Some of the biggest international oil and gas majors, including ExxonMobil, Shell, and TotalEnergies, are expected to be awarded stakes in the major expansion projects of one of the world’s top LNG exporters, Qatar, sources familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Tuesday.
Qatar announced last year the world’s largest LNG project, which is set to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mmtpa) to 110 mmtpa. The project, expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025, will cost US$28.75 billion. Qatar also plans another expansion phase at the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field, which it shares with Iran. The second expansion phase will be the North Field South Project (NFS), set to further increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 110 mmtpa to 126 mmtpa, with an expected production start date in 2027.
International oil and gas majors Exxon, Chevron, Shell, TotalEnergies, ConocoPhillips, and Eni, bid last year for a stake in Qatar’s LNG expansion projects.
Qatar has delayed the awarding of the stakes, but its state firm QatarEnergy has now called a press conference in Doha this coming Sunday, without saying what the event will be about, Bloomberg’s sources said. Executives from U.S. supermajor Exxon and TotalEnergies’ CEO Patrick Pouyanne may attend the event, the sources added.
Qatar announced its huge expansion plans just months before the energy crisis sent natural gas and LNG prices sky-high in the autumn of 2021 and a year before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which prompted the EU to race to procure alternative supply.
The EU is looking at the U.S. and Qatar—the top exporters of LNG—to replace as much Russian pipeline gas as possible.
Last month, Qatar signed an agreement on an energy partnership with Germany, which, QatarEnergy says, “will further strengthen Germany’s energy supply diversification through LNG imports from Qatar.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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