Speaking at MEED’s Major New Project Opportunities in Qatar conference, Howard Bevan, senior business planner at QP’s corporate planning department, said that the investment drive would not only diversify the economic base but radically alter the company’s revenue streams. ‘In 2002, 80 per cent of its cashflow came from crude. By 2011, only 40 per cent will be from oil,’ Bevan said. ‘All these projects are needed to provide the state with revenues.’

QP’s overall project strategy will remain largely unchanged with the focus on selecting leading international partners with technical and marketing skills, building world-scale plants to remain competitive, securing competitively-priced project funding, and exploiting to the full the state’s oil and gas assets.

While North field projects – LNG and gas export pipelines – are expected to see the biggest share of expenditure, other business areas are in line for significant investment. The refined products business, which includes gas-to-liquids (GTL), is expected to see investment totalling QR 28,000 million ($7,700 million) over the period 2003-07. Underlining the fact that the crude sector will not be ignored, oil will also gain investment of QR 13,000 million ($4,700 million), while petrochemicals is set to see QR 10,000 million ($2,750 million) worth of new projects. ‘The investment programme is a moving target, but it is our current view,’ Bevan said.

The cost of the investment programme will be borne by both QP and its foreign partners. Bevan said that of the total capital expenditure, QP equity would make up QR 18,000 million ($4,950 million), QP debt financing QR 13,000 million ($3,570 million) and the foreign partners’ debt and equity financings the remaining QR 56,000 million ($15,400 million).