Iraq gas

17 April 2011

Six key people involved in the development of the Iraq gas industry: Hussein al-Shahristani, Ashti Hawrami, Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi, Adnan Abdul-Munim al-Janabi, Mounir Bouaziz and Thomas Rappuhn

Hussein al-Shahristani

Position Deputy prime minister for energy

Biography A former nuclear scientist and one-time prisoner of the notorious Abu Ghraib jail, Hussein al-Shahristani was appointed oil minister in May 2006. For many, his most important achievement was the signing of development contracts for several oil and gas fields since June 2009 with international oil companies. However, his protracted dispute with the Kurdistan Regional Government over the signing of production-sharing agreements with foreign oil companies has caused increased tension in Baghdad. In December 2010, Al-Shahristani was moved to the newly created role of deputy prime minister for energy, where he continues to wield considerable influence on his previous ministry. Al-Shahristani graduated in 1965 with a degree in chemical engineering from the UK’s Imperial College London. He also has a master’s and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Toronto in Canada.

Contact Tel: (+964) 1 727 0710

Ashti Hawrami

Position Natural resources minister, Kurdistan Regional Government

Biography Ashti Hawrami was appointed natural resources minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2006 and was reappointed in October 2009, following the Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. Hawrami has negotiated the signing of more than 35 production-sharing agreements to the ire of the federal authorities in Baghdad, which argues it has the sole right to sign contracts. Before joining the cabinet, Hawrami was chairman and chief executive of his  own company, Exploration Consultants, from 1999. Hawrami began his career in 1971 as an engineer at Iraq National Oil Company in Basra. In 1974, he moved to the North Sea to work for the UK’s BP, where he remained until 1982. Hawrami graduated with a degree in oil engineering from Baghdad University in 1971. He also has a doctorate in reserve oil engineering.

Contact Tel: (+964) 6 6220 0600

Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi

Position Oil minister

Biography Abdul al-Luaibi has risen through the ranks of the Iraq oil ministry since the early 1980s, when he joined as an engineer’s assistant for the South Oil Company. By 1998, Al-Luaibi was chief engineer in the ministry’s technical directorate, a position he held until after the US-led invasion in 2003. In 2004, he was appointed head of the chemical materials department and, in 2006, he became deputy director general of the technical directorate. In 2007, Al- Luaibi was made inspector general of the oil ministry. Al-Luaibi is responsible for bringing the oil field projects with foreign oil companies into fruition and overseeing the rehabilitation of Iraq’s energy sector. Al-Luaibi has been leading Baghdad’s negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government oil officials over the past year. Al-Luaibi graduated in 1982 from Baghdad University’s engineering college with a degree in petroleum engineering.

Contact Tel: (+964) 1 727 0710

Adnan Abdul-Munim al-Janabi

Position Chairman, oil and gas committee

Biography Adnan al-Janabi, a politician and tribal leader, was named chairman of the parliamentary oil and gas committee on 10 February, as part of a deal between his Iraqi National Movement party and the Kurdish Coalition. It is a position that he held previously during the Saddam Hussein era. In 1996, he was elected to the Iraqi parliament and was made the head of the oil committee. Following the US invasion, Al-Janabi became a minister of state without portfolio in the Iraqi interim government in June 2004. He resigned in January 2005 in protest at being handcuffed by US troops at a roadblock. He was re-elected to the Council of Representatives in the March 2010 elections. Al-Janabi has a degree in economics from the University of London and another in petroleum technology from Loughborough University, both in the UK.

Contact Email:

Mounir Bouaziz

Position Iraq country chairman, Shell

Biography Mounir Bouaziz began working for Shell in 1989 in exploration and production in Oman. He then transferred to Shell Gas & Power, overseeing gas businesses in Latin America. He was subsequently appointed vice president, East Mediterranean and Levant for Shell Gas & Power. In September 2009, Bouaziz was made vice president commercial for Middle East and North Africa with Shell Upstream International. Bouaziz has been spearheading Shell’s activity in Iraq since 2003, steering the company’s winning bid for the Majnoon oil field in 2009. In 2008, he signed a controversial heads of agreement with the Oil Ministry for the development of gas capturing and utilisation in the southern oil fields. If approved by the Iraqi cabinet, the deal could bring an end to gas flaring in the south. Bouaziz has a degree in engineering from France’s Grand Ecole, Arts et Metier.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 405 4400

Thomas Rappuhn

Position Chief executive officer, RWE Dea

Biography Rappuhn joined Germany’s RWE Dea in 1996 as manager of an offshore drilling project in the Netherlands. After progressing through the ranks, he was made director of domestic gas in 2003. He was appointed to the executive board of RWE Dea in charge of operations in 2006, before being made CEO in 2010. RWE signed an agreement in August 2010 with the Kurdistan Regional Government to help it develop and design domestic and export gas transportation infrastructure. The agreement also foresees the negotiation of gas supply deals to enable as much as 20 billion cubic metres a year of natural gas to be transported from the region to Turkey and Europe, via the planned Nabucco pipeline, which will run from Asia to Europe. Rappuhn graduated from Germany’s Technical University of Clausthal-Zellerfeld in 1988 in the disciplines of mining, deep-drilling technology, crude oil and natural gas production.

Contact Tel: (+49) 406 3750

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