Natural gas processing unit
Qatar will merge its two state-controlled LNG firms to boost operational efficiency. (Representational Picture)Wikimedia Commons/Nandu Chitnis

Qatar will merge two of its state-owned liquefied natural gas (LNG) firms to facilitate streamlining of distribution along with the creation of necessary scale for higher operational efficiency.

The peninsular Arab country will combine Qatargas, the world's' largest producer of  (LNG), with smaller RasGas to create a bigger entity, according to a report in Saudi Gazette.

The Gulf country is the world's largest producer of LNG, which is produced by chilling natural gas to liquid form for shipment on tanker ships.

The report quoted president and chief executive officer of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, as saying that the plan to merge the two state-controlled firms would create a "unique global energy operator in terms of size, service and reliability".

The merger is expected to be completed within 12 months and save hundreds of millions of dollars.

Notably, major global oil firms have a stake in these two LNG firms. While Total, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell have stakes in Qatargas production lines, RasGas is a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum and Exxon Mobil with the latter holding a minority stake in the company.

Allaying fears of any possible job losses due to this merger, the CEO of Qatar Petroleum said there would be no job losses on the operating side.

According to analysts, the move is seen as Qatar's effort to adapt to prevailing low energy pricing regime in the world.