The power 50 : 31 - 40

The 50 most powerful people in Middle East Oil & Gas

Industry Trends

Abdul-Hussain bin Ali Mirza
Energy Minister

HE Dr Abdulhussain bin Ali Mirza was appointed Energy Minister by His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in the wake of political unrest earlier this year.

Speaking at MEOS 2011 in Bahrain, Mirza emphasised the scale of the challenge facing the regional industry and the need for the industry to become more diverse.

“Everybody knows the days of easy oil are gone,” Ali Mizra, said, opening MEOS 2011. “The responsibility for meeting the energy needs of the future lies in this room.”

Mirza also announced at MEOS that the deep gas project BAPCO entered in partnership with US firm Occidental is on the cusp of starting.

Under the project, which Mizra dubbed “a major step forward for Bahrain’s oil and gas industry,” Occidental will carry out drilling for gas at depths of up to 20,000 feet, bearing all the cost of exploration until the statutes of gas reserves are known.

Khalid Mugharbel
President, Middle East

Khalid Mugharbel is the President of Schlumberger Middle East Area, based in Dubai, UAE. He began his career in 1993 at Schlumberger as a Wireline services field engineer and has held several positions in line management and human resources. Through his career with Schlumberger, he worked in multiple regions including Europe, Asia in addition to multiple countries in the Middle East Area. His professional career was enriched by E&P exposure before rejoining Schlumberger in his current role as Middle East President.

Khalid graduated in 1992 with a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Rami Qasem

Rami Qasem is Chief Executive Officer for GE Oil & Gas in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region (MENAT). He is responsible for driving the organization’s growth in the region which currently has over 800 people distributed across three main hubs in Dammam, Abu Dhabi and Doha.

Rami is a 14-year GE veteran. He began his career at GE in 1997, where he held several leadership roles including Regional Power Systems Sales Director for the Africa, India and Middle East region. In 2004 Rami was appointed GE Energy’s Region Executive for the Gulf Countries.

Prior to his current role, Rami served as General Manager for GE Energy Services where he successfully led the organization’s growth across the Middle East and Africa region.

In this role, Rami managed various portfolios including Power Generation Services and Repair, Transmission & Distribution, Monitoring and Control Solutions and Industrial Services. Rami graduated from Texas A&M University with a BSc in Electrical Engineering.

Ahmed Al-Zayyat
Aramco Overseas Company

Based in Hong Kong, Ahmed Al Zayyat manages commercial relations between the world’s largest energy company and the world’s fastest-growing energy consumer.

Al Zayyat’s job is to smooth the commercial and logistical links between Aramco and its customers, by providing purchasing and logistics, inspection, engineering, research and technology, IT, finance, legal, public relations, HR, international staffing and executive services.

AOC operates from its offices in The Hague, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, China and the United Kingdom.

Aramco’s China office is “the intelligence hub” of the Saudi giant in Asia, providing an understanding of the investment climate in the region’s swiftly growing economies.

Al Zayyat manages AOC’s 250-strong staff from 26 countries, and two downstream joint ventures in Asia. As energy demand from the more traditional economies subsides, Al Zayyat’s position is regarded as crucial.

Nouri Berrouin
Libyan National Oil Company

It’s staggering to think that Libya’s oil industry may be about to recover half its pre-war production level, prompting talk of a production cut by its fellow OPEC members.

By the end of the year, and within only a few months of Libya’s declared liberation from Gaddafi’s rule, Nouri Berrouin says Libya will be pumping 800,000 barrels a day of crude, mainly for domestic consumption and to European markets.

As the government changes, Berrouin is set to be a more permanent fixture on Libya’s oil landscape. He has already made his mark, refusing entry for private security for independent explorer Heritage Oil.

Hong-Pyo Kong
Executive VP
Samsung Engineering

Samsung Engineering’s Hong-Pyo Kong has been Head of Marketing for Middle East & North Africa for Samsung Engineering since 2006. During that time, Samsung Engineering has assiduously nurtured relationships with decision-makers in the Gulf’s upstream industry, and been rewarded with a string of massive EPC contracts in the region.

The Korean EPC giant, posted year-end revenue in 2010 of $4.87 billion, an increase of 31.3% over 2009.

More than any other company, Samsung Engineering has shaken up the contractual chain in the region and made EPC companies and their suppliers think hard about how to compete.

David J Lesar
Chairman, President and CEO

David J. Lesar, a former accountant at defunct firm Arthur Andersen, where he worked on Halliburton’s account.

He became CEO of Halliburton in 2000. In 2007 Lesar moved Halliburton’s HQ from Houston to Dubai in 2007, a move that is reported to have saved the firm hundreds of millions of dollars in US taxes.

Lesar led a profit boom for the company on a massive raft of reconstruction contracts in Iraq which is reported to have netted him over $46 million.

He serves on the board of directors at Lyondell Chemical and is also a member of the American Petroleum Institute.

Khaled Nouh
President, Middle East
Baker Hughes

Khaled Nouh joined Baker Hughes as President of the Middle East Region in September 2009. He calls leading the firm’s growth in the region “quite a challenging target but very enjoyable and rewarding.”

Nouh brings 20 years of oilfield experience to Baker Hughes. He started his career with Saudi Aramco in 1990 before joining Schlumberger in 1994 as field engineer. After several operational positions in various Middle East countries, Nouh held global marketing, human resources and line management positions.

Nouh was then given responsibility for Schlumberger’s geo-markets in Libya and Saudi Arabia before being appointed vice president, Project Management for the Middle East and East Mediterranean.

A native of Saudi Arabia, Nouh earned a BSc in mechanical engineering from King Saud University in Riyadh.

Todd F Kozel
Gulf Keystone

Todd Kozel started taking an interest in Iraqi Kurdistan shortly after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003. The company has personality, with a clique of committed private shareholders and an outgoing CEO unafraid of doing business in a daunting environment.

Kozel and his investors have been rewarded with the Shaikan field, for which a production sharing agreement was signed in 2007. Since appraisal began, Shaikan has upgraded reserves regularly, and is now a world-class field, with P90 reserves of 8 billion barrels, in which the firm holds a 75% interest.

The discovery updates sent the firm’s shares rocketing from 4pps to 104pps within a year, and the recent entry of ExxonMobil to Kurdistan increased Gulf Keystone’s shares by a further 25%. The talk is now of consolidation, as new concessions run out and large capital is needed for field development in the region’s awkward geology.

While other independents may merge or be gobbled up by supermajors, the Shaikan field means that Kozel – who was recently forced to deny rumours that the firm is up for sale – could find himself at the head of either the largest independent in Iraq or sitting pretty in Kurdistan with a supermajor partner.

Ahmed H Nasser
Senior Vice President, Upstream
Saudi Aramco

Ahmed H Nasser has cut a figure ready to push Aramco’s upstream division to the edge of innovation, as part of Saudi Aramco’s Accelerated Transformation Program.

“The intelligent digital field is here today, but we are already looking toward the next-generation of intelligent fields with advanced diagnostic gravity and electromagnetic tools,” Nasser told the MEOS 2011 conference in Bahrain.

“Saudi Aramco will transform itself from a consumer of the best technology into an innovator and producer of leading technologies,” he predicts.

Nasser is also pushing an interdisciplinary approach to field development and monitoring, as part of a wider emphasis on collaborative working within Saudi Aramco.

“Our geophysicists work with geologists, reservoir engineers, and petrophysicists to make sure that we integrate all the data and that our models make sense,” he said. Nasser is leading the charge to develop Aramco’s unconventional resources and use of new recovery techniques.


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