Qatar's Decision Makers, Cont'd From OMT:.
However, these and other political appointees do not meddle in the functioning of technocrats in charge of the hydrocarbon sector. They occasionally help in the promotion of Qatar's expensive projects, like the LNG ventures which need extensive marketing.
Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah: The minister of energy and industry, Attiyah is also chairman and managing director of QGPC. He became QGPC's head in a decree issued by the emir on Nov. 20, 1996, as Dr. Jaber Al Marri was removed from this position.
Attiyah is close to both the emir and Prime Minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa. He is an ambitious and hard working technocrat, very much in tune with what Shaikh Hamad wants to do in Qatar, i.e. to modernise the economy and to build up the gas sector on a massive scale.
Among Attiyah's non-Qatari advisors is Dr. Ramzi Salman, former CEO of Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organisation (SOMO) and former deputy secretary-general of OPEC, who advises him on oil. Youcef Yousfi, former CEO of Algeria's state concern Sonatrach who has recently rejoined the Algerian government, has also worked as an advisor to Attiyah on LNG.
What might affect Attiyah eventually is a proposal for the emir to establish a supreme energy council (SEC). It has been proposed that the SEC be under the emir's chairmanship and should control both the energy ministry and QGPC.
Attiyah was first appointed as energy and industry minister on Sept. 1, 1992, after the departments of petroleum and electricity were merged with that of industry. At the same time, Attiyah also became chairman and managing director of QGPC, with Jaber Al Marri demoted to deputy chairman. Power struggles between the two men marked much of the period from then, as Marri was backed by Shaikh Khalifa. It has been rumoured that, as emir, Shaikh Khalifa repeatedly prevented Attiyah from sacking Marri.
Attiyah moved to restructure QGPC. By October 1992, he had reshuffled the board of QGPC, appointed a new finance manager, brought several departments under his direct control and created a new human resources department from four former sections. In the following months, many of the personnel who had not changed jobs in years were reshuffled. Separate headquarters and the oil and gas operating units were merged into a single organisation. Attiyah established strict controls on spending, requiring his personal approval for contracts worth over 50,000 Qatari riyals ($13,700). These changes caused delays in project implementation, affecting oil and gas development projects.
Facing challenges from Marri, Attiyah had to change his attitude subsequently. He relaxed the controls and set up a special task force to speed up oil development projects in which foreign companies were to be involved.
However, Marri was opposed to some new E&P terms offered to foreign companies by Attiyah. Also opposed to these terms was Abdel Aziz Al Dulaimi, director for the upstream at QGPC and member of QGPC's board. On Aug. 27, 1994, while he was in London, Attiyah sent to Marri a fax saying that he was dismissed from QGPC immediately. Attiyah also dismissed Dulaimi.
Again Shaikh Khalifa intervened and got Marri reinstated as the CEO of QGPC in the following week. Dulaimi remained out of QGPC. But in 1996, Dulaimi was made CEO of a new QGPC-owned company investing in Sudan's upstream oil sector.
When the coup of Shaikh Hamad occurred, on June 27, 1995, Marri was with Shaikh Khalifa in West Europe. For some reasons, Marri was allowed to resume his function as QGPC managing director and returned to Doha. Marri, credited with pioneering the North Field development, was also allowed to retain his position as chairman of the two LNG ventures, Qatargas and Rasgas.
The power struggle between Attiyah and Marri intensified subsequently and became the topic among both Qatari and foreign executives. On June 3, 1996, Attiyah issued a decision dismissing Marri from the chairmanship of Qatargas and Rasgas. Attiyah made himself chairman of Qatargas and appointed QGPC board member Yousef Hussein Kamal as chairman of Rasgas. It was then said that Attiyah was preparing to remove Marri from QGPC.
Attiyah was retained as energy and industry minister in the new cabinet that was formed by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa on Oct. 30, 1996. On Nov. 20, 1996, the emir issued a decree dismissing Marri and appointing Attiyah as QGPC managing director. The decree also retained QGPC's board of directors under Attiyah's chairmanship. Also in October 1996, Attiyah dismissed QGPC's marketing director Ibrahim Al Mutawa. Later he had him replaced by his deputy, Jassem Al Naama.
Attiyah has long experience in OPEC. He has attended OPEC meetings since 1972, first as part of the former ministry of petroleum and finance and then in his capacity as head of the office of the then acting petroleum and finance minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa. Until the late 1980s, Attiyah used to be director of the office of the then finance and petroleum minister Shaikh Abdel Aziz Bin Khalifa. After the 1989 cabinet reshuffle he became director of the office of Shaikh Abdullah Bin Khalifa.
On Nov. 23, 1993, Attiyah was named OPEC president for a year's term. At the time, he was already a member of OPEC's quota compliance committee.
Attiyah has been particularly active in promoting Qatar's LNG exports. In January 1995, he signed an agreement with Turkish Energy Minister Veysel Atasoy to supply around 2 million t/y of LNG after the Rasgas project is completed. In March, of that year he visited Pakistan, India and China to discuss possible future LNG exports. He took part in negotiations for the sale of LNG to Israel from a project promoted by Enron, though Israel dropped this option in 1996. He has since travelled east and west in efforts to promote Qatari oil and gas ventures.
In October 1997, he said Rasgas had a letter of intent from Elf for the supply of LNG to Lebanon, with Lebanon's ministry of electricity and hydraulic resources now inviting international companies to bid for the construction of a re-gasification terminal on BOT basis. This would cost between $400-500 million and the BOT period would be about 25 years. The project would make Lebanon an important market for gas as this would replace gasoil and other oil products in the country's power generation system. The gas would also be used by Lebanon's industry.
Keeping in line with the OPEC perspective, Attiyah has been a critic of non-OPEC countries which have boosted their oil production. He was blunt during a visit by Norwegian Oil Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Jan. 11, 1995, when he said he was informed of Norway's decision to increase production. Speaking at a joint news conference, he added: "I don't think Norway wants a low price because that is not profitable...but I do not understand the meaning and wisdom of such a rise" in production.
One of Attiyah's key deputies now is Shaikh Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Thani, the director of industrial development at the ministry of energy and industry.
The Attiyah Clan: Related to the ruling family by marriage and having the same tribal origins, from the Bani Tamim tribe of Arabia, the Attiyahs are still rated as the second most important clan next to the Al Thanis. They hold many key positions in the government and in the private sector, partly as rewards from the former emir Shaikh Khalifa for their long-time support against his rivals in the ruling family.
The late Hamad Al Attiyah was a close friend of Qatar's third emir, the late Shaikh Abdullah Bin Jassem Al Thani, during the first half of this century. His daughter, Miriam Bint Hamad Al Attiyah, married Shaikh Abdullah's first son, Shaikh Ali Bin Abdullah Al Thani. His son, Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, emerged as a most powerful member of this clan because he sided with Shaikh Khalifa against his brother-in-law Shaikh Ali during the 1960s.
The QGPC Board Of Directors: The following is QGPC's current board of directors, announced by an emiri decree on Nov. 30, 1996, after the removal of Dr. Jaber Al Marri:
Abdullah Bin Hamad Al Attiyah, as chairman. He is also chairman of Qatargas as well as being minister of energy and industry.
Yussef Hussein Kamal as deputy chairman. Before Nov. 20, 1996, he was simply a member of the QGPC board representing the ministry of finance, economy and trade. He is the undersecretary (deputy minister) of ministry of finance, economy and trade and a member of OPEC Fund's Governing Board. He is also chairman of Rasgas.
Faisal Mohammed Al Suwaidi, as member unchanged since September 1992. He is the managing director of Qatar Fertiliser Co. He is also deputy chairman of Qatargas. Previously he was head of QGPC's administration department.
Jassem Al Naama, as new member. He is director of QGPC's marketing division, having succeeded Ibrahim Nouh Al Mutawa who was dismissed in October 1996. Until then he used to be Mutawa's deputy. Executives under Naama in the marketing division are: Sultan Al Binali, a long-serving manager of the crude oil and condensate marketing department; Shaikh Mohammed Al Thani, manager of the gas liquids and refined oil products marketing department; Abdel Latif Al Mahmoud, manager of the market studies and research unit; and Ahmad Al Salem, an advisor to Naama, who until October 1996 was manager of the gas liquids marketing department.
Hamad Rashid Al Muhannadi, as new member. He is the managing director of Qatar Petrochemical Corp.
Abdullah Salatt, as new member. In the 1980s, he used to be head of the petroleum department at the ministry of finance and petroleum. Prominent among Shiite bureaucrats, he used to be tough on foreign operators in the oil sector.
Ibrahim Butros Al Ibrahim, as member unchanged since September 1992. He a Christian expatriate, having served as an economic advisor to Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa when he was crown prince.
Nasser Mohammed Al Mansouri, a new member. He is the managing director of Qatar Steel Corp. and CEO of the recently formed Qatar Hot Briquetted Iron Co. The chairman of QASCO and Qabico is Mohammed Ali Al Subaie, the powerful minister of electricity and water who had built up QASCO in the 1980s when he was its managing director.
The last major reshuffle of QGPC's board of directors was on Sept. 15, 1992, when Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa became the man in charge of running the day-to-day affairs of state. At that time the board was changed to include, apart from Attiyah and Marri: Abdel Aziz Hamad Al Dulaimi as member and acting director of upstream oil and gas operations; Faisal Al Suwaidi; Ibrahim Butros Ibrahim; and Ibrahim Nouh Al Muttawa as a member and director of QGPC's marketing group, who was close to Marri. Dulaimi, also close to Marri, was fired by Attiyah on Aug. 27, 1994, and was replaced by his deputy Mubarak Al Muhannadi.
Minister Attiyah also chairs QAPCO and QAFCO. QAPCO's deputy chairman is Jaber Abdel Hadi, who signs some of the company's major agreements. Ali Fakhru is a senior member of QAFCO's board of directors.
Nasser Al Jaidah, is director of exploration and development in QGPC's New Ventures Division. Rashid Al Suwaidi is exploration manager in this division. They co-ordinate with, and oversee the operations of: Oxy, Maersk, Elf, Arco and other foreign companies investing in Qatar's upstream sector.
Abdel Razzaq Mohammed Al Siddiqi is director of QGPC's Technical Division (or directorate). This is in charge of QGPC's projects, including the gas recycling system now being built at Dukhan. Siddiqi and his key assistant Jamal Bin Amor have initiated the Dukhan Alliance, between QGPC and four contractors building the gas recycling system at the onshore field. This is a cost-reducing concept developed in the North Sea and introduced in the Gulf for the first time. Jamal Bin Amor is project manager for the Dukhan Alliance.
Sultan Al Binali's brother, Jaber Al Binali, is in charge of QGPC's department for new downstream ventures based on North Field gas and on oil. The general manager of Qatargas is Abdel Ridha Abdel Rahman, who until 1995 was the director of QGPC's Technical Division. Among senior executives at Qatargas is Shaikh Khalid Bin Thani Al Thani. The managing director of Rasgas is Neil Kelly of Mobil, which is the operator of the whole venture. Enron's LNG manager is Carey Sloan, with the company trying to launch Qatar's third LNG venture.
Abdel Aziz Al Dulaimi now is managing director of a new upstream oil company owned by QGPC and operating in Sudan. He also heads Gulf Oil International, 54% owned by QGPC's company and 30% by Petronas of Malaysia. The Sudanese National Petroleum Co. and the private Concorp in Sudan hold 8% each.
QGPC was created in 1974 by then emir Shaikh Khalifa. In 1976 QGPC took control of the upstream sector. But Shaikh Khalifa kept the Qatar Petroleum Producing Authority (QPPA), which he had established to take over the assets of the foreign concessionaires, under the control of the finance and petroleum ministry. It was only because of counter-productive delays in work done and resultant inefficiency that, in 1980, he decreed the merger of QPPA with QGPC. But in 1977 he gave the ministry's Petroleum Affairs Department the powers to check on QPPA's operations, control and follow up the operations of Qatar's foreign E&P partners, and negotiate and sign new E&P contracts with foreign companies.
Through a confusing overlap between QGPC and the Petroleum Department, Shaikh Khalifa maintained full control over the hydrocarbon sector. But that, too, proved counter-productive. Vital projects were delayed as a result. At the repeated requests of his son Hamad and other aides to end that overlap, Shaikh Khalifa finally allowed Shaikh Hamad to take charge, which led to Hamad's 1988 decree giving QGPC sole executive authority over the hydrocarbon sector.
Through the second half of 1991, Jaber Al Marri re-organised QGPC and merged the two main producing divisions, QGPC-Onshore and QGPC-Offshore. Until then the two used to function independently, with QGPC's central management acting like a holding company. The merger had been planned since 1988, both to increase the company's efficiency and to rationalise manpower.
Jaber Al Marri: Dr. Marri's name has been mentioned in the brochure of the Gas Executives' Summit Conference, scheduled to be held in Paris on Nov. 6-7, 1997, to represent Qatar as one of the gas exporters. He was dismissed from his position as QGPC managing director in November 1996. Until the coup of June 27, 1995, Marri was deputy chairman and managing director of QGPC. He was with Shaikh Khalifa in Europe when the coup took place.
Minister Attiyah had fired Dr. Marri by a decision faxed from London on Aug. 27, 1994 but had to cancel that decision later. This was partly because of Marri's opposition to the PSA with Occidental. It was also a consequence of their personal rivalry. On Sept. 1, 1994, Marri was reinstated by Shaikh Khalifa as managing director of QGPC.
Marri was reconfirmed in this post in mid-1988, shortly before then Crown Prince Hamad signed the decree which made QGPC the sole executive authority in charge of the hydrocarbon sector. This made Marri the most important man in the day-to-day running of the sector, next to Shaikh Hamad, and the Petroleum Affairs Department of the ministry was no longer able to interfere with QGPC's management.
With a PhD in Economics from a US university, Marri had initially liked to project himself as a financial expert. He wanted to lead the banking sector. He kept his links to this sector through the past several years. He had been on the board of directors of the National Bank of Qatar (NBQ). Established in 1965, NBQ is the oldest and biggest bank in the emirate. It is owned 50% by the state and 50% by the private sector.
In the early 1980s Marri joined the second echelon of the decision making process for the hydrocarbon sector, as a member of the Gas Steering Committee and of QGPC's top management. In 1985, upon the dismissal of Ali Jaidah, he became QGPC's deputy managing director under Shaikh Rashid Bin Awaidah Al Thani. He became acting managing director on Dec. 23, 1987.
SP 72, APS Review 18, 3/10 Nov 1997 - DOWNSTREAM TRENDS - Cont'd
APS Review 18, 3/10 Nov 1997 - DOWNSTREAM TRENDS - Cont'd SP 73