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Egypt - 'Abdullah Ghorab.

The Petroleum Minister since March 2011, Eng. Ghorab took up this post from Mahmoud Latif Amer and was retained in Ghanzoury's government. Latif had become petroleum minister on Feb. 23 to replace long-serving Sameh Fahmi, who was removed from that position and was subsequently jailed - along with Mubarak and his two sons as well as a number of aides on various charges - after a revolution which had begun in January 2011. Until Feb. 23, Latif was chairman of Egas. Until March, Ghorab was chairman of EGPC.

Ghorab had become chairman of EGPC on Feb. 22, 2010 to succeed Eng. Abdul-Aleem Taha who had been promoted to that post in the autumn of 2006 to succeed Eng. Ibrahim Saleh.

Before Feb. 22, 2010, Ghorab was Chairman and CEO of Khalda Petroleum Co. (KPC), a 50-50 JV of EGPC and Apache Corp of the US. Previously he had risen through the ranks at EGPC, having begun his career as a petroleum engineer at the state-owned company in the early 1980s.

On March 21, Ghorab appointed Eng. Hani Dahi as chairman of EGPC. Until then, Dahi used to be chairman of EGPC's engineering affiliate ENPPI. Now ENPPI's Chairman is Eng. Fakhry el-Eid (see ENPPI activities in down2EgyptRefJan9-12).

Ghorab is under pressure to reform the petroleum sector in order to facilitate its transparency. Thus major re-structuring programmes are being prepared for the ministry itself, EGPC, Egas, Echem, Ganope and the Egyptian Geological Survey and Mining Authority (EGSMA). The biggest change will be at EGPC (see below).

Key aides to Ghorab at the Petroleum Ministry are Eng. Mahmoud Nazem, since Feb. 10 the under-secretary for petroleum affairs, who until then had been chairman of the Sumed crude oil pipeline company; and prominent geologist Muhammad Rif'at Khafaga, since Feb. 10 the under-secretary for exploration and E&P agreements, who until then had been chairman of the Gulf of Suez Petroleum Co. (GUPCO) - one of the largest crude oil producers in Egypt and a 50-50 JV of EGPC and BP. Now GUPCO's Chairman is Eng. Muhammad Abul-Wafa (see GUPCO's profile in omt2EgyptFieldsJan9-12).

Ghorab on Nov. 28 stressed the importance of maintaining crude oil production and attracting more investments as well as signing new agreements to intensify exploration for oil and gas in the country. Ghorab said the petroleum industry was one of the most important foundations for the Egyptian economy, not only for meeting the needs of the domestic market but also to secure foreign currency revenues and boost overall socio-economic development. He added that foreign investments in the petroleum sector had reached $7bn since the Jan. 25 revolution.

Ghorab made the statement after meeting with an international Shell delegation which said the super-major was to intensify its exploration for oil and natural gas in Egypt. Shell is one of the largest producers of natural gas in this country.
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Publication:APS Review Oil Market Trends
Date:Jan 23, 2012
Words:472
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