Qatar's petroleum products marketing company is to be integrated within Qatar Petroleum (QP) by the end of 2016 as the country cuts costs at state-owned enterprises to contend with low oil prices and increased competition in energy markets.
The move to absorb Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co, known as Tasweeq, will maximize value for QP in an "ever more competitive and demanding market environment", QP chief executive Sherida al-Kaabi said after the plan was announced on Sunday.
Qatar faces rising competition from other liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers as new projects in the US and Australia come online in the next few years.
Qatar Petroleum said the integration of Tasweeq, which was set up in 2007 to market Qatar's regulated petroleum products to commercial customers abroad, will involve "transitioning Tasweeq's employees, assets and customer relationships into the QP organisation".
The move comes amid a broad restructuring of state-owned entities as the Qatari government braces for at least three years of budget deficits resulting from the drop in revenue caused by low natural gas and oil prices.
In late 2014 Qatar Petroleum began a restructuring that included a takeover of its foreign investment arm and the laying off of hundreds of expatriate employees.
Tasweeq, which has about 130 staff, buys refined products such as propane and butane from producers including QP, QatarGas and RasGas and then resells them under its own name abroad.
Last year Tasweeq said it exported about 44 million tonnes of petroleum products, with a quarter of sales going to Japan.