TotalEnergies To Partner on QatarEnergy’s North Field East LNG Expansion

QatarEnergy has tapped TotalEnergies as its first international joint venture partner for the North Field East expansion—the world’s largest LNG project ever.

Qatar’s Energy Minister and CEO of QatarEnergy Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi (right) and TotalEnergies Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné sign off on their new partnership to develop the North Field East expansion project.
SOURCE: QatarEnergy

QatarEnergy has selected TotalEnergies as its first international joint venture (JV) partner for Phase 1 of the North Field East (NFE) expansion, a $28.75-billion project designed to raise Qatar’s LNG output 64% by 2027.

TotalEnergies secured a 25% stake in the new JV in which QatarEnergy holds 75%. The JV in turn will own 25% of the entire NFE project, including the four 8-mtpa trains that represent an overall boost in nameplate capacity of 32 mtpa of LNG.

The new trains will drive production to110 mtpa during Phase 1, a 43% jump from the current 77 mtpa. Two more trains will be added during Phase 2 (known as the North Field South development) to reach a targeted production of 126 mtpa by 2027.

At a 12 June signing ceremony in Doha, QatarEnergy’s CEO and State Energy Minister Saad Serida Al-Kaabi said Qatar is taking a unified approach that views all four trains as a single unit. Thus, TotalEnergies’ 25% stake in one virtual 8-mtpa unit can be thought of as 6.25% of all four trains combined, he said.

More Global Majors Expect Invites

Qatar plans to add more international partners to the JV in coming weeks as it wraps up the competitive bidding process it initiated in 2019 to develop Phase 1. Construction is already underway. Upstream, development of the southeastern part of North Field envisions eight platforms, 80 wells, and construction of gas pipelines to the onshore plant, according to QatarEnergy.

Besides TotalEnergies, other global majors that have been longstanding partners in Qatar’s LNG plants over the years include ExxonMobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips.

Phase 1 LNG production is expected to start by Q4 2025 with the project reaching full capacity by late 2026 or early 2027, Al-Kaabi told a virtual news conference after the signing ceremony.

Patrick Pouyanné, board chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, called the partnership “an exemplary and major contribution to our low-carbon LNG growth strategy,” adding that “this new partnership will indeed enable us to reinforce our global LNG portfolio and, together with Qatar, it will support our ability to contribute to Europe’s energy security."

The project aims to control carbon emissions by sequestering in a saline aquifer native CO2 captured from natural gas production. Qatar also plans to connect the LNG facility to the country’s electricity grid which will be fed by renewable energy once the Al Kharsaah solar power plant (in which TotalEnergies is a partner) comes on stream this year.

EPC Contracts Abound

In May, Qatar awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract to a JV between Spain’s Técnicas Reunidas SA and China’s Wison Engineering to add the four new trains called for in Phase 1 and construct new sulfur-handling facilities.

Fifteen months earlier in February 2021, Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation and Technip Energies won the engineering, procurement, construction, and commissioning contract to deliver the 4 mega trains and associated utility facilities to NFE including the carbon capture and sequestration facility to Qatar.

The current facilities expansion of North Field up and down the value stream represents the largest single LNG project ever to be undertaken, according to the Wood Mackenzie consultancy.

North Field is the largest nonassociated gas field in the world with recoverable reserves of more than 900 Tcf, or approximately 10% of the world's known reserves, according to QatarEnergy.

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