Khalid A. Al-Falih
President and Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Aramco
Khalid A. Al-Falih is president and chief executive officer of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), which manages the world's largest proven oil reserves and is the largest producer of crude oil and a leading player in the gas and refining businesses. He serves on Saudi Aramco's Board of Directors and on the Saudi Arabian Supreme Council of Petroleum and Mineral Affairs, chaired by the King.
Al-Falih joined the company in 1979 and was sponsored to study at Texas A&M University in College Station, earning a BS degree in mechanical engineering in 1982. During the next decade he worked in Project Management as a senior project engineer. His various assignments included working with the Qasim Refinery Project, Ras Tanura Refinery Modernization Project, the Ju'aymah Gas Plant Recovery Project and the Berri Gas Plant Upgrade Project among others.
During this time, he also pursued studies for an MBA at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, receiving his degree in 1991. He joined the Consulting Services Department (CSD) in 1992 and supervised several technical units. In 1994 he became coordinator, Mechanical and Civil Systems Division. Al-Falih was named manager of CSD in January 1995. He was assigned as manager, Ras Tanura Refinery Maintenance Department in late 1995; manager, Ras Tanura Refinery Operations Department, in 1997; and manager, Business Analysis Department, in 1998.
In July 1999, he became president of Petron Corporation, then a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and the Philippine National Oil Company. He returned to the Kingdom in September 2000 to serve as vice chairman on the Saudi Aramco Study Team for Gas Ventures, until his appointment as vice president of Gas Ventures Development and Coordination in May 2001. During this time he played an instrumental role in the negotiations with the international oil companies (IOCs) in connection with the Kingdom's Natural Gas Initiative. Ultimately, four joint ventures between Saudi Aramco and various leading IOCs were consummated.
In early 2003, Al-Falih headed a newly formed administrative area, New Business Development, and in April 2004 became Exploration vice president, before being named senior vice president, Gas Operations, in August 2004. He was subsequently named senior vice president, Industrial Relations, in October 2005.
In October 2004, Al-Falih was appointed to the Board of Directors of Saudi Aramco. He also served as chairman of the board of the newly formed South Rub' al-Khali joint venture between Shell, Total and Saudi Aramco.
Al-Falih was named executive vice president, Operations Business Center in September 2007. This business center consists of Saudi Aramco's Exploration & Producing; Engineering & Project Management; Operations Services; and Refining, Marketing & International business lines.
Al-Falih was named president and chief executive officer of Saudi Aramco effective January 1, 2009.
Al-Falih also pursues a variety of professional interests, in addition to his patronage of cooperation with academic and higher education sectors, such as the partnership with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Saud University, and his membership in the King Saud University Advisory Council and the King Saud University High Committee for Endowment. He was recently appointed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques as a member of the founding board of trustees of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.
Al-Falih is the Chairman of Dammam City Municipal Council, and a member in many professional societies, such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE) and Oxford Energy Policy Club. He is also a board member of a number of vocational and social institutions, such as the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation, Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Fund for Supporting Small Business Projects for Women and the Eastern Province Society for the Handicapped. Al-Falih was a board member of the National Program for Development of Industrial Complexes.