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.


Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

Updated 20 October 2018
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Can a hungry Mali turn rice technology into ‘white gold’?

  • Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change
  • Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983

BAGUINEDA: When rice farmers started producing yields nine times larger than normal in the Malian desert near the famed town of Timbuktu a decade ago, a passerby could have mistaken the crop for another desert mirage.
Rather, it was the result of an engineering feat that has left experts in this impoverished nation in awe — but one that has yet to spread widely through Mali’s farming community.
“We must redouble efforts to get political leaders on board,” said Djiguiba Kouyaté, a coordinator in Mali for German development agency GIZ.
With hunger a constant menace, Malians are cautiously turning to a controversial farming technique to adapt to the effects of climate change.

 

Dubbed the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), the new method was pioneered in Madagascar in 1983. It involves planting fewer seeds of traditional rice varieties and taking care of them following a strict regime.
Seedlings are transplanted at a very young age and spaced widely. Soil is enriched with organic matter, and must be kept moist, though the system uses less water than traditional rice farming.
Up to 20 million farmers now use SRI in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast, said Norman Uphoff, of the SRI International Network and Resources Center at Cornell University in the US.
But, despite its success, the technique has been embraced with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Uphoff said that is because it competes with the improved hybrid and inbred rice varieties that agricultural corporations sell.
For Faliry Boly, who heads a rice-growing association, the prospect of rice becoming a “white gold” for Mali should spur on authorities and farmers to adopt rice intensification.
The method could increase yields while also offering a more environmentally-friendly alternative, including by replacing chemical fertilizers with organic ones, he said.
He also pointed out that rice intensification naturally lends itself to Mali’s largely arid climate.

FACTOID

Up to 20 million farmers now use rice intensification in 61 countries, including in nearby Sierra Leone, Senegal and Ivory Coast.