(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
France's TotalEnergies has signed a further $1.5 billion
investment in Qatar's natural gas production expansion, which comes
as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources to replace Russian
supplies, Trend reports citing TRT World .
The French energy giant will have a 9.3 percent stake in the
North Field South gas project, the first foreign partner in that
section of the vast field, Qatar Energy Minister Saad Sherida al
Kaabi announced on Saturday, at a news conference alongside
TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.
'Qatar Energy announces the selection of TotalEnergies as a
partner for the development of the North Field South,' Qatar's
official news agency QNA said.
'New partners will be announced at a later stage.'
Kaabi said TotalEnergies would also help to finance the
extraction of gas from North Field South, for which 25 percent
would be reserved for foreign energy firms.
The French firm would take on an 'enhanced strategic' role in
Qatar's gas expansion, he added.
'Security of supply'
In June, TotalEnergies agreed to a $2-billion deal to take part
in the giant North Field East project that will help Qatar increase
its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production by more than 60 percent
Pouyanne, who said the latest deal would require another $1.5
billion, said his firm would have taken an even bigger chunk of the
production if it was possible.
'We need new capacity for sure, and this will be coming at
perfect timing,' he said, adding that European countries had to be
prepared to strike more long term deals and possibly pay a higher
price to guarantee energy.
'For security of supply, there is a price,' Pouyanne said.
Shell of Britain, Eni of Italy and United States giants
ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil have also signed up to be part of the
North Field East project.
More companies will be announced for the North Field South in
the coming weeks, officials said, but TotalEnergies will have the
largest foreign slice.
Qatar is already one of the world's top LNG producers, alongside
the United States and Australia, and LNG from North Field is
expected to start coming online in 2026.
State-owned Qatar Energy estimates that North Field holds about
10 percent of the world's known natural gas reserves.
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