Qatar and Shell set to sign LNG deal

DOHA — Gas giant Qatar and Anglo-Dutch major Shell are expected to sign a multibillion dollar liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal within days in Doha, boosting the standing of both as worldwide LNG suppliers, industry sources said yesterday.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 24 Feb 2005, 9:34 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 4:28 PM

The project, Qatargas-4, will push state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) towards its goal of becoming the world’s top LNG producer by 2011 and fortify Shell’s position as top private supplier of the product.

“QP and Shell will sign a huge deal on Sunday,” said one of the sources.

Officials from Royal/Dutch Shell and QP declined comment.

Investment details were not immediately forthcoming, but industry sources reckon the project — involving a single 7.5 million tonne per year LNG train — will require funding of close to $6 billion.

Shell, which discovered Qatar’s massive North gas field in the 1970s, has already committed to spend $6 billion on a Qatari gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant due to start up in 2008-2009.

QP’s latest deal for LNG, gas super-cooled into liquid for transport by tanker, confirms the tiny Gulf state’s success in attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment in a region sometimes regarded as hostile to western involvement.

Some $40 billion has already been pumped into the Opec producer’s energy sector in the last decade and a further $70 billion is expected to be invested, primarily in natural gas, over the next seven years.

By that time Qatar, boasting the world’s third biggest gas reserves after Russia and Iran, will have quadrupled its annual LNG sales of 19 million tonnes to 77 million tonnes.

The new project should help boost Shell’s proved reserves, which have been heavily revised downwards over the last year after the company said it had overbooked at several large projects.

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