Qatar Energy’s big stakes in ExxonMobil’s NL and Canada offshore (50% stake with Encana/Ovintiv spawn, Cenovus, 22% stakeholder)

Qatar Staking Out Eastern Canada Offshore for More Natural Gas, Oil Prospects by Carolyn Davis, April 3, 2023, Natural Gas Intelligence

Qatar’s state-owned energy producer is looking to Eastern Canada to build exploration prospects after taking sizable stakes in ExxonMobil’s Newfoundland and Canada offshore acreage.

QatarEnergy agreed to join ExxonMobil Canada in developing exploration licenses (EL) 1162 and 1167, both in the deep waters offshore Eastern Canada. While Eastern Canada is not known as a natural gas-rich basin, the global producer and liquefied natural gas leader has for years worked to capture energy opportunities beyond its borders.

The latest agreement, said QatarEnergy CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, is designed “to further grow our offshore Atlantic Canada portfolio as part of our international growth drive, and look forward to continue working within Canada’s transparent and stable regulatory environment.Translation: “We get to rape & pillage however we like, Canada’s regulators will make sure to look the other way, and if they do happen to take a peek every now and then, they’ll kiss us with tiny fines that we never pay – just ask polluter Teck!”

The Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB), Al-Kaabi said, “has been very supportive of this process,” because they are a pollution and law violation enabler and QatarEnergy is planning “a successful exploration campaign with our partners.” C-NLOPB oversees upstream activities.

Under the agreement, QatarEnergy gained a 28% interest in EL 1167, “where the Gale exploration well and associated activities are planned,” executives said. ExxonMobil operates EL 1167 with a 50% stake with Calgary-based Cenovus Energy a 22% stakeholder. Encana spawn (split off after I filed my lawsuit) Cenovus is a dreadful company, big bully, frac’s aquifers, pollutes as it pleases, lies – a lot.

QatarEnergy also gained a 40% working interest in EL 1162, in which ExxonMobil controls 60%.

Financial details were not disclosed.

Both of the EL areas lie in water depths of 100-1,200 meters (328-3,937 feet). EL 1167 covers an area of about 1,420 kilometers (km), or 882 square miles. EL 1162 encompasses about 2,400 square km (1,491 square miles).

ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy long have partnered on global ventures, including in Eastern Canada’s offshore. Last fall the duo were awarded Parcel 8, considered a key deepwater exploration block in the Orphan Basin. 

In the Orphan venture, ExxonMobil operates and controls 70%, while QatarEnergy is minority leaseholder. Parcel 8 is in water depths of 2,500 to 3,000 meters (8,202-9,842 feet). It covers around 2,700-3,000 square km (1,678-1,864 square miles). 

QatarEnergy began working offshore Eastern Canada two years ago after joining ExxonMobil in EL 1165A. In that venture, QatarEnergy also holds a 40% minority participating interest, with ExxonMobil controlling the majority stake.

Last year ExxonMobil and QatarEnergy were awarded Parcel 8, a deepwater block in the Orphan Basin offered in the call for bids NL22-CFB01. ExxonMobil also operates the block with a 70% stake, with Qatar holding a 30% interest. Orphan for many years has drawn the attention of the world’s integrated majors.

ExxonMobil is also QatarEnergy’s minority partner in the 16 million metric tons/year Golden Pass liquefied natural gas export project currently under construction southeast of Houston. The firm has said its investment in North American natural gas exports will help provide flexible cargoes for its global portfolio as it commits volumes from its expansions of domestic projects to portfolio players and Asian firms.

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