Wintershall pulls out of Qatar

21 May 2015

German oil company abandons gas field concession

  • Access to infrastructure reason behind the departure.
  • Company to focus on Abu Dhabi.

Germany’s Wintershall is pulling out of its Qatar gas concession after being refused access to local infrastructure by Qatar Petroleum (QP).

The company, a subsidiary of the chemicals giant BASF, has been operating Block 4 North, which is close to the North Field, the world’s largest non-associated gas field. However, it will pull out of the field and its office in Doha by 25 May.

“During the development planning, it was always clear to us and our partners that an economic development of the discovery, including the processing of the gas, would only be possible if we have access to local infrastructure. This access was not granted,” said Martin Bachmann, a board member of Wintershall who is responsible for all exploration and production in the Middle East. “That is why we have decided to take this step.”

The company plans to focus its Middle East operations on Abu Dhabi, as well as look for other opportunities across the region.

MEED reported in March that Qatar’s two major upstream oil projects were in danger of being cancelled due to due to lower oil prices offering a much diminished return on investment (ROI).

Qatar has also cancelled two huge petrochemicals schemes worth a combined $14bn in the past 10 months due to the prevailing market conditions.

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