Kuwait refining

23 February 2011

Six key executives leading efforts to upgrade Kuwait’s downstream refining sector: Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Farouk Hussain al-Zanki, Hashim al-Rifai, Hatem al-Awadi, Mohammad al-Ramadhan and Mohammed Ghazi al-Mutairi

Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah

Position Oil Minister

Biography Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Ahmad al-Sabah has been Kuwait’s oil minister since February 2009. He is a member of the House of Sabah, the ruling family of Kuwait. Al-Sabah started his career in 1977 as a financial analyst at Kuwait Financial Centre. In 1978, he joined the Central Bank of Kuwait as a researcher. By the time of his departure in 1987, he had been promoted to manager of the banking supervision department. Between 1987 and 1997, he was chairman and managing director of the local Burgan Bank, he then moved to Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait as deputy chairman and managing director. Since 1999, Al-Sabah has held a series of ministerial roles, including finance minister, communications minister and health minister. Al-Sabah graduated in 1976 with a degree in economics and business administration from the University of Illinois in the US.

Contact Tel: (+965) 1 858 858

Farouk Hussain al-Zanki

Position Chief executive officer (CEO), Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC)

Biography Farouk Hussain al-Zanki was named CEO of KPC in October 2010. The appointment confirms Al-Zanki as one of the most powerful executives in Kuwait and 2011 will reveal whether he has the backing of parliament to execute a series of long-awaited projects. Al-Zanki replaced Saad al-Shuwaib, whose term was characterised by parliamentary disputes that prevented him from delivering any of the firm’s strategic projects. Between 1982 and 2007, Al-Zanki held various roles at Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), including manager for the exploration and development group, and manager for the planning group. From 2004 to 2007, he was chairman of KOC. Between September 2007 and October 2010, he was managing director for refining at KPC and chairman of Kuwait National Petroleum Company. He graduated with a master’s degree from Oklahoma University in the US.

Contact Tel: (+965) 1 858 585

Hashim al-Rifai

Position Managing director for planning at KPC

Biography Hashim al-Rifai started his career at KOC as an assistant engineer and has more than 30 years of experience in the country’s oil industry. He is also chairman and managing director of Oil Development Company, a subsidiary of KPC. Al-Rifai is responsible for negotiating contracts signed with international oil companies for projects in Kuwait. He has written several research papers on oil projects and management. He previously served as deputy managing director at KOC. Al-Rifai has also been chairman at the Technologies Investments Company, an affiliate of KPC. He is a member of the Kuwaiti Society of Engineers and international bodies such as the US’ Project Management Institute and Houston-based Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. He graduated with a degree in electrical engineering from Seattle University in the US in 1980.

Contact Tel: (+965) 2398 2317

Hatem al-Awadi

Position Deputy managing director for projects, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC)

Biography Hatem al-Awadi has more than 25 years of experience working for KNPC. He joined the firm as a planning engineer in 1984, before becoming a project manager from 1999 to 2000. He was then promoted to deputy managing director, a position he has held for more than a decade. Al-Awadi has been involved in the planning of major multibillion dollar refinery upgrade and rehabilitation schemes in Kuwait, including the New Refinery Project and the Clean Fuels Project that are worth $15-20bn each. The two schemes are expected to lift capacity at the Mina al-Ahmadi and Mina Abdulla refineries to 1.4 million barrels a day. Al-Awadi is also working on the four gas treatment facilities at KNPC and new liquefied petroleum gas trains. He graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in the US in 1984.

Contact Tel: (+965) 1 2320 9444

Mohammad al-Ramadhan

Position President, KPC Energy Ventures

Biography Mohammad al-Ramadhan begin his career at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research in 1991 and was promoted to director of the engineering division in 1993. He joined state oil firm KPC as international relations manager in 1997. Since 2003, he has held the position of deputy managing director for health, safety and environment (HSE) and corporate risk management at KPC. Al-Ramadhan was responsible for developing KPC’s corporate HSE management and enterprise risk management systems. He also is the acting deputy managing director for research and technology at KPC. In January 2006, Al-Ramadhan was appointed president of KPC Energy Ventures. He has bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University in the US. Al-Ramadhan also has a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the US’ University of Michigan.

Contact Tel: (+965) 1 858 585

Mohammed Ghazi al-Mutairi

Position Deputy managing director, Mina Abdulla refinery, KNPC

Biography Mohammed Ghazi al-Mutairi was promoted to his current role at KNPC in November 2007. Prior to this, he was operations manager for Mina al-Ahmadi Refinery, a position he had held from August 2002. During this period, he managed the refinery for seven months and commissioned new projects. Mina Abdulla refinery is located approximately 53 kilometres to the south of Kuwait City. Covering an area of 7,835,000 square metres, the facility has a refining capacity of 270,000 barrels a day. Al-Mutairi started his career as an engineer in the operations department of KNPC in 1987. He sits on the board of directors of Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Company, which focuses on the production of ammonia and nitrogen-based fertilisers. Al-Mutairi has a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Kuwait. 

Contact Tel: (+965) 2 398 9900

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