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Qatar Considering US Shale Gas Investment With Local Partners

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LONDON - Qatar is seriously considering non-conventional gas investment opportunities in the U.S with its major partners, a top energy official from the Gulf nation said Tuesday.

The considerations underscore how some Middle-Eastern producers are seeking to take advantage of a U.S. shale boom instead of countering it.

On Monday, the International Energy Agency predicted the U.S. will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's largest oil producer by 2020 thanks to a surge in shale production, a move that has rattled some in oil-producing circles.

But speaking at an energy conference in London, Nasser al-Jaidah, chief executive of the international arm of state-owned Qatar Petroleum, said the U.S. non-conventional gas boom "is an opportunity for us. We are considering this seriously."

He said Qatar Petroleum wanted to partner with oil majors with which it has already partnered at home.

"It could be [Exxon Mobil Corp.], it could be [Royal Dutch Shell PLC], it could be anybody else," he said.

Instead of being an hindrance, Mr. al-Jaidah said the U.S. gas boom meant Qatar--the world's largest liquefied-natural-gas exporter--could redirect more supply to lucrative Asian markets.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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