Qatar, one of the 12 members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has replaced Abdullah Al Attiyah as the country's oil minister in a surprising move to reorganize the country's cabinet. Attiyah will keep his post of deputy prime minister and has been appointed chairman of the Emir's court, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Al Attiyah will be replaced by Mohammed Saleh Al Sada who was sworn in today by Qatar's ruler Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani. No reason was given for the move, but sources familiar with the matter are speculating the day-to-day requirements of the job wore on Al Attiyah who held the post since 1992, according to the Journal.
Al Attiyah, who is widely regarded as one of the architects behind boosting Qatar's energy wealth, came to be known as one of the more open ministers among OPEC's member states and his talkative nature made him a favorite among media outlets.
Al Sada has been Al Attiyah's assistant since 2007. While Qatar is the top producer of liquefied natural gas in the Middle East, the country is also one of the smallest OPEC producers, with daily about of 825,000 barrels of oil. Qatar is believed to have the third-largest gas reserves in the world behind Russia and Iran, according to the Journal.