DOHA, Qatar, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- French supermajor Total announced it signed a 25-year deal to serve as operator of the al-Khalij field off the coast of Qatar.
Yves-Louis Darricarrere, president of upstream operations at Total, signed a heads-of-agreement deal with Qatari Energy Minister and Managing Director of Qatar Petroleum Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada.
"We have been working with our long-time partner, Total, on al-Khalij field since its discovery," said Sada. "It has been a mutually beneficial and fruitful partnership."
Total discovered the field about 80 miles east of Qatar in 1991. Production began in 1997 and an exploration and production sharing agreement, signed in 1989, is to expire in 2014. The new agreement gives Total a 40 percent operating interest after 2014, with the company staying on as the operator.
Total gave no estimates on production from the field.
Qatar holds the world's third-largest deposits of natural gas and is a lead oil exporter among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.