire to boost output and exports.
“NIOC has conducted talks with traditional buyers and customers, seeing no limit on resuming oil sales or inking new contracts with foreign oil companies,” he said.
05. Raoul Restucci
Managing Director, Petroleum Development Oman
The man in the hot seat at Petroleum Development Oman, Raoul Restucci, knows his way round the business, having taken the reins in 2010.
He is a man with immense responsibility; PDO accounts for about 70% of the country’s crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The Company is owned by the Government of Oman (which has a 60% interest), the Shell Group (which has a 34% interest).
Part of the company’s remit is to increase production and effectively tap the country’s notoriously challenging heavy oil reserves.
Speaking to Oil & Gas Middle East in January, Restucci said he is optimistic about the country’s oil and gas industry, and marked out the Khulud tight gas development as one to watch this year.
“Since January 2014, six wells have been producing through an Early Production System that was commissioned in 2013 to test the long-term potential of the field. Estimated reserves are in the range of several trillion cubic feet,” he told this magazine in an exclusive interview.
“Khulud’s ‘tight’ gas characteristics require the use of unconventional techniques to unlock the gas and make it flow to producing wells. Compounding the challenge of producing this gas is the depth at which the reservoirs in Oman are often located — typically in excess of 5.5km — far deeper than tight gas found elsewhere in the world.”
“In addition, PDO is working to a long-term oil production plateau of 600,000 bpd by 2019,” he said in the interview.
06. Hashem Sayed Hashem
CEO, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)
With CEO Hashem Sayed Hashem at the helm of affairs since May 2013, the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) presently is among the top ten global oil and gas companies in terms of revenue. The KOC – a subsidiary of the state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation – is also the main revenue earner for Kuwait.
Under Hashem’s leadership, KOC has emerged to be a major exploration, drilling and production company in the region, accounting for most of the country’s 3.5mn barrels per day oil production. Besides producing oil from the Burgan field, the world’s second largest oilfield, KOC made a major discovery of four new oilfields in the country in early 2015, and began production later that year.
KOC has also made strides internationally through its sister company KUFPEC and is now involved in exploring three offshore oil blocks in the South China Sea as part on agreement with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the operator. Hashem has moved up the ranks at KOC since joining in 1987, working at various key capacities, and today manages over 7,500 staff.
Hashem also serves as the chairman and managing director of the Kuwait Oil Tankers Company (KOTC) since July 2013. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Kuwait University in 1987, and is an active member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE).
07. Abdul Munim Saif Al-Kindy
CEO, Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO)
With the growing ties between India and the UAE, Indian oil and gas companies have expressed keen interest in acquiring a stake in the Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations (ADCO) concession. The proposal was discussed between the Indian government and the UAE delegation led by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces to India in February, during the visit to New Delhi in February. If realised soon, ADCO – led by CEO Abdul Munim Saif Al-Kindy – will enter into a new era of foreign partnership leading to greater investment and development of its oil blocks.
08. Ali Rashid Al-Jarwan
CEO, Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO)
Despite the plunge in oil prices, the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) is on-track with its drilling and production projects. Ali Al Jarwan, the chief executive officer of ADMA-OPCO – which is 60% owned by ADNOC, with the remaining 40% stake being distributed among BP, Total, and Japan Oil Development Co. – earlier this year said the company had not changed or slowed down its plans to develop oilfields as a result of lower oil prices. This year, the company is working on developing new fields including Satah Al Razboot, Umm Lulu and Nasr. The three projects will come online in 2017, 2018, and 2019 respectively. In November, the CEO had said the company would increase its oil production levels to 1mn barrels per day by 2020.
09. Hamad Mubarak Al Muhannadi
Following the resolution of the gas pricing dispute between Qatar’s RasGas and India’s Petronet, the former recently delivered its first LNG cargo under the new sales and purchase agreement which was signed at the end of last year. The new LNG agreement raises the total volume of LNG shipped to Petronet from 7.5 MTA to 8.5 MTA. With Hamad Mubarak Al Muhannadi leading the way as CEO, RasGas has so far delivered nearly 81 MTA of LNG to India. Rasgas is also working on its new Helium 3 plant which is expected to be operational in early 2018 and produce up to 0.4bn standard cubic feet of liquid helium per annum.
10. Fahim Kazim
CEO, Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefication Company (ADGAS)
Led by chief executive officer Fahim Kazim, the Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefication Company (ADGAS) – part of the ADNOC group of companies – is at the forefront of LNG production from the emirate’s offshore gas fields. Last year ADGAS awarded $500mn worth of EPC contracts for its main gas production facility on Das Island, with the IGD Expansion Project (IGD-E) scheduled for completion in Q2 2018.
The IGD-E is a unified project to further increase ADGAS’ offshore gas export capacity by an incremental 400mn standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) Offshore HP Gas from Das Island to Habshan. This will be in addition to the current gas processing capacity of 1bn SCFD realised under the OAG and IGD Projects.
Oil & Gas Middle East Power 50 2016: 11-20