Salim al-Aufi was sworn in as Oman’s new Minister of Energy and Minerals before Sultan Haitham bin Tarik on 19 June. Mr Aufi had served as Undersecretary in the Ministry of Energy of Minerals since December 2013, where his responsibilities included electricity and mining regulation, as well as oversight of exploration and production in the sultanate. The new minister started his career in 1992 at Petroleum Development Oman (PDO), the state-led entity responsible for around 650,000 b/d of Omani production capacity from its massive Block 6.
He succeeds Mohammed al-Rumhy, who had held the post since 1997 (MEES, 17 June), and who positioned non-Opec Oman’s position as a stalwart member of the Opec+ alliance. Opec Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo congratulated the industry veteran on the completion of his tenure as a “highly respected” minister. Mr Rumhy was “one of the early voices way back in 2015 urging Opec and non-Opec to come together to restore stability,” he said on 16 June. Mr Rumhy had slammed “highly irresponsible” overproduction in 2015 – despite Oman itself producing at then-record levels – and in early 2016 called for producers to cut output by 5-10% (MEES, 22 January 2016). (CONTINUED - 1040 WORDS)