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Qatar lifts North field moratorium

Written by  Monday, 03 April 2017 23:25
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Qatar Petroleum has lifted a 12-year long self-imposed freeze on the North field, announcing plans to develop a new gas project in the southern sector of the field, commencing over the next few months.

Located in the Persian Gulf, the offshore North field is considered to be the largest single non-associated gas reservoir in the world, shared by Qatar and Iran.

The field was discovered in 1971 and holds total recoverable gas of more than 900 Tscf, covering about 9700sq km.

Qatar Petroleum declared a development moratorium on the North field in 2005, to give Doha time to conduct a detailed study of the reservoir structure.

President and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said the firm’s technical studies and assessment of the field have now confirmed the potential for developing a new gas project that can be targeted for export with a capacity of about 2 Bcf/d.

"Since 2005, Qatar Petroleum has been conducting extensive studies and exerting exceptional efforts to assess the North field, including drilling a number of appraisal wells to better estimate the field’s production potential, which enabled us to reach this satisfactory result today,” he said.

“It is worth noting that a project of this size will increase the current production of the North field by about 10% which will add about 400,000 bbl/d of oil equivalent to the state of Qatar’s production.

“This new project will further strengthen Qatar's leading position as a major player in the global gas industry and underline the pivotal role of the country's oil and gas industry as the mainstay of the national economy,” he added.

Raises its game

Last December, Qatar Petroleum announced plans to integrate the activities of its gas subsidiaries, RasGas and Qatargas, under a single entity named Qatargas. Main international shareholders in both companies include ExxonMobil, Total, ConocoPhillips, and Shell.

Expected to be completed within the next 12 months, the new company will operate all of Qatar’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) ventures.

Al-Kaabi said the integration aims to merge the distinctive resources and capabilities of Qatargas and RasGas to create even higher value for stakeholders and enhance competitive position.

He affirmed that all Qatari nationals in both companies will be integrated into the new organization and existing operations groups within both companies will not be impacted by the combination.

This merger comes just months after Qatar Petroleum, in October 2016, established a new LNG arm, Ocean LNG, to manage the marketing of its future international LNG supply portfolio sourced outside of Qatar.

Located in Doha, Ocean LNGis a joint venture company owned by a Qatar Petroleum affiliate (70%) and an ExxonMobil affiliate (30%).

Moreover, in its quest to further invest in LNG projects outside of Qatar, the group has also joined an international consortium involving oil majors - Total, Mitsubishi, ExxonMobil, and Hoegh - to develop an LNG import terminal in Pakistan, in collaboration with Global Energy Infrastructure.

The consortium will seek to develop a project that includes a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a jetty, and a pipeline to shore to provide natural gas supply to Pakistan. The FSRU will have a minimum regasification capacity of 750 Mcf/d by 2018.

Image: Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi / Qatar Petroleum

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