‘This full development agreement is part of the strategic plan of Qatar Petroleum to continue the development and utilisation of Qatar’s existing oil industry along with the ongoing development of the gas industry,’ said Al-Attiya in statement.

The development phase has proved the commercial viability of the project. A total of seven wells – four in Al Karkara and three in the A-North block – will be drilled. Production is expected to start in January 2005. Total cost for the development will be about $126.5 million.

‘The project was unique in Qatar as it is the first venture to attempt non-flaring of gas by re-injecting back into the formation, a decision that was reached in consultation with QP’s adoption of Gas Disposal as part of its environmentally friendly policy.’ Okabe said after the signing. ‘The project will promote and enhance the bilateral relations between Qatar and Japan as the first full field development that has been carried out by a Japanese company.’