It seems there’s no stopping state energy giant Qatar Petroleum as it’s dead set with its expansion strategy that will hopefully help it be on par with its peers, all despite the embargo on oil as per the Gulf crisis. Part of the move will be a focus on acquiring foreign assets and expand its production strategies, in a bid to expand its influence over other players as one of the world’s largest producers of petroleum.
Qatar Petroleum (QP) chief executive Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said the move involves looking over at its current assets and deciding on a move going forward. It can be noted that while QP is one of the smallest producers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’, it still remains as one of the most influential players in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market around the world. QP produces 77-million tonnes of petroleum, which it uses as leverage on other endeavors.
The expansion plan was revealed when al-Kaabi was interviewed back in QP’s Doha headquarters. Al-Kaabi noted that QP is in Brazil and Mexico, but they are also contemplating on investing in conventional oil, shale gas, and even in the United States.
The move towards the United States is an interesting one, given QP is already the majority owner of the Texas LNG terminal of Golden Pass. Companies such as as ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil Corp are holding smaller stakes in the area. This is one of the places QP will likely expand, depending on the feasibility and cost of the project. This will likely be revealed by the end of the year. Al-Kaabi added the project will likely be linked with an upstream business in the United States, and not “just” having something like a liquefaction plant.
Meanwhile, QP seeks to retain its dominance over its LNG assets in Australia and the United States via cutting its costs at home and instead seeking more opportunities overseas – primarily through international companies and joint ventures. Among other international points of consideration include the Mediterranean, Africa, and Mexico, as well as Mozambique, which is noted to be somewhere Eni and Exxon are operating as well.
In terms of the conflict related to the expansion, Qatar’s move to broaden its investment outside the borders of the Middle East will not just cement its foothold as one of the world’s largest producers of LNG, it can at least help weather the dispute with its four Arab states. The aforementioned states are Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. The four states have recently cut its transport, economic, and diplomatic ties with Qatar after having it accused of “backing terrorism.”
Now, QP aims to up its production capacity to 100-million tons a year, which is an upwards of 30-percent. Among its displays of power is the lifting of a self-imposed ban on the North Field development that QP shares with Iran – with new plans to develop the region’s southern portion. The North Field is known as the world’s largest LNG field. Al-Kaabi said the investment may pay during the 2021-2022 cycle as there may be a steadily rising demand for gas by then.
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