Gas-rich Qatar signed an agreement on Sunday with Royal Dutch Shell and China's National Petroleum Corporation to jointly explore the country's natural gas in the "Block D" area. Block D area is located near the emirate's northern industrial city of Ras Laffan and covers an area of 8,089 square kilometers onshore and offshore.
According to a press release obtained by Xinhua, the total term of the agreement is 30 years and will start with a five year " First Exploration Period," during which Shell and CNPC will implement a work program on the exploration. Shell, as the operator, will hold 75 percent equity share, and the remaining 25 percent will go to the CNPC.
Qatar's Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad Al- Attiyah said the agreement was part of the emirate's strategy to increase its hydrocarbon reserves base, oil and gas production potential and further strengthen its economy. Qatar is the world's top LNG exporter and its economy outperformed its peers in the Gulf region last year by securing a nine-percent growth rate.