QatarEnergy has signed an agreement with Japan’s Qatar Petroleum Development Company (QPD) for extending the development and production of Al-Karkara and A-Structures offshore oilfields.

The Qatari giant on Thursday confirmed the deal, noting the “new five-year agreement, which commences on 23 December 2022, succeeds the development and production sharing agreement signed in December 1997” with the same company.

“Under the new agreement, QPD, which is owned by Cosmo E&P and Sojitz, will continue to act as the operator of the oil fields,” QatarEnergy noted.

The Al-Karkara and A-Structures are offshore assets located about 90 kilometres to the east of Doha and consist of three small fields — Al-Karkara, discovered in 1988, and the A-Structures, which were discovered in 1971.

The fields were initially considered non-commercial until QPD managed to prove their commercial viability in the late 1990s, QatarEnergy added.

Producing asset

The offshore fields started production in March 2006, and since then have produced a total of 33.5 million barrels of crude.

QatarEnergy chief executive Saad Sherida Al Kaabi said the two players would continue to progress the further development of the offshore asset.

“We are pleased to continue our partnership with Qatar Petroleum Development Company (Japan) and to work together to continue the development and production of the Al-Karkara and A-Structures fields,” Al Kaabi said.

QatarEnergy said the Al-Karkara and A-Structures are the first fields in the State of Qatar “to achieve zero gas flaring y reinjecting the excess sour gas underground”.

Oilfield projects

While Qatar is focused on its giant North Field expansion project to produce and export higher liquefied natural gas volumes, the nation also remains committed to expanding key offshore oil production projects.

The gas-rich emirate currently has oil production capacity of between 500,000 and 600,000 barrels per day, much smaller than the region’s other heavyweights.

However, Qatar is not bound by the current Opec+ agreement to curb output and, with oil prices stabilising on a high plateau in recent months, is expected to press ahead with the expansion of some of its offshore key assets.

In addition to Al-Karkara, the emirate is also expected to invest heavily in some of its other offshore oilfields including ISND, Al Shaheen, Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam.

At Al Shaheen, QatarEnergy and operator TotalEnergies are already progressing on multiple development phases, together known as the Ruya project.

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