Abdulkader M. Afifi

Professor of Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering

Research Interests

Prof. Afifi's goals are to contribute significantly to understanding the Earth and to educating younger generations of geoscientists, to protect society from geologic hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions, and to protect the Earth's environment by finding cleaner and renewable energy and water resources.His research interests are the regional geology of the Middle East, particularly the geological evolution of the Red Sea; conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon and geothermal resources; applications of geodynamics and mineral phase equilibria to geological processes; and the formation of hydrothermal mineral deposits. His research projects targets oil, gas, geothermal, and mineral exploration, seismic interpretation, and geochemistry.

Selected Publications

  • Discovery of Afifi, the shallowest and southernmost brine pool reported in the Red Sea.  Duarte, C.M., Røstad, A., Michoud, G., Barozzi, A., Merlino, G., ...Scientific Reports 10, 910 (2020).
  • Passive Seismic Experiment to understand the basement and crustal structure, Northern Red SeaSinadinovski, C., Aldamegh, K., Ball, P., Janoubi, E., Afifi, A.M., Ion, D., Nayak, G.,... EGUGA, 5986 (2017)
  • Saqqar: A 34 km diameter impact structure in Saudi Arabia. Kenkmann, T., Afifi, A. M., Stewart, S. A., Poelchau, M. H., Cook, D. J., & Neville, A. S. Meteoritics and Planetary Science, 50(11), 1925-1940 (2015)
  • Midyan Peninsula, northern Red Sea, Saudi Arabia: Seismic imaging and regional interpretation. Tubbs, R. E.,  Aly Fouda, H.G.,  Afifi, A.M., Raterman, N. S., Geraint W. Hughes, Fadolalkarem, Y.K., GeoArabia ; 19 (3): 165–184 (2014)
  • Five buried crater structures imaged on reflection seismic data in Saudi Arabia. Neville, A.S., Cook, D.J., Afifi, A.M., Stewart, A.S. GeoArabia 19 (1), 17-44 (2014)
  • New Insights into the Hercynian Orogeny, and their implications for the Paleozoic hydrocarbon system in the Arabian plate. Faqira, M., Rademakers, M., and Afifi, A. GeoArabia, v. 14, p. 199-228, (2009)
  • Paleozoic stratigraphy and hydrocarbon habitat of the Arabian Plate. Konert, G., Afifi, A.M., Al-Hajri, S.A., and Droste, H. GeoArabia, V. 6, No. 3, p. 407-442, (2001)


  • PhD in Geology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1990. 
  • MS in Geology, 1981: Colorado School of Mines, 1981.
  • BS in Geology (high honors), 1977, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, 1977 


Professional Profile

  • 2017-2018: Consultant, Red Sea Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 2008-2017: Unplaced Dept. Level, Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 2004-2008: Manager, Exploration Technical Services, Saudi Aramco
  • 2002-2004: Chief Geologist, Southern Fields Characterization, Saudi Aramco
  • 2000-2002: Senior Geological Consultant, Upstream Ventures, Saudi Aramco
  • 1997-1999: Chief Explorationist, Southern Area Exploration, Saudi Aramco
  • 1996-1997: Supervisor, Southern Fields Characterization Division, Saudi Aramco
  • 1991-1996: Geologist, Geological R&D, Saudi Aramco
  • 1980-1986: Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey Mission, Jeddah

KAUST Affiliations

  • Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)
  • Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering Program