Middle East energy

25 February 2013

Six individuals leading the development of unconventional gas reserves in the region: Martin Mair, Neil Reynolds, Dan Blanchard, Ahmad Atallah, Menahi Saeed al-Anzi and Abdul Aziz al-Ameri

Martin Mair

Position: Vice-president of operations, Abu Dhabi Gas Development Company (Al-Hosn Gas)

Biography: Martin Mair is the vice-president of operations for Al-Hosn Gas, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and the US’ Occidental Petroleum. The firm is responsible for the development of the $12bn Shah gas project in Abu Dhabi. Mair began his career in 1990 as a reservoir engineer for Core Laboratories in Aberdeen in the UK. He continued to work in the North Sea oil and gas sector until 2005, in various engineering and management roles for the UK’s Talisman Energy and UK/Dutch Shell Group. Mair then relocated to London as a project manager for Agip KCO, a subsidiary of Italy’s Eni. In 2008, he moved to Kazakhstan as the firm’s head of production accounting and planning. Mair joined Al-Hosn Gas in January 2010 as operations superintendent. He took up his current role in June 2012. Mair has a degree in business management.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 654 2222

Neil Reynolds

Position: Senior vice-president, managing director for the Middle East, North Africa and India, CH2M Hill

Biography: Neil Reynolds was appointed managing director for the Middle East, North Africa and India at the US’ CH2M Hill in October 2012. He took over from Omur Akay. Based in Abu Dhabi, he oversees eight offices and 2,000 staff in the Middle East. He also has responsibility for the project management consultancy for the Shah Gas Development in Abu Dhabi. The contract, which is being carried out by CH2M Hill’s subsidiary Veco Engineering, includes the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project’s gas-gathering facilities, non-process buildings and early site works. Reynolds was previously director of international operations for CH2M Hill’s water business group. He is a chartered civil engineer and has a degree in civil engineering from the University of Glamorgan in the UK.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 401 3860

Dan Blanchard

Position: Vice-president, Middle East operations and general manager of Oman, BP

Biography: Dan Blanchard was appointed general manager of BP Oman and vice-president of Middle East operations for the UK oil major in July 2011. He is overseeing the development of unconventional gas fields in Oman and Jordan, including the $15bn Khazzan tight gas field in the sultanate. Blanchard started his career in 1990 in Alaska, where he worked as an offshore installation manager for US oil firm Texaco for eight years. He stayed in Alaska for another 13 years, working for BP as an operations manager. Blanchard moved to Baku in 2002 to work on BP’s offshore operations in Azerbaijan, where he remained until 2008. His BP career then took him to the West Papua province of Indonesia, where he managed the start-up of the Tangguh liquefied natural gas operation. Blanchard has degree in petroleum technology from the University of Alaska Anchorage in the US.

Contact Tel: (+968) 2468 4000

Ahmad Atallah

Position: Chairman and managing director, Shell Kuwait

Biography: Ahmad Atallah began his career in 1987 as a process modelling engineer. In 1992, he was appointed consultant for advanced process control for Shell, before becoming head of technology for Thai Oil Company in 1995. He returned to Shell in 1998 and has been there ever since, moving to Shell Global Solutions for refinery planning and then becoming technical manager for Shell in Abu Dhabi in 2001. In 2007, Atallah was promoted to chairman of Shell companies in Egypt and later chairman of Shell Kuwait in August 2011. His team has been working alongside state-owned upstream operator Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), providing technical advice on the development of the Jurassic gas project since 2010. Atallah has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from Northeastern University in the US.

Contact Tel: (+965) 2 243 8640

Menahi Saeed al-Anzi

Position: Deputy managing director, planning and gas, Kuwait Oil Company (KOC)

Biography: Menahi Saeed al-Anzi is the deputy managing director of planning and gas at KOC. Reporting to chairman Sami al-Rushaid, Al-Anzi is responsible for the project to develop Kuwait’s Jurassic gas reserves. The scheme aims to produce up to 510 million cubic feet a day of gas. There are numerous technical challenges as the gas is deep, tight and high in sulphur content. With Kuwait now importing gas to meet its power generation needs, the long-delayed project is one of KOC’s most important. The scheme has faced setbacks over the involvement of international oil company consultants and political upheaval in Kuwait’s parliament. Al-Anzi was previously team leader for the Sabriya and Bahra oil fields in the north of Kuwait and has held various engineering, operations and management positions at KOC. He has a degree in petroleum engineering from Marietta College in the US.  

Contact Tel: (+965) 2 398 3661

Abdul Aziz al-Ameri

Position: Senior vice-president of major projects, Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco)

Biography: Abdul Aziz al-Ameri is senior vice-president of major projects at UAE gas producer Gasco. As part of his responsibilities, Al-Ameri oversees the execution of all major projects and handles strategy, contracts and cost management. He began his career at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) in 1982, first in projects and later in the management of operations and maintenance of oil and gas assets. He returned to projects in 1999 to manage the phase two construction of an onshore gas development project. He joined Gasco in 2000 in his current position after the merger of Gasco and Abu Dhabi Gas Company (Atheer). Gasco’s largest project under way is the $12bn Shah gas development. Al-Ameri has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the US’ University of Southern California.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 603 7337

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