Abdulbari al-Arusi

Position: Oil minister

Biography: Abdulbari al-Arusi was appointed Libya’s oil minister in October 2012. Before joining the ministry, he worked as an executive at Green Holding Company, a subsidiary of the Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio sovereign wealth fund. Prior to this, Al-Arusi held a succession of oil engineering posts. He was an engineer at Sirte Oil Company from 1982 to 1998, a senior corrosion engineer at Mellitah Oil & Gas in 2006-07, and general director for operations at engineering firm Taqniyat Libya in 2009-11. He was also director of operations at UK-based subsidiary of National Oil Corporation (NOC), Teknica, in 2007-09. Al-Arusi has a master’s degree and a doctorate in corrosion protection. The ministerial appointment was a surprise to many and is widely considered a political decision rather than one based on industry expertise. Nonetheless, Al-Arusi must now marshal the oil sector through its most difficult period in recent history.

Contact Tel: (+218) 21 333 7141

Omar Shakmak

Position: Deputy oil minister

Biography: Omar Shakmak became deputy oil minister in 2011 and, like Al-Arusi, was considered a political appointment rather than one based on technical expertise. Nevertheless, he holds an important position in the oil sector. Shakmak started his career in Libya’s oil industry at state-owned NOC in 1977 as an accountant at an ammonia plant. He spent the bulk of his career in Libya working at the Ras Lanuf oil refinery, before moving to the UK in the 1990s to become head of Umm al-Jawaby, a UK-based oil services company. Umm al-Jawaby was set up by NOC in 1983 to take over some of the overseas procurement, training and recruitment activities previously carried out by international oil companies (IOCs) working in Libya. Since his appointment, Shakmak has become a key contact for senior executives of IOCs and has taken on responsibility for Libya’s oil finances and trade in refined products.

Contact Tel: (+218) 21 333 7141

Nuri Berruien

Position: Chairman, NOC

Biography: As the head of NOC, Nuri Berruien has arguably the most important job in Libya’s oil sector, more influential even than the oil minister. During the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, the Oil Ministry was frequently abolished, but the NOC was always a constant at the heart of the hydrocarbons sector. Berruien is a highly respected figure in the industry and is likely to be its most influential policy voice. He was appointed head of NOC in August 2011, having held senior positions at the Benghazi-based Arabian Gulf Oil Company (AGOCO) in the 2000s, and Teknica in the 1990s. Berruien was born in Benghazi in 1946. He studied petroleum engineering in the UK before joining NOC in the early 1970s, where he was involved in reservoir management on the Sarir field and was head of oilfield services.

Contact Tel: (+218) 21 333 7141

Ahmed Majbri

Position: Chairman, AGOCO

Biography: Ahmed Majbri was appointed chairman of the state-owned AGOCO, when the uprising against Gaddafi’s regime began in early 2011. He was previously an executive in Libya’s finance department. As AGOCO chairman, Majbri is a key player in Libya’s oil sector, overseeing a quarter of the country’s total production, most of which comes from the Sarir and Mesla fields in the east. Majbri replaced Abdelwanis Saad Almerteja as chairman of AGOCO. Almerteja was sacked in the early days of the revolution by the directors of AGOCO, who considered him a stooge of parent company NOC. Based in Benghazi, the company is symbolic of the representation of eastern Libya in today’s new regime. Historically, Libya’s national oil company, NOC, was based in Benghazi, and there are still many who argue for its return. One compromise may be the dividing of NOC into divisions, with some based in Tripoli and some in Benghazi.

Contact Tel: (+218) 61 222 8931

Paolo Scaroni

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Eni

Biography: Paolo Scaroni has been CEO of Italy’s Eni since June 2005. He was previously CEO of Italy’s Enel from 2002-05, UK glass company Pilkington from 1996-2002 and Italy’s Techint from 1985-96. Scaroni graduated with a degree in economics in 1969 and has a master’s degree in business administration from Columbia University in the US. He started his career at US-based consultancy McKinsey. Eni is the largest foreign oil company in Libya, responsible for 14 per cent of its oil and gas output. It is a joint-venture partner with NOC in Agip Gas, which built the Greenstream pipeline to Italy. Eni also partners with NOC in Mellitah oil and gas, a gas production and processing company formed in 2008. Scaroni was quick to build a relationship with Libya’s government, and met the rebel leadership in Benghazi as early as April 2011. Eni has promised to invest $8bn in Libya in the coming decade.

Contact Tel: (+39) 06 59821

Bernard Avignon

Position: Managing director, Total Libya

Biography: Bernard Avignon has been managing director of Total Exploration and Production Libya since 2011. Prior to that, he was vice-president of operations based at Total’s Paris headquarters from 2008-11 and technical director of Total E&P Congo from 2004 to 2008. Since graduating in petroleum engineering in 1979, Avignon has spent his entire career in the oil industry. He joined Elf Aquitaine in 1979, working as a completion engineer, drilling engineer and drilling manager. Elf Aquitaine merged with TotalFina in 2000. In September 2011, Total became the first foreign oil company to resume its operations in Libya following the revolution. Total is a partner in the Mabruk Oil Operations joint venture with NOC and Germany’s Wintershall, which operates the Al Jurf field, and the Mabruk field, south of Sirte. The company is planning an onshore and offshore drilling campaign in 2013.

Contact Tel: (+218) 21 335 0401