STATE-owned Qatar Petroleum announced today it has signed a deal with Abu Dhabi to operate a shared offshore oil field, despite a bitter diplomatic rift between the Gulf neighbours. Its oil production is exported to Japan and other Asian markets.
"We are delighted to sign this concession agreement, which will ensure the continued development and operation of the Al-Bunduq oil field for many years to come", Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, president and CEO of QP, said on Tuesday.
The company added, pointedly, that the deal showed it was a "trustworthy" energy provider "at all times and under all conditions".
The agreement was signed with Abu Dhabi's Supreme Petroleum Council, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Japan's United Petroleum Development Co, and Bunduq Company Ltd, QP said in a statement on its website. Doha said a year ago it had no plans to halt gas supplies despite the regional rift.
The joint venture between the State of Qatar and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi was discovered in 1965 and began production in 1975. It has been operated via a concession with a Japanese consortium for over four decades.
"This concession was recently extended by each respective government to the Japanese consortium with no direct communication or engagement between the two states".
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and some commercial ties with Qatar in June, accusing Doha of supporting terrorism.
World Cup 2022 host Qatar categorically refutes the claims and says its rivals are trying to force through regime change in Doha.
The quartet imposed a land, sea, and air blockade on Qatar, and also prevented Qatari aircraft from entering their airspace.
However, Qatar is still providing the UAE with gas despite the crisis, and both countries - like Iran - are members of the OPEC oil cartel.
Qatar supplies the UAE with natural gas through the Dolphin pipeline which pumps around 2 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
At the same time, Emirates airline still provides shirt sponsorship for Qatar-owned football team Paris Saint-Germain.