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Abdulrahman Al Yahyaei

OMAN - Energy & Mining

Abdulrahman Al Yahyaei

CEO, OPAL

Bio

Abdulrahman Al-Yahyaei is the CEO of OPAL. He joins with 16 years of diverse professional experience in business marketing, planning, finance, and business development. He has held senior positions in government and across the oil and gas industry. His most recent role was director at Occidental Oil Asia, where he was responsible for marketing operations in the Arab Gulf region. He has a degree in financial accounting from Sultan Qaboos University and an MBA from the University of Strathclyde.

"We have positioned ourselves well over the past couple of years."
OPAL is focused on helping businesses find the best ways to reduce operating expenses while establishing common standards in the industry.
What have been some of OPAL’s recent major achievements?

OPAL started out with two main objectives. The first is to develop Omanis in the oil and gas industry, and the second is to set HSC standards for the oil and gas industry and set the HSC standard across the industry. At the outset of the pandemic, OPAL played a major role in protecting the oil and gas industry. We took a number of steps to mitigate the risk of disruption to oil and gas production and the spread of COVID-19 across the concession areas. One of the initiatives we took was repatriating over 27,000 expat employees to their home countries. The majority of them are rotators, those who work one month on, one month off, and during that period we managed to reunite more than 700 families through our repatriation flights. This had a huge impact on our industry, mitigating the risk of spreading the virus across the concession areas. We produced several guidelines in collaboration with operating companies to ensure that the virus did not spread. We built distancing capacity, produced guidelines on working from home, working from the office, back to office guidelines, commuting, and the processes people should follow. We produced all those guidelines on behalf of the industry. This also had a huge impact on our members and our industry in general, as the flow of oil and gas has never stopped.

How is OPAL contributing to the national In-Country Value (ICV) Program?

On the ICV front, as OPAL’s CEO, I am also the secretary of a steering committee of the in-country value for oil and gas initiative chaired by His Excellency the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, the members of which are the CEOs and MDs of operating companies. We have two subcommittees, one concerned with human capital development, and another to look into the contract and procurement strategies and policies each year. Before the beginning of every year, we get together and agree on clear goals and KPIs for the operators, and how much value and money they should retain in the country for their contracts and procurements. And we meet quarterly to review the performance achieved, the challenges they have faced, and so on. We are also set to introduce the certification of in-country value. Each country will be certified for contribution to the in-country value. Each contractor will be audited for their in-country value, because if there is no measurement you cannot judge whether they have delivered or not.

How do you foresee the short term for OPAL?

We have positioned ourselves well over the past couple of years. We were able to regain the trust of the main stakeholders, especially the government authorities, the Ministry of Energy and Minerals, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Higher Education, and Ministry of Commerce. We are working closely with all of those important stakeholders. We have also introduced a number of new products and services for our members. One of them is the HSC passport. Instead of each company having their own training programs for people to go and work in the field, we now have a unified passport. We are working closely with the Ministry of Education to support their introduction of the vocational path in schools, at grades 11 and 12. We are also working with the Ministry of Higher Education to support the vocational diploma to be introduced at the start of the next academic year. In the short term, we are working closely with the number of stakeholders to support them in executing their plans related to Oman Vision 2040. Our members are the main source of our course revenue and success, and we will strive to support them and introduce new products and services that correct prevailing local deficiencies, which will result in sustainable operation.

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