In recognition of navigating the company through times of unprecedented growth and significant challenges in the global petroleum industry, HE Khalid A. Al-Falih, Chairman of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors, has been named the 2016 Energy Intelligence Petroleum Executive of the Year.
Al-Falih, who is the 20th winner of the highly regarded peer-selected honor, was chosen by a committee comprising top global oil industry executives. The award will be presented to Al-Falih on Oct. 18 during the 37th Annual Oil & Money Conference in London.
“The selection of HE Khalid A. Al-Falih by his peers is a reflection of his strong leadership of Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, during a period of dynamic growth and unprecedented challenges to the international petroleum industry,” said Thomas Wallin, editor-in-chief of Energy Intelligence.
Al-Falih was appointed Chairman of the Saudi Aramco Board of Directors in April 2015. He joined the company in 1979, quickly rising in the company and taking on increasing roles of responsibility, which included being named president and CEO in January 2009 — a role he held until being named Minister of Health and Chairman of the Board.
Making a difference on all fronts
In recognizing Al-Falih, his peers noted that he oversaw the expansion of Saudi Aramco’s oil production capacity through a number of upstream projects and also significantly increased its refining and petrochemical capabilities through a series of new world-class facilities.
In addition, the company has continued to reliably supply international petroleum markets as the world’s largest exporter of crude oil, with direct sales to all main world markets, as well as supplying its own international refining and marketing partnerships.
Under his leadership, the company became a major natural gas producer as part of a strategy to reduce the domestic use of liquid fuel for power generation and to drive economic growth and diversification.
On receiving the award, Al-Falih expressed his thanks and appreciation to his peers who nominated him. “The recognition is not for me personally. In fact, it is an expression of trust by the industry in the capabilities, excellence, and continuous effort of the company’s employees, without whom the company could not have reached its pre-eminent position in the industry. I am proud to be a Saudi Aramco team member all of these years,” he added.
Al-Falih was instrumental in Saudi Aramco’s emergence as a leading innovator and creator of advanced technology through the establishment of a network of research centers — both in-Kingdom and internationally — in partnership with world-renowned academic and industry research institutions.
In the lead-up to the UN International Conference on Climate Change — COP21 Paris — Al-Falih played a leading role in the World Economic Forum-sponsored Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, an industry-driven initiative that sought to catalyze practical, meaningful, and technology-enabled actions to address climate change.
In September 2014, Al-Falih spoke on behalf of the industry at the UN-sponsored Climate Summit in New York, where he called for collaboration and the sharing of best practices and technical solutions to address climate change and sustainable energy.
Education and service
Al-Falih holds a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a master’s of business administration degree from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).
He was chairman of the World Economic Forum Oil & Gas Community and has served on many boards, including:
- KFUPM International Advisory Board;
- J.P. Morgan International Council;
- Asia Business Council;
- International Business Council of the World Economic Forum;
- MIT Presidential CEO Advisory Board;
- Royal Academy of Engineering (Fellow);
- Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University Board of Trustees.
He is currently serving on the board of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (founding member) and on the American University of Sharjah Board of Trustees.