Abdullah Salem El Badri

Abdullah Salem

When it comes to oil, OPEC calls the shots. The world’s largest oil cartel oversees two-thirds of global crude reserves and has the final say on output levels, a move that can make or break oil prices — and the energy-rich economies that depend on them. Few posts, then, can be seen as more influential than that of OPEC secretary general, currently held by Libyan Abdalla El Badri.

A familiar face in the Arabian Business Power 100, El Badri has held the top OPEC post since 2007 — a reign that has seen oil ricochet from a high of more than $100 a barrel in 2008, to under $50 last year.

In the midst of the global financial crash, he has played a key role in holding oil prices steady, walking the line between the demands of OPEC states and the needs of energy-hungry economies hit by recession.