In 1995, Qatar launched an international syndicated loan intended to part-finance investment in a number of projects, mainly in the oil and gas industries; Paribas was co-arranger of the loan. A year later, Paribas signed a loan agreement with Qatar to finance phase IV of the Qatari electricity network extension, involving a multi-source buyer credit.
Another area of activity where the Bank has played an important role is the development of gas production in Qatar. Beginning in the 1990s, the country invested heavily in developing its gas business. Its nine LNG trains, five of which belonging to the State of Qatar, have enabled the country to achieve a level of 77 million mtpa45, the third-highest production level in the word after Russia and Iran. Thanks to its massive offshore North Field, Qatar has become the world s number one LNG exporter.
Since the 1990s, the Bank has acted as lender, financial advisor and agent, initially downstream in the petrochemical area, and then upstream for the liquefaction trains for Qatargas.
In December 2004, BNP Paribas played a central role in the financing of the Qatargas 2 project, the world s first fully integrated value chain LNG venture. This was one of the biggest financial deals of all time, developed with Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil. The end-to-end process comprises gas extraction, processing of the gas into LNG, transport of the gas around the world including to the United Kingdom in a fleet of special tankers, off-loading into a purpose-built terminal and reconstitution into gas form (regasification) for distribution.
The gas downstream business also took BNP Paribas to the UK s west coast, near Milford Haven in Wales, where the South Hook LNG terminal was being constructed by a consortium led by Qatar Petroleum International in partnership with ExxonMobil and Total. The South Hook Terminal was inaugurated in 2009, by both H.M. Queen Elizabeth II and the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, underlining the importance of this regasification terminal for the United Kingdom s energy supplies.
BNP Paribas involvement in liquefied natural gas also extends to transportation. The Bank acted as lead arranger, as well as financial advisor for part of the financing arrangements on behalf of the Qatar Gas Transport Company, Nakilat, for the development of the entire LNG transportation business. This involved building the largest fleet of LNG supertankers in the world, enabling Qatar to provide itself with a fully-integrated LNG chain.
In 2005, Dolphin Energy Limited signed an Islamic financing agreement to fund a portion of the Dolphin Gas Project. Dolphin involves the development of substantial natural gas reserves from Qatar s offshore North Field, their processing onshore at Ras Laffan, and transportation by pipeline of up to 3.2 billion cubic feet a day of refined natural gas to the UAE.
45. mtpa: metric tonnes per annum
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