Chairman/managing director: Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada (also oil and gas minister)
Tel: (+974) 4 440 2000
Although Qatar was one of the first countries in the Middle East and North Africa region to produce oil, it has subsequently become better known as one of the biggest gas producers and exporters in the world, and as a pioneer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) distribution.
Anglo-Persian Oil Company, a predecessor of the UKs BP, was awarded the first oil exploration and production concession in Qatar in 1935. It later transferred the contract to another company it owned, Petroleum Development Qatar, which in turn was later renamed Qatar Petroleum Company (QPC). Oil was discovered at the Dukhan field in 1938, but the Second World War saw the export of oil delayed until 1949. Qatar Petroleum (QP) was formed in 1974 to aid Dohas nationalisation of the oil industry, which was completed in 1976.
Since the mid-1990s, Qatar has embarked on a huge gas production drive, and QP has acted as the joint-venture partner with several international oil companies to exploit the countrys gas resources through major production and liquefication projects. In recent years, Qatar has become one of the major developers of gas-to-liquids technologies.
Role in Qatars economy
Oil and gas exports accounted for just under two thirds of government revenues in 2012, while 57.2 per cent of economic output relied directly on hydrocarbons. Much of the remainder of state revenues comes from investment into public enterprises, which is supported by the money earned through oil and gas exports. QP also oversees the development of Qatars petrochemicals industry, seen by many as the main pillar of economic diversification. The firm and its subsidiaries employ more Qataris than any other state-run enterprise, while the revenues it produces have underwritten the development of Qatars economy.
Role in the global economy
Qatar is the worlds seventh-largest gas exporter and biggest LNG exporter. QP subsidiaries and joint ventures account for a quarter of world LNG supply, and Qatar has the worlds third-largest oil reserves. QP also runs two of the worlds four gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants, including the worlds biggest GTL facility, Pearl GTL, a joint venture with UK/Dutch Shell. The firm aims to become a global producer, but the growth of its international arm, Qatar Petroleum International, has been somewhat limited.
In 2011, QP reached the end of a 20-year investment programme and announced a moratorium on gas production at its biggest field, the North Field. The firm has since turned its attention to developing its capacity for liquid fuels, which accounted for 700,000 barrels a day (b/d) of Qatars stated 1.7 million b/d of oil production in 2012. QP is also working on a series of downstream petrochemicals schemes, and wants to produce 23 million tonnes a year of petrochemicals by 2020.
QP has about 20 major subsidiaries and joint ventures. Among the most important are Industries Qatar, a petrochemicals producer; Laffan Refinery, which runs the countrys main condensate refinery; Pearl GTL; Oryx GTL, another gas-to-liquids joint venture with South Africas Sasol; Qatar Chemical Company, a petrochemicals joint venture with the US Chevron Phillips Petrochemical Company; Qatar Fertiliser Company, a regional fertilisers joint venture; Qatar Petrochemical Company, a joint venture with Frances Total; Qatar Petroleum International; Qatargas, which oversees most of the countrys LNG projects; Qatofin, a plastics producer; and RasGas, a joint-venture gas producer with ExxonMobil.