Special Report: Oil & Gas Middle East Power 40 11-20
Oil & Gas Middle East presents its annual list of the upstream sector’s most influential figures
11. Wang Yilin
It’s says a lot about the scale and potential of the firms ranked above Wang Yilin’s China National Petroleum Company that this titan of East Asia still doesn’t break into our top ten – but don’t be surprised if it does so soon.
CNPC generates 52% of China’s crude oil and 71% of its natural gas. Regionally too CNPC has notable interests.
It has just paid over $1bn for 10% stakes in two of ADNOC’s offshore concessions, with joint capacity of more than 900,000 bpd, while it already owns an 8% share in the firm’s main onshore oil concession CNPC also possesses shareholdings in several Iraqi oilfields, including super-giant Rumaila, and has interests in Iran.
12. Darren W. Woods
“Rex who?” might be a phrase heard in the C-suite offices at ExxonMobil’s HQ in Irving, Texas. When Darren Woods took over as CEO, he promised to ramp up the firm’s exploration activities. Last month, the firm announced it had added 2.7bn barrels to its reserves, replacing 183% of 2017’s production with significant finds in the likes of Guyana and Mozambique.
But more than 25% of this oil, 800mn barrels, was found at ADNOC’s Upper Zakum oilfield, the second largest offshore oilfield in the world. ExxonMobil has 21bn barrels of oil in its proven reserves and rather a lot of these are also located at the West Qurna 1 field in southern Iraq where the US firm has plans to dramatically increase production.
13. DR Pete Bartlett
Bahrain’s upstream industry will always retain kudos, as it was once the go-to location for tapping black gold. Now, with reserves running down and with daily production averaging 50,000 bpd, it is by far the smallest oil producer among the GCC countries.
BAPCO under the tutelage of American oil veteran Dr Pete Bartlett has wisely begun looking to the downstream sector to drive on its hydrocarbon ambitions. Just a few months ago France’s TechnipFMC along with Samsung Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas, secured a $4.2bn contract as part of the BAPCO modernisation programme to lift output at the kingdom’s Sitra Refinery from 267,000 bpd up to 360,000 bpd. Meanwhile, in the midstream segment, the new 350,000 bpd A-B pipeline linking Bahrain with Saudi Arabia is nearing completion.
14. Jabar Al Luaibi
Iraqi Oil Minister
At times, it seems Iraq’s Oil Minister Jabar Al Luaibi, runs the country’s hydrocarbon industry single-handedly such is his visibility. But a vote last month to revive the National Oil Company could dilute some of his influence. Al Luaibi has had to strategise exploration, award contracts and increase capacity in spite of outages due to security concerns and sectarian tensions. Production hit 4.8mn bpd late in 2017 and this June Al Luaibi will be inviting bids from keen international players to further tap Iraq’s copious reserves.
15. Toshiaki Kitamura
President & CEO, Inpex
It’s all about Abu Dhabi for Japanese oil firm Inpex. It is currently basking in the glow of a fresh $850mn deal to secure a 10% 40 year stake in ADNOC’s offshore Lower Zakum concession, as well as extend its presence at the Satah and Umm Al-Dalkh oil fields via its subsidiary JODCO. Inpex also has a 10% holding at the vast Upper Zakum offshore field and a 5% holding via ADNOC Onshore. Together, the fields could potentially produce 3.3mn bpd.
16. Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei
UAE Minister of Energy & Industry
Al Mazrouei was the MD of the International Petroleum Investment Company before its merger with Mubadala and he now sits on the board of the expanding operator (ranked 10th in our list). He is a member of the UAE’s Supreme Petroleum Council but it is as the President of Conference of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) that he debuts on our list. Al Mazrouei is increasingly vocal about global issues from US shale production to the effectiveness of OPEC’s output cuts.
17. Osama El Bakly
There have got to be worse times to take over as the Chairman of Egypt’s state-owned gas company, EGAS, than just before the largest gas field ever found in the Mediterranean Sea begins to come on stream. The Zohr gas field will have a massive impact on Egypt’s domestic needs and will cover a shortfall of 900mn cubic feet of gas between consumption and production. Egypt has further noteworthy gas fields offshore in the Nile Delta and El Bakly is leading the push to find more.
18. Vicki Hollub
President & CEO, Occidental Petroleum
There are even fewer women on our list this year then there were in 2017 and so, rightfully, as the lone standard bearer for her gender, Oxy’s C-suite leader once again finds a place in our top 20. Her firm has a sizeable presence in Oman where it is the largest independent oil producer after three decades of endeavour and exploration. In the UAE, Oxy has a 40% holding in ADNOC’s sour gas project in the Shah field, which generates 10% of the UAE’s gas production.
19. Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour
In his year in charge of Algeria’s state-owned oil and gas firm, Ould Kaddour has courted foreign investment. He resolved a dispute with Spain’s Repsol, signed an upstream partnership with France’s Total and last month signed an understanding with Norway’s Statoil and BP with regard to exploration joint ventures. Natural gas is Sonatrach’s bread and butter and the CEO has sanctioned a $250mn investment at the Tinhert gas field to boost production, taking the country’s output above 100bn cubic metres per year.
20. Saif Humaid Al Falasi
CEO, Emirates National Oil Company
In a city with such a diverse economic profile, it’s appropriate that Dubai’s state owned oil firm should have a broad range of interests across the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. CEO Saif Al Falasi has experience with NOCs and IOCs and is a seasoned industry man. Under his leadership, ENOC has established a dedicated exploration and production arm to add to its activities internationally with Dragon Oil, and it plans to invest $1bn expanding its Jebel Ali refinery output by 50% to 210,000 bpd.