From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
TypeState-owned enterprise
IndustryOil and gas
Key people
Saad Sherida al-Kaabi
(Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President & CEO)[1]
ProductsLiquefied natural gas (LNG)
Gas to liquids (GTL)
RevenueIncrease US$21 billion (2020)
Increase US$7.9 billion (2020)
Total assetsIncrease US$116 billion (2020)
OwnerGovernment of Qatar
Industries Qatar
Gulf International Services

QatarEnergy (Arabic: قطر للطاقة), formerly Qatar Petroleum (QP),[2] is a state owned petroleum company of Qatar. The company operates all oil and gas activities in Qatar, including exploration, production, refining, transport, and storage. The President & CEO is Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, Minister of State for Energy Affairs. The company's operations are directly linked with state planning agencies, regulatory authorities, and policy making bodies. Together, revenues from oil and natural gas amount to 60% of the country's GDP. As of 2018 it was the third largest oil company in the world by oil and gas reserves.[3][unreliable source?] In 2020, the company had total revenues of US$21bn, a net income of US$7.9bn, and total assets of US$116bn.[4][5] In 2021, QatarEnergy was the fifth largest gas company in the world.[6]



After 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 Company (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 per day (640 m3/d) by January 1940. However, World War II delayed development until 1947 and the first crude exports occurred in 1949.[7]

The first offshore concessions were granted in 1949 to the International Marine Oil Company (IMOC), which was a subsidiary of Superior Oil and the London-registered Central Mining & Investment Co.[8] In 1952, after IMOC had withdrawn, the Shell Co.-Qatar (SCQ) acquired exploration rights to most offshore territory.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.[7] 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.[9]

After a strike in 1951, the government deported Dhofari laborers due to conflicts with Qatari laborers.[10] 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 wages, 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.[11] In August 1952, a coalition of workers presented their demands to Ahmad 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.[11] But while considering the ongoing conditions in country's labour sector, the ILO issued new reports in November 2022, detailing the results of the Technical Cooperation Programme between the Government of Qatar and the ILO since it was launched in April 2018. The annual and four-year progress reports cover the substantial efforts that have been made in the areas of labour migration governance, the enforcement of the labour law and access to justice, and strengthening the voice of workers and social dialogue. These changes have already improved the working and living conditions for hundreds of thousands of workers, though additional efforts are needed to ensure that all workers can benefit.[12]

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 Qatari workers being influenced by Arab nationalists employed from countries such as Iraq and Yemen.[11] A major worker strike took place in 1955, and the emir used a riot squad to suppress discontent.[10] 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.[13] In response, the government included a clause in worker contracts which banned political activity.[10] 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.[14] The government established a labor department in 1959.[10] 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.[15]

Former logo of the company before its rebranding.

Nationalization of oil sector[edit]

In 1973, the state seized a 25 percent stake in onshore concessions of QPC and offshore concessions of SCQ. As part of the 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 repealed after QPC agreed to a new agreement which would allow the state to increase its share in both companies to 60 percent.[16]

In December 1974, the government officially announced its intent to acquire SCQ's and QPC's remaining shares.[17] 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, thus fully nationalizing the oil sector.[18]

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 exploration and production (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[when?]. Most anticipated new oil production will come from Maersk Oil (Denmark), which operates the Al Shaheen field.[needs update] 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 300,000 bbl/d (48,000 m3/d) by the end of 2009.[19][needs update] When completed, Qatar would have more than 1,100,000 bbl/d (170,000 m3/d) in crude production capacity.[needs update]

In August 2019, French multinational integrated oil and gas company Total confirmed signing deals over transferring some of its assets in Kenya, Guyana and Namibia to Qatar Petroleum. With the deals, QP will hold a 30% interest in Block 2913B and 28.33% in Block 2912 of Namibia. QP will also have 40% of the company holding Total’s existing 25% interests in the Orinduik and Kanuku blocks of Guyana and 25% interest in Blocks L11A, L11B and L12 of Kenya.[20]


The company aims for its workforce to be composed of more than half of Qatari citizens by 2030. This policy is in line with the rest of the country in general and the government sector in particular. Currently the Qatarization level stands at around 30% and with one or two exceptions the top three management positions are occupied by male Qatari citizens. The company honours its employment contracts with Qatari citizens but frequently reneges on its obligations to its expat workforce during periods of low oil price.[citation needed]

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,[21] 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 two refineries - QP Refinery in Umm Said and Laffan Refinery in Ras Laffan.[22] Besides Qatar Petroleum has two joint ventures with South African Sasol (Oryx GTL) and Anglo-Dutch Shell (Pearl GTL) which are producing synthetic petroleum products (GTL-naphtha, GTL-diesel) from natural gas using Gas-to-Liquids technology.

Qatar's first refinery was built in Umm Said in 1953. The first revamp of the 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 Refinery has a refining capacity of 137,000 bbl/d (21,800 m3/d).[citation needed]

Laffan Refinery (RL1) came on-stream in September 2009. The Refinery has a processing capacity of 146,000 barrels (23,200 m3) per stream day and utilizes the field condensate produced at South Pars / North Dome Gas-Condensate field. After the revamp of the refinery is completed (RL2) it will have the processing capacity of 292,000 bbl/d (46,400 m3/d).[23]

Marketing and commercial aspects for the export of the Refined Products are entirely controlled by the Marketing Directorate of Qatar Petroleum (Tasweeq).[24] In January 2020, Qatar Petroleum signed a 15-year agreement with Kuwait to supply 3 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year.[25]

On 6 February 2023, Qatar Petroleum (QP), the world's top LNG supplier, signed a contract for the first phase of its North Field LNG project expansion, aiming to boost the country's LNG output by 40% a year by 2026. Making this project one of the industry's largest investments with $28.7 billion. Qatar Petroleum is ready to develop the North Field alone, but a bidding process for international oil firms to take up to a 30% stake in the project's first phase will start next week. While second phase, known as the North Field South project, is expected to lift Qatar's LNG production capacity further to 126 mtpa by 2027.[26]

Dolphin Project[edit]

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 million cubic feet (11 million cubic metres) per day of natural gas supplies from the North field to markets in the UAE and Oman.[27]


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 billion cubic feet (42 million cubic metres) per day 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.[28]


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 prices. QAPCO's facilities consist of an ethylene plant producing 840,000 metric tons per annum (MTPA), three low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plants with 780,000 MTPA and a sulphur plant with 70,000 MTPA. Current shareholders are Industries Qatar (80 percent) and TotalEnergies (20 percent).[29]

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.[30] A new plant expansion was 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 Holding Company 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. The 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 Mesaieed Petrochemical Holding Company (55.2 percent), QAPCO (31.9 percent) and QatarEnergy (12.9 percent).[31]

Other subsidiaries[edit]


  1. ^ "- page 29" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 July 2021. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Qatar Petroleum changes name to Qatar Energy signalling new strategy". Reuters. 2021-10-11. Retrieved 2021-10-11.
  3. ^ "Oil and Gas Reserves by Country or Company"[permanent dead link], Data360.
  4. ^ "2020 Annual Review" (PDF). QatarEnergy. Retrieved 12 June 2022.
  5. ^ "Qatari Riyal to US Dollar Spot Exchange Rates for 2020". Retrieved 2022-06-12.
  6. ^ "Russian oil and gas: headed for long-term decline?". Financial Times. 2022-06-07. Retrieved 2022-06-14.
  7. ^ a b "The Economy - Oil and Natural Gas in Qatar". Library of Congress Country Studies. Retrieved 14 August 2015. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain. Country Studies. Federal Research Division.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Toth, Anthony (1994). "Qatar: Labor". In Metz, Helen Chapin (ed.). Persian Gulf states: country studies (3rd ed.). Washington, D.C.: Federal Research Division, Library of Congress. pp. 176–177. ISBN 0-8444-0793-3. OCLC 29548413. Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.{{cite encyclopedia}}: CS1 maint: postscript (link)
  10. ^ a b c d "Labor Market". Retrieved 22 February 2015.
  11. ^ a b c Shahdad, Ibrahim. "الحراك الشعبيفيقطر 1950–1963 دراسة تحليلية (Popular movements 1950–1963, analytic study)" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2015-02-22.
  12. ^ "labour reforms of Qatar". International Labour Organisation. 12 November 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. ^ Herb, Michael (2014). The Wages of Oil: Parliaments and Economic Development in Kuwait and the UAE. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0801453366.
  14. ^ Al-Kubaisi, Mohammed Ali M. (1984). Industrial development in Qatar: a geographical assessment (PDF). Durham E-Theses, Durham University. p. 64.
  15. ^ "الدراسة الجامعية في مصر و حركة 1963 في قطر (University of Egypt and 1963 movement in Qatar)" (PDF) (in Arabic). Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  16. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 104. ISBN 0582783755.
  17. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 107. ISBN 0582783755.
  18. ^ Al-Othman, Nasser (1984). With their bare hands : the story of the oil industry in Qatar. Longman Group. p. 108. ISBN 0582783755.
  19. ^ "Maersk Annual Report 2005" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2006. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  20. ^ "French oil major Total signs asset transfer deals with Qatar Petroleum". Reuters. 27 August 2019. Retrieved 27 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Halul Island".
  22. ^ "- page 69" (PDF). Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  23. ^ "Laffan Refinery". Archived from the original on 10 July 2017. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  24. ^ "Qatar Petroleum Annual Report 2009 page 31" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-26. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
  25. ^ "Qatar to supply Kuwait with 3 million tonnes of LNG a year". Reuters. 2020-01-05. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  26. ^ "Qatar Petroleum signs deal for mega-LNG expansion". Reuters. 2021-02-08. Retrieved 2023-02-07.
  27. ^ "Occidental Petroleum Annual Report 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  28. ^ "Oryx GTL". Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  29. ^ "About QAPCO". Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  30. ^ "Qatar Fertiliser Co. Annual Report 2009" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-16. Retrieved 2011-05-04.
  31. ^ "About QVC". Retrieved 2022-09-16.
  32. ^ "Jan Arve Haugan New CEO in Qatalum". Archived from the original on 6 February 2010. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  33. ^ "About Qatofin". Retrieved 2020-12-09.


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

External links[edit]