Qatar plans to close more deals with energy companies for a nearly $30 billion project that will cement its position as a global leader in liquefied natural gas.
QatarEnergy has signed a partnership agreement with TotalEnergies for the North Field East expansion of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and said more partners would be announced in the coming days.
The Gulf State is partnering with international energy companies in the first and largest phase of a nearly $30 billion expansion of the North Field project.
Saad al-Kaabi, who is president of QatarEnergy and also Qatar’s energy minister, said the partner selection process has been completed and the next signing could be announced next week.
No company will have a higher stake than TotalEnergies, he added. France-based TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said the company will have 25 percent of one train — or liquefaction and purification facility — in the project.
The North Field Expansion plan includes six LNG trains that will increase Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 million tons per year (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027.
Oil companies have bid for four trains of the North Field East extension, while the other two trains are part of a second phase, North Field South.
Al-Kaabi said Qatar has a unified approach, considering all four trains as one unit. TotalEnergies has a 25 percent stake in one virtual train, which is equivalent to about 6.25 percent of all four trains.
“We announced that we are no longer investing in a new project in Russia, so signing this project in Qatar is important to us,” said Pouyanne.
LNG goes to Asia and Europe
Al-Kaabi said that once the investments are completed, Asian buyers are expected to make up half of the market for the project, and buyers in Europe the rest.
The project will strengthen Qatar’s position as the world’s largest LNG exporter and help ensure the long-term supply of gas to Europe as the continent seeks alternatives to Russian flows.
Leading oil and gas producers were eager to get a stake in the project, but Qatar’s strategy was to raise the bar on what it expects from potential partners.
QatarEnergy has waited nearly five years to sign partnership agreements and has emphasized that it has ample capital to fund the project itself.
Total, Exxon, Shell, Eni and Chevron have provided QatarEnergy with opportunities to invest in price assets they hold abroad.
That move has helped QatarEnergy transform into a major international player, with interests in petrochemical facilities and oil blocks around the world, from South Africa to Suriname.