Qatar to Boost LNG Output by 30%, Flouting Saudi-led Boycott


Qatar Petroleum, the largest producer of liquefied natural gas, plans to increase output by 30 percent within seven years, a step that would entrench the Gulf nation’s role as a major energy supplier amid a boycott by a Saudi-led coalition of countries.

The state-run producer is doubling to 4 billion cubic feet a day its target for output capacity at a new project in the North Field, Qatar’s section of the world’s biggest natural gas deposit, Chief Executive Officer Saad Sherida Al Kaabi told reporters in Doha. This will raise Qatar’s total LNG production to 100 million tons a year from its current level of 77 million tons, he said. Demand for liquefied gas is growing faster than that for oil, Al Kaabi said.

“LNG supplies are abundant now, and there are many projects under development, but the expected growth in demand is very large,” he said. “All the studies show that between 2021 and 2024 there will be a shortage of gas because of higher demand. Therefore, the launch of our project will be between 2022 and 2024, which is the period when there will be market demand.”

Qatar won’t halt shipments of natural gas to the United Arab Emirates, he said, even as the U.A.E. along with Saudi Arabia seeks to isolate the Persian Gulf sheikhdom in an unprecedented regional dispute. Qatar’s neighbors insist that it cool ties with Iran, which shares the huge offshore gas field. Qatar denies the coalition’s allegations that it sponsors terrorism and has said the group’s demands were designed to be so tough that it would reject them.

The U.A.E. imports gas from Qatar through a pipeline operated by Dolphin Energy Ltd., which is owned by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Development Co.,Total SA and Occidental Petroleum Corp. The link supplies gas to the U.A.E. and Oman and can send 3.2 billion cubic feet per day, though it only uses about two-thirds of that capacity. Qatar Petroleum is taking “legal actions” after Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. declared force majeure to halt shipments of condensate, a light oil liquid, from Qatar, Al Kaabi said on Tuesday.

QP is ending a 12-year ban on new projects at the North Field that allowed the company to assess how its current rate of extraction affects the giant reservoir. Qatar, also the biggest exporter of helium, is continuing to sell the gas, sending shipments by sea, Al Kaabi said.

Source: Bloomberg

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