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Algerian President Abdulaziz Bouteflika replaced Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi in a cabinet reshuffle on 14 May, less than three weeks before the next Opec meeting in Vienna. Salah Khebri, an economist and former Sonatrach official, will take over the energy portfolio at a particularly challenging time for the North African state, among oil producers most affected by the oil price collapse since mid-2014.
Mr Khebri has held prominent positions both as an academic and at state-owned oil and gas giant Sonatrach, which he joined in 1998 as head of the petroleum economics studies division before becoming head of operational research and petroleum economics until 2004. His most recent role was as chairman and chief executive of the Algerian Petroleum Institute (IAP), a position he held for five years until 2011. Mr Khebri graduated in engineering and petroleum economics. (CONTINUED - 690 WORDS)