Aramco appoints Al-Falih president, CEO

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 3 -- Saudi Aramco has appointed Khalid Al-Falih president and chief executive officer starting Jan. 1, 2009.

Al-Falih, currently executive vice-president, operations, will succeed Abdallah Jum'ah, who has chosen to retire after 14 years as president and chief executive.

Al-Falih has 30 years of experience at Aramco, having worked for the company since 1979. He has held many senior positions in its exploration and production, refining, and international operations.

He joined the consulting services department in 1992 and became executive vice-president for operations business center in September 2007.

In 1994, he became coordinator of the mechanical and civil systems division before becoming the division's manager at the beginning of 1995. He served as manager of the Ras Tanura refinery maintenance department in late 1995, manager of the Ras Tanura refinery operations department in 1997, and manager of the business analysis department in 1998.

In July 1999, he became president of Petron Corp., a joint venture of Aramco, and president and chief executive of Philippine National Oil Co.

Al-Falih returned to the Kingdom in September 2000 to serve as vice-chairman of the Aramco study team for gas ventures until his appointment as vice-president of gas ventures development and coordination in May 2001.

In early 2003, he headed a newly formed new business development administrative area and in April 2004 became vice-president of exploration, before being named senior vice-president of gas operations in August 2004.

He later became senior vice-president of industrial relations and board chairman of the South Rub Al-Khali joint venture of Shell, Total, and Aramco.

Meanwhile, Jum'ah, who served a total of 40 years in the organization, is rumored to be under consideration to succeed Saudi Arabia's current minister of petroleum and mineral resources, Ali Al-Naimi.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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