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Britons, Chinese eye Qatari gas field

DOHA, Qatar, May 17 (UPI) -- Natural gas development near the North Dome complex in the Persian Gulf will help develop the Qatari economy, energy executives said.

British energy company Royal Dutch Shell signed an exploration and production sharing agreement with Qatar Petroleum and PetroChina Co. Ltd. for Block D onshore and offshore of Qatar.

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The production sharing agreement gives the partners the opportunity to explore for natural gas in the block. It covers 3,123 square miles onshore and offshore Qatar. Block D extends beneath the North Field, which together with the South Pars field forms the largest natural gas reserve in the world.

"I am pleased that we now have an opportunity, with PetroChina, to explore for new natural gas resources that could be used to further Qatar's economic development," said Peter Voser, chief executive officer at Royal Dutch Shell.

The agreement is the second dedicated to exploring for hydrocarbons in the region. The agreement between the three companies is for 30-years with a 5-year first exploration period, Royal Dutch Shell announced.

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