Energy giants to invest in Qatar’s gas expansion project

PearlShell operates Pearl GTL in Qatar, which is the world’s largest gas liquefaction plant. (Image source: Shell/Flickr)The CEOs of ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell and France’s Total met Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the emir of Qatar, and expressed their interest to help Qatar in its ambition to produce 100mn tonnes of LNG annually in the next five to seven years

In a statement to Reuters, spokespersons from the industry stated that the energy corporations are looking into expanding the business opportunities in Qatar despite the political risk due to the country’s bitter dispute with gulf Arab neighbours.

Considering the existing large investments in both-sided countries of the dispute, the companies said that they want to remain neutral position in respect to business although Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar on 5 June 2017.

Recently, Qatar is facing economic and political boycott from the four Arab countries on the proclamation of Qatar sponsoring terrorism.

The four Arab countries said that the political and economic boycott would remain until Qatar stop fostering terrorism and improve its policies. Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister, said that further steps would be taken at the appropriate time if Doha’s response remains negative to the concerns of the gulf countries.

However, Doha denies its role in aiding terrorism, and the foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, added that Qatar is ready for dialogue to settle the dispute.

Presently Exxon, Shell and Total have investment in Qatar in projects to liquefy gas, allowing it to be shipped by tanker to the consumer markets where pipeline-transport is not available.

The sources said that Exxon is interested to invest in Qatar’s new gas capacity expansion project.

According to the global consultancy agency WoodMackenzie, Exxon will be the largest foreign investor in Qatar in 2017, with majority of the investment going into LNG facilities.

Recently, Qatar has announced a plan to raise LNG production by 30 per cent.

“Qatar LNG is really an important part of their overall portfolio, especially for Exxon but Total and Shell are also material LNG players there,” expressed Tom Ellacott, analyst at WoodMackenzie.

The company executives added to the source, “You have to make your choices purely economically and be Qatari in Qatar, Emirati in the Emirates.”

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