Qatar Petroleum (QP) is going to launch exploration projects of oil and gas in Morocco and Cyprus in an attempt to compensate for the oil slump at home by expanding its liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets overseas. QP’s CEO Saad al-Kaabi commented that “you will see us going internationally with some of the partners we have in Qatar, this year and next year… We are in growth mode”. He added that QP, the world’s largest LNG producer, was planning to expand abroad through joint ventures to make up for sluggish domestic growth, which has also forced the company to lay off thousands of employees and earmark a number of assets for divestment.
Mr al-Kaabi further stressed that the company will “definitely invest much more than we have in the past internationally.” He added that QP is “looking for the most economic barrels in countries that want external investments or foreign investors to come in, and we will be going jointly with some of the most reputable companies to do that.” Qatar’s crude production decreased to 615,000 barrels a day in January from a peak of 880,000 barrels in June 2008.
Last summer, the company also took a 30% participating interest from the share of Chevron Morocco Exploration Ltd in three deep-water offshore leases situated 200 km to the North West of Agadir’s coast. The offshore lease areas range from approximately 29,200 square km with an average water depth ranging from 100 to 4,500 meters.
Qatar’s proved oil reserves are the third largest in the world, exceeding 7000 km3. The oil industry turned Qatar into the world’s richest country, which was prior to discovery of crude in 1939 only a poor pearl diving economy. The economy was given a major boost in 1991 when the $1.5-billion Phase I of North Field was completed. Five years later, the country began exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan.