2019 Conference Distinguished Speakers
Minister of Oil
Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
Mr Ismaael succeeded as the DG of the South Gas Company and brings more than 17 years of experience into the role.
He joined the SOC as an Operation and Shift Engineer at a Gas compressor station, then became a Technical Member in Commercial and Technical Committee at the SOC and afterwards he became the Director of Coordination Office for the Iraqi Ministry of Oil for the South Region. He then made it to Manager for Technical and Coordination in the Department at the SGC and then received the same position at Green Fields Project Department at the BGC. Later on Mr Ismaael made it to the Deputy Director of Project and Engineering Commission at BGC and then became a Member in JMC for Majnoon Field between (2012-2013). Afterwards then he became a member in the Gas Consultant Committee/South Region, before he became the Basra Gas Power and Investment Advisor and Head in Multi Commercial and Technical Committees for the last 10 years. After that position Mr Ismaael became the Basra Gas Company Project Manager between 2013 and 2015. He then became the South Gas Company Director General Assistant from 2015 until 2016 before he joined the South Gas Company as a Director General.
Mr Ismaael graduated with a Chemical Engineering Degree from Basra University in Iraq, achieved and completed a number of training programmes and researched a number of technical papers at the SGC. He speaks both Arabic and English.
Senior Deputy Minister
Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
Mr Al Hmidawi holds a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering and attended a number of courses related to power and energy both in Iraq and abroad, the last in 2016 is the United States program (IVLP) entitled “Increasing Energy Efficiency”, he held several posts and these include Director of Rusafa Operation Department, Director of Control and Communications department, Assistant General Manager of Baghdad Distribution, Director General of Baghdad Electricity Distribution, Director General of Energy Distribution Office, and for the present time Director General of Training and Development Office.
Director General, President of Iraq Office
Iraq Presidency, Federal Government of Iraq
Dr Khalid Al-Yaqoobi is General Director at the Iraqi Presidency Office. From 2008 to 2016 he was adviser at the Iraqi Presidency Office and between 2001 and 2008 he was Adviser for Regional Affairs at high level security committees at the Iraqi National Security Council. He has also worked as a consulting engineer and has over 14 years’ maritime experience at the Iraqi Trade Navy Fleet and international private companies.
Dr Al-Yaqoobi frequently participates in conferences, summits, and political and security symposiums. He has studied Maritime Engineering at the Arabian Gulf Academy for Maritime Studies, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Baghdad, a Master’s degree in Strategic Planning for National Security from the National Defence College as well as a PhD in International and Diplomatic Relations.
Former UK Ambassador to Iraq
UK Embassy, Iraq
Sir William Patey KCMG had a long and distinguished career with the British Diplomatic Service including four Ambassadorial postings, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa. Sir William has been the Government and International Affairs Adviser at Control Risks since July 2012. He is a Director at WCP Consultants and Partner at The Ambassador Partnership LLP.
He was appointed Prime Minister’s Envoy for Aviation Security in September 2015. He advises businesses entering and operating in the Gulf region, in particular in the oil and gas sector and financial services and defence industries. He is a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank Middle East. He was British Ambassador to Afghanistan until his retirement from HM Diplomatic Service in April 2012.
He also served as British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (2007-2010), Iraq (2005-2006) and Sudan (2002-2005). He was Head of the Middle East Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 1998-2002. He has also had diplomatic postings in Tripoli, Abu Dhabi and Canberra and served as Deputy Head of the United Nations Department. He was also Non-Executive Chairman at Swindon Town Football Club from October 2012 to February 2013 until the sale of the club to Seebeck97 Ltd in February 2013.
Former Director General
North Oil Company / Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
Mr Farid Jadir Sadiq Al Jadir was born in Thi-Qar, Iraq in 1954 and graduated from Baghdad University in 1976 with a BSc in Petroluem and Mining Engineering. Mr Farid has extensive experience in oil & gas wells, drilling & services, completion, well control & fire fighting.
In 1977 Mr Farid started working as a Drilling Engineer for the Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC). Two years later he joined the Central Petroleum Organisation (CPO) as a Rig Supervisor & Well Servicer. He performed the same duties for the North Oil Company (NOC) where he eventually became in charge of Well Service & Completion between 1990-1997. Mr Farid became a manager for the Drilling Well Service Department & Well Control Firefighting between 1997 and 2015.
In October 2015 until the present date Mr Farid became DG & Chairman of (NOC).
Petroleum Expert grade (Drilling operations) since 2018 Where he held various positions and responsibilities he was responsible for a large number of technical and contractual committees with (IOC’s).
Former Minister’s Advisor for Oil & Gas Supply Affairs
Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
Dr. Falah J. Alamri was born in Iraq, 1953. He received his Ph.D. titled (Marine and Transporting of Oil Cargo) at the Dundee University- College of Law in Scotland, UK. He also received his Masters in International Cargoes Transportation Conventions at Salford University, Manchester, UK. Received his B.S.c. in Economics at the University of Basrah,College of Administration and Economics, 1977.
Iraq’s Governor for Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Director General of Oil Marketing Company (SOMO), Ministry of Oil since 2006 and acted as Director General of the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company (IOTC) from 2004 - 2006 and from 2009 until early 2015.
A member of the National Committee negotiating World Trade Organization (WTO), member of a team responsible in developing Iraqi Gas Sector.
Petroleum Consultant, Chemical Engineer
Dr Al-Chalabi is a UK based International Consultant for the Energy Sector with focus on the feasibility , planning , financial structuring , evaluation and value additions of projects related to the utilization and/or the processing of Oil & Gas in the production and/or the generation of fuels , petrochemicals and power [with or without district heating and cooling].
After obtaining his BSc in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College - London University in 1967, he continued with graduate studies and was awarded the PhD in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College - London University in 1970.
From 1970 till 1990 he gained the professional experience in the Oil & Gas / Petrochemical Sectors from his employment with Shell Canada [ 6 years ] ; Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research & Advisory service to Ministry of Oil on refinery upgrading projects [ 2 years ]; UOP ( USA & UK ), the world leader in technology / design / management in the petroleum & petrochemical sectors [ 12 years ].
Since 1990,- Dr Al-Chalabi has been an independent International Petroleum Consultant offering, to the Major International & National Oil & Energy companies, professional services ranging from strategy development and/or reviews ; studies ; planning ; conceptualization of value added projects ; feasibility studies ; asset and investment evaluations ; contract negotiations ; apportionment ; expert determination ; project financing; financial structuring of investments ; expert witness.
Founder & President
The Iraqi Environment and Health Society-UK
Born in Baghdad, Iraq. Graduated with BSc in Chemistry from Mosel University in Iraq and gained MSc, PhD 1980 from University College London (UCL) and Post Graduate Certificate in Education PGCE 2001 from London University, UK. She is a Chartered Chemist & Chartered Scientist from the RSC and an Associate Member of The British Energy Institute, Oil, Gas and Energy sections, an active member of The British Institute of Energy Economics, a member of the International Water Association and on the Executive Committee, London Regional of The Society of Chemical Industry SCI. She is a member of the Environment, Health and Safety of The Royal Society of Chemistry RSC. She has worked for many years at Christopher Ingold Laboratory UCL, London as a Senior Research Assistant and has gave many tutorials, lectures, supervision and led projects to undergraduate and postgraduates PhD students. In 1989 she has worked as a Research Fellow at The Thromboses Research Institute, The Royal Pompton Hospital in London, awarded by the Medical Research Council. From 2001- 2014 she has worked as a lecturer in many Educational Institutions and Colleges in London including Head of Science position. She had published over 70 Scientific Research papers, Patent, presentations, editor of a book on Environmental Pollution in Iraq 2017 and an author of a book on Climate Change in Iraq (will be published soon), and articles in Iraqi newspapers. Her current studies are on the impact of chemicals and radioactive pollutions on the environment and public health in Iraq, climate change in Iraq and on the implementation of a new sustainable renewable energy and environmental technologies in Iraq. And on promoting and enhancing environmental education in Iraqi schools, colleges and universities. She is the Founder and President of The Iraqi Environment and Health Society -UK (2015) and organized and led many scientific conferences on environmental pollution in Iraq, at University College London.
Senior Writer, Oil News
S&P Global Platts
Herman Wang is a London-based senior writer, oil news, for S&P Global Platts, reporting on OPEC and the Middle East. He covers OPEC’s semi-annual ministerial meetings in Vienna, and is the principal editor for Platts’ closely followed monthly OPEC production survey. Prior to this, he was a senior editor for Platts based on Washington, D.C., covering U.S. energy policy. He was a co-creator and co-host of Platts Capitol Crude, The US Oil Policy Podcast, which won the 2015 Jesse H. Neal Award for best webcast. Herman is a Northwestern University alum and worked for daily newspapers in Tennessee, North Carolina and Pennsylvania before joining Platts in 2009.
Adviser to the Minister
Ministry of Electricity, Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraq
HASAN, graduated in Power Engineering from University of Technology-Baghdad, Independent consultant, he has been working for more than 22 years in Power Plants, he involved and experienced in the power project planning, construction, operation & maintenance, further than implementation of deferent power projects and utility infrastructure.
He is a hydropower & renewable energy expert, from 2006 member of Advisory Board for the Ministry of Electricity-Kurdistan, and Ministers Advisor since May 2010.
International Experience: From 1997-2003 he worked with United Nation Development Program for Electricity Northern Rehabilitation Program-Iraq as Lead Engineer, Expert and Manager, and also two years as Lead Engineer for Washington Group International for electricity sector infrastructure development- Iraq.
He was representing the sector in Economic Reforms and Technical Assistance by the World Bank, JICA-ODA Loans, UNDP, KOICA, and USAID...etc, and participated in several international energy sector activities, conferences as speaker.
Recently he is spokesperson for the Ministry, advisor and member of the Board of Higher Commission of Environmental Protection and Improvement of Kurdistan region since 2006, and also consultant member of Iraqi & Kurdistan Engineering Syndicate.
Director Global Division
Mr Taylor has a Master degree in marine geology and over 40 years of experience in engineering and environmental geology and geophysics for marine and land-based projects. Mr Taylor is responsible for business development in RSK’s global division, with specific focus on the Middle East, Africa and former Soviet Union. His particular experience in Iraq includes project managing environmental and social baseline and impact assessment studies as well as the operations of a sustainable waste management centre in the Rumaila oilfield. In addition, he project manages health, safety and environmental due diligence projects for a range of clients including oil majors.
Chief Economist, Energy Economics, Strategy and Sustainability
Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)
Dr. Benali has over 20 years of specialized experience in strategic planning, finance and engineering. She joined from Saudi Aramco where she was responsible for the company’s energy policy and gas strategy. Throughout her career, she has successfully managed several high-value projects, and spearheaded strategy and policy formulation for governments, energy companies, industrials and institutional investors. Dr. Benali also served as a Director at IHS CERA (Cambridge Energy Research Associates), now IHS Markit, and has also worked for Schlumberger. She taught energy courses in universities and is an active member of several leading energy associations.
As an engineer turned economist, with a background in political science, she has published numerous papers and books on energy, reforms and sustainable wealth. She was named as “Future Leader 2016” by Petroleum Economist, recognizing individuals who are most likely to shape the industry’s future.
Dr. Benali holds a Master of Science degree in Political Science and a PhD Summa Cum Laude in Energy Economics from the Institute d’Etudes Politiques, France.
Head, Iraq/KRG Programme
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
Dr Michael Knights heads the Iraq/KRG programme at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Focusing on Iraq and the KRG, he has worked as an adviser to government, the oil and gas sector and the military for the last fifteen years. He has spent significant amounts of his career forward-deployed in Iraq, working in most of the country’s hundred districts and engaging with local stakeholders to understand their priorities.
Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
Mohammed Hashim Jaafar Al-Araji gained a B.Sc of Electrical Engineering in 1977; and in 1979 became Assistant Engineer, Directorate of Electricity Distribution Maysan. Between 1979 and 2003 he held several positions – Engineer, Official Implementation of the Projects; Senior Engineer, Technical Officer; Chief Engineer, Deputy Director; Director; and Expert- Director. In 2006 he became Deputy Director, Electricity Distribution in the South; and in 2009, Export-General Directorate of Training and Development – in 2011 he was promoted to Director of Experts.
In June 2011, Mohammed Hashim Jaafar Al-Araji became Director General of South electricity distribution company till March 2014, and on June 2016 became Director General of electric energy office - Iraq’s ministry of electricity till June 2018.
Some of Mr Al-Araji’s outstanding achievements include the design and implementation of the lines of modern lighting, electrical networks and the implementation of the lighting within the campaigns of modern reconstruction of Basra, FAO, Uzayr and Ali-alsharqi cities.
Federal Government of Iraq
Currently working as a member of the Advisory Board/ Ministry of Higher Education, Federal Government of Iraq.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from Baghdad University in 1976 and a PhD degree in Geology (Oil Exploration) from University College London (UCL)/ England in 1985. She had taught post-graduate courses and supervised master’s degree and doctoral students in the field of stratigraphy, ecology, engineering geology and rock mechanics in Baghdad and Al-Nahrain Universities. Her research interests include oil exploration, industrial geology and applied geology. She became a Member of Iraqi Parliament (third term) 2014-2018 and worked as a Member of Higher Education Parliamentary Committee.
Worked as a Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research with the Central Government in Baghdad from April 2004 to August 2007, worked as a visiting Professor at Oklahoma University/ College of Earth and Energy from August 2007 to January 2008 and as an Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education in the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) from 2008-2014.
She has an extensive teaching, research and publishing experience in the field of Oil exploration and Ore Mineralogy in Iraq. Worked with UNESCO in the fields of teacher training, National Strategy for Education and Higher Education. She had also worked as a head of Iraqi Hydrocarbon Experts Committee – Oklahoma University.
She had participated in a number of academic conferences and workshops for revitalization of Iraqi Higher Education and as a keynote speaker in many international higher education conferences. Those conferences were centered on such subjects as short term professional training in higher education, pedagogical studies and E- learning.
Deputy Prime Minister for Energy & Minister of Oil
Federal Government of Iraq
Mr. Thamir Abbas Al Ghadhban is the current Deputy Premier of Iraq for Energy and Minister of Oil, he was a former Iraq Oil Minister and was the Energy adviser to the Prime Minister of Iraq. In recent years, Mr. Al Ghadhban served as a member of the National Assembly in Iraq and was a member of the committee tasked with drafting the new constitution for Iraq. He served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Prime Minister between 2007 and 2015.
Mr. Al Ghadhban represented Iraq on the Executive Bureau of OAPEC, led Iraq’s post-war delegation to the OPEC ministerial meeting in 2004, was awarded OAPEC Scientific Prize in 2000 and is a three-time holder of the Iraqi Ministry of Oil scientific award for excellence. His career in Iraq’s oil sector spans over three decades, starting in the field as a petroleum engineer, then at the Ministry of Oil headquarters as Director General of Reservoir and Field Development, and later as Director General for Planning before becoming Minister of Oil. He played a leading role in rehabilitating the severely damaged oil industry after the fall of the regime in 2003. Mr. Ghadhban has been a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker at international conferences and seminars on the state of the global oil industry and particularly on the role of Iraq in the global energy sector. In May 2016, Mr. Al Ghadhban was awarded the "Order of the Rising Sun, Golden and Silver Star" from the Emperor of Japan for his outstanding contribution in enhancing economic relations and promoting friendship between Iraq and Japan. Mr. Ghadhban was awarded in April 2017 the award of Iraq Energy Forum 2017 for his significant contribution to the development of Iraq's Energy Sector.
Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the United Kingdom
H.E. Dr Salih Husain Ali, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the UK since July 2015. H.E. Dr Ali was appointed as Ambassador at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2009, and was appointed as the Iraqi Ambassador in Khartoum-Sudan before his post here. H.E. Dr Salih Ali, graduated with BSc in electrical & electronic engineering, that encouraged him to pursue his postgraduate studies earning an MSc & PhD in electrical engineering and information technology, which led to, him chairing the (IT Department) alongside the Cisco Academy at the university of technology in Baghdad. He has published several papers & studies in various academic scientific & political areas in Arab and Iraqi magazines. H.E. Dr Ali, believes that there is great convergence between academia and diplomacy, in that analysis, research, exchange of ideas and visions, along with conducting meeting and seminars are required for both roles.
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq
Jonathan Wilks has been Ambassador to Iraq since November 2017. This is his third posting to Baghdad (previously 2003, 2009/10). He was Ambassador to Oman 2014-2017, Special Representative for Syria 2012-2014 and Ambassador to Yemen from 2010-2011. He joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1989 and through that developed his connection with the Middle East, learning Arabic 1991-1993 in London and Cairo as well as postings to Khartoum, Riyadh and Dubai.
He has an MA (Distinction) in Middle East Politics from Durham University (2000) and an MPhil in International Relations from St Antony’s College, Oxford (2002). He completed the Higher Command and Staff Course at the Military Staff College, Shrivenham (2012).
Ambassador / Head of Delegation
Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
Ambassador Ramon Blecua has held several postings in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassies of Spain in Ghana, Indonesia, Egypt and Guatemala from 1988 to 1996. He was Spanish Representative to the Palestinian/Israeli peace negotiations in Cairo from 1992 to 1995. He participated in the International Commission Security Sector Reform of Guatemala and Cooperation Aid Coordinator for implementation of the peace agreements. In 1997, he was appointed Head of Office of the Director of the Institute for Cooperation with Latin America in the Spanish Agency for international Cooperation and Advisor of the Deputy Minister for International Cooperation and Latin America. Subsequent postings include Chief of Cabinet of the Director of the Cervantes Institute, Deputy Head of Mission in Teheran, Deputy Consul General in Buenos Aires and Cultural Counsellor in Cairo. He was Advisor for the International Center Oscar Niemeyer in Aviles for cultural Diplomacy Projects, Deputy Head of Mission in the Spanish Embassy in New Delhi from 2011 to 2014 and since 2014 Head of Political Section of the EU Delegation in Sana. He has been invited to lecture by International IDEA, the Latin American Center of Administration for Development, Argentinian Center for Foreign Relations, Aspen Institute, universities and research centers on issued of international cooperation, democratic governance and international relations. Ambassador Blecua Casas holds a M.A in history from Madrid Complutense University, and has studies in International Cooperation, Foreign Relations and Cultural Management. He has also published articles and essays on international relations, development cooperation and cultural diplomacy. He speaks English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Persian and Arabic.
International Energy Agency, IEA
Dr Fatih Birol has served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency since September 2015. He was re-elected in January 2018 for a second four-year term, which will begin in September 2019. Under his leadership, the IEA has undertaken its first comprehensive modernisation programme since its creation in 1974. This effort focuses on three pillars: opening the doors of the IEA to include major emerging countries, such as Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa who have joined the IEA Family, thus increasing its share of global energy demand from 38% to almost 75%; broadening the IEA’s security mandate to natural gas and electricity as well as oil; and making the IEA the global hub for clean energy technologies and energy efficiency.
Ministry of Construction, Housing & General Municipalities, Federal Government of Iraq
Dr Dara Hassan Reshid is the Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Construction, Housing, Municipalities and General Works and Vice President of REFAATO. He was previously Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs from 2010 to 2013 and a Special Adviser to the President of KRG on development, construction and investment from 2005 to 2010. Mr Reshid holds a B.Sc. in Civil Engineering and an M.Sc. in Highway & Traffic Engineering.
Head of Demining, Deputy Minister of Environment
Ministry of Environment, Federal Government of Iraq
Dr Kameran Ali Hasan holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Law, and a Master of Business Administration from Jules Vernier-Picardy University, France. He also holds a PhD in Management of Institutions.
Dr Kameran has experience in the management of government institutions and the development of annual budgets of ministries and how to implement them and the development of public administrative policies and deal with the challenges facing the implementation of these policies. The following positions were held by the Director General of Planning in the Ministry of Health in the Kurdistan Region and Director General of Social Welfare Director of Relief and Reconstruction Organization funded by the United Nations.
Executive Vice President for Add Energy Asset and Integrity Management
Peter Adam BSc. (Hons) HND (Merit), Burgess of Aberdeen, a founding member of the business, is presently the Executive Vice President for Add Energy’s Asset and Integrity Management division and Managing Director for the Aberdeen and Muscat arms of the A&IM. Peter has 20 years of experience in the energy sector, 3 years in manufacturing, and 2 years in defense, specializing in the fields of Business Performance Improvement Operational Excellence, Digital Solutions, Reliability, Maintenance and Integrity for companies globally.
Peter’s focus is the performance improvement of assets through incorporating best standards in Operational Excellence, and Operations Readiness and Assurance, with particular skills in modelling, benchmarking, RCM, RCA, and asset integrity. Peter has proactively lead and developed the AE A&IM by creating a customer focused apolitical culture who can then concentrate on delivery. Peters key strengths include business strategy and intuition which has led to high growth time and time again.
These achievements only been possible through selecting, empowering and motivating a multi-disciplined, multiskilled team and delivering innovative client solutions such as industry-proven benchmarking and analysis software tools creating uptime, safety and process improvements as well as account managing Shell’s global roll-out of their asset integrity. Peter now influences the industry through white papers, speaking, panels at conferences and by advising and presenting to Energy industry leaders and politicians across the global markets. Adaptability to situations and personal integrity are what have helped Peter to achieve his goals.
Member of the Oil & Gas Committee, Basra Representative
Federal Government of Iraq
MP Dr Jamal Abdulzahra Al Mohammadawi is Basrah Representative, Federal Parliament of Iraq
Iraqi Parliamentarian and member of the Oil & Energy Committee for the second parliamentary session (2014-2022). He is Member of third (2014-2018)and fourth 2018-2022 parliamentary sessions. Graduated from college of medicine,university of Basrah 1993-1999. Psychiatrist by profession from Baghdad 2007-2011. Dr Jamal Abdulzahra Al Mohammadawi holds a high degree in medicine and is also one of the Main leader of National Alnahj Block at the Iraqi Federal Parliament.
Chairman of the Oil & Gas Committee
Federal Parliament of Iraq
Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration and Production
Todd Levy assumed the role of President, Chevron Europe, Eurasia and Middle East Exploration and Production in January 2014. Based in London, he is responsible for the oversight of Chevron’s upstream interests in the region. Levy’s previous assignment was as vice president Upstream from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that assignment, Levy served as general director of the Tengizchevroil Kazakhstani joint venture from 2006 to 2010. Other management positions included general manager Operations, Gulf of Mexico Business Unit and general manager of the Eurasia Business Unit in Kazakhstan. In 1982, Levy began his career as a chemical engineer in the Gulf of Mexico Business Unit in Louisiana. Since joining Chevron, he has served in positions of increasing responsibility in management, engineering, projects, operations and commercial in Kazakhstan, Angola, Australia
and the United States.
Levy received the Chevron Chairman’s Award for leading the corporation’s operational excellence program development. Levy was honored with the Dostyk Order, which is awarded by the president of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Levy was born in Oklahoma in 1959. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Louisiana State University in 1982.
BP Middle East
30 years in BP covering engineering, project management, operations, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions. Posts range from projects in Alaska, Australia, Holland, Indonesia, Nigeria, FSU and Washington. In 2002 appointed CEO the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline managing BP’s onshore business in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey including the South Caucasus gas pipeline, two further operating pipelines, three terminals, rail and shipping operations. Moved to Oman in 2007 to run the tight gas appraisal of Block 61and then became BP President of Middle East and Pakistan. Appointed President of BP Iraq in 2009 with BP’s successful bid for Rumaila.
Michael Townshend holds an honours degree in Engineering and an MBA with distinction.
Majid Jafar is the CEO of Crescent Petroleum, the Middle East's oldest private oil & gas company, and Vice-Chairman of the Crescent Group of companies which includes interests in port management, logistics, contracting, private equity and real estate. He is also Managing Director of the Board of Dana Gas (PJSC), the leading publicly-listed natural gas company in the Middle East, in which Crescent is the largest shareholder. His previous experience was with Shell International's Exploration & Production and Gas & Power Divisions.
In addition to his professional commitments in the energy sector, Majid Jafar is active with organisations promoting education, youth empowerment, healthcare and the environment. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Queen Rania Foundation (QRF), Kalimat Foundation, the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED), and the Iraq Energy Institute; the Board of Fellows of Harvard Medical School, the Panel of Senior Advisers of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), and the International Advisory Board of the Prince's Trust International and The Atlantic Council. He is also a member of the GCC Board Directors Institute and the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), an Accredited Director of the Institute of Directors (IoD Mudara), and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
Majid Jafar attended Eton College and graduated from Cambridge University (Churchill College) with Bachelor and Masters Degrees in Engineering (Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics). He also holds an MA (with Distinction) in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London’s School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), and an MBA (with Distinction) from the Harvard Business School.
Christof Rühl is an internationally renowned economist, specializing in macroeconomics and energy economics. He has a succinct global track record in the world of business, economic policy advice and academia; and is published and quoted widely in his fields. His most recent commercial expertise is in energy, specifically oil and gas, and in asset allocation, focussed on global macro and geopolitical trends. He combines more than 20 years of experience in senior positions in world class companies.
From 2014-18 Christof served as Global Head of Research at the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, creating and managing ADIA’s first global research team to provide economic, energy and geopolitical analysis to the Fund. Earlier, he was Group Chief Economist and Vice President of BP plc (2005-14), credited with a significant contribution to the global debate on energy, climate change, and the various links between energy and economic development. Christof joined BP from the world of global economic policy, having served at the World Bank (1998–2005) - including as the Bank’s Chief Economist in Russia and in Brazil - and at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD, 1996-98). He started his career as an academic economist, first as a Research Associate at the Universities of Bremen and Hohenheim in Germany; and from 1991-96, as an Assistant Professor at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA).
Christof currently serves as a global adviser and as an independent director on the board of companies in energy, banking and private equity. He is a German national.
Adviser on Middle East
Mr AL-JEBOURI is the MD of LUKOIL. Mr AL-JEBOURI was born on February 11, 1969, in Pleven, Bulgaria. He is a Bulgarian Citizen. Graduated from Bristol University, he continued his education in the largest professional accountancy body in Europe – ICAEW. He started his career with KPMG UK, as Audit Manager and 4 years later he joined KPMG team in Bulgaria as Head of Audit and Accounting. LUKOIL Europe Ltd located in London invited Mr AL-JEBOURI to take over the position of Director of Investments and Finance in 1998. After 3 years of working on various investment projects, including the acquisition of two refineries in Eastern Europe, he left the company in 2001 to assume the position of Deputy Minister of Energy’s Office in Bulgaria and subsequently was appointed to the post of First Deputy Minister of Finance.
In October 2003, Mr AL-JEBOURI took up the position of Chief Financial Officer of LITASCO SA, head quarter of LITASCO Group in Geneva and 2 years later, in June 2005, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Company. LITASCO SA (LUKOIL International Trading and Supply Company) is the exclusive international marketing and trading company of the LUKOIL Group. In February 2010, Mr Gati Al-Jebouri took up the position of Executive Director of LUKOIL MID-EAST Ltd., which is the Operator of West Qurna (Phase II) (Iraq). On December 29, 2012, Mr Gati Al-Jebouri was appointed Senior Vice President of LUKOIL Overseas Service B.V. then moved to be the MD of Lukoil Mid East Limited.
Executive Director, Projects
Mr. Makkawi joined Crescent Petroleum of the UAE in 1990. Currently, Mr. Makkawi is working at Crescent Petroleum as Executive Director, Projects and a member of the Executive Committee. He is also acting as Managing Director of the Crescent Petroleum – Dana Gas joint operations of Pearl Petroleum oil and gas asset in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Pearl Petroleum assets in KRI includes the world class Kor Mor and Chemchemal fields and the recently added Blocks 19 and 20 in the Garmian area.
Mr. Makkawi graduated in 1974 from the American University of Beirut with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Mr. Makkawi spent the last 37 years of his career in the gas business mainly in the midstream and downstream sectors. He led and participated in several major gas projects in the Gulf and South Asia Region.
Neeraj Agrawal is Board Member of Crescent Group, a family firm operating in the UAE for over 42 years, comprised of Crescent Petroleum, the region’s first independent and privately-owned petroleum company, and Crescent Enterprises, the company’s conglomerate operating across multiple core sectors of the global economy. Formerly, Mr. Agrawal served as CFO of Dana Gas (an affiliate), the Middle East’s leading private sector natural gas Company, listed on Abu Dhabi Exchange.
For over 30 years, Mr. Agrawal has provided investment, international financial and petroleum industry expertise to the Crescent Group and in particular to Crescent Petroleum, Crescent Enterprises, Dana Gas PJSC and Gulftainer Limited. His achievements for Crescent’s energy business include farm-outs and joint ventures for operations in USA, Canada, UAE, Iraq and several corporate, project and asset financings including the successful formation and capitalization of Dana Gas PJSC (including a successful $ 80 billion public offering), a US $1.2 billion acquisition & financing of Toronto Stock Exchange’s listed Centurion Energy International Inc., and the US $1 billion Sukuk (convertible bond) issued by an associate company including its recent restructuring which received the 2013 “Restructuring Deal of the Year” award in New York.
Additionally, Mr. Agrawal engaged in investments, mergers & acquisitions, financing, treasury, accounting and taxation, with specific attention to upstream project development, farm-outs and joint operations with regional and international energy companies including through his previous work with Ernst & Young and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
As Executive Director of Crescent Enterprises Mr. Agrawal provides management oversight on the company’s operations and investments. In particular, he has supported the company’s evolution and transformation throughout its years of expansion by fostering new investments as well as nurturing its various established businesses, including in the field of ports and logistics, mining, healthcare and power plant engineering & construction. More recently he is leading the tech & e-commerce related investments in MENA and globally.
As a member of the Executive Board of Gulftainer, Crescent Enterprises’ ports and logistics subsidiary, Mr. Agrawal provides oversight and support in all of the company’s major decisions and policies, playing a key role in its international expansion, diversification and related financing activities. More recently he has led the $ 250MM USPP financing of company’s operations in Port of Wilmington.
Mr. Agrawal is a member of IBPC & ICAI and supports voluntary work and philanthropy through charities in India and UAE.
Gilgamesh Oilfield Services
Wisam Al Husseini is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gilgamesh Oilfield Services.
Wisam holds a BSc. Degree in electrical engineering and has more than 16 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.
Wisam spent much of his early career with Schlumberger, where he held senior and managerial roles in a number of countries in Asia, Russia, the Middle East and Europe.
Prior to establishing Gilgamesh, using his experience and his passion in the energy sector, Wisam then moved on to establish his own business supplying products and services in the oil and gas services sector.
Gilgamesh is one of the leading Iraqi oil and gas services companies providing a wide range of oilfield services from well construction to production services conducted throughout the life of oil and gas wells. Gilgamesh main focus is on excellence in customer service with a team with global experience, world class equipment, and standard quality processes to ensure best service quality.
Former Advisor to KR Prime Minister
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Nisar Talabany is currently a board member of the Iraq Energy Institute and director of the Iraq Energy Forum. Previously, Nisar served as Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government for over ten years; she was also founder and Head of the Office of Governance and Integrity – Kurdistan Regional Government / Iraq. Nisar began her career with the KRG in 2005 as the Director of Communications for the KRG-UK representative office, and in 2006 she returned to Kurdistan to help establish the KRG's Department of Foreign Relations and was appointed as the Assistant Director.
Nisar has a Master in Pharmacy from the University of Brighton, UK, and an MA in Diplomacy & International Studies from SOAS, University of London. Her main area of focus is good governance, transparency in the oil and gas sector, health management, and economic and social reforms. She is fluent in English, Arabic, and Kurdish.
Head of Office
EU Liaison Office Erbil, Delegation Iraq
Clarisse currently is the Head of the EU Liaison Office in Erbil, representing the European Union in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. She previously served as Policy Advisor for the Middle East, North Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq in the EU's External Action Service covering regional affairs. Clarisse has worked in the Middle East since 2007, including tenures in Syria (2007-8), Iraq (2008-12), Saudi Arabia (2012-14) and Yemen (20014-15). Before moving to the Middle East Clarisse was part of successive EU crisis management missions in the Balkans (N Macedonia, Kosovo and BiH) from 2001-2007. She holds degrees in International Economics (BA '91) and International Relations (MA '93) from the US, an MPhil ('94) in Political Sciences from Austria, with Postgraduate Studies in NPO Management and Strategic Planning in Switzerland (2000/01) and Arabic and Islamic Studies in Syria (2007/8).
Basrah Gas Company
Dr. Jaafar Oklany, is the Commercial Director of Basrah Gas Company in Iraq since 2015. As a Commercial Director for Basrah Gas Company, Dr. Jaafar works closely with the government officials in Iraq in addition to Basrah Gas Company partners Shell, Mitsubishi and South Gas Company. Prior to joining BGC, Jaafar was the Deputy Country Chairman of Shell Iraq.
Dr. Jaafar has more than 25 years of oil & gas industry experience covering (upstream, midstream, downstream sectors) worked in various international academic and industrial roles before he joined Shell in 2004 as a Senior Consultant on Business Improvement and Investment Planning.
Dr. Jaafar has a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Baghdad, a M.Sc in Advanced Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester and a Ph.D. in Enhanced Oil Recovery from the University of Salford in the UK.
Vinson & Elkins LLP
Ahmed is the Managing partner of the Dubai office of Vinson & Elkins, an international law firm that is consistently recognized as “the World’s Leading Energy Law Firm” by Euromoney, 1995-Present. He has substantial experience advising on complex energy project finance and development matters in the Middle East and Caspian, including the multi-sourced financings of Yemen LNG, the Dolphin Pipeline and the BTC Pipeline. He also advises several governments in the Middle East on large scale energy projects and energy legislation. In addition, Ahmed represents clients on complex cross-border, private and public M&A and joint venture transactions in the Middle East, Europe and the U.S. His M&A experience includes previously working at Morgan Stanley’s Global Energy Group in New York. Ahmed has extensive knowledge of the Middle East, particularly Iraq, having advised numerous clients in the country including the Ministry of Oil in connection with the US$17 billion Basrah Gas Project and on the multi-billion dollar Iraq-Jordan Export Pipeline Project; additionally he has advised two leading U.S. private equity firms in connection with two potential acquisitions in Iraq. He continues to be recognized for the past five years by Chambers and Partners list of legal experts on Iraq. Prior to joining V&E, Ahmed was resident in the London office of another leading law firm. He is also a Recommended Lawyer for Iraq by the Legal 500 EMEA 2018 rankings. Ahmed, a native Arabic speaker, is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School and is admitted to practice in the State of New York.
Senior Analyst, Power and Renewables
Tom Heggarty is a Senior Analyst at Wood Mackenzie, where he leads the global solar PV research team; he also has a broader focus on the global energy transition and the evolving corporate landscape within power and renewable energy markets. Tom has worked for Wood Mackenzie since 2011, initially as an analyst producing research on electricity markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; later he served as a Research Manager for Wood Mackenzie’s Energy Markets research product.
Tom graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a first class degree in Mathematics; he also spent a year studying at Humboldt University in Berlin.
Vice President, Commercial Services
GardaWorld Security Services International
James is a Senior Executive with GardaWorld, the world’s largest privately owned Security Services Company. James leads the Commercial function across the International Security Division as well as building strategic client relationships and growing GardaWorld’s market leading Travel Security program. Previous roles in GardaWorld include Managing Director International, where James was responsible for delivering the GardaWorld emerging markets security model into new global markets including Southern Iraq, Yemen, Gaza and North Africa, working particularly closely with the development, diplomatic, and commercial sectors. Prior to joining Gardaworld James served as the Regional Director for the UN’s Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration program in Afghanistan and as the Deputy Director of a UK based not for profit organization, managing a number of projects related to post conflict reconstruction. James was commissioned into the British Army in 1995 and holds a BA (Hons) Business degree from Nottingham Business School.
Head of MENA Risk Insight
Niamh McBurney is head of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) practice at Verisk Maplecroft. She is the analyst responsible for Iraq and Oman and provides research support on other countries in the GCC and Lebanon. Prior to joining Verisk Maplecroft, Niamh worked for Eurasia Group and later led AKE International’s coverage of political, economic and security risks in the Middle East and North Africa. Niamh has published in Gulf States Newsletter and the Jamestown Terrorism Monitor. She holds regionally-focused BA and MA degrees from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Since joining Wood Mackenzie in 2005, Ian has been involved in analysing the oil and gas industries of the Middle East, UK, Russia and Caspian regions. Ian is currently responsible for Wood Mackenzie's Iraq upstream analysis. Ian is widely involved in regional oil and gas sector consulting projects, including opportunity screening studies, asset valuations, regional overviews, regional strategy studies and a number of major gas marketing projects.
Ian's previous positions included a role as a Research Fellow at the University of St Andrews. Ian graduated from St Andrews University, in 2004, with a PhD in Physical Chemistry.
Middle East Analyst
Liam joined Wood Mackenzie's Middle East upstream research team in 2015. He has a focus on the commercial analysis of the upstream industry in Federal Iraq, Oman and Yemen. In addition, Liam spent six months on secondment in the Middle East working on a major global consulting project, contributing to an internationalisation strategy. Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Liam worked for Deloitte's Petroleum Services Group. His role involved researching upstream operational activity and geological content in the Sub Saharan Africa region. Liam graduated from the University of Southampton in 2014 with a MSci (Hons) in Geology.
Senior Economist, Energy Economics, Strategy & Sustainability
the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP)
Mustafa Ansari is the Senior Economist at APICORP, the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation. He joined in May 2015 where he led the work on the company’s monthly commentary as well as its MENA Annual Energy Investment Outlook. A key function of his role is to provide energy intelligence to support the institutions lending and investment activities, in order to ensure the long-term development and sustainability of the region.
Previously he was an Economist at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (UK), where he covered posts on energy efficiency, decarbonisation of the UK’s heat intensive industries and on international and domestic oil & gas markets. He led the economic analysis for the business case to establish the Green Investment Bank - the primary source of funding for projects that mitigated climate change. In 2014 - during a period of rapid declines in energy prices – he provided regular advice to ministers and government that helped them reinforce the UK’s policy on decarbonisation.
Mustafa has a Bachelors in Economics from City University of London, and a Masters in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). His areas of specialisation are climate change strategy, energy economics and MENA policy.
Global Head of Consulting
Chris leads Wood Mackenzie’s Global Consulting team, with 140 Consultants focussed on the Upstream, Gas & LNG, Power & Renewables, Downstream, Chemicals and Metals & Mining sectors.
Over the course of his 20 years+ career in the energy industry, Chris has advised a wide range of clients including Integrated Oil Companies, National Oil Companies, E&P's, Utilities and Private Equity companies on growth strategy, M&A, valuation and other commercial issues.
Prior to joining Wood Mackenzie, Chris worked in Oil & Gas investment banking and also worked in commercial roles with BP and Perenco.
Basra Gateway Terminal -part of ICTSI - International Container Terminal Services Inc.
Phillip Marsham is an experienced shipping and logistics industry professional with 40 years of experience demonstrated in senior positions and assignments in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. His career started by quickly climbing all officer rungs of the British Merchant Navy ladder on a wide array of different cargo ships, supply vessels, bulkers and oil tankers of various UK companies before gaining his Master’s Certificate. After his last stint on board, in 1990 he was appointed Port Captain in Lagos, Nigeria for Maersk, a position held through 1997 when he moved as General Manager in Port Harcourt, playing a key role in developing the local Terminals supporting containerised, anchor handling and supply vessels and oil and gas logistical activities . Subsequently, on behalf of Maersk Line, he became CEO of Commercial, Oil and Gas Logistics and Terminal Activities in Angola, before moving onto heading the Maersk Organisations in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa and Pakistan/Afghanistan. In 2012, he joined ICTSI and since then he has taken over CEO roles in Croatia and Iraq. Phillip, as CEO of Basra Gateway Terminal in Umm Qasr, has been responsible for developing a 250 million USD investment in Umm Qasr port, ensuring a state of the art terminal, to International standards to support the growth in the Oil and gas sector as well as commercial cargo activities.
Chief Investment Officer
AFC Iraq Fund
Ahmed Tabaqchali, an experienced capital markets professional with over 25 years’ experience in US and MENA markets, is the Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of AFC Iraq Fund. He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the American University of Iraq-Sulaimani (AUIS), and a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Regional and International Studies (IRIS) at AUIS.
He is a former Executive Director of NBK Capital, the investment banking arm of the National Bank of Kuwait, Managing Director and Head of International Institutional Sales at WR Hambrecht + Co., Managing Director at KeyBanc in London and Director & Head of Capital Markets & Institutional Sales at Jefferies International in London. He started his career at Dean Witter International in London.
Ahmed holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Oxford in the UK, a B.Sc. (Hons, 1st class) in Mathematics from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand.
Head of Northern Gulf & Levant, Institutional & Treasury Coverage (CBC)
Hussain Qaragholi is Head of Northern Gulf & Levant, Institutional & Treasury Coverage (CBC) at Deutsche Bank.
Hussain began his finance career in New York with Merrill Lynch. In 2003, Hussain joined Citigroup and was part of the core team that transacted on the $22 billion Saddam-era commercial debt restructuring.
Since joining Deutsch Bank in 2014, Hussain transacted on the: $1bln Iraq 2022 USAID bond; the $1bln, Iraq 2023 bond; $192mm SACE-covered loan for the Hilla and Baghdad South power plants and; $105 COFACE-covered loan for the Bazian IPP.
Hussain served on the Advisory Board of the RAND Corporation’s CMEPP; Member of the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on the Future of Iraq (2015-17), and; President of the U.S. Business Council in Iraq (2011-14)
Hussain has been featured in the Financial Times, Time Magazine, The Banker, FDI Magazine, Platts Energy Week, Iraqiyya Television and the internationally broadcast CNBC Capital Connection.
Hussain holds a Bachelors of Arts with Honors from The College of William and Mary, and Master’s Degree from the School of Foreign Service and an MBA from Georgetown University.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.