Ali Al Jarwan is a man of many hats; enjoying the status of a visionary business leader, an award-winning technocrat, an experienced oil-field professional, and earned several industrial recognition awards from ADNOC, BP and the SPE. He is also an Honorary SPE member. Headquartered in Dubai, Dragon Oil is a privately held and wholly-owned subsidiary of Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC) L.L.C. It is engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas in Turkmenistan, Yemen and Tunisia.
On 4th March 2017, Ali Al Jarwan joined Dragon Oil as MD Exploration & Production and CEO. Owing to his invaluable life experiences, Mr. Ali Al Jarwan has travelled and transitioned from a B.Sc student to an established successful business leader with over 3 decades of leadership and technical experience in Exploration & Production.
Prior to joining Dragon Oil, Ali Al Jarwan held several leadership positions in ADNOC group among them was Chief Executive Officer of Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (ADMA-OPCO) from June 2006 to June 2016. He also served as Board Member in several organizations such as NPPC, NDC, Atheer, IRSHAD and the Petroleum Institute. In academics, Ali Al Jarwan earned a B.Sc degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma; MBA from the International Institute of Management Development in Switzerland; and a degree in General Management from Cranfield School of Management in the UK.
Because of his outstanding efforts and outstanding performance at different positions, Ali Al Jarwan has been honoured with several awards, including the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) ‘Regional Service Award’ in 1992, the distinguished SPE membership in 1999 and SPE/AIME (American Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers) honorary membership in 2013, and The Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017. He has also chaired some international conferences like GEO in 2002, the 8th HSE International Conference in 2006 and ADIPEC.
THE TALE OF TRANSITION
“My story started when I was in 8th grade. I saw a magazine on the table, it was called “Al Arabi” at the time, and the headline was ‘This is how the oil exploded in the UAE” with a picture of a flare at Jebel Dhanna. This fascinated me more than anything and at that very moment, I knew that I was going to be an engineer in the oil fields,” said Ali Al Jarwan while talking about his journey.
“Years passed, and the Etihad of the Emirates came into order. I was applying for university with the intention of going to the University of Cairo – and I was given 3 options to fill in for what I wanted to major in. I wrote down Petroleum Engineering against all three. My passion was so strong. My application papers were then transferred to ADNOC and I ended up travelling to the States with 17 other students from the UAE and studied Petroleum Engineering. That is how my career started. It is very important in life to do what you love and I can confidently say that I love what I do, I live it every day in the service of my nation and in the service of our partners and host Government entities,” he further added.
“Every day brings a new challenge at work and tackling it effectively is an accomplishment. The transformation of Dragon Oil into a mid-size IOC has been a very satisfying achievement, and I spend a lot of my energy on fostering young leaders. But if you insist on one, I would think that steering the development of three new offshore fields in Abu Dhabi is the biggest accomplishment,” Ali Al Jarwan proudly shared.
Dragon Oil today is a progressive mid-size IOC with a promise to make its mark in various parts of the world. It started in Turkmenistan in 1971 and has grown since, with a strong track record across the MENA and Caspian regions. It has access to resources of several billion barrels and is engaged in exploration, development and production. Its producing assets are in Egypt, Turkmenistan and Iraq. They currently produce upwards of 160,000 barrels of oil per day and they have an aspiration to reach 300,000 BoE per day in the near future. They are an agile company with a highly motivated and competent workforce who have the ability to manage challenges that we face today or might face in the future.
HURDLES ON THE WAY
The company has gone through a number of downturns but the storm they faced in 2020 was extraordinary. They are still reeling in its aftermath. But they sailed through 2020 because of their agility and with the
cooperation of their partners and host government authorities. And they are going to build upon that success this year as well as in the future.
WHAT IS SUCCESS?
For Ali Al Jarwan, success is the ability to handle the responsibilities and steer his team in pursuit of the defined goals. He is satisfied when he can motivate each of his employees to think critically to innovate and improvise. Mr. Ali Al Jarwan and his Dragon team are on a journey and reaching their destination in a safe, timely and efficient manner is a success, whilst managing the unknowns.
ALI JARWAN’S LEADING STYLE & LEADERSHIP PRINCIPLES
Ali Al Jarwan is a people-oriented person with an eye for details. He trusts his and always empowers them. In turn, they trust him and do their best to deliver. His years of experience, industry knowledge and ability to connect and communicate help Mr. Ali Al Jarwan to perform in various parts of the world.
The most important trait is the selfless drive to lead and succeed, have empathy with people and supremacy of the larger goals above your personal needs. One has to nurture talent to make collaborative and inspired teams driven to success.
“VISION” IN LIFE
To become an oil-field professional in the service of the nation was Ali Al Jarwan’s passion and his vision was to excel in whatever responsibilities that came my way. He always aimed at overcoming higher and higher challenges. He helped my people and contributed to their all-around growth. The foremost of his priorities was developing competent and motivated nationals into future leaders and empowering them. He and his team now do the same with the national workforce in the host countries.
THE BEST ADVICE EVER RECEIVED & MAJOR CHARACTERISTIC OF EVERY LEADER
“I have been dedicated to my work all of my life so far. New Challenges inspire me. However, I was sometimes advised by my friends to slow down and enjoy other aspects of life, which I respect and value. In my view, engaging with people in the journey is more important than the journey itself, because, in the end, one is a leader of the team, and not of oneself”, shared Ali Al Jarwan.
“One of the major characteristics that I believe every leader should possess is to be humble. Being humble allows one to listen and respect other opinions as well as consider everyone else’s ideas and perspectives”, he further added.
SECRET TO INNOVATION
The secret is diversity! To survive in this environment today innovation is the only solution. Diversity comes from age differences amongst the team, different cultures, different experiences and different perspectives. The more diversity in the team the higher the creative ideas therefore the higher the results of innovation.
THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE GLOBAL SUCCESS
The team collaborates with partners and hosts Governments to achieve their goals and aspirations. Dragon Oil is uniquely placed to serve its interests due to its agility and innovative work culture. They also serve the local communities where they operate as responsible partners.