Abu Dhabi formalises Crown Prince’s grip over oil firm ADNOC

Charles Kennedy – Mar 01, 2021, 1:30 PM CST

The de facto ruler of Abu Dhabi, the richest oil emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), became the chairman of the newly-formed board of directors at state oil firm Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), formalising a role that analysts say he has been exerting in recent years.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, who is the de facto ruler of Abu Dhabi since the emir of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed, suffered a stroke in 2014, will chair the newly-formed board of directors of ADNOC, the Abu Dhabi media office said on Twitter on Sunday.

“Khalifa bin Zayed, in his capacity as Chairman of the Supreme Council for Financial and Economic Affairs, has issued a resolution to form the board of directors of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), chaired by Mohamed bin Zayed,” read the tweet from the official account of Abu Dhabi.

Then Mohamed bin Zayed, in his capacity as chairman of the board of directors of ADNOC, issued a resolution to form the executive committee of the board of directors, the Abu Dhabi media office said. The executive committee will be chaired by one of Mohamed bin Zayed’s sons, Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed.

ADNOC’s chief executive officer Sultan Al Jaber was also appointed as Managing Director of ADNOC in addition to his CEO role. Al Jaber, together with UAE’s Energy Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, both sit on ADNOC’s newly-formed board of directors and on the executive committee of the board of directors. 

“This formalises the crown prince’s role as the head of Adnoc, which had been the case for several years,” Robin Mills, founder and head of Dubai-based consultancy Qamar Energy, told Bloomberg, commenting on the changes at ADNOC, and noting that these also provide an important role for Mohamed bin Zayed’s son.

ADNOC produces nearly all the crude oil in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is currently OPEC’s third-largest producer behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

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