QatarEnergy has partnered with French energy giant TotalEnergies in the first and largest phase of a nearly $30bn expansion of the North Field LNG project.

Planned to start production before the end of 2025, the North Field expansion project will comprise six mega liquefied natural gas (LNG) trains.

The project is being developed in phases and aims to expand Qatar’s LNG export capacity from the current 77 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) to 110Mtpa.

According to the deal, QatarEnergy and TotalEnergies will become partners in a new joint venture (JV), which will own a 25% stake in the $28.75bn North Field East (NFE) project.

QatarEnergy will own a 75% stake in the planned JV while TotalEnergies will hold the remaining 25% stake.  

QatarEnergy president and CEO, and Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “The North Field East project is an iconic achievement that will not only ensure the optimal utilisation of Qatar’s natural resources but will also provide the world with the cleaner and more reliable energy it needs.”

The NFE project will include four LNG trains, with a combined nameplate LNG capacity of 32Mtpa.

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: “Qatar has huge natural gas resources that it intends to develop further to increase the production of the least expensive, the most environmentally respectful, and the best-located LNG.

“TotalEnergies was present at the beginning of its LNG industry in Qatar some 30 years ago through its interest in Qatargas 1, and then Qatargas 2 in 2005.

“This new partnership will indeed enable us to reinforce our global LNG portfolio and, together with Qatar, it will support our ability to contribute to [European] energy security.”

Other oil majors, including Exxon Mobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Eni are also anticipated to participate in the NFE expansion project, reported Reuters, citing sources.