Qatar firm invests in Australia's LNG industry

Company owned by former finance minister makes 'major investment' in Brisbane's Bothar

A LNG tanker prepares to deliver its latest cargo. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A LNG tanker prepares to deliver its latest cargo. (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A Qatar company has made a "major investment" into Australia's liquefied natural gas industry.

The deal, which was finalised last week, saw Qatar-based Petroserv Group buying a 49 percent stake in Brisbane-based Bothar Boring & Tunnelling Limited.

Bothar will be rebranded as Petroserv International as part of the deal, said DLA Piper, which represented Bothar in the deal.

Qatar is the world's largest LNG exporter and this deal represents the country's first major investment into Australia's growing LNG sector, it added in a statement.

It is expected that the initial equity injection by Petroserv Group will be followed by further significant funding from the company.

No value was given for the initial investment.

In April, a study by Lloyd’s Register said Australia could overhaul Qatar to become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2020.

The study, which was compiled alongside University of Strathclyde and tech firm QinetiQ, found that India and China will see huge increases in imports of LNG between 2010 and 2030, driving global growth for exports.

According to the US Department of Energy, Qatar was the world’s biggest exporter of LNG in 2011 with 75.5m tonnes, or 31 percent of global exports.

Malaysia was the second highest with 25m tonnes, and Australia fourth largest with 19.2m tonnes.

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