US major ConocoPhillips become the third international company to be awarded a stake in QatarEnergy’s North Field East (NFE) liquefied natural gas expansion project aimed at putting Qatar back in the No. 1 spot for global exporters.
QatarEnergy still holds a majority stake in the $28.75 billion NFE expansion joint venture after earlier awarded similar stakes to French major TotalEnergies and Italy’s Eni.
The NFE expansion is scheduled to come on stream by early 2022 using abundant feed gas from the North field in the Arabian Gulf and boosting Qatar’s LNG production capacity to 110 million tonnes per annum from the existing 77 MTPA.
Ryan Lance, the Chairman and Chief Executive of ConocoPhillips, signed the partnership agreement during a ceremony held at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha in the presence of senior executives from both companies.
ConocoPhillips has similar terms to its French and Italian counterparts and has a 25 percent interest in a new joint venture with QatarEnergy owning 75 percent.
The Qatar-ConocoPhillips joint venture will hold a 12.5 percent stake in the 32 MTPA NFE development.
The upstream part of the project is already under way to develop the southeast area of the North Field via eight platforms, 80 wells and gas pipelines to the onshore liquefaction plant.
“We sign a new partnership agreement that will further enhance our relationship and enable us to benefit from the wide experience of ConocoPhillips in the development of the world’s largest LNG expansion project,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs for Qatar as well as President and CEO of QatarEnergy.
“Our work together will enable us to meet our target of increasing the State of Qatar’s LNG production capacity,” he added.
“Our collaboration will help produce cleaner energy to meet growing global demand and achieve a realistic energy transition towards achieving our climate change objectives thanks to the project’s industry-leading environmental attributes, including carbon capture and sequestration and other technologies deployed in this project,” explained Al-Kaabi.
In his remarks during the ceremony, ConocoPhillips CEO Lance said the US major was delighted to build on its long history of partnering with Qatar and to participate in this next phase of development of Qatar's North Field.
“We recognize that LNG plays an increasingly important role in energy security and the global energy transition,” stated Lance.
QatarEnergy said more partners are scheduled to join the NFE expansion project and relevant announcements would be made soon.
Qatar’s long-term main energy partner, ExxonMobil, is expected to be a another of the shareholders amid media speculation that a Chinese oil and gas major may also be accorded a Gulf LNG stake for the first time.