U.A.E. Replaces Energy Minister with Oil Industry Executive

Suhail Mohammed Al Mazrouei was appointed energy minister of the United Arab Emirates, replacing an eight-year veteran at the helm of oil policy in the Persian Gulf nation holding 6 percent of global crude reserves.

Al-Mazrouei took over from Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al-Hamli in a government reorganization, the official news agency WAM reported today. The report gave no reason for the departure of Al-Hamli, 60, who had been energy minister since November 2004. Officials at the minister’s office in Abu Dhabi didn’t answer a telephone call seeking comment.

Al-Hamli leaves his post as Abu Dhabi, the emirate holding most of the U.A.E.’s oil, prepares to renew its largest onshore concessions. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc, Total SA and Partex Oil & Gas have been shareholders in output from fields under a concession that dates to 1939. The U.A.E. is the fifth-largest producer in OPEC, pumping 2.65 million barrels a day in February, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Al-Mazrouei serves on the advisory committee of Abu Dhabi’s Supreme Petroleum Council, which sets energy policy, and works as deputy chief executive officer of Mubadala Petroleum, a state-owned energy investment company, which among other projects is helping supply the U.A.E. with imported natural gas.

He also represents Mubadala in several joint ventures, including Tatweer Petroleum and Dolphin Energy Ltd, according to Mubadala’s website. Dolphin Energy is a venture with Total SA and Occidental Petroleum Corp that pipes Qatari gas to Abu Dhabi, Dubai, another of the U.A.E’s sheikhdom and on to Oman.

Production Assets

The new minister has managed production for five operating companies of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., according to the Mubadala website. He coordinated assets producing more than 1 million barrels a day, it said.

Al-Mazrouei also worked on projects in Nigeria, the North Sea, Brunei and the Netherlands while on secondment to Shell, according to the website. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from Tulsa University in the U.S.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, U.A.E. vice president and prime minister, announced a new cabinet, keeping the ministers of defense, interior, foreign affairs, economy and finance unchanged, WAM said. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, chief executive officer and managing director of government-run renewable energy company Masdar, was appointed state minister without portfolio.

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