Position: Natural resources minister, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)
Biography: An experienced former international oil consultant who ran his own company, Exploration Consultants, Ashti Hawrami has proven to be an ambitious and energetic oil minister for the Kurdish provinces.
He has been a strong advocate of Kurdish autonomy on energy matters and has aggressively pursued negotiations with foreign oil companies, signing more than 20 production-sharing agreements – although their validity remains disputed by the federal authorities.
Hawrami’s experience as a senior oil executive has stood the Kurds in good stead, but there are concerns that the tough stance he has adopted towards Oil Minister Hussein al-Shahristani could harm the Kurds’ chances of securing export routes. He nonetheless remains a powerful figure in the Kurdish political hierarchy, closely connected to KRG President Massoud Barzani.
Contact: (+9646) 6220 0600