Qatar Petroleum is looking to invest nearly $20bn in the United States over the next five years “in different projects in different areas”, HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has said.
“In the US, of course with the LNG exports that we will have, we also have upstream position in gas, oil, conventional and non-conventional. We think the US has a huge potential in production, going forward…and for a very long time. So we are looking at investing there,” al-Kaabi said at a plenary session on ‘New age energy policy: a balancing act’ at the Doha Forum on Sunday.
Al-Kaabi said: “In the US, we have very large investments. We have invested in the Golden Pass LNG Terminal. We are in the final stages, assessing with our partners to take a final investment decision on the project. And that should be coming in the next few weeks.
“If that goes ahead…that will be an increase of about 60mn tonnes of LNG exports that we will be part of, in addition to the 110mn LNG exports that we are reaching in five years or so.”
Qatar Petroleum is majority owner of the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, with Exxon and ConocoPhillips holding smaller stakes.
Al-Kaabi highlighted Qatar’s strategy, under which he said, “we plan to grow our production from 4.8mn barrels of oil equivalent per day to 6.5mn barrels of oil equivalent per day in the next few years.
“In my view, it is a conservative strategy; we are working very hard to achieve that. We are already almost at that target, if you will.”
In September, Qatar Petroleum announced further increase in the capacity of Qatar’s LNG expansion project, by adding a fourth liquefaction train, to raise the country's liquefied natural gas capacity to 110mn tonnes per year.
The fourth liquefaction train, like the three trains announced earlier as part of a project to develop additional gas from the North Field, will be of nearly 8mn tonnes per year capacity.
Asked why resource-rich Qatar was investing in the US, where many say the assets are “incredibly overpriced”, al-Kaabi said: “We are expanding and have achieved an exponential growth in our home- Qatar. In 1991, we started the first gas production at 0.8bn standard cubic feet a day. We are today at almost 23bn standard cubic feet a day. We are reaching around 30bn standard cubic feet a day.
“This is an exponential growth we have achieved. We are really utilising our resources. We have done it methodically.”
Al-Kaabi said: “QP is looking nationally- long term growth and strategy for production, which can be sustainable for generations. Externally, we are working to add on to that capability to basically expand our horizon. We are called a national oil company, but I see ourselves being transformed into an international oil company – and an international player. We want to go for viable projects and long-term projects.
“We are long term planners and think of long term horizon. You have to broaden your spectrum, if you really want to grow in oil and gas business,” the minister emphasised.
On Qatar’s decision to pull out of the Opec from early 2019, al-Kaabi said, "A lot of people will politicise it (Qatar’s Opec withdrawal). I assure you this purely was a decision on what's right for Qatar, long term. It's a strategy decision."
The minister added that “Our strategy is to remain focused on its core business and activities in Qatar and to enhance Qatar’s international standing as the world’s leading natural gas producer.”
He said he did not agree with the term ‘Gas Opec’ (when many refer to Doha-based GECF). “It is a forum of gas exporting countries. “We look at data and analysis. We are not Gas Opec.”
Yury Sentyurin, GECF Secretary-General and Claudio Descalzi, chief executive officer, ENI were also on the panel at a session moderated by Dmitry Zhdannikov, Thomson Reuters, Editor in Charge, Energy, EMEA.
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