At a time when the floodgates of Russian gas exporters are closing, trade is intensifying with new countries capable of supplying Europe. Starting with Qatar, which is seeking to hold its own in the midst of the war in Ukraine led by Russia, with new gas orders. Also, the small emirate in the Middle East is getting closer to European partners, like TotalEnergies, which has just signed a pharaonic contract for the development of the largest natural gas field in the world, the industrialist and Qatar announced on Sunday. .
The French group will thus become the first foreign partner of the project North Field East (NFE), the largest natural gas (LNG) field in the world that Qatar shares with Iran, and whose expansion is estimated at 30 billion dollars.
The alliance concretized by a 25% stake in a new joint venture, alongside the national company QatarEnergy (75%). The North Field accounts for about 10% of the world’s known natural gas reserves, according to QE. Objective: to increase the total export capacity of liquefied natural gas (LNG). A particularly coveted property, including by Germany, which signed agreements with Qatar in March to end its extreme dependence on Russian gas.
While Patrick Pouyanné, the CEO of TotalEnergies, has long shown his reluctance about the embargo on Russian gas, Russia is determined to continue its attacks in Ukraine, even if it means suspending deliveries from certain countries.
The race for LNG by 2027
In fact, to gradually replace the approximately 150 billion cubic meters of Russian gas that they buy each year, the Twenty-Seven are turning massively to LNG, transported by ships from the four corners of the world rather than by gas pipeline. And the demand for LNG continues to grow: imports reached 372.3 million tonnes in 2021, or 4.5% more than the previous year, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers (GIIGNL).
Also, for TotalEnergies as for Qatar, whose current production capacity could not really accelerate before 2027, according to S&P, interests converge. The site must produce 32 million tons per year (Mtpa) of LNG, equivalent to a liquefaction unit (also called “train”) of 8 Mtpa. The increase in LNG capacities will include a total of six trains that will increase the country’s liquefaction capacity from 77 to 126 Mtpy by 2027.
The Qatari energy minister, who also heads QE, said production would start in 2026 and expansion was “on track”.
“I am pleased to announce the selection of TotalEnergies as the first partner in the North Field East (NFE) project,” Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi told a press conference in Doha. .
“This is a historic day for Total Energies in Qatar, where we have been present for more than 80 years”, commented Patrick Pouyanné in a press release, while recalling the group’s environmental and decarbonization objectives, particularly through LNG.
The other majors in ambush
Also, the oil majors have applied for the four NFE trains (Exxon Mobil Corp. XOM.NShell SHEL.LConoco Phillips COP.N and Eni ENI.MI), the other two units being part of a second phase, the North Field South. In the end, Saad al-Kaabi, general manager of QatarEnergy and Minister of Energy, specified that TotalEnergies’ share would give the French group 6% of all four NFE trains.
The upstream part of the NFE project provided for the development of the southeast zone of the field, via eight platforms, 80 wells and gas pipelines to the onshore plant.
The tricolor giant knows Qatar well. He participated in LNG Qatari since the birth of this industry, about 30 years ago, through Qatargas 1, then Qatargas 2 in 2005. He is also a partner for oil with Qatar Petroleum, such in 2019 for explorations in Namibia, Guyana and Kenya.
Initially, Qatar wanted to fund the project alone, industry sources told AFP.
The emirate is one of the main producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the world, along with the United States and Australia.
#Qatar #signs #TotalEnergies #build #largest #gas #field #LNG #world