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Qatar reshuffles cabinet, appoints QP CEO as minister for energy affairs

Dubai — Qatar Petroleum's Chief Executive Officer Saad al-Kaabi was appointed as the country's minister for energy affairs in a cabinet reshuffle ordered by an emiri decree, the state-owned Qatar News Agency reported through Twitter on Sunday.

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Because of the changes in ministry titles, it was not immediately clear from the announcements whether the minister for energy affairs role was in addition to the previous minister for energy & industry role held by Mohammed Bin Saleh al-Sada.

But a Qatar energy ministry official told S&P Global Platts that al-Sada was "no longer a minister and has no official role," which suggests that al-Kaabi will replace al-Sada, and that the minister for energy & industry position no longer exists.

The government also announced that the positions for minister of trade and industry have been combined under one role, also suggesting that the minister for energy & industry role is now defunct. This new position was given to Qatar National Bank's CEO Ali Ahmed al-Kuwari.

The energy ministry official also said there would likely be no changes to the Qatari energy policy with the new appointments.

Al-Kaabi has played a key role in the Qatari LNG industry as CEO of QP, maintaining Qatar's position as one of the largest LNG exporters in the world. Also announced in the reshuffle is the establishment of a separate renewable energy department, which will fall under the watch of the new minister for energy affairs.

The reshuffle is the first since 2016, but is a move that has been expected since a rift between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors saw a blockade enacted on Qatari exports.

Aside from ministry positions, the boards of Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Financial Markets Authority, National Tourism Council and Qatar Investment Authority were also reshuffled.

-- Herman Wang, herman.wang@spglobal.com

-- Miriam Malek, miriam.malek@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, newsdesk@spglobal.com