Oman appoints first female chief executive to lead new energy company

Haifa Al Khaifi selected to lead Energy Development Oman, becoming the first woman to hold the position in the sultanate's energy sector

Sultanate of Oman, Muscat, the corniche of Muttrah, the old town of Muscat, waterfront building
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Oman appointed Haifa Al Khaifi to lead its new energy company that owns part of the country's largest oil block, marking a significant step for gender diversity in the Middle East's male-dominated oil and gas sector.

The government named Ms Al Khaifi chief executive of the newly formed Energy Development Oman (EDO), which has a share in state-owned oil and gas exploration and production company Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) and an interest in Block 6.

Prior to her appointment, Ms Al Khaifi was the chief financial officer of PDO, according to her LinkedIn profile.

"Haifa Al Khaifi has been selected as the CEO, the first woman to hold such a position in the energy sector in Oman," PDO said in a statement on its Facebook page. "We ... look forward to the multiple growth opportunities that the creation of EDO will bring about."

Oman established Muscat-based EDO in December 2020 following a royal decree. The country, a relatively small oil producer, is not a member of Opec but is part of the 23-nation Opec+ alliance that has been curbing production since last year as countries grapple with low oil prices amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Al Khaifi is also chairwoman of Boston-based investment management firm State Street's Saudi Arabia unit.

Among other new appointments at EDO, Ibrahim Al Eisri was named chief financial officer, joining from Oman Investment Authority.

Moutaz Al Riyami, a PDO gas director, was named chief strategy and commercial officer at EDO.