Trump 'very positive' for oil: Qatar Petroleum boss


President and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi (L) and French oil giant Total CEO, Patrick Pouyanne at the 9th International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Qatar's capital Doha, 7 December, 2015.

DOHA, Qatar - The head of energy giant Qatar Petroleum has shrugged off fears that any potential protectionist policies pursued by US President Donald Trump would impact on global oil and gas markets.

Saad Al-Kaabi -- who heads state-owned QP, the largest exporter of Liquid Natural Gas and one of the biggest oil companies in the world -- said on Monday he expected US policy to remain similar to that exercised under previous presidents.

"Projects that we get into are projects that we get into for 25 to 30 years," he said.

"They survive seven, eight presidents or whatever.

"The president is a businessman. Bringing in foreign investment into the US is something that I think he would want.

"As far as I have seen, as far as the oil and gas business is concerned, he's been very positive for oil and gas."

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Fears have been raised elsewhere about a new protectionism being used by Washington.

China, Germany and France's leadership have warned in recent weeks against tougher trade rules being imposed by the US.

QP already has joint ventures with America's ExxonMobil, whose former chief executive Rex Tillerson is now Trump's secretary of state.

And trade between cash-rich Qatar and the US is set to grow after Doha's government said last year that it wanted to invest $35 billion in the US by 2020.

The tiny Gulf state is a keen ally of the US as well, hosting around 10,000 American troops at the Al-Udeid air base.

Kaabi added that his company would pursue a growth strategy for the foreseeable future, including major international projects, as it adjusts to depressed global energy markets in recent years.

"As far as our strategy is concerned we are in a growth mode and we are going to continue to be in a growth mode for quite a while." he told international journalists at QP headquarters in Doha.

"Some will be national, the majority will be international."

Among the projects QP is looking at overseas is gas and oil exploration off the coast of Cyprus, he said.

QP, together with ExxonMobil, Italy's ENI and France's Total, were last month selected to negotiate a licence to explore for gas in Cyprus.

Kaabi added that he believed Qatar would be a leader in the LNG market "for a long time".