TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy have agreed to create a joint venture (JV) that will have a 25% stake in the $28.75bn North Field East (NFE) expansion project in Qatar.

QatarEnergy will have a 75% stake in the JV, while the remaining 25% stake will be held by TotalEnergies.

The NFE liquefied natural gas (LNG) project will have a capacity of 32 million tons per annum (Mtpa).

The French firm’s foray into the liquefied natural gas (LNG) project follows the conclusion of a competitive process that began in 2019 to select QatarEnergy’s international partners in the venture.

TotalEnergies chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: “Qatar has huge natural gas resources that it intends to develop further to increase the production of the least expensive, the most environmentally respectful and the best located LNG.

“TotalEnergies was present at the beginning of its LNG industry in Qatar some 30 years ago through its interest in Qatargas 1, and then Qatargas 2 in 2005. We are very proud that Qatar has chosen again TotalEnergies, this time as the first partner for its new major phase of LNG expansion.”

Last week, it was reported that Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell, and ConocoPhillips are also expected to be part of the larger North Field expansion project.

QatarEnergy has confirmed the joining of more partners in the NFE project. The Qatari state-owned company said that final terms have been agreed with the parties and the relevant announcements will be made shortly.

The NFE expansion project is aimed at expanding the LNG export capacity of Qatar from the current 77 million tons per annum (MTPA) to 110Mtpa. The project will have four trains.

A subsequent North Field South project, which is also part of the North Field expansion project will increase Qatar’s capacity further to 126Mtpa.

Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs and QatarEnergy president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “The North Field East project is an iconic achievement that will not only ensure the optimal utilisation of Qatar’s natural resources but will also provide the world with the cleaner and more reliable energy it needs.

“Today, QatarEnergy is standing at the threshold of a new era with a stronger commitment to energy transition and to the safe, reliable, and trustworthy access to cleaner energy.”

The upstream part of the LNG project involves the development of the southeastern area of the offshore North field. As part of this, eight platforms will be built, 80 wells will be drilled, and gas pipelines will be laid to connect to the onshore plant in Ras Laffan, northeast Qatar.

A final investment decision for the LNG project was taken by QatarEnergy (formerly Qatar Petroleum) in early 2021. The company expects to begin production at the NFE project by the end of 2025.