*Qatar calls for increased investment in oil and gas markets
HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada on Thursday talked of the possible co-operation of Qatar Petroleum, the world's top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), on a potential German LNG terminal.
Al-Sada told Reuters that discussions were under way but it would be premature to talk about any specific investment terms because that would depend on the size of the terminal.
On Wednesday, QP said it was in talks with Germany's RWE and Uniper about co-operating on a potential LNG terminal.
"As a matter of principle, Qatar is interested," al-Sada told Reuters ahead of the bilateral Qatar-German investment conference in Berlin.
"Certainly it should be a win-win situation. Both parties should benefit from such a thing," he added. "If Germany lent itself to such a suggestion — if we are invited to do so — we will be happy."
Al-Sada said Qatar was also keen to export LNG to Germany, highlighting the environmental advantages of LNG, the reliability of Qatar's deliveries and that it could help Germany to diversify its energy supply.
But he said that Qatar does not want to crowd out other suppliers, adding, "There will be room for everybody's gas."
Germany, Europe's largest energy consumer, shelved plans for an LNG terminal of its own a few years ago, with major operators instead participating in foreign projects, including Rotterdam's Gate terminal.
However, talks about a German terminal have been revived as global LNG flows increase and ahead of looming requirements for cleaner fuels.
A consortium comprising Dutch gas network operator Gasunie, German tank storage provider Oiltanking and Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak is trying to get such a project off the ground.
A funding decision by the consortium, dubbed German LNG Terminal, is expected by the end of 2019.
Oil price recovery
Al-Sada called for oil-producing countries to boost investment in the oil and gas sector given a recovery in the price of oil, but said he did not back setting any specific targets for such investment.
He said he expected the issue to be addressed during a meeting of Opec and non-Opec countries in Algeria at the end of the month.
"While the oil price has been recovering, the only thing now is to see an adequate level of investment going back to the oil sector," al-Sada told Reuters.
Boosting investment is important to ensure secure oil supplies in the future, he said, noting that failing to invest now would have consequences in two to three years.
Al-Sada said he did not favour setting specific investment targets, since that could distort the market.
"From the government point of view, we would like to act as a catalyst. If there are bottlenecks or hurdles, we will work hand in hand with investors, but we leave it to the market to determine the level of investment," he said.
Al-Sada also cited Qatar's plans to boost production of liquefied natural gas from 77mn tonnes to 100mn tonnes a year as evidence of its commitment to invest in the sector.