Qatar to invest USD 20 bn in US energy sector: minister

Doha, Dec 16 (AFP) Energy-rich Qatar, under blockade by its Gulf neighbours, said on Sunday it plans to invest more than $20 billion in the US energy sector over the next five years. Saad al-Kaabi, minister of state for energy affairs and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, told a conference in Doha the Gulf state is looking to invest in US oil and gas sectors as well as unconventional resources. "North of USD20 billion will be invested over the next five years in the United States in different projects," Kaabi told the Doha Forum. He said Qatar's main target was to revive the multi-billion dollar Golden Pass LNG (liquified natural gas) terminal in Texas. "We are contemplating moving (the project) forward with our partners," said Kaabi, adding that a final decision on the matter would be taken shortly. Qatar Petroleum owns 70 per cent of the project, with ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips splitting the rest. Kaabi said Qatar's LNG production would rise by 16 million tonnes annually, with an aim of reaching 110 million tonnes a year in five years. Qatar Petroleum on Sunday signed a deal with Italy's Eni to acquire 35 per cent in three offshore oil blocks in Mexico in the second major Qatari investment in the North American country this year. The deal is to develop production at the three fields to around 90,000 barrels per day of oil in 2021. Qatar announced earlier this month that it was withdrawing from the Saudi-dominated OPEC oil cartel, a decision Kaabi said was not "political". Saudi Arabia, along with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, severed diplomatic ties with Qatar in 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and fostering close ties with their regional rival Iran -- charges Doha denies. (AFP) SMJSMJ