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Texas A&M at Qatar’s 2016-2017 Dean’s Leadership Series launches with QP president and CEO

Published Oct 05, 2016

Engineer Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum (QP), was the first guest of Texas A&M University at Qatar’s 2016-201 Dean’s Leadership Series 21 Sept. in the branch campus’ building in Education City.

He spoke to an overflow crowd of nearly 250 faculty, staff and students, and fielded a number of questions from students in the audience.

During his talk, Engineer Al-Kaabi shared with Texas A&M at Qatar’s students, faculty and staff his thoughts on leadership and some factors that have contributed to his success. He started by describing his years as an engineering student studying natural gas engineering at Penn State University as the best years of his life, and encouraged the students to enjoy school but also to remember that priorities are important.

“You didn’t get accepted into Texas A&M by being a mediocre student,” Engineer Al-Kaabi said. “Everyone here is a very smart individual, but you have to take advantage of the great opportunity you have here.”

He also talked about his 30 years at QP and how hard he had to work to get to his current position, starting with his early days in the Dukhan oil field and on an oil rig. He worked hard, he said, and sought out experiences and challenges that most people didn’t seek out.

“I never waited for anyone to give me a project,” he said. “Without hard work, you will not get anywhere and nobody will give you anything. You have to grab opportunities and make sure you get the most out of those opportunities.

He continued, “God has given you a good brain to use and to develop. You have to depend on yourself. Your education, your knowledge, your capability — those never go away. If you are an engineer from Texas A&M, you can work anywhere. But if you only think about material things or you depend on others to get ahead, you aren’t contributing. You have to have the passion to develop and to contribute to your country.”

Dr. César O. Malavé, dean of Texas A&M at Qatar, said, "Leadership is one of the six core values of Texas A&M University and I’m proud to welcome one of the top industry leaders in Qatar. Engineer Al-Kaabi’s achievements while at Qatar Petroleum have been substantial and far-reaching, and he is an example of what we can do as individuals and through our professional work. We are privileged and grateful to be able to learn from his leadership.”

Engineer Al-Kaabi is president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, and has dedicated three decades of his career to Qatar Petroleum’s industry leadership and offshore production effort. He first joined QP in 1986 as a student studying petroleum and natural gas engineering at Penn State University in the United States and then joined QP full time after earning his degree in 1991.

He began in the Reservoir and Field Development Department and progressed through various technical, commercial and supervisory positions. Engineer Al-Kaabi worked his way up through the ranks, and was eventually promoted to manager of gas development. In this position, he was responsible for managing and developing the North Field, and he and his team played a key role in the rapid launch of many mega-gas projects that contributed greatly to Qatar’s quick ascent to become the LNG and GTL capital of the world.

From 2006 until his appointment as president and CEO, Engineer Al-Kaabi was director of QP’s Oil & Gas Ventures Directorate, where he was responsible for all of Qatar’s oil and gas field developments, and all exploration activities in Qatar.