Posted on January 12, 2018

Qatar will further consolidate its global position as the top LNG exporter as the country has embarked on North Field development, which will ramp up production to more than 100mn tonnes per year (tpy) by 2024.

Even on crude oil, Qatar is focusing on field development, especially at the Bul Hanine offshore oilfield. On the petrochemicals front, Qatar plans a 1.6mn tonnes per year world-scale plant that should be operational within six years. While the final details of the North Field expansion have not been announced yet, Qatar Petroleum president and CEO Saad Sherida al-Kaabi recently said “QP will be expanding in a joint venture with some IOCs (international oil companies).”

Qatar’s plan is to develop an export-oriented gas project in the North Field. However, QP has not yet decided if exports will be in the form of LNG, GTL or pipeline gas. Since 2005, QP has been conducting extensive studies and exerting exceptional efforts to assess the North Field, including drilling a number of appraisal wells to better estimate the field’s production potential. “We are looking at different ways of doing that, examining offers from different IOCs to see what is in our best interest. Most probably we will have a few joint ventures,” al-Kaabi told the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES).

Asked whether it will be with IOCs already operating in Qatar’s LNG sector, al-Kaabi said, “Not necessarily. It could also be with new companies. We are selectively entertaining a number of companies. It is not an open bid, it is people we want to have in Qatar that can add value. “The technical side, the engineering side, is moving forward. We have brought in Chiyoda, who designed and built all of the trains. They are already working with QP on the design of the new trains and how we are going to do it.”

While there is a glut in the market currently, QP is designing gas projects in the five-to-seven years horizon, where a big demand for energy is expected. According to the Doha-based Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) a boom in LNG trade is seen in the coming years in view of the expansion of Qatar’s LNG industry as well as in other GECF member-countries in addition to liquefaction facilities coming online in the US and Australia. The second wave of expansion will come primarily from Qatar and other GECF members by 2025, as well as from the US.

Qatar will also be among the major beneficiaries of pipeline gas exports in the Mideast region, whose combined output will reach 60bn cubic metres (bcm) by 2040. The Qatargas-RasGas merger has created a global gas giant owned by Qatar. The new entity, which is called Qatargas, started operations on January 1. Before the merger, Qatargas and RasGas were already the world's two biggest LNG producers. The combined company will handle all of Qatar’s 77mn tonnes of LNG export capacity annually sold through a mix of joint venture agreements with oil majors including ExxonMobil and Shell.

Even on crude oil, Qatar is focusing on field development, especially at the Bul Hanine offshore oilfield. “Development is going fine. There were different options for the development and it is going well. We are looking to increase production to around 75,000-80,000 barrels per day (bpd),” al-Kaabi told the MEES.

source: Gulf Times