U.S. energy supermajor ExxonMobil has become QatarEnergy’s third international partner in the North Field East (NFE) expansion project after TotalEnergies and Eni joined earlier this month.
With this deal, Exxon committed to helping further develop Qatar’s North Field East project, which will expand the country’s annual LNG capacity from 77 million tons to 110 million tons by 2026. The deal was announced at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha.
“We are collaborating with QatarEnergy on North Field East to accelerate the production of secure, affordable, and cleaner energy our world needs,” said Darren Woods, chairman, and chief executive officer for ExxonMobil. “ExxonMobil has a long history of working in Qatar, responsibly producing energy, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for the benefit of all of our stakeholders.”
“Today, we are signing a partnership agreement with ExxonMobil, our strategic and long-term partner, with whom we have enjoyed successful and fruitful relations in Qatar and across the globe. This is primarily due to the mutual trust and confidence between both parties, and to the State of Qatar’s safe and stable investment climate,” said Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, president and chief executive officer of QatarEnergy. “We look forward to working closely with ExxonMobil to implement this world-scale project, and to live up to our commitment to power lives with cleaner energy in every corner of the world for a better tomorrow for all.”
With North Field East, ExxonMobil’s participation in Qatar LNG volumes is expected to increase total capacity from 52 to 60 million tons per year.
Under the terms of the agreement, QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil will become partners in a new joint venture company, in which QatarEnergy will hold a 75 percent interest with ExxonMobil holding the remaining 25 percent interest. The JV will own 25 percent of the entire North Field East project, including four LNG trains with a combined nameplate capacity of 32 million tons per year.
The expansion of North Field East and increased LNG export capacity is one of Qatar’s key energy objectives. QatarEnergy is the operator and commenced the North Field East project in 2019. First LNG from North Field East is expected in 2026.
TotalEnergies and Eni have signed similar deals with the Qatari state-owned company. Namely, TotalEnergies agreed terms with QatarEnergy identical to those of ExxonMobil while Eni agreed to form a JV in which QatarEnergy will hold a 75 percent interest and the Italian company will hold the remaining 25 percent interest. Unlike the Exxon and Total deals, the Eni-QatarEnergy JV will hold a 12,5 percent interest in the entire NFE project.
Media reports have previously indicated that ExxonMobil could be one of the partners to join the project before this deal was signed. Other names in the pot for becoming partners are supermajors Shell and ConocoPhillips.