While the oil industry is facing a seachange due to shale oil and gas discoveries in the US and elsewhere, for Khalid Al Falih, it’s business as usual.
“We’re committed to the US market,” Al Falih said last month, noting that Saudi Arabia provided more crude to America than it did in 2011. As boss of the world’s biggest unlisted company and the world’s largest oil company, Al Falih can lay claim to being possibly the most influential energy executive on the planet.
With a workforce of around 55,000, crude oil reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil and revenues of $210bn in 2010, the superlatives just keep on coming for Saudi Aramco. It is also widely believed to be the most profitable company in the world. Al Falih took charge of this giant firm in January 2009 from Abdullah Juma’ah, at a time of great significance in the industry due to the fluctuating price of oil. He joined Aramco in 1978, and was sponsored by the firm to take a degree in mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University in 1982.