European countries invest in Qatar gas

France’s TotalEnergies has signed a new investment deal in Qatar’s natural gas production expansion.

Speaking alongside TotalEnergies chief executive Patrick Pouyanne on Saturday, Qatar Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced the French energy giant will have a 9.3% stake in the North Field South gas project, becoming the first foreign partner in that section of the vast field.

“QatarEnergy is moving forward, to help meet [the] growing global demand for cleaner energy,” al-Kaabi said, referring to the state-owned petroleum company.

The project will raise Qatar’s LNG (liquid natural gas) capacity to 126 million tonnes.

Al-Kaabi said TotalEnergies would also help to finance the extraction of gas from North Field South, for which 25% would be reserved for foreign energy firms.

The investment deal comes after TotalEnergies agreed in June to a 2 billion dollar deal to take part in the giant North Field East project, which will help Qatar increase its LNG production by more than 60% by 2027.

Shell of the United Kingdom, Eni of Italy and United States giants ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil have also signed up to be part of the North Field East project.

Qatar and Germany have also been holding discussions on supplies of natural gas. Kaabi is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Al-Kaabi also confirmed Doha was in talks with the UK.

The Gulf country is one of the world’s top LNG producers, alongside the US and Australia, and LNG from North Field is expected to start coming on line in 2026.

QatarEnergy estimates that North Field holds about 10% of the world’s known natural gas reserves.

South Korea, Japan and China have been the main markets for Qatar’s LNG.