North Field off Qatar; Source: QatarEnergy LNG visual for illustration purpose
5 minutes read

New gas expansion project to magnify Qatar’s LNG production by nearly 85%

Qatar’s state-owned energy giant QatarEnergy has carried out extensive appraisal activities at its giant natural gas field, uplifting its gas reserves and laying the groundwork to raise the Persian Gulf state’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity to 142 million tons per annum (mtpa) before the end of 2030.

During a press conference held on Sunday, February 25, at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha, the company’s CEO and Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs disclosed the firm’s plans to proceed with a new LNG expansion project, called the North Field West (NFW), to further raise the country’s LNG production capacity by almost 85% from current production levels before the end of this decade.

North Field off Qatar; Source: QatarEnergy LNG

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President and CEO of QatarEnergy, highlighted: “QatarEnergy has focused its efforts and attention on determining how far west the North Field’s productive layers extend in order to evaluate the production potential from those areas. We have continued geological and engineering studies and have drilled a number of appraisal wells in that area.

“I am pleased today to announce that, praise be to God, these great efforts have confirmed, through technical tests of the appraisal wells, the extension of the North Field’s productive layers further towards the west, which means the ability to produce significant additional quantities of gas from this new sector.”

Furthermore, Al-Kaabi explained that extensive appraisal drilling and testing had confirmed the extension of productive layers of Qatar’s giant North Field towards the west, allowing for the development of a new LNG production project in Ras Laffan.

QatarEnergy’s CEO also confirmed the presence of huge additional gas quantities at the field, estimated at 240 trillion cubic feet, which raises the Persian Gulf state’s gas reserves from 1,760 to more than 2,000 trillion cubic feet. This also pushes the condensate reserves from 70 to more than 80 billion barrels, in addition to large quantities of liquefied petroleum gas, ethane, and helium.

“These are very important results of great dimensions that will take Qatar’s gas industry to new horizons, as they will enable us to begin developing a new LNG project from the North Field’s western sector with a production capacity of about 16 mtpa. As such, the State of Qatar’s total LNG production will reach about 142 mtpa when this new expansion is completed before the end of this decade,” added Al-Kaabi.

“This represents an increase of almost 85% compared to current production levels. With the completion of this project, the State of Qatar’s total hydrocarbon production will exceed 7.25 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.”

Moreover, the Qatari heavyweight is expected to begin right away the basic engineering work necessary to ensure that the planned progress is achieved according to the approved schedule for this new project. QatarEnergy is continuing with the work to implement various elements of the North Field production expansion projects, including the North Field East (NFE) and the North Field South (NFS) projects.

In line with Qatar’s plans to boost LNG production, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Amir of the State of Qatar, laid the foundation stone of the North Field expansion project on Tuesday, October 3, 2023. The project is expected to lift the Persian Gulf state’s LNG production capacity from the current 77 mtpa to 126 mtpa by 2026.

This project encompasses six mega trains, each with a production capacity of eight mtpa of LNG, four of which are part of the North Field East expansion project, and two are part of the North Field South expansion project, contributing a total of 48 mtpa to the global LNG supplies.

“I would like to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to my colleagues the managers and employees at QatarEnergy and in the energy sector in Qatar, women and men, Qataris and expatriates, who work as one family tirelessly and with dedication to advance the energy sector for the benefit of Qatar, QatarEnergy, and our partners. And I would like to say: I am proud of you all,” concluded Al-Kaabi.

The North Field is one of the largest single non-associated natural gas fields in the world, which lies off the northeast shore of the Qatar peninsula. Qatar’s energy sector is positioned for further growth, as confirmed by Wood Mackenzie, which recently outlined that the competition in delivering the next wave of LNG growth would be fierce, though Qatar and the U.S., with 40% of global supply between them, would be the front-runners by a mile.

The Qatari giant has taken steps to bring a massive LNG shipbuilding program to life, ordering a total of 60 ships at Korean and Chinese shipyards during the initial stage. The order, placed in September 2023, for the construction of 17 LNG carriers is said to mark the beginning of QatarEnergy’s second phase of the giant shipbuilding program.

As part of this second phase of its massive LNG fleet expansion project, the Persian Gulf state’s LNG titan picked Qatar Gas Transport Company (Nakilat) to own and operate up to 25 conventional-size LNG carriers under the time charter parties (TCP) to be entered into by affiliates of the two companies.

On a mission to ramp up oil production at Qatar’s largest offshore oil field by about 100,000 barrels of oil per day, QatarEnergy recently handed out four multi-billion-dollar engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contract packages to multiple players, including McDermott, HD Hyundai Heavy Industries, Larsen & Toubro, and China Offshore Oil Engineering (COOEC).

The CEO of Qatar’s state-owned energy giant is convinced that the enrichment of the energy mix with diverse sources will enable countries around the globe to hit the energy transition jackpot by employing a balancing act between energy security, affordability, and sustainability.

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