What will Qatar get out of an Iranian nuclear deal?
Qatar to help Iran to develop its share of the world’s biggest gas field so both countries can reap the maximum long-term rewards, sources at state-run Qatar Petroleum (QP) say.
The state has offered its support in response to a request from Iran amid signs that western sanctions might ease after it signed a deal last November that offers more transparency over its nuclear programme.
The giant gas field beneath the waters of the Gulf, which Iran calls South Pars and Qatar calls the North Field, accounts for nearly all of the tiny Gulf state’s gas output, and around 60 per cent of its export revenues.
Some in Doha believe Iran’s relations with the west have thawed enough for other experts in Qatar’s multi-national energy industry to share some knowledge already gathered from probing deep below the seabed.
“After Iran signed the nuclear deal this has opened the door for us to help them with making more use of South Pars, and the plan is to give them advice on technology and exploring the geology of the field,” a QP source said.
According to the International Energy Agency, the field holds around 51 trillion cubic metres of gas and some 50 billion barrels of condensate, a valuable light oil by-product, which makes Qatari LNG one of the most cost-competitive gas supplies in the world.
A Qatari government official working at one of QP’s drilling units said that many of the easily recoverable reserves lay in the area on either side of the countries’ maritime border.
“There has been a lot of drilling activity in that area and we have many studies on the field that I’m sure can benefit Iran,” he said.