Special Report: Oil & Gas Middle East Power 40 21-30
Oil & Gas Middle East presents its annual list of the upstream sector’s most influential figures
21. Vagit Alekperov
When a firm’s CEO is the sixth richest person in Russia and the 74th richest in the world, you’d be entitled to think the company in question might pack a punch. Lukoil is one of Russia’s biggest outfits and a top ten global oil firm with daily production above 2mn bpd but its presence, like many of the Russian hydrocarbon giants, is still developing in the Middle East. Lukoil has interests in Egypt and Iraq but it is eyeing the UAE, Iran, Oman and Kuwait.
22. Rainer Seele
This is one of those mood music decisions. OMV is already a big, international player with reserves of more than 1bn barrels and daily production in excess of 340,000 bpd but it has its eyes firmly on Middle East expansion and has several billion dollars lined up for the right deals. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala is a prominent minority shareholder in the firm, the UAE has been specifically targeted in OMV’s future strategy and ADNOC still has some offshore concessions to sell…
23. Shashi Shankar
India’s connection to the Arabian Gulf dates back to long before the time the rupee was the common currency of the peninsula. These days it’s the future that matters and India’s growing economic hardiness will exert an increasing influence on the region’s oil and gas players. Recently, history was made when a consortium led by ONGC Videsh, ONGC’s overseas arm, paid $600mn for a 10% stake in ADNOC’s Lower Zakum offshore field. More transactions will follow as Aramco eyes downstream deals in the sub-continent.
24. Dr Patrick Allman-Ward
CEO, Dana Gas
It’s been a mixed year for Dana’s Allman-Ward. The firm has endured a legal battle over the redemption of a $700mn sukuk, but it has enjoyed a windfall of hundreds of millions of dollars following an agreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq and Dana’s parent firm Pearl Petroleum over activities carried out in the region. This sum helped put the firm’s results back in the black, while production across its activities in Egypt rose and plans are in place to increase Iraqi output too.
25. Mustafa Sanalla
Chairman, NOC Libya
It says a lot for Libya’s serious potential as an oil producer that despite the repeated disruptions to output in the country due to a myriad of reasons, many stemming from civil unrest, in recent times the North African nation, which has the largest proven reserves in Africa, has managed to produce 1mn bpd of its light, sweet crude. But it has a long way to go. In 1970 it pumped 3mn bpd, now this is a mere pipe-dream.
26. Abed Ezz El Regal
The Egyptian Oil Ministry had a clean sweep of its top-level hydrocarbon executives last year. Abed Ezz El-Regal, former deputy chairman at EGAS, has moved across to take the hot seat in the national oil company.
Amid the clamour around the North African’s new gas reserves, it is easy to forget the country is also a considerable producer of crude oil with output in excess of 600,000 bpd. New reserves are being sought as the likes of BP seek an exit from ageing legacy fields.
27. Majid Jafar
CEO, Crescent Petroleum
Optimism has been the by-word for Sharjah’s Crescent Petroleum recently. In February, the firm revealed plans to boost gas production at its Khor Mor and Chemchemal fields in northern Iraq, which it operates alongside Sharjah affiliate Dana Gas as part of Pearl Petroleum. But Crescent also has aspirations to tap the lucrative oil and gas market in southern Iraq where the country’s supergiant fields are located. Jafar’s recent prediction of a bullish oil price of $80 a barrel in 2018 could well explain the firm’s ambitions.
28. Igor Sechin
Keep an eye on Rosneft because there is every chance this oil and gas colossus has begun an inexorable climb up this power list. Rosneft’s tendrils stretch from Brazil to Indonesia but the Middle East has largely been ignored – until now. Sechin, a close ally of Vladimir Putin, has overseen the purchase of a 30% stake in Egypt’s Zohr gas field, while the firm is strategically positioned in Iraq and poised to land some big deals in Iran, following the Russian Premier’s visit to Tehran last November.
29. Saeed Mubarak Al Hajeri
TAQA means energy in Arabic and this Abu Dhabi firm has diverse interests in the sector, from wind farms in the US to coal-fired power generation in Morocco. Al Hajeri’s firm has witnessed a turnaround after losing $6bn in 2016 due to asset depreciation. Last year’s $45mn profit resulted partly from higher oil prices. TAQA pumps around 130,000 bpd from fields in the likes of the North Sea and the US while the Atrush Block in Northern Iraq came on-stream in 2017.
30. Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh
MD, Dolphin Energy
When your shareholders are oil and gas big hitters and Abu Dhabi’s government, the road ahead might be less bumpy than for some. But the past year has been tough for Dolphin, affected by political stand-offs, and ratings agency Moody’s downgraded the firm due to outlook concerns. But fundamentals are strong, it pumps 2bn cubic feet of gas into the UAE and Oman and controls two cross-country pipelines.