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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Qatar replaces oil minister Attiyah

Tue Jan 18, 2011 12:56pm GMT

Qatar removed its long-serving energy minister Abdullah al-Attiyah from his post in the world's largest liquefied natural gas exporter and replaced him with Mohammed Saleh al-Sada, Qatar's state media said on Tuesday.
Following is reaction from industry players and analysts:
DAVID BUTTER, MENA REGIONAL DIRECTOR, EIU, LONDON:
"This seems to be a generational change - Attiyah was getting on and was due to retire sooner or later. Sada is a classic safe pair of hands. Perhaps Attiyah was allowed to soldier on until the 77m t/y LNG capacity target was reached, and has been given an honorary position to signal that he has done nothing wrong."

JARMO KOTILAINE, CHIEF ECONOMIST, NCB CAPITAL, RIYADH:
"I don't think we're going to see any significant changes in the market. The messages we've been getting from the oil ministers have been fairly consistent across the board. Qatar is more of a player in the natural gas sector and not a big player in oil so (the change) shouldn't hugely impact the market."

SENIOR QATAR ENERGY OFFICIAL, DOHA:
"There will be no change to the oil policy. Our ship is sailing very smoothly so why they should there be any change?
"All the major oil projects have been announced so everything should be calm and smooth."

KAMEL AL-HARAMI, INDEPENDENT OIL ANALYST, KUWAIT:
"Attiyah has already put Qatar's oil and gas on the global map, and got some of the biggest IOCs, so the new minister will just be expected to run the daily activity of the ministry.
"OPEC will miss him, Attiyah is such a nice guy.
"We just hope that the new Qatari minister would work on providing lean gas to Kuwait, which we are in dire need of."

SAMUEL CIZSUK, SENIOR ENERGY ANALYST AT IHS:
"Attiyah has overseen the buildup of Qatar's LNG capacity. With the last train coming onstream in February he has delivered that project. So it might make sense for him to move upwards, if that is what he wants, and allow someone to manage what has been achieved."
On whether policy would change: "It sounds to me more like continuity. LNG is the big thing for Qatar. So in a sense Attiyah has completed a chapter and maybe we shouldn't be too surprised. Qatar will look at other big projects and maybe he will be overseeing those expansions."