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Inside Qatar’s oil and gas sector

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

EnergyBoardroom has released a new report that takes a look at the challenges currently being faced by Qatar as it implements its National Vision 2030. This is an ambitious development plan that aims to diversify the economy away from upstream oil and gas operations and make the hydrocarbon development of the country more sustainable as well as help prepare the country for the future. The main challenge, according to EnergyBoardroom’s report is the increasing global demand for LNG which is putting a strain on a plan that has placed a moratorium on new gas exploration projects.

Seyed mOhammad Hossein Adeli, Secretary General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum said, “according to some reports, the share of Qatar’s LNG exports to Asia reached 73.5% in January 2013, a sharp jump of over 30% compared with 56.4% in 2012. This major shift is driven by two important factors, one of which is the surprising increase in oil and gas production in a few countries such as the US, Canada and Iraq.” This alone has served to lower the demand for LNG deliveries in Europe and the US. The second has been the retreat from nuclear power following the Fukushima incident in Japan.

It has been forecast in the report by Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, CEO, Qatargas that LNG demand in Asian markets is to rise from 237 million t last year to 450 million t by 2025. He said, “this growing appetite for LNG will need to be matched by production capacity additions over and above the LNG supply, which will come from projects currently under construction in the US and Australia. Based on our projections, another 150 million tpy of additional non-FIDed LNG supply capacity is needed to meet global demand by 2025.”

Al-Thani continued, “even if an optimistic view is taken of the number of LNF projects that will go to completion, the LNG market will continue to be tight in the short and medium term as demand growth outpaces supply.” Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, CEO, RasGas agrees and has said, “the greatest risks to ensuring timely supply of new LNG to meet growing global demand are the delay in development of new supply and associated LNG value chain; escalating development costs and indecision or inability of customers and suppliers to agree mutually on acceptable contract terms.” So it appears that the biggest issue for Qatar to remain the worlds’ largest exporter of LNG will be tight supply, rather than a challenge from North America.

Company setup

The report takes a look at the way that leading companies in Qatar are internationalising as part of the diversification and sustainability drive. Qatar Petroleum International is looking to move its portfolio into new territory by striving to eventually become an operator on upstream projects abroad. Nassar Khalil Al-Jaidah, CEO, Qatar Petroleum said, “International growth is the only possible future for the Qatari oil and gas industry, having almost reached the potential of the activity that has taken place over the last two decades. In this time, Qatar has worked hard to consolidate domestically, but now, expansion is inevitable, as QP has grown to become one of the world’s largest LNG suppliers. In order to reach its potential, QP must seek new markets, make new partnerships, review the full value chain and plug the gaps wherever they appear.”

Downstream sector

The report also looks at the ongoing changes in Qatar’s downstream sector, with the creating of a new state run company. Muntajat is responsible for the marketing and sales activities for its diverse group of downstream and petrochemical companies. Abdulrahman Ali Al-Abdulla, CEO said, “to have one face in the market means that whenever anyone thinks of chemicals, petrochemicals or fertilisers coming from Qatar, they think of Muntajat, the gateway to these products.”

Edited from press release by Claira Lloyd

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