(MENAFN - The Peninsula) By Mohammad Shoeb / The Peninsula
DOHA: Qatar Petroleum's (QP) President & CEO Saad Sherida Al Kaabi yesterday confirmed company's plans to invest in Iraq's upstream businesses.
In mid-December last year, Iraq's oil ministry issued a statement that Qatar Petroleum has expressed interest in gas, extraction, refining and petrochemicals infrastructures in the country.
'I have met personally with the Iraq's Oil Minister (Jabar Al Luaibi) and have conveyed my interest in investing Iraq's upstream business, and he welcomed that. His ministry chose to come out with the statement, Al Kaabi told reporters during a news conference yesterday held to announce the completion of the integration process of RasGas into Qatargas.
He added: 'Iraq is a very important country in the region. It has huge resources and needs a lot of investments to bring the country back to the prominence. It is a brotherly country, and we would like to help and assist in developing their upstream business.
He said that currently QP is exploring best ways to entering the Iraqi market.
Iraq invited foreign companies to bid for contracts to explore and develop oil and natural gas reserves in nine new blocks as the Opec member nation seeks to boost its output capacity.
Asked about the progress of the expansion of gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, and formation of a joint venture (JV), Al Kaabi said that the project is moving ahead smoothly. Currently it is in the design and engineering face, which has 'nothing to do with the JV.
'We will achieve the target of 100 million tonnes of LNG within the time frame (by 2024)… As for the formation of JV is concerned, it is being worked out parallel to engineering works, he added.
'All companies, in Qatar and outside, which are interested in expanding their businesses in LNG are knocking at QP's door…We are evaluating that and make a decision at the right time. There could be one or multiple partners as it is a very big project.
Commenting on QP's investment plans, he said that the company doesn't announce exact amount of investments. But it is growing and expanding rapidly within Qatar and outside the country.
'In addition to the LNG expansion project, we have some projects in the pipeline which will be announced in the due course of time, Al Kaabi said.
On the gas market outlook, he stressed that gas has 'bright future and rosy outlook that is why QP is continuing to invest in expanding capacity.
'Currently there is a glut in the market, but the projects that we are investing will be ready in 5-7 years from now when there is going to be big demand for gas.