The national energy company of Qatar, Qatar Petroleum, has changed its name to Qatar Energy as part of an effort to signal a new strategy that focuses on energy efficiency and environmentally friendly technology.
Speaking on 11 October, the company’s chief executive Saad al-Kaabi said: “It’s more of a reflection of what we’re actually doing that wasn’t reflected by the name that we had.”
Al-Kaabi said natural gas would remain part of the energy transition, and there would be demand for at least a few decades.
The name change in Qatar is part of a growing trend among large energy companies in the oil and gas sector as they try to shift focus away from their fossil fuel activities.
On 15 May 2018, Norway’s Statoil changed its name to Equinor, removing the reference to oil within its name.
More recently, in May this year, France’s Total changed its name to TotalEnergies.
Qatar is the world’s biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Al-Kaabi said that he was ‘unhappy’ that global gas prices are currently so high and that Qatar Energy was producing at maximum capacity.
His comments come amid a crisis in gas markets, with prices rocketing as supply fails to keep up with soaring demand.
Although Qatar is spending billions of dollars to increase output, it has said it will struggle to boost production in the near term.
“We are maxed out,” Al-Kaabi said at an event in Doha, adding that volumes are currently around 80 million tonnes a year. “We’re just consistent. We’re producing what we can.”
Qatar has the world’s lowest production costs thanks to an abundance of easy-to-extract gas, most of it contained in the giant North Field that extends into Iran, where it is called South Pars.
Al-Kaabi reiterated the schedule for a planned expansion of North Field output, despite calls for accelerated project execution.
Qatar aims to increase LNG output by around 50% by 2027, a project that will cost almost $30bn.
Energy Transition in the Middle East
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