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Qatar replaces Energy Minister 18, January 2011

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Qatar.
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Qatar’s Minister of Energy and Industry, Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, has been replaced by the former State Minister of Energy, Mohammed Salah Al Sada.

The Al Attiyah family are one of the best connected families in Qatar. Indeed, the Emir, Hamad Al Thani, is said to have grown up in their household to some degree.

Al Attiyah has been the architect of Qatar’s startling rise to¬† dominance in the Liquified Natural Gas market. Indeed, he recently oversaw a huge investment programme lifting Qatar’s capacity to 77 million tonnes-a-year. It is, therefore, something of a natural time for him to go.

There are no indications that this is some kind of demotion as Al Attiyah has been appointed to the head of the Emiri Diwan (the Ruler’s court), a prominent position, and retains the title of Deputy Prime Minister. Given that every other press clipping of Al Attiyah is of him in Japan, China and various other far-flung places in the world, at the age of 59 it is reasonable to assume that he simply wanted to spend more time at home.

The new Minister, Al Sada, had the post of Minister of State for Energy and Industry created for him in 2007 mostly – it is assumed – as a kind of training position for when he would take over from Al Attiyah. He has decades of experience in the Oil and Gas business in Qatar and a PhD from the UK.