Total takes over Qatar’s giant oil field on Friday

France’s Total in joint venture with Qatar Petroleum will assume operatorship of the Al-Shaheen offshore oil field for a period of 25 years starting on Friday, July 14, 2017.

The field produces 300 thousand barrels of oil per day. The concession will be operated by the North Oil Company (NOC), which was established a year ago as a partnership between Total (30%) and Qatar Petroleum (70%).

The field has in the past 25 years been operated by the Danish oil company Maersk Oil, which last year lost a bid to Total to continue running the field for the next 25-year term. Maersk Oil is thus leaving Qatar, as July 14 marks the day of the expiry of the exploration and production sharing agreement.

In a speech at the inauguration event on Tuesday, Saad bin Sherida Al-Kaabi, the President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum,  said “First of all, I would like to extend my deep thanks to Maersk Oil, whose production sharing agreement with Qatar Petroleum will expire in two days. Maersk has worked in this field for 25 years and has exerted great efforts in its successful development. I wish them every success, and I would also like to invite them to join hands with Qatar Petroleum in new field development opportunities, whether inside or outside Qatar.”

Total fully committed


Located in Qatari waters 80 kilometers North of Ras Laffan, the Al-Shaheen field began production in 1994. The existing development consists of 30 platforms and 300 wells, and production from the field represents about half of Qatar’s oil production.

The first phase of the development plan of Al Shaheen, consisting of the drilling of 56 new wells, will start this summer with the mobilization of the first two rigs, with a third one to be added at the beginning of next year. This first phase will be followed by two others over the next 5 years to further develop the field.

Commenting on the imminent takeover of the field, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: “Joining Al-Shaheen is a major milestone and accomplishment in the long history of the Group’s partnership with Qatar, where we have been active for more than 80 years. The transition activities were conducted successfully thanks to the strong commitment of all parties and the deployment of the best expertise by both Total and Qatar Petroleum. I would like to thank deeply the staff and management of Maersk Oil, NOC, Qatar Petroleum and Total who all worked very hard to ensure a smooth and safe transition and handover. NOC will leverage its technical capabilities to optimize the exploitation of the complex Al-Shaheen oil field.”

He added: “Total is fully committed to the development of its partnership with Qatar Petroleum both in Qatar and internationally, and is willing to further expand its cooperation in particular with new projects in Qatar.”