RIYADH: France’s TotalEnergies on Saturday signed a new $1.5 billion deal with QatarEnergy to help expand the country’s natural gas production as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources to replace Russian supplies.
The partnership deal was signed by QatarEnergy CEO and the country’s minister of energy Saad Al-Kaabi and Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies.
Al-Kabbi said that TotalEnergies would have a 9.375 percent stake out of a 25 percent stake in the North Field South project dedicated to international partners.
QatarEnergy will hold 75 percent of NFS.
“We are not overexposed to Qatar. We are happy to invest in new licenses here. Because we cannot invest in Russia, there is logic to continue investing in Qatar,” said Pouyanné.
He added: “If Qatar had offered more investment, then we would have invested more in Qatar.”
The new deal comes at a time when European nations are diversifying their energy imports away from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.
The North Field expansion projects comprise two parts; the North Field East or NFE project and the North Field South project.
The NFE project is expected to increase Qatar’s liquified natural gas production capacity from 77 to 110 million tons per annum, while the NFS project will elevate the country’s LNG production capacity from 110 to 126 million tons per annum.
Earlier, in June and July, QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies signed five separate partnership agreements in the NFE project worth around $29 billion.
Britain’s Shell, Italy’s ENI and US giants ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil have already signed up to be part of the North Field East project.
“We are in active discussions with the majority of buyers around the world and some are advancing more than others,” added Al-Kabbi.
Qatar is one of the world’s top LNG exporters, alongside the US and Australia, and the country is aiming to increase its gas production by more than 60 percent by 2027.
QatarEnergy estimates that the North Field holds about 10 percent of the world’s known natural gas reserves. LNG from the North Field is expected to start coming online in 2026.
(With input from Reuters and AFP)