Maersk Oil has just lost the contract to operate the Al-Shaheen oil field, Qatar’s largest oil field.
The loss comes as a blow to Maersk, who had been operating the field since 1992.
“Presently, Maersk Oil is the operator of the field and the current 25 year production sharing agreement expires in July 2017”, the company said in a statement.
Maersk Oil Loses Major Offshore Oil Field
The French Total won a 30% stake on Monday in the new 25-year contract to operate the oil field.
This follows an invitation by Qatar Petroleum (QP) in July 2015 for a number of international oil companies to participate in a competitive tender for the further development of the field.
Maersk Oil CEO Jakob Thomasen
Maersk’s bid was submitted earlier this year, but today, QP communicated they had selected another oil firm as partner.
“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”, Maersk Oil CEO, Jakob Thomasen, said.
Maersk Oil Focus On North Sea Ops
Following the event, Maersk Oil said it will focus on its North Sea operations, while continuing to operate Al-Shaheen until the end of the current license in July 2017.
“Maersk Oil is growing as a result of improved operating performance and with major projects like Culzean in the UK and Johan Sverdrup in Norway, we continue adding new production through to the end of the decade,” Thomasen explained.
Under the terms offered by QP, a minority shareholding for Maersk Oil in the new joint venture (JV) to operate Al-Shaheen would have “created a marginal impact on the Maersk Group earnings in the years ahead”, the company stated further.
The company is expected to redeploy its employees based in Qatar elsewhere in the Maersk Group, while most of the remaining employees in Qatar should be employed by Total.