23 Jun 2018 – 12:49
By Mohammad Shoeb I The Peninsula
DOHA: The Minister of Energy and Industry, H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, affirmed in Vienna yesterday that the health of Qatari economy is very robust, and the country is striving to boost energy production domestically as well as in overseas to meet the growing demand of the global economy.
“Our economy is a very healthy one. The proof is the numerical that you will get to see…We are working very hard to develop further our oil sector, both domestically as well as internationally,” Dr Al Sada told CNBC News in Austria yesterday.
The Minister is in Vienna to attend the meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and allies to review production quotas. The meeting was likely to be a negotiation on supply and demand aims.
Referring Qatar’s new energy projects, and recently owned oil exploration contracts in overseas, including Brazil, Argentina and Mexico, Al Sada added: “I thing you followed the number of acreage that we were awarded in a number of countries… But also our flagship project is to have massive increase in LNG production, which is going to be realised starting from 2024.”
Qatar has announced plans to increase natural gas production by 30 percent over the next several years to 100 million tonnes of natural gas a year by 2024.
In April 2017 Qatar Petroleum (QP), the state-owned energy company, unveiled its intention to develop a new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field that can be targeted for export, which is to be completed within 5-7 years.
Qatar is the world’s largest export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).Currently it produces up to 77 million tonnes of LNG per year. The new project will raise the production of Qatar to about 6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.
QP and French energy giant Total have jointly announced to invest $3.5bn (about QR12.74bn) for the development of exploration of Al Shaheen oil field. Al Shaheen, Qatar’s largest offshore oil field and one of the largest offshore oil fields in the world, is located in Qatari waters 80 kilometers north of Ras Laffan with facilities consisting of 33 platforms and close to 400 wells, producing about 300,000 barrels of oil per day.
QP recently signed an agreement with ExxonMobil to become a 30 percent equity holder in two ExxonMobil affiliates in Argentina that hold different interests in hydrocarbon licenses for seven blocks in the world-class Vaca Muerta play in the onshore Neuquénbasin in Argentina.
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A consortium comprising of QP Shell, and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), was selected as the winning bidder for the Alto de Cabo Frio-Oeste block in the prolific Santos hydrocarbon basin offshore Brazil. QP has also won exploration rights in 5 offshore blocks in Mexico.
Meanwhile, Opec agreed yesterday on a modest increase in oil production from next month after Saudi persuaded Iran to cooperate, following calls from major consumers to help reduce the price of crude and avoid a supply shortage. However, the decision confused some in the market as Opec gave opaque targets for the increase, making it difficult to understand how much more it will pump.