Minister outlines Qatar gas strategy

Qatar has outlined a four-pronged strategy to tap the country's huge gas reserves. Its core focus will be to satisfy rising gas demand in the region, including domestic demand, Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah has said.


Doha�Qatar has outlined a four-pronged strategy to tap its huge gas reserves. Its core focus will be to satisfy rising gas demand in the region, including domestic demand, Minister of Energy and Industry Abdullah bin Hamad al Attiyah said here.

Addressing a seminar on the Dolphin export pipeline project, he said Qatar would increase production of LNG by debottlenecking its existing plants�operated by Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. and Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Co.�and adding new LNG trains. Qatar will also focus on exporting gas within the region via pipeline and developing value-added schemes, such as gas-to-liquids synthetic fuels and petrochemical projects.

Gulf gas demand
Al Attiyah says gas demand in the Persian Gulf region is increasing rapidly. He believes gas will gradually displace crude oil and refined products, freeing those supplies for export, thus generating extra revenues. Gas will also be increasingly needed for reinjection into aging oil reservoirs to maintain pressure and boost or sustain crude production, says Al Attiyah.

The increase in gas demand will result from expansion in the power generation, water desalination, petrochemical, steel, and aluminum industries. Growing gas use has also been ascribed to environmental initiatives and economic benefits.

"The Dolphin project came into existence as an option by Abu Dhabi to supply the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Qatari gas, which will strengthen cooperation and integration of ties between the two countries," said Al Attiyah. The $8-10 billion project seeks to market and distribute gas from North field to Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, and ultimately Pakistan. Other goals include development of petrochemical, power generation, and other industrial projects.

Dolphin is the brainchild of the UAE Offsets Group, whose purpose is to generate wealth for the people of UAE and globally integrate UAE�s economy. "This project is looked at...[as] the first project to establish regional gas exports by pipeline from Qatar," said Al Attiyah.

Qatar and Kuwait recently announced that they would jointly draft a gas sales agreement over the next 3 months on potential supplies from North field through a pipeline to Kuwait. The two sides agreed to establish joint teams to develop the principles and framework for the sales accord, which will include all aspects of the transaction, including volumes, quality, a pricing formula, means of transportation, and the timing of supplies.

Al Attiyah said a regional gas network in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries is a concept supported by the six GCC members. The GCC comprises Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, and Bahrain.

More in Reserves