QP – which in 2011 according to its annual report had 66 subsidiaries, joint ventures and equity stakes ranging from catering and real estate to steel and helicopters – faces interesting choices. It could add new sectors to its broad portfolio or consolidate core businesses allowing it to continue to dominate the global LNG market. It also has the option of moving forward with its overseas expansion program in a directed manner instead of the opportunistic way it has to date.

Under the direction of the Minister of Energy and Industry, Muhammad al-Sada, who celebrates his second anniversary in the post this month, Qatar has concentrated on reversing crude output decline (MEES, 21 May 2012). The reversal was implemented using the technological expertise of QP Director of Oil and Gas Ventures Saad Sherida al-Kaabi. Qatar’s oil fields are mature and it only has one major gas development to finish – the 1.4bn cfd Barzan North Field project for the domestic market. At the Offshore Middle East Conference and Exhibition in Doha on 21 January, Dr Sada said Barzan, which will have three of the largest well head platforms ever built in the North Field, is scheduled to be completed by 2014. (CONTINUED - 1839 WORDS)