Qatar Petroleum Moves Ahead With North Field Expansion

Qatar Petroleum recently announced it awarded a detailed design contract to U.S. engineering firm McDermott International Inc. (NYSE: MDR) for offshore jackets for the new North Field expansion project. The company said the design of the jackets is an important step toward awarding the procurement, fabrication and installation contract by year-end 2018, which will pave the way to start the 2019 drilling campaign.

The move is part of Qatar Petroleum’s drive to monetize its gas reserves. The company announced in 2017 the self-imposed moratorium on developing North Field, the world’s biggest natural gas field, was lifted after more than a decade. Qatar declared a moratorium in 2005 on development of North Field, at the time saying it needed time to study the impact on the reservoir from a rapid increase in output.

Qatar Petroleum plans to develop a new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field. The company has entrusted Qatargas to execute this megaproject. In January, Qatar merged its two LNG producers—Qatargas and RasGas—under a single operator, Qatargas. Its shareholders include Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil Corp., Total, ConocoPhillips, Shell, Mitsui and Marubeni.