Saudi Arabia is undergoing significant change, and has commenced its most substantial diversification and reform program in its history. The Kingdom has long been dependent on oil revenue for economic development and growth and though the belief is that oil and gas will be part of the world’s energy needs for decades to come there is an understanding that these resources are not sufficient to support a growing population where half are below the age of 25. Recognizing this, the government has announced ambitious public goals, rolling out the 'National Transformation Program' with a 'Vision for 2030' to create a more open, diversified economy. Within this the Kingdom has called for significant energy reforms, restructuring its domestic energy market while providing support mechanisms for industry for this transition and direct support to low income households. Vision 2030, its National Transformation Program and the Energy Reforms is expected to have significant impact on the long term health and competitiveness of the Saudi economy.
Samer AlAshgar is the President of King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC), a global Energy Economics research center based in Riyadh. Prior to joining the Center he was head of Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center (EXPEC ARC), where since 2009 he led Saudi Aramco’s upstream research and development efforts, leading over 400 scientists in developing key upstream technologies for the exploration, development, and production of Saudi Aramco’s oil and gas reservoirs. During his time, he expanded the R&D business portfolio internally and globally through the establishment of several research centers in North America, Europe and Asia. Samer began his Saudi Aramco career as an Engineer and has held several management positions. He has broad oil and gas experience spanning from facility operations to production and reservoir engineering. Before joining EXPEC ARC, he was head of a Division responsible for the long-term strategy of the Company’s portfolio of oil and gas reserves. Samer has a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Tulsa, a Master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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