This week, France’s Total and Qatar Petroleum (QP) will officially take over operatorship from Maersk Oil of the giant Al-Shaheen oil field offshore Qatar for a term of 25 years.
Al-Shaheen. Image from Maersk Oil.
The duo, which formed a joint venture company North Oil Co. (NOC) last year for the project, will take the reins beginning Friday (14 July). Qatar Petroleum holds 70% stake in NOC, with Total holding the remaining 30%.
Al-Shaheen is 80km north of of Ras Laffan in the Persian Gulf, and produces 300,000 b/d. The existing development consists of 30 platforms and 300 wells, with production from the field representing about half of Qatar’s oil production. The field began production in 1994.
The first phase of Al-Shaheen’s development plan consists of drilling 56 new wells, which is set to begin this summer with the mobilization of the first two rigs. A third rig will be added at the beginning 2018.
This first phase will be followed by two others over the next five years to further develop the field, says Total.
“Joining Al-Shaheen is a major milestone and accomplishment in the long history of the Group’s partnership with Qatar, where we have been active for more than 80 years. The transition activities were conducted successfully thanks to the strong commitment of all parties and the deployment of the best expertise by both Total and Qatar Petroleum,” says Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total.
“NOC will leverage its technical capabilities to optimize the exploitation of the complex Al-Shaheen oil field,” says Pouyanné. “Total is fully committed to the development of its partnership with Qatar Petroleum both in Qatar and internationally, and is willing to further expand its cooperation in particular with new projects in Qatar.”
The news of NOC taking operatorship of Al-Shaheen surfaced in late-June.
Maersk Oil, who has been operator of the field since 1992, said the company will exit Qatar when its license expires this week.
In 2015, QP held a competitive tender for Al-Shaheen’s future development. Maersk bid for the work, however, was passed up for the job. Maersk said last month that a number of its employees, which are based in Qatar today, will be placed elsewhere in its global organization. The majority of remaining employees in Qatar are expected to be offered employment by the new operator NOC.