Early life and education
Khelil was born on 8 August 1939. He received a bachelor and master degrees in mining and petroleum engineering from Ohio State University in 1964 and 1965, respectively. He also obtained a doctorate in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University in 1968.
After working in the United States for a few years with Shell, Phillips Petroleum and D.R. McCord & Associates, Khelil joined Sonatrach in 1971 as head of its reservoir engineering department while being president of Alcore, a joint venture between Corelaboratories and Sonatrach. Then he became technical adviser in the presidency of Algeria from 1973 to 1975. He was appointed president of the Valhyd Group (with Valhyd standing for valorisation hydrocarbures in French) in 1975-1978. Next he served as coordonator in the hydrocarbon vice presidency of Sonatrach.
In 1980 he joined the World Bank, working on petroleum-related projects in Africa,Latin America and Asia; he retired from it as its petroleum adviser in 1999, only to join President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's cabinet on 1 November 1999 becoming minister for energy and mines on 26 December.
In 2001, while a minister he was also named president of Sonatrach, and he nominated and was succeeded by Mohamed Meziane in 2003. He was also president of OPEC for the year of 2001 and 2008, president of the African Energy Commission(AFREC) in 2001, president of the Association of African Oil Producing Countries (APPA) in 2004 and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) in 2010.
Khelil is married and has two children. He speaks Arabic, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese. He was awarded the highest distinction in Peru, the "Order of the Sun" by successively president Toledo and Garcia.
In 12 August 2013, an international arrest warrant was announced to Khelil, his wife and two daughters for his alleged role in a bribery scandal involving Algeria's state oil company, Sonatrach. Khelil denied to the international media any wrongdoing.
- "162th Ordinary Meeting". OPEC. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
- Nazim Fethi (16 August 2013). "Algeria: Former Minister Charged In Sonatrach Corruption Case". Eurasia Review. Retrieved 18 August 2013.