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Gazprom Says Invited to Work on Qatar LNG Projects

Source: Reuters 4/15/2010, Location: Middle East

Russian energy giant Gazprom said that Qatar has invited it to take part in liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects after 2014, further boosting ties between the two gas-rich states.

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of LNG, has in turn expressed interest in developing gas fields on Yamal, a Russian peninsula jutting into the Arctic Ocean with enough gas in the ground to satisfy world demand for five years.

Qatar has invited Gazprom to work on its LNG projects during a visit by a high-level delegation of Russia's state-controlled company.

"The representatives of Gazprom have received with great interest a proposal by the Qatari side to take part in projects to produce and liquefy natural gas in Qatar after 2014 when a moratorium on output increase on North Field could be lifted," Gazprom said in a statement.

Qatar imposed a moratorium in 2005 while it studied the impact of rapid development of the field on the reservoir. The invitation came as another sign of growing cooperation between the two countries, which, together with Iran, agreed in 2008 to form a "gas troika" to strengthen cooperation in gas production.

Russia, the world's largest pipeline gas exporter, faces new challenges after a surge in U.S. output reversed the global supply-demand picture and allowed Washington to overtake Russia as the world's largest producer for the first time since 2001.

Gazprom's position as a key supplier of gas to Europe is in jeopardy due to increasing role of alternative fuels, such as shale gas, and LNG supplies, including from Qatar.

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