Continental Focus, International Reach

Sonatrach CEO Sacked

Thursday, April 25, 2019

If oil and gas firms were uncertain about business in Algeria due to protests and the resignation or Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the latest move by the country’s interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, is sure to turn heads as he has fired the head of Sonatrach.

Algeria’s state TV reported that Bensalah fired Sonatrach CEO Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour, appointing Sonatrach’s head of production and exploration, Rachid Hachichi to the position.

The move casts uncertainty on whether industry deals that are in the works will move forward. Some are wondering why Bensalah would make such a move when he is only in office until the election on July 4, as it is certain the new regime will want to put someone of their own in place.
Analysts said Kaddour is paying the price for his close ties to Bouteflika, not because of the strategy he implemented, because it was about to start showing some results. Under Kaddour the company had just initiated the forming of an oil trading venture, was in negotiations with ExxonMobil to enter the country, and was set to meet with Chevron officials