Ali Al-Naimi

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Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
In office
2 August 1995 – 7 May 2016
Monarch King Fahd
King Abdullah
King Salman
Preceded by Hisham Nazer
Succeeded by Khalid A. Al-Falih
President and CEO, Saudi Aramco
In office
Preceded by John Jacob Kelberer
Succeeded by Abdallah S. Jum'ah
Personal details
Born (1935-08-02) 2 August 1935 (age 82)
Ar-Rakah, Saudi Arabia
Nationality Saudi Arabian
Children Reem, Rami, Nada, Mohammad
Residence Dhahran, Saudi Arabia[1]
Alma mater Lehigh University
Stanford University

Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi (Arabic: علي بن إبراهيم النعيمي‎‎) (born 2 August 1935)[2] was the Saudi Arabian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources from 1995 to 2016.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Naimi was born in ar-Rakah in the Eastern Province. He joined Saudi Aramco in 1947 as a twelve-year-old office boy. Under the training programs of Aramco, he studied at International College, Beirut and the American University of Beirut, before going to Lehigh University in the United States. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in geology in 1962. He then earned a Master of Science degree in hydrology and economic geology at Stanford University.[4][5]


After graduation, Naimi continued to advance at Aramco. He became the supervisor for the Abqaiq production department in 1969. He was promoted to assistant director and then director of production in the Northern Borders Region (1972–1975). He became vice-president of production affairs in 1975. He was appointed vice president of petroleum affairs in 1978. Al Naimi was elected a member of board of directors in 1980 and was promoted to the newly created position of executive vice-president of oil and gas affairs in 1981. He was named president of Saudi Aramco in 1983,[6] being the first Saudi to hold that position. Later, after combining the presidency and chief executive position, he was appointed to each of these roles separately.

He became the minister of petroleum and mineral resources on 2 August 1995 (his 60th birthday), replacing Hisham Nazer.[4] Naimi was succeeded by Abdullah S. Jum'ah as president and CEO of Aramco.

Also in 1995, Naimi received an Honorary Doctorate from Heriot-Watt University[7]

In December 2010, the Saudi Supreme Petroleum Council, chaired by King Abdullah, asked Naimi to nominate candidates to succeed him as oil minister.[8]

In November 2014, still serving as Saudi oil minister and therefore the de facto leader of OPEC, Naimi became the primary advocate for the export organization's controversial new strategy. He argued that the oil market should be left to rebalance itself at lower price levels, strategically rebuilding OPEC's long-term market share by ending the profitability of high-cost US shale oil production.[9] Naimi completed his service as oil minister in May 2016, as deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman took on a stronger role in Saudi oil policy.[3]

Other positions[edit]

Naimi is chairman of the board of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST).[5]


Naimi was named one of the most influential people in the world by TIME magazine in 2008.[5] In 2011, he was included in the inaugural 50 Most Influential ranking by Bloomberg Markets magazine.[10] His autobiography was published in November 2016.[11]


  1. ^ "Powerful People: #50 Ali Al-Naimi". Forbes. Archived from the original on 5 January 2015. 
  2. ^ "Press Background Information" (PDF). OPEC. 4 December 2013. p. 12. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Saudi Arabia just fired its oil minister". CNN. 8 May 2016. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Ali Ibrahim Al Na'imi". APS Review Oil Market Trends. Arab Press Service. 24 October 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c "Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Ali Al-Naimi to speak at commencement". Lehigh University. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  6. ^ "Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources". SAMIRAD. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  7. ^ "Honorary Graduates" (PDF). Heriot-Watt University. Retrieved 27 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Saudi considers Naimi's successor as oil minister". Reuters. 10 December 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2013. 
  9. ^ "Inside OPEC room, Naimi declares price war on US shale oil". Reuters. 28 November 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2016. 
  10. ^ "The 50 Most Influential People in Global Finance". Bloomberg Markets. 7 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2012. 
  11. ^ Al-Naimi, Ali (2016). Out of the Desert: My Journey From Nomadic Bedouin to the Heart of Global Oil. Penguin. ISBN 978-0241279250.