Gazprom, Qatar Seek Joint Investments After Opening Doha Office

Qatar plans to pursue joint investments with OAO Gazprom after the Russian gas-export monopoly opened an office in the Arab state’s capital, Qatar’s energy minister said.

“Qatar is always looking for opportunities to cooperate, especially for investment throughout the world,” Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada told reporters at the official opening today.

Russia and Qatar, holders of the world’s first- and third-biggest gas reserves respectively, have increased cooperation since the Persian Gulf country raised exports of liquefied natural gas to Europe, Gazprom’s largest market. Qatar, the biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, is pursuing energy projects abroad amid a moratorium on new development of its North Field, the world’s largest gas reservoir.

Qatar increased its capacity to export liquefied natural gas, which is transported by ship, from zero to 77 million tons in the 15 years ended 2011. During that time, it signed deals to export LNG to European nations including Italy, Spain, Poland and the U.K. The added supply of Qatari gas has encouraged importers to cut their dependence on Russian supplies.

The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, headed by Russia’s Leonid Bokhanovskiy, is headquartered in Doha. The 13-member group seeks to promote cooperation on gas exports. Qatar Petroleum International, the foreign investment arm of the state energy company, said two years ago it was negotiating buying a stake in OAO Novatek’s Yamal LNG project in Russia’s arctic.