“Liquefied natural gas has become strategic for Europeans”

HASAt least things are clear in Qatar. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi is both the energy minister and CEO of Qatar Energy. It is in this capacity that he signed, on Saturday September 24, an important agreement with Patrick Pouyanné who, in the absence of a minister, is the head of TotalEnergies, and takes the place, in the minds of his Gulf interlocutors. , representative of French interests.

His group will invest 1,500 million dollars (1,550 million euros) in the North Field South (NFS) gas field to acquire 9.4% of the joint venture, of which Qatar will have 75%. Other partners will be invited to the capital, but TotalEnergies is the first of them.

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It maintains close relations with this small emirate, which alone is the world’s fourth largest producer of gas and, above all, the first in liquefied natural gas (LNG). This process, which allows gas to be transported anywhere by ship, has become strategic for Europeans since the Russians closed the tap on Nord Stream 1, their main gas pipeline that reached Germany through the Baltic.


TotalEnergies anticipated this race towards LNG several years ago, so much so that it forecasts that this activity should represent 50% of its sales by 2030. This is also why it was one of the first investors in the award of North Field East in June. Investment of two billion dollars in this deposit, whose production capacity is estimated at 32 million tons per year, double that of its cousin NFS. The North Field complex, shared with Iran, is currently the largest gas field on the planet.

These two pieces of good news, three months apart, will not change our immediate winter constraints as deliveries will only take place from 2025. However: it must have freshened the mood a bit for Patrick Pouyanné who, not content with erasing the continuous criticism from environmentalists, he has also had to face the wrath of left-wing deputies, who seek to tax his superprofits. Not to mention his controversial presence in the Russian Arctic. For its part, Qatar is accused of mistreatment and ecological crime with the Soccer World Cup, which will start on November 20 in heated outdoor stadiums.

The two partners of the day can well explain that the exploitation of the gas will be the object of a capture of COtwo, will not appease the critics, who believe that the French abandon one devil to give himself to another. Energy realpolitik, an integral part of the profession since its origins, has its reasons that European reason prefers to ignore.

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