Qatar Petroleum to push ahead with expansion strategy, CEO says

Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Al-Kaabi said the state energy giant is expanding its upstream business abroad, particularly in the US. (Reuters)
Updated 08 May 2018
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Qatar Petroleum to push ahead with expansion strategy, CEO says

DOHA: State energy giant Qatar Petroleum will push ahead with its production expansion and foreign asset acquisition strategy to be on par with oil majors, despite a regional political and economic boycott on Doha, its chief executive said.
QP, which produces 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), aims to boost its output to 6.5 million boed in the next 8 years, and is expanding its upstream business abroad, particularly in the United States, CEO Saad Al-Kaabi told Reuters.
Qatar is one of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ smallest producers but is also one of the most influential players in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market due to its annual production of 77 million tons.
“We are in Mexico, we are in Brazil, we are contemplating investing in the US in many areas, in shale gas, in conventional oil. We are looking at many things,” Al-Kaabi said in an interview at QP’s headquarters in Doha.
“We are looking very critically at the United States because we have a position there. We have the Golden Pass that we are investing in,” he said.
Qatar Petroleum is the majority owner of the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, with Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips holding smaller stakes.
Al-Kaabi said “depending on the project’s cost and feasibility” he expects to take a final investment decision on expanding the Golden Pass LNG by the end of the year.
“I’m not in the business of infrastructure. I’m not going to have a liquefaction plant only. It has to be something that will be linked with an upstream business that we would buy in the US so we need to be naturally hedged,” he added.


France’s Total has officially left Iran: oil minister

Updated 20 August 2018
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France’s Total has officially left Iran: oil minister

  • Total said it would be impossible to remain in Iran unless it received a specific waiver from Washington, which was not granted
  • Total would have been highly vulnerable to US penalties for remaining in Iran
TEHRAN: French energy giant Total has officially quit its multi-billion-dollar gas project in Iran, Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said on Monday, following the reimposition of US sanctions.
“Total has officially left the agreement for the development of phase 11 of South Pars (gas field). It has been more than two months that it announced that it would leave the contract,” he told parliament’s news agency ICANA.
Zanganeh also appeared before parliament to underline the dire state of Iran’s oil and gas facilities, which he said were “worn out” and in need of renovation that Iran could not afford.
The United States said in May that it was abandoning the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing sanctions on Iran in two phases in August and November.
The second phase will target Iran’s oil industry.
The other parties to the nuclear deal — Britain, France, Germany, China and Russia — have vowed to stay in the accord but their companies risk huge penalties if they keep doing business in Iran.
Total had already said it would be impossible to remain in Iran unless it received a specific waiver from Washington, which was not granted.
Total signed up in July 2017 for the $4.8 billion project to develop the field off Iran’s southern coast, as the lead partner alongside the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Iran’s Petropars.
It was due to make an initial $1 billion investment, but the company said in May that it had spent less than €40 million on the project to date, as uncertainty over US actions mounted.
Total would have been highly vulnerable to US penalties for remaining in Iran.
The company has $10 billion of capital employed in its US assets, and US banks are involved in 90 percent of its financing operations, Total said in May.
It remains unclear whether CNPC will take over Total’s stake in the project.
Iran remains wary of relying on Chinese firms after bad experiences in the past. A previous contract for CNPC to develop the field at South Pars was suspended in 2011 after it failed to make progress.
The urgent need for investment to upgrade Iran’s dilapidated energy infrastructure was a key motivator behind its decision to join the 2015 nuclear deal.
Zanganeh appeared in parliament on Monday to answer questions on safety concerns following a number of recent fires at refineries.
“A big part of the oil industry has been worn out and the necessary renovation has not taken place,” he told parliament, according to the official IRNA news agency.
He said there were 10 cases per day of tubes perforating in Iran’s southern facilities, and that some refineries were as much as 80 years old, “whereas the useful life of an industrial unit is 30 years.”
“We have no resources for renovating them,” he added.