2018 Industry Champion


Sara Akbar is recognized for her distinguished career in the oil and gas industry and as the first woman to hold a senior oil and gas industry position in the Middle East.  

From 1981-2005, Sara worked as a petroleum engineer in various technical and managerial roles at the Kuwait Oil Company and at the Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company. In 2005, Sara co-founded Kuwait Energy plc, serving as its CEO until 2017.  Since January 2018, Sara has been non-executive Director of Petrofac, Ltd.

Sara played an important role in oil production recovery efforts following the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait when 80% of Kuwaiti wells were blown up by Saddam Hussein’s army, earning her the nickname “Firefighter”.