QatarEnergy signed a partnership deal with TotalEnergies for the North Field East expansion of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and said more partners would be announced in the coming days.
The Gulf state is partnering with international energy companies in the first and largest phase of a nearly $30 billion expansion of the North Field project.
Saad al-Kaabi, who is president of QatarEnergy and also Qatar’s minister of state for energy, said the selection process for partners has been finalised and subsequent signings could be announced as soon as next week.
No company will have a stake higher than TotalEnergies, he added. France-based TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne said the company will have 25% of one train – or liquefaction and purification facility – in the project.
The North Field Expansion plan includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027.
Oil majors have been bidding for four trains of the North Field East expansion, with the other two trains part of a second phase, North Field South.
Al-Kaabi said Qatar has a unified approach, where all four trains are considered one unit. TotalEnergies has a 25% stake in one virtual train, which gives it about 6.25% of the whole four trains.
Al-Kaabi said once the investments have been completed, Asian buyers are expected to make up half the market for the project, and buyers in Europe the rest.
The project will boost Qatar’s position as the world’s top LNG exporter and help to guarantee long-term supply of gas to Europe as the continent seeks alternatives to Russian flows.