New major investment by TotalEnergies in Qatar: this Saturday, September 24, the signing of a major contract between the French gas and oil giant and Qatar was announced to increase its production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), against a backdrop of the crisis of energy in Europe caused by the Russian war in Ukraine. Qatari Minister of Energy and CEO of Qatar Energy (QE), Saad Sherida al-Kaabi made the announcement during a joint press briefing with Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies.
The French giant has already signed an agreement of more than 2 billion dollars with Doha in June 2022 for the development of the largest natural gas field in the world, the North Field East (NFE) project. According to Kaabi, TotalEnergies will also participate in the financing of the North Field South (NFS) natural gas field development project.
TotalEnergies, a strategic partner?
TotalEnergies “will have a stronger strategic role” in gas development in Qatar, Kaabi said. “With a share of 9.375%, QE announces that it has selected TotalEnergies as a partner for the development of North Field South,” the Qatari news agency QNA reported. “Other partners will be revealed at a later stage.” The participation of foreign companies in this project should be around 25%, according to the Qatari authorities. The North Field East, where production is due to start in 2026, is an extension of the offshore North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field that the Gulf country shares with Iran.
North Field South is another expansion project for the North Field field, which accounts for about 10% of the world’s known natural gas reserves, according to QE. It extends under the sea into Iranian territory, where efforts by the Islamic Republic to exploit their part of this deposit are hampered by international sanctions. Qatar is already one of the largest LNG producers in the world, along with the United States and Australia, and aims to increase its production by more than 60% by 2027.
South Korea, Japan and China are the main customers, Europe having long opposed the long-term agreements desired by the emirate. But following the war in Ukraine, LNG importers are rushing to secure alternatives to Russian gas.