Qatar’s state-owned petroleum company has signed a deal with France’s TotalEnergies for developing its South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field shared with Iran.
QatarEnergy, which announced Total as its first partner at the nearly $30 billion expansion project in the Persian Gulf on Sunday, added that more partners would be announced in the coming days. The expansion plan includes six LNG trains that will ramp up Qatar’s liquefaction capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mtpa) to 126 mtpa by 2027.
The news comes as Europe tries to replace Russian gas with supplies from other sources, and has directly courted Qatar as a major producer.
The French oil giant officially left Iran – along with Royal Dutch Shell, Russia’s Lukoil and Zarubezhneft, Italy’s Eni, Austrian group OMV and others – and abandoned a similar deal to develop the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in August 2018, after former US president Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) replaced Total taking over Total’s 50.1 percent stake, but it also suspended its investment in South Pars in 2018 in response to US pressure.
With lack of investment and technology, Iran’s gas production in the Persian Gulf is falling and currently inadequate even to cover rising domestic demand.
In February, the current oil minister Javad Owji said that “many major companies” have sent emails to the ministry and initiated discussions to participate in expanding Iran’s part of the gas field.