Qatar Petroleum signs first Argentina deal with Exxon

Qatar Petroleum signs first Argentina deal with Exxon
Qatar Petroleum signed its first agreement with Argentina on Sunday.
2 min read
04 June, 2018
The two companies did not disclose the value of the deal [Getty]
State-owned energy giant Qatar Petroleum has signed an agreement to buy a 30-percent stake in Exxon Mobil hydrocarbon affiliates in Argentina. 

The deal, Qatar Petroleum's first in Argentina, was formally signed at a ceremony in a five-star Doha hotel by the heads of both companies.

"We are happy to reach agreement with Exxon, a strategic partner with which we have a long history," said Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, president and CEO of Qatar Petroleum.

Andrew Swiger, senior vice-president of Exxon, said the deal "underscores" his company's commitment to develop Argentinian resources.

No value was given for the agreements.

The affiliates are based in the Neuquen basin, central Argentina. The area is known for its shale oil and gas deposits.

Announcement of the deal comes on the eve of a one-year anniversary of a diplomatic crisis which has rocked the Gulf.

Since 5 June last year, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have cut all relations with Qatar, accusing it of financing terrorist groups and having close ties with Iran.

The countries subsequently imposed a trade and diplomatic boycott on Qatar, which vehemently rejects the charges and says the countries are seeking regime change in Doha.

Last week, Qatar approved a draft law aimed at boosting foreign investment and economic development, the state-run Qatar News Agency reported.

The law is set to open the field for foreign investors to take part in all economic activity with up to 100 percent ownership of the capital.

It would also allow investors to own up to 49 percent of shares of Qatar-listed companies on the Qatar Exchange after approval from authorities.

"The most important features of the bill are that it provides many guarantees which contribute to the creation of healthy investment environment," Qatar's economy minister, Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim al-Thani said.

Last month, Qatar Petroleum said it aims to boost Doha's gas production by more than 20 percent with a contract that was awarded to a Japanese state-owned giant.

Chiyoda will "execute the Front End Engineering and Design of the onshore facilities of the North Field Expansion", state-owned Qatar Petroleum said in a statement.

Qatar in April announced plans to lift a self-imposed ban on development of the North Field, the world's biggest natural gas field which it shares with Iran.

But just weeks after the start of a diplomatic rift with Saudi Arabia and its allies, Qatar in July announced it aimed to increase production via the field.

Qatar, the world's number one exporter of liquefied natural gas, has withstood the economic and financial impact of the crisis.