An Aramco employee walks near an oil tank at Saudi Aramco’s Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. Image Credit: Reuters

DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has named six new heads of departments including its finance unit after a government reshuffle last week saw several executives at the oil giant moving to other state posts, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Khalid Al Dabbagh was named acting service line head for finance, strategy and development at the world’s largest oil producer, taking over on an interim basis from Abdullah Al Saadan, who was senior vice president of the department, the sources said.

In his post, Saadan was effectively chief financial officer of Aramco, overseeing preparations for its initial public offering (IPO), which is expected to take place in 2019 and be the world’s biggest.

Aramco also appointed Motassim Al Maashouq, who is vice president of IPO development, to the additional post of vice president of treasury, the sources said.

Aramco confirmed the new appointments.

In the government reshuffle announced on Saturday under royal orders from Saudi king Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Saadan was named chairman of the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, a government body formed to manage and oversee the development of those two cities.

Saudi Arabia also named a prominent businessman as labour minister and several new deputies to the Energy, Industry and Minerals Ministry.

The Aramco appointments also include Mohammad Shammary, who becomes vice president for procurement and supply chain management, replacing Abdul Aziz Al Abdul Karim, the sources said.

Abdul Karim was appointed on Saturday to the post of deputy energy minister for industry affairs.

Nabeel Al Jama’ was named vice president for corporate affairs, replacing Nasser Al Nafisi, who was appointed to the position of assistant energy minister, while Nabil Al Dabal now heads the human resources department, the sources said.

Salah Al Harkey was also named as an acting executive head and a financial controller.

BOX: Saudi Aramco restructures non-oil assets

DHAHRAN, DUBAI: Saudi Aramco has created a subsidiary to house its multibillion-dollar pension fund and could spin off its aviation division, sources said, as it restructures some assets not related to oil and gas ahead of its planned initial public offering (IPO).

The move is designed to streamline Aramco’s operations and could make it easier to value since its business risk would be clearer and that may help it achieve a higher price for its shares, financial and industry sources told Reuters.

“This makes Aramco a leaner company,” said one source familiar with Aramco’s plans.

The state-owned oil giant declined to comment on the pension fund move or plans for its aviation division.

The listing of Aramco, which is likely to happen next year, is the centrepiece of the government’s ambitious Vision 2030 plan to diversify the kingdom’s economy beyond oil.

— Reuters