From January to May, Qatar exported less than 35 million tonnes of LNG, which is down from last year’s 36 millions tonnes.
Qatar has chosen Exxon Mobil Corp, Shell, TotalEnergies, and ConocoPhillips as partners in its expansion of the world’s largest liquified natural gas (LNG) project, sources revealed to Reuters on Tuesday.
Under QatarEnergy, Doha is moving towards dominating the global production of LNG through its mega North Field Expansion project, the biggest in the world.
The multi-billion plan seeks to boost Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tonnes to 126 million tonnes by 2027, the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani announced, during the Gas Exporting Countries Forum Summit in February.
State-owned QatarEnergy had allegedly decided to make an independent final investment decision to develop the $30 billion North Field expansion plan, however it opened a bid to seek partners to “share the financial risk of the development” instead, Reuters said.
The four companies, which are already part of the Gulf state’s existing LNG production body, gave in bids each in May last year along with new entrants, namely Chevron Corp and Italy’s Eni.
Four sources confirmed to Reuters that Exxon Mobil and TotalEnergies were among the companies to secure a place in Qatar’s expansion plan, while one person familiar with the matter said Shell and ConocoPhillips will merely “participate” in the project.
In a statement to Reuters, Shell said it “has bid to participate and we would be delighted to be selected.”
“Although a decision has been made, a formal announcement with the winners might not be made until later this month, one of the sources said. Exxon Chief Executive Darren Woods will attend an energy conference with QatarEnergy later in June,” Reuters revealed.
The Doha-based oil giant said it will hold a press conference as well as a signing ceremony on 12 June, without making note of any specifications.
The four oil companies are expected to hold approximately 20-25% in total of the offtake (the removal of oil from a reservoir or supply) of the biggest of its kind project, which is proportionally a smaller stake than their share in currently-running projects, which ranges between 25-35%.
The North Field Expansion project includes six LNG trains that will drastically increase Qatar’s liquefaction capacity by 64% by 2027.
Sources told Bloomberg in April that the mega project had begun last year to build six gas-liquefaction units.
The plants have the capacity to produce eight million tonnes of LNG per year.
As of April, QatarEnergy was reportedly exploring whether to add an extra plant to the project. The talks came as the Russian invasion of Ukraine gave rise to long-term LNG demand.