The Qatari official has placed the Gulf state on the world map of key natural gas suppliers.
Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi has been named as Energy Executive of the Year for 2022 by Energy Intelligence, on Monday.
Energy Intelligence, a leading energy information company, said that the prestigious award recognises Al-Kaabi’s “pivotal role in developing” the Gulf state’s natural gas capabilities over the past decade.
“His decision to go large on energy investments at home and abroad ensures that Qatar stays a step ahead of its competition and allows it to continue to play an outsized role in global energy, geopolitics and culture,” said Raja Sidawi, Chairman and Chief Executive of Energy Intelligence.
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 Sidawi.
The energy information company said that 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 Dr. Sultan Al Jaber of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co.
Previous winners also include industry officials from Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, Royal Dutch Shell and Total.
Al-Kaabi is the 26th winner of the award, which he will receive at the annual Energy Intelligence Forum held in October this year. He has been described “as a formidable negotiator” who has transformed Qatar’s energy industry.
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.
The Gulf state was approached in January by the US Joe Biden administration in a bid to bridge Europe’s gas supply as Russian President Vladimir Putin mulled an invasion at the time.
Europe receives more than 40% of its gas supply from Russia whilst almost a third of its shipments pass through Ukraine. The European region has already been grappling with an energy crisis.
More recently, European officials have met with Al-Kaabi to seek Qatar’s assistance in providing them with gas shipments. Such countries include France, Italy and Germany.
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 Qatar Energy’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 Qatar Energy’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 later 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 where the country was being embargoed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt.
Al-Kaabi helped the country maintain its resilience during the rift, which took place between 2017 and 2021, through exiting from the Organisation 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.
In 2021, Al-Kaabi rebranded Qatar Petroleum as QatarEnergy to further represent its identity as a reliable environmentally friendly energy company.