Profile of Libya's New Oil & Gas Minister

By Ibrahim El Mayet, of ie. consultancy.

Profile of Libya's New Oil & Gas Minister, Dr. Abdulbari Ali Elhadi Alarusi.

Dr. Alarusi [Al Arusi] (51), from Zawia in Western Libya, studied Engineering, earning a Bachelor's degrree in Chemical Engineering before embarking on a career in the oil industry. He later earned a Master’s degree (1987 – 1988) and PhD (1988 -1992) in Corrosion Science and Engineering from the UK. He is a member of the American Association of Corrosion Engineers and a member of the British Institute of Corrosion.

He was employed at Libya’s Sirte Oil Company from 1982 to 1998, working at Marsa Brega Terminal, holding positions as an engineer in the field of corrosion and cathodic protection responsible for surveying corrosion protection systems onshore and offshore, supervising design and implementation of protection systems.

During the 1990’s Dr. Alarusi’s responsibilities at Sirte Oil expanded to include inspection of Sirte’s industrial complex, developing budgets and financial control, and preparation of technical proposals and submissions to the National Oil Corporation (NOC). He was also responsible for developing training programmes for engineers and technicians in the field of corrosion protection.

In June 1998 Dr. Alarusi was arrested by the Gaddafi regime and spent 8 years of a life-sentence in Libya’s infamous Abu Salim prison, which housed many political prisoners who opposed the regime. Dr. Alarusi was released in April 2006. The Alarusi family have a history of active opposition to the Gaddafi regime; his father was also imprisoned in Abu Salim for a short period in the early 1970’s.

One of his brothers was martyred fighting against Gaddafi's forces in Zawia during last year’s uprising, while another brother was severely beaten resulting in the loss of an eye; his son Abdulrahman (17 years old) was imprisoned for a month in July 2011.

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