The energy official had received the award earlier this year for his “pivotal role in developing” the Gulf state’s natural gas capabilities over the past decade.
Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi received the 2022 Energy Intelligence Energy Executive of the Year Award on Wednesday.
Al-Kaabi, who is also the president and CEO of QatarEnergy, received the award from leading energy information company Energy Intelligence. The awards ceremony was held in London with the attendance of senior energy officials.
Upon receiving the award, Al-Kaabi thanked Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “for his unlimited support to the energy sector” and on a personal level.
“This is an honour that I share with generations of Qataris and expatriates from all over the world, who challenged the elements and the hardships of this industry, and who worked with dedication and commitment, day and night,” said Al-Kaabi.
Al-Kaabi is the 26th winner of the award and was described by Energy Intelligence “as a formidable negotiator” who has transformed Qatar’s energy industry.
The Qatari energy official was named as the executive in April this year in recognition of Al-Kaabi’s “pivotal role in developing” the Gulf state’s natural gas capabilities over the past decade.
The company said the selection process is based on nominations gathered from the heads of the world’s 100 largest oil and gas companies as well as stakeholders.
The winners are selected based on a vote of the selection committee, which includes previous winners and prominent industry executives.
Last year’s winner was the UAE’s Dr. Sultan Al Jaber of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
Transforming Qatar’s energy sector
In 2021, Al-Kaabi rebranded Qatar Petroleum as QatarEnergy to transform its brand identity as a reliable environmentally friendly energy company.
Under Al-Kaabi’s leadership as the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, Qatar is moving towards dominating the global production of liquified natural gas (LNG) through its mega North Field Expansion project.
The multi-billion project is the largest of its kind, and seeks to increase Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tonnes to 126 million tonnes by 2027.
“Al-Kaabi’s bold bet on the future of gas has positioned Qatar to be the world’s LNG supplier of choice,” said Raja Sidawi, Chairman and Chief Executive of Energy Intelligence, earlier this year.
The Qatari official has placed the Gulf state on the world map of key natural gas suppliers whilst also promoting LNG as a low-cost and low-carbon fuel amid concerns over climate change.
In light of the current Russian invasion of Ukraine, several countries have also turned to Qatar as they seek to reduce their reliance on Moscow’s gas with the presence of sanctions.
Al-Kaabi’s career life
Al-Kaabi earned a bachelor degree in Energy and Gas Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in the USA. During his time as a student in 1986, he embarked on his career journey at then-Qatar Petroleum.
Between 1991 and 2006, Al-Kaabi joined QatarEnergy’s Reservoir and Field Development Department. At the time, he became the Manager of Gas Development, a role that made him responsible for the management and development of the North Field.
He later served as the Director of QatarEnergy’s Oil and Gas Ventures Directorate between 2006 and 2014. Al-Kaabi oversaw the country’s entire oil and gas field developments and its exploration activities.
Al-Kaabi was then appointed as the President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum in 2014, where he developed the company’s projects and global investments.
He then became Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs in 2018, at a time when the country faced an illegal air, land and sea embargo by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt.
However, Al-Kaabi was able to help the country maintain its resilience during the rift, which took place between 2017 and 2021, by exiting from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after 58 years.
In 2019, the state-owned oil and energy company’s revenues reached $19.7 billion and had $125 billion in assets.
The following year, the company inked three major reserve LNG ship construction deals that amounted to $19.2 billion.