Qatar is eager to retain its position as the world’s key exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG), especially in light of the ongoing dispute with its neighbors which could result in more economic sanctions against the country.
On Tuesday, Qatar Petroleum announced its intention to raise Qatar’s LNG production from 77 million to 100 million tons per year, bolstering its production capacity by 30%.
“The new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April. This will increase the North Field’s production of natural gas, condensate and other associated products by one million barrels of oil equivalent per day,” the company said in an announcement.
“With the conclusion of further technical studies, we have decided that the best option would be to double the size of the project to 4 billion cubic feet of gas per day, which constitutes a 20% increase from the current North Field production rate, or about 1 million barrels of oil equivalent per day,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the President & CEO of Qatar Petroleum said.
“This project will strengthen our position as the world’s largest LNG producer and exporter in line with Qatar Petroleum’s strategic growth plan.”
“Once completed, within 5-7 years from now, this project will raise the production of the State of Qatar to about 6 million barrels of oil equivalent per day,” Al-Kaabi added.
The announcement comes as the tensions between Qatar and its neighbors heat up following the severing of diplomatic ties on June 5.
The latest turn of events saw the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt issue a list of demands to Qatar, which among other things included shutting down of the Al Jazeera network, cutting of support to terrorism-related groups, closing of Turkish military base and cooling down of ties with Iran, with which the country shares a gas field.
However, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that “the four siege countries prepared demands that were meant to be rejected.”
In addition, Al-Thani pointed out that the demands “violated international law and did not look to combat terrorism and instead focused on undermining and infringing on the sovereignty of Qatar, striking down on the freedom of press, and imposing auditing and probation mechanisms against the State of Qatar.”
According to the minister, dialogue and sitting down to negotiations is the only option to resolve the ongoing Gulf crisis.