When the oil companies get their own boss
An oil developer at the United States Institute of Peace has become the new boss of a major Saudi oil company, as his company prepares to build a $2.7 billion oil pipeline to Europe and Asia.
The man, who is not identified by name, has been in charge of the company since last year, when he joined from Saudi Aramco, which is owned by the government of Saudi Arabia.
He is currently in charge as the head of a consortium that is developing a pipeline that would connect the Arabian Gulf to the Gulf Coast of Europe.
“This project has tremendous potential for energy security in Europe and is an opportunity to connect the two major markets of Europe and the United Kingdom,” said Mohammed Al-Rakheiri, who has been the head at the company for five years.
The project is expected to create about 800 jobs, with another 800 in construction and another 1,000 in maintenance.
Saudi Aramco declined to comment.
“Saudi Aramcos is focused on building an efficient, reliable and sustainable energy supply for the benefit of the entire region and beyond,” Aramco said in a statement.
“We look forward to continuing to work with the U.S. Government to achieve this goal.”
The company has already started work on the project.
The first phase of the pipeline will carry up to 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Saudi Arabia to Italy, a distance of about 7,000 kilometers (4,000 miles).
The company says the pipeline would also provide energy security for Europe and for the region.
The consortium is seeking to build two other pipelines, one to Spain and another to the European Union, that would link Europe to the rest of the world.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are currently building two pipelines to connect to the Mediterranean Sea, known as the Abyan pipeline.
The United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have also been developing two pipelines, to link to Turkey.
Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi has said the pipeline is an important investment for the United Arab States and other countries in the region, but the United Nations estimates that the pipeline project would only add 1,600 jobs.