Qatar energy minister now head of emir's staff
Qatar's energy minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah has been appointed as the emir's chief of staff and replaced at the ministry by state minister of energy Mohammed Saleh al-Sada, state news agency QNA reported on Tuesday.
In a limited cabinet reshuffle, Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani appointed Attiyah as chief of his staff, QNA reported.
Attiyah, 59, became the gas-rich emirate's energy minister in 1992 and served a one-year term as president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1993.
He was appointed in 2007 as deputy premier while retaining his position as minister of energy and industry. He is currently the chairman of state-run oil company, Qatar Petroleum, formerly known as Qatar General Petroleum Company (QGPC).
QGPC was founded in 1974 to oversee the oil and gas industry in the Gulf emirate and various interests overseas that include exploration, drilling, production and distribution
The company has full control of the National Oil Distribution Company (NODCO), and controlling shares in Qatar Petrochemical Company Ltd. (80 per cent), Qatar Fertiliser Company (75 per cent), Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company Ltd. (66.5 per cent) and Qatar Liquefied Gas Company Ltd. (65 per cent).
Qatar holds the world's third-largest natural gas reserves, estimated at more than 900 trillion cubic feet (25 trillion cubic metres), after Russia and Iran.
The Gulf state also produces some 800,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
'No change to energy policy'
There will be no change to Qatar's energy policy in the wake of the replacement of the long-serving oil minister, Reuters reports quoting a Qatar energy official.
"There will be no change to the oil policy. Our ship is sailing very smoothly so why they should there be any change?" said a senior Qatar energy ministry official, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.
"All the major oil projects have been announced so everything should be calm and smooth."
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