Position: Acting Oil & Gas Minister
Biography: Mohammed al-Olaim took over the interim position of acting Oil & Gas Minister following the resignation of Sheikh Ali al-Jarrah al-Sabah in the summer of 2007, and again when Bader al-Humaidhi was forced to quit after less than a week in the job in November last year. Since then, he has had the difficult task of balancing his other role as Electricity & Water Minister with the key hydrocarbons portfolio. A graduate of industrial engineering from Kuwait University, Al-Olaim first worked at Kuwait Municipality advising on its interim reform plan before joining Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) as director of operational planning. He entered the National Assembly (parliament) in 1996 as a member of the Islamic Constitutional Movement, an informal Islamist-leaning grouping. He joined the government in March 2007 as the state’s first Electricity & Water Minister, following the break-up of the Energy Ministry.
Contact Tel: (+965) 858 858
Position: Vice chairman and CEO, KPC
Biography: As head of Kuwait’s main oil and gas company, Saad Al-Shuwaib is instrumental in directing the state’s hydrocarbons policy. He is a proponent of foreign investment in Kuwait, and has overseen negotiations with international oil companies over their participation in its upstream sector. Graduating with a degree in mechanical engineering from the US in 1977, Al-Shuwaib started his career at the Education Ministry before joining Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), KPC’s petrochemicals arm, in 1981. Rising up the ranks at PIC, he became chairman and managing director in 2001. During his tenure at PIC, Al-Shuwaib oversaw the development of the Equate joint venture with the US’ Dow Chemical Company. On the early retirement of Hani Hussain in March 2007, Al-Shuwaib was selected to become acting head of KPC and must ensure Kuwait meets its ambitious crude production targets.
Contact Tel: (+965) 499 4444
Position: Chairman and managing director, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)
Biography: Since his appointment as head of KOC in November, Sami al-Rushaid is in charge of Kuwait’s entire upstream sector and its 2.6 million-barrel-a-day (b/d) oil production. An industrial engineer by training, he joined state refinery operator Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) in 1978, where he remained for almost 20 years. He held various positions in the corporate planning department until 1995, when he was promoted to executive assistant managing director of planning and finance. He assumed the top job at KNPC in the reshuffle of the senior positions in the local oil sector in September 2004, taking over from Hani Hussain. While heading KNPC, Al-Rushaid oversaw development planning for the Al-Zour refinery, the largest single-phase refining facility ever built. His job now at KOC is to help the state hit its 3 million-b/d production capacity target by 2010.
Contact Tel: (+965) 398 2929
Position: Chairman and managing director, KNPC
Biography: With a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Oklahoma University in the US, Farouk al-Zanki joined KOC in 1980 as a petroleum engineer. He worked within the reservoir engineering department at KOC until he became planning manager in 1991. Eight years and two promotions later, he became managing director for exploration and production. In 2004, he became chairman and managing director of KOC, and was responsible for implementing the new form of engineering, procurement and construction contracts that have increased the number of international contractors bidding in Kuwait. In November 2007, Al-Zanki swapped jobs with Sami al-Rushaid to take over the helm at KNPC. His most immediate task has been to oversee the award of more than $15bn worth of contracts on the Al-Zour refinery and prepare for the $15-20bn clean fuels project to upgrade the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdulla refineries.
Contact Tel: (+965) 398 7111
Position: Chairman and managing director, Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC)
Biography: Bader al-Khashti heads up KGOC, the KPC subsidiary set up in 2002 to represent the state’s interests in the Divided Zone, a stretch of land owned jointly by Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Divided Zone’s prod-uction capacity is more than 500,000 b/d split evenly between the two countries. Al-Khashti’s main task will be to oversee KGOC’s multi-billion-dollar, five-year programme to increase capacity by 50,000 b/d. Prior to joining KGOC, Al-Khashti was for six years chairman and managing director of Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (Kufpec), KPC’s overseas exploration arm. Before that, he was executive assistant to the managing director for operations at KOC. A mechanical engineering graduate, Al-Khashti was a key member of the team that rebuilt Kuwait’s oil infrastructure after the 1990-91 Iraqi invasion and occupation.
Contact Tel: (+965) 398 3798
Mohammed Ahmed Husain
Position: Deputy chairman and deputy managing director for planning and gas, KOC
Biography: Mohammed Ahmed Husain has responsibility for overseeing the state’s first ever non-associated gas production from two northern oil fields. After free gas was first found in 2001, he was behind efforts to delineate it and extract it during his previous role as deputy managing director for north Kuwait. The efforts of his team lead to the 2006 announcement that the state had discovered reserves of more than 34 trillion cubic feet of gas. Husain, who graduated in petroleum engineering from the US’ Tulsa University in 1982, was part of the team that drew up the framework for Project Kuwait. His first job at KOC was as a petroleum engineer. He quickly rose up the ranks before joining PIC as deputy managing director for manufacturing. For his efforts, and as a measure of his experience and knowledge of the upstream sector, he was promoted last year to his current position at KOC.