Saudi Arabian Oil Co has promoted eight executives to top positions, including a senior vice-president for downstream operations, as it seeks to double refining capacity and expand natural gas and chemical businesses ahead of what could be the world biggest share sale. The world’s largest oil exporter, known as Saudi Aramco, appointed two senior vice -presidents, six vice-presidents and two associate general counsels, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg that was dated Sunday and signed by Chief Executive Officer Ameen Nasser. The appointments are effective May 1. Saudi Aramco declined to comment, and the company website later confirmed the appointments of the two senior vice- presidents.
Saudi Arabia plans to sell as much as 5 per cent of Aramco in 2018 as part of a plan to set up the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund and reduce the economy’s reliance on oil. Since King Salman acceded to the throne in 2015, the kingdom changed its oil minister and the top Aramco leadership. The company has formed a supreme board to oversee its affairs, led by the king’s influential son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman. The prince has been the driving force behind the Aramco IPO plans.
As part of the leadership changes, Abdul Aziz Al Judaimi, the chairman of Motiva Enterprises LLC, which owns the largest US refinery, was appointed senior vice-president to head Aramco’s downstream business, according to the Aramco website. Nabeel Al Mansour was appointed senior vice-president, general counsel and corporate secretary. The company has four other senior vice-presidents, according to the website.
Aramco has announced plans to invest in the refining industry in the US after the breakup of its 19-year Motiva Enterprises refining partnership with Royal Dutch Shell Plc. Under terms of the agreement, Aramco retained full ownership of the Port Arthur refinery in Texas and 24 distribution terminals.