Oil and Gas

Qatar-ExxonMobil to delay gas JV - MEED

DUBAI, March 21 (Reuters) - Qatar Petroleum [QATPE.UL] (QP) and Exxon Mobil Corp XOM.N will delay by up to 12 months the development of the $5-billion Barzan gas field joint venture, primarily to cut costs, London-based MEED magazine reported.

“Contractors who were expecting to bid for the engineering, procurement and construction part of the project in April received an official notice on March 16 informing them that QP had postponed the project,” MEED reported without citing a source.

The developers will also use the delay to source gas for the project from a new structure in Qatar’s North field, MEED said, citing a source familiar with the project.

“They are looking at sourcing this gas from a new structure, although the details have yet to be finalised ... We are expecting a one-year delay,” the source, quoted by MEED, said.

But Alex Dodds, general manager for ExxonMobil Corporation Qatar, told MEED the project would be executed on schedule.

“We are still working with QP on the concepts, the schedule and on when that demand (for gas) will materialise ... The schedule and deadline for the requirement is still there and the intention is that it will still be met,” MEED quoted Dodds as saying.

Barzan is part of the gas development scheme for the North field, the world’s largest non-associated gas field, and aims to meet the natural gas requirements of the growing local market for electricity generation, desalination and industrial consumption, MEED said. (Writing by Souhail Karam; editing by David Stamp)