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PetroChina, Shell and Qatar Petroleum ink gas exploration deal

PetroChina , Royal Dutch Shell and Qatar Petroleum will jointly explore for natural gas in Qatar block D.

May 18, 2010 10:09 by

Chinese oil giant PetroChina has signed a 30-year agreement with Royal Dutch Shell and Qatar Petroleum to search for natural gas in the Gulf state’s Block D area, the companies have announced.

Under the deal signed Sunday, the partners will jointly search for gas in the block, which covers an onshore and offshore area of 8,089 square km, they said in a joint statement.

Shell, as operator, will hold a 75-percent share in the project while PetroChina will take the remaining 25 percent, according to the statement.

Shell and PetroChina will produce the natural gas under Qatar Petroleum’s supervision and the Qatari company will buy any gas produced, it said.

PetroChina is the listed arm of China’s top oil and gas producer, state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.

“China is an important downstream market and PetroChina is keen to build upstream partnerships with major resource holders like Qatar,” PetroChina official Zhao Dong, who signed the deal in Doha, said in the statement. No financial details were disclosed.

Meanwhile, Qatar is holding talks with Lebanon and Turkey for sales of LNG, Qatar’s Energy Minister Abdullah Al-Attiyah said on Monday.

Qatar is building capacity to export 77 million tons per year of LNG, and aims to complete that capacity boost this year. Current capacity is around 61 million tons.

Qatar was in talks to supply Lebanon with 3 million tons of LNG, Attiyah told an industry event. He did not specify over what time period.

Qatargas, one of Qatar’s two producers of the gas chilled to liquid form for export on specially designed ships, was in talks with Turkish state-run pipeline operator Botas for LNG sales, he told reporters on the sidelines of the event. He declined to give further details.

Qatar’s other LNG producer, RasGas, has already supplied Turkey with LNG.

Qatar will start supplying Dubai in the United Arab Emirates with LNG cargoes from 2011, Attiyah said. It has already supplied cargos to Kuwait.

Qatar is the only country in the Gulf with gas to sell. The region has experienced a boom in gas needs to fire power plants and industry, leaving some of the world’s largest exporters of energy struggling to meet their own domestic gas needs.

Qatar’s LNG operations are divided between Qatargas and RasGas. State-run Qatar Petroleum owns a majority stake in both firms and has solds minority stakes to international energy firms to build both gas rigs and the facilities to chill the fuel to its liquid form.


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