Berlin: Qatar's energy minister on Thursday called for oil-producing countries to boost investment in the oil and gas sector given a recovery in the price of oil, but said he did not back setting any specific targets for such investment.
Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada said he expected the issue to be addressed during a meeting of Opec and non-Opec countries in Algeria at the end of the month.
"While the oil price has been recovering, the only thing now is to see an adequate level of investment going back to the oil sector," Sada told Reuters ahead of a bilateral Qatar-German investment conference.
Boosting investment was important to ensure secure oil supplies in the future, he said, noting that failing to invest now would have consequences in two to three years.
Sada said he did not favour setting specific investment targets, since that could distort the market.
"From the government point of view, we would like to act as a catalyst. If there are bottlenecks or hurdles, we will work hand in hand with investors, but we leave it to the market to determine the level of investment," he said.
State energy giant Qatar Petroleum in May said it will push ahead with its strategy to boost production and acquire foreign assets to be on par with oil majors, its chief executive said.
Sada also cited Qatar's plans to boost production of liquefied natural gas from 77 million tonnes to 100 million tonnes a year as evidence of its commitment to invest in the sector.
Meanwhile, another report said Qatar's energy minister threw his support behind the possible cooperation of Qatar Petroleum, the world's top supplier of liquefied natural gas (LNG), on a potential German LNG terminal.
Al Sada told Reuters that discussions were under way but it would be premature to talk about any specific investment terms because that would depend on the size of the terminal.
On Wednesday Qatar Petroleum said it was in talks with Germany's RWE and rival Uniper about cooperating on a potential LNG terminal.
"As a matter of principle, Qatar is interested," the minister told Reuters.
Al Sada said Qatar was also keen to export LNG to Germany, highlighting the environmental advantages of LNG, the reliability of Qatar's deliveries and that it could help Germany to diversify its energy supply.
But he said that Qatar does not want to crowd out other suppliers, adding: "There will be room for everybody's gas."
Germany, Europe's largest energy consumer, shelved plans for an LNG terminal of its own a few years ago, with major operators instead participating in foreign projects, including Rotterdam's Gate terminal.
However, talks about a German terminal have been revived as global LNG flows increase and ahead of looming requirements for cleaner fuels.
A consortium comprising Dutch gas network operator Gasunie , German tank storage provider Oiltanking and Dutch oil and chemical storage company Vopak is trying to get such a project off the ground.
A funding decision by the consortium, dubbed German LNG Terminal, is expected by the end of 2019.