TotalEnergies becomes the first foreign investor in Qatar’s North Field South gas project as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources.
France’s TotalEnergies has signed a new deal to invest in expanding Qatar’s natural gas production as Europe scrambles to find new energy sources to replace Russian supplies.
Speaking on Saturday alongside TotalEnergies Chief Executive Patrick Pouyanne, Qatari Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi announced that the French energy giant will hold a 9.3% stake in the project. gas company North Field South, becoming the first foreign partner in this part 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 oil company. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is considered a cleaner alternative to fuel oil and coal and a stepping stone towards the energy transition.
The project will increase Qatar’s LNG capacity to 126 million tonnes.
Al-Kaabi said TotalEnergies would also help finance gas extraction from North Field South, 25% of which would be reserved for foreign energy companies.
The investment deal comes after TotalEnergies agreed in June $2 billion deal participate in the giant North Field East project, which will help Qatar increase its LNG production by more than 60% by 2027.
Shell from the UK, Eni from Italy and US giants ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil have also signed on to be part of the North Field East project.
Pouyanne said TotalEnergies would have taken a larger share of production if it had been possible. “Most world leaders have discovered the words LNG,” he said. “For security of supply, there is a price.”
Qatar and Germany have also had discussions on the supply of natural gas. Kaabi is due to meet German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Sunday.
Scholz arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Saturday, the first leg of his two-day tour of the Gulf for talks on energy cooperation.
Al-Kaabi also confirmed that Doha was in talks with the UK.
The Gulf country is one of the world’s leading LNG producers, alongside the United States and Australia, and North Field’s LNG is expected to begin commissioning in 2026.
QatarEnergy estimates that North Field holds around 10% of the world’s known natural gas reserves.
The reserves stretch under the sea into Iranian territory, where Tehran’s efforts to exploit its South Pars gas field have been hampered by international sanctions.
South Korea, Japan and China have been the main markets for Qatar’s LNG. But since a energy crisis hit Europe last year, the Gulf state has helped the UK with additional supplies and announced a cooperation agreement with Germany.