By Rania El Gamal, Eric Knecht and Dmitry Zhdannikov
DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar Petroleum (QP) is looking to invest at least $20 billion in the United States over the coming few years, its chief executive told Reuters, after the Gulf Arab state unexpectedly quit OPEC this month.
Saad al-Kaabi, who holds the energy portfolio of the world’s top liquefied natural gas(LNG) supplier, also said on Sunday the company aimed to announce foreign partners for new LNG trains needed for an ambitious domestic scale-up by the middle of next year, but was keeping open the possibility of going it alone.
Qatar, a tiny but wealthy country is one of the most influential players in the LNG market due to its annual production of 77 million tonnes. It plans to boost capacity 43 percent by 2023-2024 and will be building four liquefaction trains for the LNG expansion.
As part of its more than $20 billion investment push in the U.S. QP is looking “at gas and oil, conventional and non-conventional,” Kaabi said.
Qatar Petroleum is majority owner of the Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, with Exxon and ConocoPhillips (N:COP) holding smaller stakes.
Kaabi said he expected to make a final decision on that investment and whether to move ahead with the project “by the end of the year, if not January.”
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