Qatar Petroleum signs initial deals to boost local energy industry

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Qatar Petroleum is seen at its headquartes in Doha, Qatar, July 8, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

DOHA (Reuters) - Qatar Petroleum signed preliminary deals worth more than 9 billion Qatari riyals ($2.47 billion) on Monday with oil services firms Schlumberger and Baker Hughes to boost the local energy industry.

Qatar, the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter which is facing a trade boycott by some Arab states, wants to reduce reliance on imports and lift domestic production.

“As part of our national duty to develop the industry in Qatar and to promote self-reliance, we saw the need to localize many of the supporting industries in the sector,” QP Chief Executive Officer Saad al-Kaabi said at an event to sign memorandums of understanding with Schlumberger and Baker Hughes.

The preliminary agreements would involve investment in production facilities, training and development, Kaabi said.

Another oil services firm McDermott signed a joint venture deal with Qatar’s energy shipping and transport firm Naqilat to build maritime platforms for offshore and onshore structures, Kaabi said, without giving a value.

Qatar expected to save about 9 billion riyals a year through import substitution after building up its local energy industry, Kaabi, without giving a target date.

Qatar aims to boost its annual LNG output by 43 percent by 2023/24 to 110 million tonnes per year from 77 million now.

Reporting by Eric Knecht; Writing by Rania El Gamal; Editing by Edmund Blair