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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Qatar on track to become world’s largest LNG producer: report


The North Field Expansion project is expected to boost Qatar up the LNG producer list.

Qatar’s move to sanction the $28.7 billion North Field Expansion project puts the country on track to return as the world’s largest LNG producer by 2030, Rystad Energy said in a report.

The Oslo-based international energy consultancy and research organisation said the North Field Expansion (NFE) will raise Qatar’s liquefaction capacity to 110 million tonnes per year (tpy) out of the global total of 600 million tonnes per year, or 18% of the world’s annual supply. 

The project will likely trigger a rise in oil prices and energy projects worth about $100 billion in 2021, of which the Middle East is set to contribute almost 40%. 

Currently, Australia tops the LNG producer chart with 88 million tonnes per year. However, that is set to change as Qatar and the US are slated to overtake Canberra to reach the top of the list. 

Qatar’s actual production in 2030 may reach 107 million tpa, about 22.5% of the so far global sanctioned supply of 476 million tpa, which is set for the end of the decade, according to Rystad Energy experts. 

Read more: State-owned Qatar Petroleum set for ‘world’s largest’ LNG project

Global LNG demand will reach about 580 million tonnes by 2030, leaving significant room for bringing new LNG projects forward. 

“We forecast that 104 million tpa of new LNG supply must be sanctioned in the coming five years to meet the gap between actual supply and demand in 2030,” said Sindre Knutsson, vice president at Rystad Energy’s gas markets team.

To tap the supply capacity deficit, there are almost 1,000 million tpa of new proposed capacity that will compete to attract buyers and investors to secure financing in the years ahead.

After a poor sanctioning year in 2020, optimism has returned to the market with more final investment decisions for LNG projects hoped to follow Qatar’s NFE, according to Rystad Energy. 

Qatar, however, is also likely to add extra skin in the game, as it aims to increase its LNG output capacity to 126 million tpa from the current 77 million tpa through two expansion phases of the North Field. 

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