May 8, 2018 / 8:48 AM / 2 months ago

Qatar Petroleum CEO says pushing ahead with expansion despite Gulf embargo

DOHA (Reuters) - State energy giant Qatar Petroleum will push ahead with its production expansion and foreign asset acquisition strategy to be on par with oil majors, despite a regional political and economic embargo on Doha, its chief executive said.

FILE PHOTO: Saad al-Kaabi, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, gestures during a news conference in Doha, Qatar, December 11, 2016. REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon/File Photo

QP, which produces 4.8 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), aims to boost its output to 6.5 million boed in the next 8 years, and is expanding its upstream business abroad, particularly in the United States, CEO Saad Al-Kaabi told Reuters.

Qatar is one of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ smallest producers but is also one of the most influential players in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market due to its annual production of 77 million tonnes.

“We are in Mexico, we are in Brazil, we are contemplating investing in the U.S. in many areas, in shale gas, in conventional oil. We are looking at many things,” Al-Kaabi said in an interview at QP’s headquarters in Doha.

“We are looking very critically at the United States because we have a position there. We have the Golden Pass that we are investing in,” he said.

Qatar Petroleum is the majority owner of the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, with Exxon Mobil Corp and ConocoPhillips holding smaller stakes.

Al-Kaabi said “depending on the project’s cost and feasibility” he expects to take a final investment decision on expanding the Golden Pass LNG by the end of the year.

“I’m not in the business of infrastructure. I’m not going to have a liquefaction plant only. It has to be something that will be linked with an upstream business that we would buy in the U.S. so we need to be naturally hedged,” he added.

Reporting by Rania El Gamal and Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Louise Heavens

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