Upstream expert Nasser to lead Saudi Aramco

Updated 18 September 2015
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Upstream expert Nasser to lead Saudi Aramco

JEDDAH: Long-serving Saudi Aramco executive Amin Hassan Nasser was on Thursday appointed as the president and chief executive officer of the world’s largest energy company.
The decision was announced during the first meeting in Jeddah of the recently constituted Saudi Aramco Supreme Council led by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The meeting was chaired by Prince Mohammed and attended by the Saudi Aramco Supreme Council board members, including Prince Abdul Aziz bin Salman, Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Al-Naimi, Finance Minister Ibrahim Al-Assaf, Economy and Planning Minister Adel Fakeih and Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih.
The meeting included a presentation on Saudi Aramco’s role in supporting the Kingdom’s sustainable development initiatives and a review of the company’s strategic transformation program as it bids to become a truly integrated energy firm.
Ever since Al-Falih, the former president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco, was named as the health minister in April this year, Nasser, who is in his 50s, was running the affairs of the oil giant in an acting capacity.
On Thursday, Nasser expressed his profound gratitude to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif and the deputy crown prince for being entrusted with Saudi Aramco.
“I am deeply humbled and honored by the trust bestowed upon me by our leaders and I thank the Saudi Aramco Supreme Council for entrusting me with the responsibility of taking this great company to even greater heights of achievement,” Nasser said.
Saudi Aramco would remain committed to being the most reliable supplier of energy and continue to pursue its strategy of becoming the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals enterprise, he said.
“Our continued success lies in carrying forward the firm foundations established by my predecessors,” Nasser said. “I am privileged to lead a remarkably talented team, whose skills and support will be so crucial to address the challenges of the future,” he added. Nasser has been with the company for more than three decades having joined it in 1982 after graduating from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dhahran with a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering.
He is widely respected in the company and industry. The contracting companies that deal with Saudi Aramco on a regular basis describe him as a tough negotiator.
“He is a very down-to-earth person,” said an industry expert who has seen his style of working. “He doesn’t show off and never makes you feel he is such a high-ranking executive at Saudi Aramco.”
But behind that gentle persona is a man with a steely resolve who knows the company full well. “He is known as an upstream visionary,” said one industry expert. The upstream sector includes the searching for potential underground or underwater crude oil and natural gas fields, drilling of exploratory wells, and bring the deposits to the surface.
In his recent speeches, he has talked about harnessing new technology and empowering young people, said the expert. “Everybody is excited over his confirmation as the chief,” he said. “He is a very amiable and well-liked person.”
He takes over at a time when several projects are facing challenges, but under Nasser, experts said, the company will flourish again.
“He is the right man for the right job,” said another expert.
Nasser’s biography on the company’s website shows extensive experience, including holding various technical and operational assignments with the production engineering, drilling and reservoir management departments from November 1982 to February 1991. From March 1991 to May 1997, he held various supervisory positions in the engineering and producing departments.
In June 1997, Nasser was named manager of Ras Tanura Producing Department, and later, manager of Northern Area Producing Engineering Department, Safaniya Offshore Producing Department, and Safaniya Onshore Producing Department, respectively. He was appointed chief petroleum engineer in April 2004, and in May 2005 was named executive director of Petroleum Engineering and Development. He has held various assignments, including the Saudi Aramco Management Development Seminar in Washington, D.C., in 1999; the Saudi Aramco Global Business Program in 2000; and the Senior Executive Program at Columbia University in 2002.


Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

Updated 19 February 2019
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Brent eases from 2019 highs as markets await US-China trade talks outcome

  • The slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year
  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel

SINGAPORE: Brent crude oil prices eased away from 2019 highs on Tuesday on caution that economic growth may dent fuel demand this year, although supply cuts led by OPEC still meant markets were relatively tight.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $66.08 per barrel at 0220 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close, but still not far off the 2019 high of $66.83 a barrel hit in the previous session.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $55.71 per barrel. While that was up 12 cents from their last settlement, it was below the $56.33 2019 high from the previous day.
Traders said the slight downward correction was driven by concerns about the health of the global economy this year.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note that the Sino-American trade dispute was hurting economic growth globally.
“Addressing global trade tensions is key for improving the economic outlook,” it said in a note.
China’s vice premier and chief trade negotiator, Liu He, and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer lead a round of trade talks this week in Washington.
Considering the economic outlook and supply and demand balances, the bank said it expects Brent prices to average between $50 and $70 per barrel, “anchored around $60.”
Despite some caution around trade, global oil markets remain relatively tight because of supply cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), with top crude exporter Saudi Arabia cutting the most.
Saudi seaborne crude exports fell in the first half of February, with departures standing at 6.204 million barrels per day (bpd), a 1.341 million bpd decline on the previous month and 0.91 million bpd decline on the year, data intelligence firm Kpler said.
Further providing oil markets with support are US sanctions against petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela.
Venezuela is a major crude supplier to US refineries while Iran is a key exporter to major demand centers in Asia, especially China and India.