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Qatar Shortlists Oil Majors For LNG Expansion Project

Qatar Petroleum has shortlisted several Big Oil firms willing to buy a stake in Qatar’s mega project to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) export capacity, and will look at what the majors could offer in exchange for a piece of the project, the head of the Qatari state-held company told Reuters in an interview published on Monday.

Qatar has announced plans to increase its LNG production capacity by 43 percent—from 77 million tons annually now to 110 million tons a year. The new export capacity includes expansion projects set to be completed in 2024. Qatar will be competing with Australia and the United States over the next few years for the world’s top LNG exporter title.

Qatar has already sent to international oil companies invitations to bid on the mega project, and if it decides to do it with partners, it will announce the decision in early 2020, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs and president and chief executive at Qatar Petroleum, told Reuters.

“We like the partnership model for many benefits. But because we don’t need the partners, what’s going out is basically a set of criteria that we have, to demonstrate to us what added value we get for Qatar if you come in,” Kaabi said, noting that the companies could be willing to give Qatar stakes in projects or upstream developments outside Qatar in exchange for a stake in the Qatari LNG expansion.

The manager of Qatar Petroleum, however, did not disclose which majors had been shortlisted to bid on the expansion of the North Field gas facilities.

Shell, Total, Exxon, Chevron, and Eni are all said to be vying for a piece of Qatar’s expansion, Reuters reported last month.

To compete on the global LNG market, Qatar will look to sign more long-term supply agreements, including in Europe, Kaabi told Reuters.

Last week, Qatar Petroleum signed a long-term agreement for LNG unloading services at the Zeebrugge LNG Terminal in Belgium with natural gas transport company Fluxys Belgium.

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“Qatar Petroleum has long invested in and anchored LNG receiving terminal capacity in Europe, a key gas market, as part of our supply destination portfolio diversification strategy,” Kaabi said in a statement.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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