Qatar announces plan to raise gas capacity

Qatar's state-owned petroleum company is planning a significant increase in natural gas production, its chief executive said on Tuesday, July 4.

"Qatar Petroleum will not be affected by the siege", he said.

"There is a lot of progress that has been made on that front (countering terrorism financing). but of course there is always room for improvement", he said, describing the sanctions as illegal steps under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

Saad al-Kaabi, Head of Qatar Petroleum (QP), stated on Monday that the country "will remain the leader of LNG for a very long time" as he unveiled plans to increase the output of Liquefied Natural Gas by 30%, from 77 million tons to 100 million tons per annum. Qatar denies the coalition's allegations that it sponsors terrorism and has said the group's demands were created to be so tough that it would reject them.

Qatar has said the demands listed by the Saudis would be impossible to meet without sacrificing Qatar's sovereignty.

"Once completed...this project will raise the production of the State of Qatar to about 6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day", Kaabi said. "We hope others will respond in a similar spirit", Gabriel said.

An abundant supply of LNG already has driven down prices more than 40 percent in Asian spot markets this year, and prices are down 70 percent from their peaks in 2014.

Finding partners to execute the plan on the North gas field, the world's biggest natural gas reserve, shared with Iran, could be an obstacle. With supplies far outpacing demand, however, analysts expect more LNG will be traded freely.

"The companies that choose not to work with us - that's fine, that's their choice".

"If there are no companies willing to work with us, we will do the 100 million tonnes", he said, according to Reuters.

Analysts said the move to boost production was partly to do with added competition in the LNG market, mainly from Australia, the United States and Russian Federation.

The announcement comes a day after Iran signed a deal with France's Total to develop the northern part of that gas field, which Tehran calls South Pars.

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.

"Qatar has one of the lowest LNG production costs in the world".

Vanessa Coleman

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