TotalEnergies wins stake in $29 billion Qatar gas project

(Bloomberg) — TotalEnergies SE became the first foreign company to win a stake in a multibillion-dollar project to boost Qatar’s gas exports.

Qatar is expanding production of liquefied natural gas amid a worldwide energy crunch. Global demand for the fuel is soaring as European nations race to wean themselves off Russian gas supplies in the wake of Moscow’s attack on Ukraine.

TotalEnergies will get a 6.25% equity stake in the first phase of the plan, state producer Qatar Energy said on Sunday. Known as North Field East, it will cost almost $29 billion and include the construction of four LNG liquefaction units, or trains.

It will increase Qatar’s annual capacity to 110 million tons by 2026 from 77 million. The French firm will own 25 per cent of a joint venture with Qatar Energy, with the venture in turn holding 25% of North Field East.

Another partner will be announced later this week, Saad al Kaabi, Qatar’s energy minister and head of Qatar Energy, told reporters in Doha. Exxon Mobil Corporation and ConocoPhillips are also poised to win stakes, Bloomberg reported last week, while Shell Plc put in a bid.

Those three companies and TotalEnergies all have stakes in Qatar’s existing production facilities.

“Suddenly, because of the tragic events in Europe, everybody is rushing to get LNG,” TotalEnergies CEO Patrick Pouyanne said. “Appetite is strong.”

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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