Total strips Maersk Oil of its rights to Qatar’s largest oil field

Maersk Oil is beating a retreat from Qatar. The Danish firm has lost out in a bid to extend its rights in the Al Shaheen oil field, its 25-year contract there expiring in one year’s time. The oil field, developed with Qatar Petroleum, is the largest in the Middle Eastern country. France’s Total beat out six other bidders to win the rights for the next 25 years, taking a 30% stake in the field.

“Maersk Oil presented a highly competitive technical and commercial proposition based on more than 20 years of technical knowledge and experience working with the Al Shaheen field,” said Maersk Oil CEO, Jakob Thomasen.

Maersk Oil will be redeploying a number of its employees which today are based in Qatar elsewhere in its global organisation. The majority of remaining employees in Qatar are expected to be offered employment by the new operator, the Danish company said in a release.

Maersk Oil has announced a number of redundancies this year as well as plans to pull back from a number of oil fields around the world.

Meanwhile, Total’s CEO Patrick Pouyanne said in Doha today: “We have a plan to invest for five years 2017-2022, more than $2 billion in that field in order to integrate technology. Our first objective is to maintain 300,000 barrels a day. Currently that’s not a given as there’s a natural decline (in production) as its a complex field.”

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