Qatar Petroleum

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Qatar Petroleum
State-owned enterprise
Industry Oil and gas
Founded 1974
Headquarters Doha, Qatar
Key people
Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Chairman
Saad Sherida Al Kaabi, Managing Director
Products Oil (fuels, lubricants)
Natural gas (LNG)
Petrochemicals
Revenue Increase US$ 51.6 billion (2011)
Profit Increase US$ 14.9 billion (2011)
Total assets Increase US$ 107.8 billion (2011)
Owner Government of Qatar
Subsidiaries Qatargas Operating Company Ltd.
RasGas Company Limited
Industries Qatar
Qatar Petroleum International
Qatar Chemical Company Limited
Gulf International Services
Qatar Intermediate Industries Co. Ltd.
Website www.qp.com.qa

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is a state owned petroleum company in Qatar. The company operates all oil and gas activities in Qatar, including exploration, production, refining, transport, and storage. QP's chairman is Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, Minister of Energy & Industry, and managing director is Saad Sherida Al Kaabi. QP's operations are therefore directly linked with state planning agencies, regulatory authorities, and policymaking bodies. Together, revenues from oil and natural gas amount to 60 percent of the country's GDP. Currently it is the third largest oil company in the world by oil and gas reserves.[1]

History[edit]

Establishment[edit]

Proceeding World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Qatar fell within the British sphere of influence and the first onshore oil concession in the country was awarded in 1935 to British Petroleum's predecessor, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. (AIOC). Because of its obligations under the Red Line Agreement, AIOC transferred the concession to an associate company of the Iraq Petroleum Co., Petroleum Development (Qatar) Ltd. (PDQ), which would operate the concession. PDQ was later renamed the Qatar Petroleum Co. (QPC). In October 1938, Dukhan No. 1 was spudded and yielded 4,000 barrels of oil per day by January 1940. However, World War II delayed development until 1947 and the first crude exports occurred in 1949.[2]

The first offshore concessions were granted in 1949 to a Canadian Company, the International Marine Oil Company (IMOC), which was a subsidiary of a US company, the Superior Oil Co., and the London-registered Central Mining & Investment Co.[3] In 1952, after IMOC had withdrawn, the Shell Co.-Qatar (SCQ) acquired exploration rights to most offshore territory. In 1960 and 1963, the Idd Al-Shargi and Maydan Mahzam fields were discovered, respectively.[2] The largest offshore field, Bul Hanine, was discovered in 1970 and came onstream in 1972.

Worker strikes[edit]

There were a number of protests by oil workers in the company during the 1950s and 1960s. Working hours, wages and conditions varied widely prior to the introduction of labor regulations in the country. Overtime payment was inconsistent, workers could be fired for minor infractions and the majority made a meager salary when compared to high-ranking Al Thanis, British officials and foreign clerks. Early strikes focused on wages and conditions, and the emir encouraged strikes when negotiating new contracts to pressure concessions from the oil company.[4]

Proceeding a strike in 1951, the government deported Dhofari laborers due to conflicts with Qatari laborers.[5] In July 1951, nearly 900 laborers refused to return to work after the arrest of 6 individuals who led a strike. Markets in Doha stopped operation in a show of solidarity, resulting in government concession to the workers' demands. On 17 July, the detained workers were released and the minimum wage was increased by one rupee. Despite the improvement in wage, strikes continued throughout the year. Company drivers protested for improved working conditions in September, and in October, workers in Mesaieed held protests calling for housing reforms.[6] In August 1952, a coalition of workers presented their demands to Ahmed Al Thani, the son of emir Ali Al Thani. Their demands centered on improved working conditions, less foreigners in high-ranking positions, and increased wages. Ahmad rejected these demands, causing the workers to present their grievances to the British.[6]

Protests became associated with other elements in the mid 1950s, mainly Pan-Arabism, anti-colonialism and discontent with the ruling family. This was, in part, due to the influence of Qatari workers by Arab nationalists employed from countries such as Iraq and Yemen.[6] A major worker strike took place in 1955, and the emir used a riot squad to suppress discontent.[5] One of the largest protests took place in 1956; it drew 2,000 participants, most of whom were high-ranking Qataris allied with Arab nationalists and dissatisfied oil workers.[7] In response, the government included a clause in worker contracts which banned political activity.[5] In 1957, a dispute between the company and Ahmad Al Thani arose after he ordered an additional oil refinery to be constructed at the company's cost.[8] The government established a labor department in 1959.[5] In 1963, a labor group called the National Unity Front was established, with one of its primary demands being more rights for Qatari oil workers.[9]

Nationalization of oil sector[edit]

Qatar Petroleum was created in 1974 following the government's nationalization of the oil sector. In 1973, the state took a 25 percent stake in onshore concessions of QPC and offshore concessions of SCQ. As part of agreement, the government stake would increase by 5 percent every year until it reached 51 percent in 1981. However, in early 1974, the initial agreement was revoked, and QPC agreed to allow the state to increase its share in both companies to 60 percent.[10]

In December 1974, the government officially announced its intent to acquire SCQ's and QPC's remaining shares.[11] A government decree passed in 1975 declared government ownership of the remaining shares. Negotiations throughout the following years resulted in the government assuming full ownership of QPC's onshore concessions in September 1976 and the SCQ's offshore activities in February 1977.[12]

In 1991, Qatar Petroleum initiated an upgrade program for oil production facilities. The program included bringing the Diyab structure (Dukhan) online and enhanced oil recovery (EOR), particularly at the Dukhan field. QP expects to boost capacity at Dukhan from 335,000 bbl/d (53,300 m3/d) in 2006 to 350,000 bbl/d (56,000 m3/d) in 2008. QP is carrying out similar work at several smaller fields, including the offshore Bul Hanine and Maydam Mahzam. Prospects for new discoveries are limited. QP carried out much exploration activity during the early 1980s but exploration declined as the oil glut of the mid-1980s gathered pace. Since then, QP has encouraged foreign operators to apply for exploration licenses. Although the number of wells drilled grew significantly towards the end of the 1980s, there was little success. Most new E&P is done offshore by international oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Total. While substantial E&P is underway, there have not been any major oil discoveries in Qatar during the last decade. Most anticipated new oil production will come from Maersk Oil (Denmark), which operates the Al Shaheen field. Maersk reached an agreement with Qatar Petroleum in December 2005, under which the company intends to drill more than 160 production and water injection wells and establish three offshore platforms. The total oil production from Al Shaheen is planned to be gradually increased from 240,000 bbl/d (38,000 m3/d) at the beginning of 2006 to 525,000 bbl/d (83,500 m3/d) by the end of 2009.[13] When completed, Qatar would have more than 1,100,000 bbl/d (170,000 m3/d) in crude production capacity.

Pipelines, exports and refineries[edit]

QP operates Qatar's oil pipeline network, which transports supplies from oil fields to the country's lone refinery and export terminals. QP operates an expansive offshore pipeline network that brings crude oil from offshore oil fields to Halul Island, where oil can be processed for export. Onshore, most oil is sent to Umm Said for refining or export. Qatar has three primary export terminals: Umm Said, Halul Island, and Ras Laffan. Qatar typically exports around 600,000 bbl/d (95,000 m3/d) of crude and about 20,000 bbl/d (3,200 m3/d) of refined petroleum products. Most exports go to Asia, with Japan as the single largest receiver (about 380,000 bbl/d (60,000 m3/d) of crude in 2006). In the international market, the major customers are Emirates National Oil Co. (ENOC), Glencore, Bakri Trading, Vitol, Mitsui and ITOCHU.

Refining is carried out by the National Oil Distribution Co. (NODCO), a subsidiary of QP established in 1968. Qatar's first refinery was built in Umm Said in 1953. A second refinery was completed in 1974. By the early 1980s, growth in local consumption was such that Qatar began importing refined products. In 1983, a 50,000 bbl/d (7,900 m3/d) refinery came online at Umm Said. Currently, Umm Said has a refining capacity of 137,000 bbl/d (21,800 m3/d). QP is also building another refinery, which will have the capacity to run 146,000 bbl/d (23,200 m3/d) of condensate. Marketing and commercial aspects for the export of the Refinery Products are entirely controlled by the Qatar Petroleum Marketing Directorate.[14]

Dolphin Project[edit]

Main article: Dolphin Gas Project

Qatar Petroleum is part of the Dolphin Gas Project, which connects the natural gas networks of Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar with the first cross-border natural gas pipeline in the Persian Gulf region. The project is being developed by Dolphin Energy, a consortium owned by Mubadala Development on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government (51 percent), Total (24.5 percent), and Occidental Petroleum (24.5 percent). The Dolphin Project made significant progress in 2006. Construction was completed on all the project's upstream and downstream components by year-end except the gas processing plant located at Ras Laffan. A company spokesperson announced in March 2007 that it tested receiving and distribution facilities in the UAE, and expected to begin operations in June 2007. The 260-mile (420 km) long Dolphin Energy Pipeline currently sends 400 MMcfd of natural gas supplies from the North field to markets in the UAE and Oman.[15]

Gas-to-liquids[edit]

See also: Pearl GTL

GTL projects received significant attention in Qatar the last several years, and Qatar's government originally set a target of developing 400,000 bbl/d (64,000 m3/d) of capacity by 2012. However, cancellations and delays substantially lowered this. In February 2007, ExxonMobil canceled its Palm GTL project, which was slated to produce 154,000 bbl/d (24,500 m3/d). The company will instead develop the Barzan Gas Project, scheduled to supply 1.5 Bcf/d by 2012. The Oryx GTL plant is a joint venture of QP and Sasol-Chevron GTL, and has a 34,000 bbl/d (5,400 m3/d) capacity. The plant was commissioned in June 2006, but technical problems prevented the consortium from loading the first export until April 2007. In February 2007, Royal Dutch Shell held a groundbreaking ceremony for its Pearl GTL Project. The Pearl plant will be 51 percent-owned by QP, though Shell will operate the project with a 49 percent stake. The facility is expected to use natural gas feedstock to produce 140,000 bbl/d (22,000 m3/d) of GTL products. The project will be developed in phases, with 70,000 bbl/d (11,000 m3/d) capacity expected by 2010 and a second phase expected in 2011. The Pearl project will be the first integrated GTL operation in the world, meaning it will have upstream production integrated with the onshore conversion plant.[16]

Subsidiaries[edit]

Qatar Petrochemical Co.[edit]

Qatar was the first Persian Gulf state to build its own petrochemical industry. The Qatar Petrochemical Co. (QAPCO) was established on 9 November 1974, by Emiri Decree No. 109, as a joint venture between QP (84 percent) and CdF (Chimie de France) and began production of ethylene, low density polyethylene, and sulfur in 1981. In August 1990, QP's interest in QAPCO was reduced to 80 percent, with the remaining 20 percent split equally between Enimont (Italy), and Elf Aquitaine (France) through its Atochem subsidiary. The importance of reliable gas supplies was demonstrated in the early years of QAPCO, which were marred by shortages of ethane feedstock arising from fluctuations of associated gas production along with movements of oil pricec. QAPCO's facilities consist of an ethylene plant producing 525,000 metric tons per annum (MTPA), two low density polyethylene (LDPE) plants with 360,000 MTPA and a sulphur plant with 70,000 MTPA. Shareholders are now Industries Qatar (80 percent) and Total Petrochemicals (20 percent).

Qatar Fertiliser Co.[edit]

The Qatar Fertiliser Co. (QAFCO) was founded in 1969 as a joint venture between the Qatari government, Norsk Hydro Norway, Davy Power and Hambros Bank, to produce ammonia and urea. The company is now owned by Industries Qatar (75 percent) and Yara International (25 percent). QAFCO inaugurated its first plant in 1973 with a design daily capacity of 900 tons of ammonia and 1000 tons of urea. The QAFCO complex in Mesaieed City comprises four completely integrated trains; each train is made up of two units, one for production of ammonia and the other for urea, besides a urea formaldehyde unit. QAFCO total annual production capacity now is 2.0 MMT of ammonia and 2.8 MMT of urea, making QAFCO the world's largest single site producer of urea.[17] A new plant expansion is scheduled to be completed in early 2011 (QAFCO 5), using Snamprogetti and Haldor Topsoe design. The increase in ammonia production will be 4600 metric ton/day.

Qatar Chemical Co.[edit]

The Qatar Chemical Co. (Q-Chem) is a Qatari company owned by Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company(MPHC) 49 percent, Chevron Phillips Chemical International Qatar Holdings LLC (Chevron Phillips Chemical Qatar) 49 percent, and Qatar Petroleum (QP) 2 percent. MPHC is majority owned by QP. The Q-Chem facility is a world-class integrated petrochemical plant capable of producing high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and medium-density polyethylene (MDPE), 1-hexene, and other products. Over US $1 billion was invested to engineer, construct, and commission the Q-Chem facility, which began operations in late 2002. The Q-Chem complex in Mesaieed Industrial City comprises an ethylene unit (capable of producing 500,000 metric tons per annum (mtpa)), a polyethylene facility (capable of 453,000 mtpa), and a 1-hexene unit (capable of 47,000 mtpa). Q-Chem assets also include a sulfur recovery and solidification unit, a bagging and storage warehouse, a nitrogen unit, a water treatment plant, seawater cooling system, dock facilities and various administrative buildings.

Qatar Vinyl Co. (QVC)[edit]

Qatar Vinyl Company was established in 1997 and is located in Mesaieed Industrial City approximately 40 km South of Doha. Location of the plant is advantageous in terms of land, infrastructure, general utilities, safety, security and telecommunication. The plant has access to port infrastructure with sufficient capacity to accommodate vessels up to 55,000 tonnes for the import of salt and export of caustic soda, EDC and VCM.

The facilities were constructed by a consortium of Krupp Uhde GmBH and Technip Italy on a lump sum turnkey basis.

Project completion was achieved approximately 30 months after signing of the EPC Contract, with start up of the facilities taking place during the second quarter of 2001. The initial workforce numbered around 180 employees. Qatar Vinyl Co. (QVC) shareholders are QAPCO, Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company, Qatar Petroleum

Other subsidiaries[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Oil and Gas Reserves by Country or Company", Data360.
  2. ^ a b "The Economy - Oil and Natural Gas in Qatar". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 14 August 2015.   This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
  3. ^ A.S. Alsharhan & A.E.M. Nairn (1997). Sedimentary Basins and Petroleum Geology of the Middle East. Elsevier. p. 471. ISBN 978-0-444-82465-3. 
  4. ^ "Labor in Qatar". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 14 August 2015.   This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Library of Congress Country Studies.
  5. ^ a b c d "Labor Market". american.edu. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Shahdad, Ibrahim. "الحراك الشعبيفيقطر 1950–1963 دراسة تحليلية (Popular movements 1950–1963, analytic study)" (PDF). gulfpolicies.com. 
  7. ^ Herb, Michael (2014). The Wages of Oil: Parliaments and Economic Development in Kuwait and the UAE. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801453366. 
  8. ^ Al-Kubaisi, Mohammed Ali M. (1984). Industrial development in Qatar: a geographical assessment (PDF). Durham E-Theses, Durham University. p. 64. 
  9. ^ "الدراسة الجامعية في مصر و حركة 1963 في قطر (University of Egypt and 1963 movement in Qatar)" (PDF) (in Arabic). dr-alkuwari.net. Retrieved 25 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 104. ISBN 0582783755. 
  11. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 107. ISBN 0582783755. 
  12. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 108. ISBN 0582783755. 
  13. ^ Maersk Annual Report 2005
  14. ^ Qatar Petroleum Annual Report 2009
  15. ^ Occidental Petroleum Annual Report 2010
  16. ^ Oryx GTL
  17. ^ Qatar Fertiliser Co. Annual Report 2009
  18. ^ Jan Arve Haugan New CEO in Qatalum

References[edit]

Source Reference Date
Energy Information Administration Qatar: Country Analysis 2011
Energy Information Administration Iran: Country Analysis 2010
USGS Northern Qatar Arch Extension - Zagros Fold Belt Province 2004
International Energy Agency World Energy Outlook 2009
International Energy Agency Natural Gas Market Review 2009 2009
International Energy Agency Overseas Investments by China's National Oil Companies 2011
Qatar Petroleum Annual Report 2009
Niels Fabricius The Qatar Shell Gas to Liquids Project 2004
Oil and Gas Directory Middle East Qatar 2009