Saad al-Kaabi, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum, says QP wants to invest heavily in the US [Naseem Zeitoon-Reuters]

Qatar Petroleum (QP) is looking to invest at least $20bn in the United States, its chief executive has said, after the Gulf Arab state quit OPEC, freeing Doha from potential legal risks in the US.

Saad al-Kaabi, who holds the energy portfolio of the world’s top liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer, also said on Sunday QP aimed to announce its foreign partners for the new LNG trains it is building by the middle of next year.

But he added QP could carry out the project alone, with no international oil company at its side, if no good offers were made.

“Mark my words, if I don’t get a good deal, we go alone,” Kaabi said in an interview at his office in Doha.

Qatar announced on December 3 that it would leave OPEC in the new year, after 57 years of membership.

Citing industry sources, Reuters news agency reported that Kaabi was concerned that membership of the body could be a stumbling block for QP’s ambitions in the US, where it has one of the world’s biggest LNG terminals.

Proposed US legislation known as NOPEC (No Oil Producing Exporting Cartels Act) could expose OPEC members to antitrust lawsuits in the US, while US President Donald Trump has also been a vocal critic of OPEC, blaming it for high oil prices.

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