Qatar Petroleum CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi has announced that the state-owned oil and gas company will invest more than $20bn in the US oil and gas sector.

The decision comes after Qatar revealed plans on 3 December to leave the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) next month after 57 years, potentially unshackling the Arab Gulf state from legal obligations in the US.

According to Reuters, al-Kaabi’s main concern was for its Golden Pass LNG terminal in Texas, US. Qatar’s OPEC membership would have harmed its US ambitions, as the proposed No Oil Producing Exporting Cartels Act (NOPEC) would hold OPEC members to account for antitrust lawsuits in the US.

President Donald Trump has been outspoken in his criticisms of OPEC, blaming the organisation for increasing the price of oil.

Part of al-Kaabi’s investment plan was to announce new foreign partners for the construction of LNG trains for its LNG expansion project, which is said to commence by mid-2019. Qatar Petroleum is the world’s top LNG producer.

Further investment in Mexico

The company has also entered into an agreement with Italian oil giant Eni to buy a 35% stake in three oilfields offshore Mexico.

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By GlobalData

The fields – Amoca, Mizton and Tecoalli – are located in Area 1 of the Campeche Bay. After completion of the deal, Eni and Qatar Petroleum will own the full stake in the Area 1 production sharing contract.

Al-Kaabi said: “We are pleased to sign this agreement, with our valued partner, Eni, to participate in the development and production of oil fields in Mexico. This agreement marks another milestone for Qatar Petroleum as it strengthens its international footprint and expands its presence in Mexico.

“Qatar Petroleum is pleased to enhance its fruitful cooperation and partnerships with a major energy player like Eni. We are also excited about participating in this development in Mexico’s Campeche Bay, and with first oil production expected by mid-2019, we look forward to collaborating with Eni to ramp up production to around 90,000 barrels of oil per day by 2021.”

The acquisition represents Qatar Petroleum’s second foray in Mexican oil and gas. In January, the company won rights to explore five offshore blocks in the Campeche and Perdidio basins, along with Eni and Shell respectively.