Special Report: Oil & Gas Middle East Power 40 31-40
Oil & Gas Middle East presents its annual list of the upstream sector’s most influential figures
31. Isam Al Zadjali
CEO, Oman Oil Company
PDO is not the only game in town in the sultanate. Al Zadjali has control over a firm that has a presence right across the energy value chain in Oman and international holdings in segments such as mining and power generation. Domestically, the jewel in the crown is the expanding Khazzan tight gas field project alongside BP in which the OOC has a 40% share and where production should hit 1.5bn cubic feet per day. Downstream, the $7bn 230,000 bpd Duqm refinery is another huge investment.
32. Eldar Saetre
Times are changing for one of Europe’s big players – the biggest operator on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Despite production equivalent to more than 2mn bpd and its reserves replenishment at an impressive 150%, Statoil is changing its name (to Equinor, thus dropping the word ‘oil’) and its business focus. Long-serving Saetre will authorise 20% of future investment to be pumped into the renewables sector as Statoil becomes a “broad energy company”. Regional operations focus mainly on North Africa where political instability and terrorist attacks have hampered output.
33. Mohammad Iravani
CEO, Dana Energy
Donald Trump may have other plans but these are busy times for players in Iran’s hydrocarbon industry. Dana Energy, an exploration and production and oilfield services company, sealed a $742mn deal last month with Russia’s Zarubezhneft to lift production at two oilfields, while it has forged an understanding with the National Iranian Drilling Company to develop untapped reserves. Iravani will also be eyeing the $6bn worth of projects the Oil Ministry plans to award domestically.
34. Bjorn Dale
Norway’s DNO has an increasingly visible presence in the region’s industry. A settlement agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government has seen the firm take a 75% holding at the Tawke oilfield in northern Iraq and this is its main source of production, with an average of 105,500 bpd last year. DNO plans to invest heavily in Iraq to drill new wells and spike production at Tawke and nearby Peshkabir. Legal expert Dale also manages offshore production in Oman and activity in the North Sea.
35. Hamid Reza Araghi
Hamid Reza Araghi’s role in the National Iranian Gas Company is targeted at the mid-stream level. Araghi has a core responsibility of managing the effective distribution of gas across Iran’s sizeable domestic and industrial sectors. But he has been busy since the end of economic sanctions trying to tie up international gas delivery deals. Iran is eyeing agreements with Russia and China, as well as a potential connection to the Southern Gas Corridor to supply the EU.
36. Alexey Miller
It seems strange to compile a list of oil and gas firms and yet place Russian giant Gazprom so far down it. The lack of any genuine presence in the Arabian Gulf doesn’t help but the firm has a 30% stake in Iraq’s Badra oilfield which produces 85,000 bpd and its associated gas plant targeting 50mn cubic feet per day. Gazprom also holds blocks in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, but, like fellow Russian powerhouse Rosneft, potential big deals in Iran could see it start scaling our rankings.
37. Bijan Mossavar Rahmani
Chairman RAK Petroleum
The UAE’s oil and gas sector is a crowded space with giants like ADNOC and regional breakouts like Mubadala rubbing shoulders. But RAK Petroleum, under the guidance of the charismatic Rahmani, occupies its own niche. The firm has two principal interests consisting of a 40.45% share in Norwegian operator DNO, which produces more than 110,000 bpd across several regions and a 27.27% share in Cote d’Ivoire operator Foxtrot International which pumps 170mn cubic feet of gas per day.
38. Masahiro Okafuji
President and CEO, Itochu Corporation
The Osaka based corporation was one of the final additions to this list as its $406mn deal to trouser Shell’s 19.6% holding in the huge West Qurna 1 oilfield in Iraq, with its potential reserves of 20bn barrels and its present daily output of 400,000 bpd, was a genuine tipping point. If operator ExxonMobil’s goal of spiking production to more than 2mn bpd becomes reality then Itochu will be holding a very lucrative contract indeed. The firm also has shares in Oman LNG.
39. Ha Young-Bong
CEO, GS Energy
South Korea’s GS Energy has one main interest in the Middle East – the 3% share in ADNOC Onshore, which it acquired back in 2015. But the fields associated with this division are part of the Abu Dhabi giant’s production engine room, pumping out a lucrative 1.6mn bpd. GS also has a 10% stake in ADNOC’s Concessions 1, 2 and 3, which will commence a rather more modest output of 30,000 bpd next year. GS Energy subsidiary GS Caltex is a growing enterprise in refining and petrochemicals.
40. Frederick Chemin
General Manager, Dubai Petroleum Company
A recurring theme of conversation in the UAE, aside from the weather, is the fact Dubai hasn’t got any oil. Well, it hasn’t got anywhere near as much as Abu Dhabi, but at 4bn barrels it has more than the UK for a start. Dubai’s problem is declining production levels, which have gone from 400,000 bpd in the 1990s to around 60,000 bpd today. In a city known for its airline and bold construction projects, the local oil producer is somewhat in the shadows.