Abdalla Salem el-Badri
Position: Secretary-General, Opec
Biography: Abdalla Salem el-Badri is the secretary-general of Opec, a position he has held since 2007. Born in Libya in 1940, he has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and business administration from the US’ Florida Southern College. His first job was at the US’ Esso Standard, now ExxonMobil, where he moved up from the post of assistant accountant to assistant controller between 1965 and 1977. El-Badri later became a member of the board of directors of Libya’s Umm al-Jawabi Oil Company and the chairman of another local firm, Waha Oil Company. He was the chairman of state energy firm National Oil Company from 1983 until 1990, when he was appointed petroleum minister. From 2002-04, he was deputy prime minister of Libya. As Opec secretary-general, El-Badri oversaw the decision in 2008 to cut output by 4.2 million barrels a day (b/d) to a total of 24.85 million b/d, a decision which remains in place today.
Contact Tel: +43 121 112 3302
Position: Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister, Saudi Arabia
Biography: Ali al-Naimi has been the kingdom’s petroleum minister since 1995. Representing the Opec member with the largest oil reserves and production capacity, Al-Naimi holds significant influence when it comes to decisions on output cuts at the cartel’s meetings.
Al-Naimi has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the US’ Leigh University and a master’s degree, again in geology, from Stanford University, also in the US. He started his career as a foreman at the Arabian American Oil Company (AAOC), then owned by two US firms. As Saudi Arabia’s share in the company grew, so did his career. In 1950, the kingdom took a 50 per cent stake in the company, just as
Al-Naimi joined the geology department. By the time Saudi Arabia acquired full control in 1980, he had become firm’s director. His appointment as chief executive in 1988 coincided with AAOC renaming as Saudi Aramco.
Contact Tel: +966 1 478 1661
Position: Petroleum Minister, Iran
Biography: As Iran’s petroleum minister since September 2009, Masoud Mir-Kazemi represents Opec’s second biggest producer. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial engineering from Tehran University of Science & Technology. In 1989, he joined Iran’s Centre for Productivity and System Evaluations, later becoming head of the facility. Between 1993-96, he was the head of the research department in the technology and engineering faculty at Iran’s Imam Hossein University. In 1996, he completed a doctorate in industrial engineering. In 2000, Mir-Kazemi became the head of Iran’s national centre for logistics studies and research. He was commerce minister from 2005-09. In February this year, Mir-Kazemi announced the creation of a national fund for energy projects to help the country cope with international economic sanctions. In March, he said there was no need for a change to current Opec output.
Contact Tel: +98 21 646 6293
Position: Oil Minister, Iraq
Biography: Hussain al-Sharistani has been Iraq’s oil minister since 2006, a position which is likely to become more important as the country targets production of 12 million b/d, up from current levels of 2.5 million b/d. It was not clear if Al-Sharistani will continue as minister as results from Iraq’s latest elections were not announced by the time MEED went to press. Al-Sharistani holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the UK’s Imperial College and a master’s degree and a doctorate in nuclear science from the University of Toronto in Canada. His career began with a teaching job at Mosul University. He became head of Baghdad University’s nuclear chemistry department in 1977. He was
a political prisoner under the regime of former Iraq president Saddam Hussein from 1979-1990 and fled the country during the first Gulf War. Al-Sharistani returned to Baghdad in 2004.
Contact Tel: +964 1 727 0710
Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah
Position: Oil Minister, Kuwait
Biography: Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah was appointed oil minister in February 2009. Born in 1952, Sheikh Ahmad has a bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration from the US’ University of Illinois. He started his career as a financial analyst with the Kuwait Financial Centre in 1977, before moving to the Central Bank of Kuwait in 1978. In 1987, he became the chairman and managing director of the local Burgan bank. Sheikh Ahmad remained at Burgan for a decade, before moving to another local bank, Al-Ahli Bank of Kuwait, in 1997. Since 2001, he has been in government, holding various ministerial posts, including of finance, communications,
planning, development, health and information. He is also the chairman of the board of directors at state-owned oil company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Contact Tel: +965 2 499 5000
Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli
Position: Energy Minister, UAE
Biography: Mohamed bin Dhaen al-Hamli has been the UAE’s energy minister since 2004. Prior to this, he was the UAE’s Opec governor for eight years. He supports government spending to boost oil production capacity to prepare for future demand. Al-Hamli is a certified accountant and attended the US’ Harvard Business School advanced management programme in 1988. Much of his career before moving into government was taken up by positions in state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and its subsidiaries. He started as an internal auditor at Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company in 1980, moving to the post of assistant general manager in 1988. In 1989, he joined the central Adnoc group as finance director and became general manager of Adnoc for Distribution, now Adnoc Distribution, in 1997. He has been the director of marketing and refining at Adnoc since 1998, a post he still holds.
Contact Tel: +971 2 666 1163