Saudi Aramco appoints first woman to board of directors

A Saudi Aramco gas and oil production plant is seen in the Shaybah field of Saudi Arabia's remote Empty Quarter on May 10, 2016
AFP

Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi national oil giant Aramco said Sunday that five new members had been appointed to its board of directors, including the first woman in the firm’s history.

Lynn Laverty Elsenhans, 60, is the former head of US oil company Sunoco Inc. and has been director of oil services company Baker Hughes since July last year.

She has served on the boards of several major oil firms.

Forbes ranked her 10th on its list of the world’s 100 most powerful women in 2009.

Other newly-appointed Aramco board members include Minister of Finance Mohammed al-Jadaan, while Energy Minister Khaled al-Faleh was retained as the company’s chairman, state-owned Aramco said in a statement.

The new appointments come as the oil-dependent kingdom, faced with persistent budget deficits due to low crude prices, prepares to sell up to five percent of Aramco in an initial public offering either this year or in 2019.

The kingdom hopes to raise around $100 billion from the IPO, based on a $2 trillion (1.6 trillion euro) valuation of the company, which controls massive oil and natural gas deposits.

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