Qatar Review

QP ... expanding its presence in foreign markets

QP ... expanding its presence in foreign markets

Qatar wants to stay leader; spending on overseas LNG

QPI now is focusing on the boom in shale gas production in the US, where it is in a JV with ExxonMobil for the downstream element of a major integrated gas E&P/LNG project tied to the Golden Pass LNG receiving terminal

QP AIMS to maintain its lead in the global LNG business. In addition to its local ability to export up to 83 million tonnes per year (mtpy) of LNG QP intends to maintain its lead at both ends of the world of liquid methane businesses, from liquefaction to re-gasification.

The world’s largest exporter of liquefied methane, Qatar is spending heavily in LNG-related projects overseas. Mainly in partnership with ExxonMobil, the state-owned Qatar Petroleum (QP) in planning to invest on a large scale in integrated gas E&P/LNG projects in the US which will be based mainly on shale gas.

QP is planning to invest in similar ventures other parts of the globe including Australia, which is has the ambition to become the world’s largest exporter of LNG.

Australia, exporting 24 mtpy of LNG, has projects which will eventually raise its capacity to 130 mtpy of liquefied methane. Projects to export 62 mtpy by 2018 from Australia are already well advanced. In addition, there are JVs planned for 44 mtpy of additional capacity in that country. This big expansion is of particular interest to QP.

QP aims to maintain its lead in the global LNG business. In addition to its local ability to export up to 83 mtpy of LNG – with its existing complex of trains having a combined name-plate capacity of 77 mtpy that can produce such a big volume if and when the market is ready to buy more – QP intends to maintain its lead at both ends of the world of liquid methane businesses, from liquefaction to re-gasification.

QP’s overseas investments are done by its external arm, Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), which is emerging as a big player in this field. QPI now is focusing on the boom in shale gas production in the US, where it is in a JV with ExxonMobil for the downstream element of a major integrated gas E&P/LNG project tied to the Golden Pass LNG receiving terminal which is being converted for export to the Asian/Pacific markets.

Eventually, this particular project will be able to export 25 mtpy of LNG from the US to Asian/Pacific countries and other markets.

The QPI-ExxonMobil JV in the US, called Golden Pass Products, recently received American permission to export LNG. This will become one of the small GCC state’s first ventures for selling LNG produced in another country. The American Energy Department permit will allow the Golden Pass import terminal, owned 70 per cent by QPI and 30 per cent by ExxonMobil, to be converted into a liquefaction centre for the export of the chilled methane to countries which have free-trade agreements (FTAs) with the US.

The two partners will invest $10 billion in the first phase of the Golden Pass export programme. This will pay for liquefaction trains with a combined 15.6 mtpy capacity to be installed within the existing terminal in 2017. The terminal is near Port Arthur in Texas. Qatar has been trying to invest in overseas LNG for over a year. It is looking at LNG ventures on both sides of Suez. But QPI is concentrating on the US.




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