Dubai: The state energy company of Qatar has started the sale of what could be the biggest emerging-market bond so far this year, as it seeks to raise output of liquefied natural gas and cement its domination of the market.
Qatar Petroleum is issuing dollar debt for the first time in 15 years and may aim to raise around $10 billion, Bloomberg has reported.
The producer is selling a four-part deal with tranches maturing in five, 10, 20 and 30 years, according to a person familiar with the matter. The company's last dollar sale was in 2006, when it raised $650 million.
The debt will help the Persian Gulf state pump more gas from the giant North Field that extends into Iran's waters. Qatar - one of the world's richest countries per capita - is planning to spend $29 billion to lift production of LNG to 110 million tons per annum by 2027 from 77 million tons today.
QP has received offers from firms including Royal Dutch Shell Plc, TotalEnergies SE and Exxon Mobil Corp. to co-fund the expansion. The company has already started the work and CEO Saad Al-Kaabi has said it may still finance the project on its own.
The bond comes just as natural gas prices in Europe - home to some of Qatar's biggest buyers - have jumped to the highest level in nearly 13 years amid a global supply crunch. Qatar is banking on demand for the fuel growing amid efforts in Europe and Asia to reduce dependence on coal. Utilities are turning to cleaner-burning natural gas in a bid to lower their carbon footprint.