QP seeking projects in Cyprus, Morocco: CEO

QP, the world's largest LNG producer, has been pursuing deals in Cyprus where it "won a bid for 40% of a plot for exploration" and recently "went into Morocco for exploration", Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has said

Qatar would be a leader in the LNG market "for a long time", QP CEO believes.
Qatar would be a leader in the LNG market "for a long time", QP CEO believes.

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is exploring opportunities for oil and gas projects in Morocco and Cyprus, as it aims to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets abroad while trimming costs at home, president and chief executive officer Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has said.

"You will see us going internationally with some of the partners we have in Qatar, this year and next year. We are in growth mode," Kaabi told reporters at the company's headquarters in Doha.

QP, the world's largest LNG producer, has been pursuing deals in Cyprus where it "won a bid for 40% of a plot for exploration" and recently "went into Morocco for exploration", Kaabi said.

QP is merging two liquefied natural gas divisions, Qatargas and RasGas Co Ltd, as a measure to absorb the impact of below par crude oil prices that has forced Gulf countries to reduce state spending.

QP is reducing costs at its domestic operations and looking to expand overseas through joint ventures with international oil companies, Kaabi said.

He added that supplies of LNG from the United States were not a threat to business.
"I'm not worried at all about a gas glut. Gas is going to be needed for a very long time," Kaabi said.

Qatar shipped 76.4mn tonnes of LNG in 2014, or 32% of global supply, according to the International Group of Liquefied Natural Gas Importers.

Kaabi shrugged off fears that any potential protectionist policies pursued by US President Donald Trump would impact on global oil and gas markets.He said he expected US policy to remain similar to that exercised under previous presidents.

"Projects that we get into are projects that we get into for 25 to 30 years," he said. "They survive seven, eight presidents or whatever.”

"The president (Trump) is a businessman. Bringing in foreign investment into the US is something that I think he would want. As far as I have seen, as far as the oil and gas business is concerned, he's been very positive for oil and gas," Kaabi said.

Fears have been raised elsewhere about a new protectionism being used by Washington.

China, Germany and France's leadership have warned in recent weeks against tougher trade rules being imposed by the US.

QP already has joint ventures with America's ExxonMobil, whose former chief executive Rex Tillerson is now Trump's secretary of state.

And trade between the two countries is set to grow after Qatar said last year that it wanted to invest $35bn in the US by 2020.

In November, QP received US regulatory approval to build a $10bn LNG plant with ExxonMobil.

The company is also interested in the Mozambique gas business of Italian energy group Eni and could opt to join Exxon in buying a multi-billion dollar stake.

Kaabi added that he believed Qatar would be a leader in the LNG market "for a long time".

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