Founders & History

The expertise & experience of our management and specialist team.

The expertise of our management and team spans the fields of Geology, Geophysics, Petroleum, Engineering, Business administration, Business management, Law and Finance with particular in-depth knowledge of applications within the Oil, Gas, Energy and Mining industries.

Sahra Group Founder

Mr. Rashid Alkaff – Founder & Chairman

As founder and chairman of Sahra Group, Rashid Alkaff is the head of our technical and strategic teams. Mr. Alkaff possesses a wealth of experience garnered from more than 40 years experience in the Oil and Gas industry, and has a wide range of top-level contacts worldwide, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa. He was Minister of Oil and Minerals of the Ministry of Oil and Minerals of Yemen, CEO of Nimir Petroleum, and Chairman and Founder of Yemen Company For Investment in Oil and Minerals. He has worked as an independent international Oil and Gas consultant advising governments and private industries. Rashid holds a BSC in Geology from the American University of Beirut and a Postgraduate Degree in Exploration Economics from the University of Mining and Metallurgy in Austria.


Jamal Alkaf

Jamal Alkaf is the CEO of Sahra Group, with particular responsibility for the Legal and Finance divisions of the company. During his many years working in the oil and gas industry, he was legal advisor to the National Oil Company and the Ministry of Oil and Minerals of Yemen, where he helped draft and negotiate the production sharing agreements for Yemen’s third international bid Round. He was also part of various committees at high levels of government on issues concerning oil and gas. Jamal is a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, among other institutions and professional societies.

Jamal Alkaf holds a degree in International Business Administration from the American Intercontinental University of London, a BA (Honours) in Business Law from Kingston University in London and LLM with distinction in Oil and Gas Law from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

G L Heard

Graham provides consultant technical and commercial advisory services to the upstream oil and gas business for various clients since retiring as Exploration and Technical Director of Northern Petroleum in December 2014. He was formally the Exploration Manager of Northern for the previous four and a half years. He is former Chairman of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and has over 40 years’ experience as a petroleum geologist. Graham began his career with Arco and subsequently gained extensive international experience with independents Siebens Oil and Quintana Petroleum. Graham has held various Executive positions with Sovereign Oil & Gas Plc, Neste Production Limited and Sands Oil & Gas Plc.

Simon Binks

Simon Binks is Sahra’s commercial and business development leader. His 30-year career in the oil and gas industry has given him a wealth of experience in managing multidisciplined teams from deal concept and structuring through to completion, and in negotiation in emerging markets. He also has extensive knowledge of corporate functions, particularly project finance.

Advisors & Consultants

Mr. Madhav Desai

Madhav has over 24 years of wide international experience of working within multi-cultural and multi-discipline teams in the Oil & Gas and Petrochemical industries. A Chemical Engineer by background, he specialises in Field Development Planning, Process Design and Techno-Economic Feasibility Studies. Madhav is experienced in acting as Client Representative, having commissioned and managed Conceptual, Pre-FEED and feasibility studies on behalf of small and large IOCs. He has managed several oil and gas field development programs through various stages of planning; from prospect development through Conceptual and Pre-FEED Engineering Design stages.

Madhav has worked on defining the specifications of modular early production systems for both onshore and offshore fields, liaising with vendors to refine the technical scope and CAPEX estimates. In Oman, he developed cost effective solutions for hooking up smaller discoveries to existing facilities.

Dr. Mohamed Jaffer Kassim

Dr. Mohamed Jaffer Kassim is a prominent legal expert, legislator and scholar whose 40-year career has spanned public service, research and private practice. Having held high-level positions within government and the judiciary, he is an expert on Yemen’s legal framework. His vast experience includes 14 years as Deputy Minister of Justice and eight years as Judge of the Supreme Court. He also worked on drafting the constitution of the Republic of Yemen in the 1980s.

Ghada Maisery

Ghada Maisery joined Sahra Group after six years as legal consultant to the United Nations and a period spent working for Felix airways. Ghada holds an Honours Law Degree from Kings College in London and an MSC from the London School Of Economics.