Does QatarEnergy look downstream for long term strategy?


Al-Monitor Pro Members


Gerald Kepes

President, Competitive Energy Strategies, LLC


Oct. 4, 2023

Bottom Line:

QatarEnergy’s immediate challenge is to execute its newbuild LNG program and place new, anticipated LNG cargoes into Asian Pacific and European markets via longer-term contracts, destination clauses or contracted regasification capacity. If successful, the national oil company (NOC) — and Qatar — will continue to vie with US LNG exports for global leadership on a volumetric basis  but with a higher utilization rate into the 2030s.  This will be no small achievement.

In the long term, the Qatar NOC’s challenges multiply: reinvest the extraordinary cash flows generated by success of its hydrocarbons production program (including but not limited to LNG); prevent itself from being a price taker for its liquids or LNG exports; and fundamentally, to remain politically and economically independent.  This last objective is of course a matter for the Qatari State but here the contribution by and consequences for QatarEnergy and for its single shareholder are inseparable.

The NOC's aspiration is to transform itself into a global, upstream player in hydrocarbons with world-scale assets. The question is whether the transition to clean energy could merit a shift or modification of its approach after the medium term.

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