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Includes tour of Ras Laffan Industrial City and Port, opening of GE corporate office building, a visit to Education City, and time spent thanking U.S. troops

DOHA, QATAR - U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman today concluded a two-day visit to Qatar by participating in the announcement of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company III (RasGas III), visiting Qatar's Education City, and eating lunch with U.S. troops stationed at Camp Al Sayliyah.  On November 14, Secretary Bodman and his delegation toured the Ras Laffan Industrial City and Port in Qatar.  Ras Laffan Port is the world's largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporting port.

The visit to Industrial City preceded today's official opening of Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company III (RasGas III) at the Diplomatic Club in Doha, Qatar.   RasGas III will further develop Qatar's LNG industry, enabling it to export LNG to nations around the world.  The opening ceremony was hosted by Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Attiyah.  RasGas III is a joint venture between state-run QatarGas and multi-national corporation ExxonMobil, which has a 30 percent stake.

"Natural gas is a tremendous resource that provides a significant portion of our world's energy mix.  By developing its resources, RasGas III will help to increase the availability of natural gas as fuel and feedstock to the world, while benefiting the people of Qatar," Secretary Bodman said.

Secretary Bodman also visited the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development today.  During his visit, the secretary toured Education City, a 2,500-acre campus on the outskirts of Doha, which hosts branch campuses of some of the world's leading universities, as well as a number of other educational and research institutions. 

"No matter what corner of the world you're in, education is the key to success.  It can help raise a family or a nation to a better life," Secretary Bodman said.  "Education City is indicative of Qatar's commitment to meet the challenges of the future and embracing an open society.  Qatar has brought together the strength and vision of its leaders, the insight and discipline of the scientific community, the knowledge and research skills of academia and, perhaps most important of all, the idealism and imagination of young people."

While visiting Education City, Secretary Bodman spoke to students of the Weill-Cornell Medical College, Texas A&M University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Carnegie Mellon University, and Georgetown University. Secretary Bodman graduated from Cornell University in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering.

Also during his visit to Qatar, Secretary Bodman met with Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, where he highlighted the importance of the continued relationship between the two countries in energy and non-energy sectors.  The secretary praised some of the Emir's policy changes, including political liberalization, creation of an elected council, and women's suffrage.

In addition to his visits with international leaders, Secretary Bodman visited troops at U.S. Central Command located at Camp Al Sayliyah.  The unified command is responsible for U.S. security interests in 25 nations that stretch from Africa through the Arabian Gulf region into Central Asia.  The secretary and his delegation thanked the soldiers for their service while eating lunch with them.  This was the second visit with troops Secretary Bodman has had during his trip through the Middle East.

On November 14, Secretary Bodman joined Minister Al-Attiyah in the grand opening of new General Electric (GE) corporate offices in Qatar.

"I commend GE for adopting a partnership approach to their operations here in Qatar," Secretary Bodman said.  "This leadership approach benefits GE and Qatar by transferring knowledge and growing local talent."

At the event, GE announced the creation of the new GE Oil and Gas Service Center that will become an important technology hub in the Persian Gulf.  The service center will support the maintenance of GE gas turbines and compressors installed in Qatar.

Qatar was the third stop on a four-nation trip through the Middle East for Secretary Bodman.  He has visited with officials and dignitaries in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and will visit Saudi Arabia next.

Media contact(s):

Craig Stevens, 202/586-4940