ExxonMobil wins North Field East LNG stake

22 June 2022
The American oil and gas producer becomes the fourth international partner to be selected by QatarEnergy for the North Field East LNG production project

QatarEnergy has selected US oil and gas producer ExxonMobil as its fourth international partner in the North Field East (NFE) liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion project.

QatarEnergy and ExxonMobil will become partners in a new joint venture (JV) company, in which QatarEnergy will hold a 75 per cent interest while ExxonMobil will hold the remaining 25 per cent interest.

The JV in turn will own 25 per cent of the entire $28.75bn NFE project, including the four LNG trains with a combined nameplate LNG capacity of 32 million tonnes a year (t/y).

The agreement between the two companies was signed at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha on 21 June. Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, and president and CEO of QatarEnergy, and Darren Woods, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, signed the partnership agreement in the presence of senior executives from both companies.

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Texas-based ExxonMobil has become the fourth foreign stakeholder in the North Field East LNG scheme after France’s TotalEnergiesItalian energy firm Eni and Houston-headquartered ConocoPhillips. QatarEnergy signed partnership agreements with these firms earlier in June.

The NFE project, billed as the single largest project in the history of the LNG industry, is expected to start production before the end of 2025.

The scheme will expand Qatar’s LNG export capacity from the current 77.5 million t/y to 110 million t/y.

North Field East scheme

Launched in 2017, the NFE project constitutes the first phase of QatarEnergy’s North Field LNG expansion project. NFE “employs the highest health, safety, and environmental standards, including carbon capture and sequestration, to reduce the project’s overall carbon footprint to the lowest levels possible,” according to QatarEnergy.

The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) works on the NFE project have been divided into six packages – four onshore and two offshore.

QatarEnergy awarded a mammoth $13bn contract for NFE package 1 to a consortium of Japan’s Chiyoda and France-headquartered TechnipEnergies on 8 February, 2021. This package covers EPC of four LNG trains, with each train planned to have an output capacity of about 8 million t/y.

In March last year, QatarEnergy awarded South Korea’s Samsung C&T Corporation a $2bn contract for executing EPC works on the second NFE package. This will expand the LNG storage and loading facilities located within Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC).

In August last year, QatarEnergy awarded the third NFE package to Spanish contractor Técnicas Reunidas. The scope of work on the package covers EPC works to expand the storage and loading facilities for condensates, propane and butane, and increase the import facilities for mono-ethylene glycol within RLIC.

In late April this year, a 70:30 JV of Técnicas Reunidas and China’s Wison Engineering won the fourth NFE package, worth more than $600m, covering EPC of sulphur handling, storage and loading facilities at Ras Laffan Industrial City.

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As well as an LNG output of some 32 million t/y, phase 1 will produce 4,000 tonnes a day (t/d) of ethane as feedstock for future petrochemical developments, 260,000 barrels a day (b/d) of condensates, 11,000 t/d of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 20 t/d of helium.

Aiming to retain its position as the world’s largest LNG exporter, QatarEnergy announced the second phase of the North Field LNG expansion project, to further raise LNG output to 126 million t/y by 2027, in November 2019. 

Phase 2 of the North Field LNG expansion project, also referred to as the North Field South (NFS) project, involves the addition of two more LNG compression trains.

QatarEnergy is steadily moving forward with the planning work for the estimated $10bn-plus NFS project, and in January last year awarded McDermott the contract for front-end engineering and design (feed) works.

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