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QPI & Centrica Agree MoU for Investment Opportunities

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/5/2011, Location: Middle East

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al-Sada, Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry and Chairman of the Board of Qatar Petroleum International (QPI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) detailing cooperation in energy-related investments between QPI and Centrica plc, as represented by its CEO Sam Laidlaw.

Investment targets will include new or existing projects in upstream oil and gas including, where appropriate, liquefied natural gas (LNG), gas storage as well as combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) generation assets and downstream opportunities, in accordance with each company's strategic priorities.

QPI is the international investment arm of Qatar Petroleum, while Centrica plc is the parent company of British Gas.

Their non-exclusive strategic alliance will deepen the strategic relationship between Centrica and Qatar established earlier this year with the signing of a three-year contract for the supply of 2.4 million tonnes of LNG per year. The contract, valued at £2 billion, provides enough gas to meet approximately 10 per cent of the UK's annual residential gas demand during the delivery period. So far, eight cargoes of LNG have been delivered under the contract, which was welcomed by the British Prime Minister as a boost to UK energy security.

The alliance also demonstrates QPI's objective to play a greater role internationally with partners, such as Centrica. The strategic alliance will also build on the cooperation between the companies through sharing best practices in respect of the management of assets and commercial expertise. In his comments, HE Dr. Al-Sada said, "I am pleased to note that QPI and Centrica have agreed to explore various project opportunities together worldwide. This strategic alliance will reinforce QPI's objective to transform itself into a more active international player in the upstream, downstream, gas and power sectors as part of the greater objective of the State of Qatar to be play a greater role in world energy markets. It is also consistent with the vision of H.H. The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, which is further evidenced by our hosting of the 20th World Petroleum Congress in Qatar. I am confident that both QPI and Centrica can focus on value-added activities and translate challenges into practical solutions and opportunities in today's world."

Welcoming the partnership, Mr Laidlaw said, "Centrica is playing a leading role in securing Britain's future energy security. Our strategic relationship with Qatar is central to this goal, linking the world's leading LNG exporter with one of the world's most important gas markets. The partnership will enable us to jointly develop significant energy investments that will further boost the long-term security of the UK's gas supply. We will also explore joint opportunities to deploy capital and expertise in other markets to deliver growth and value for the group."

Nasser Al-Jaidah, CEO of QPI, said, "We, too, are pleased with this strategic alliance. This is in line with the vision of HE The Minister of Energy & Industry to diversify QPI's portfolios into various sectors. We are very delighted with this cooperation and we look forward to exploring some prospective opportunities together."

Mark Hanafin, Managing Director of Centrica Energy, added "Our ongoing relationship with Qatar is extremely important, not only to Centrica but also to the UK. We have always been impressed by the scale of ambition shown by Qatar and I look forward to working closely together with QPI as we look to grow our businesses in the energy sector."

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