Energy giant Qatar Petroleum is to launch a new project in the world’s biggest gas field, boosting its output by up to 10 percent, it said Monday.
The state-owned firm’s chief Saad Al-Kaabi said it was ending a 12-year moratorium on new projects in the North Field, off the Gulf state’s northern coast.
“Qatar Petroleum’s technical studies and assessment of the North Field have confirmed the potential for developing a new gas project,” he said.
The project will produce around two billion cubic feet (57 million cubic metres) of gas per day for export, boosting Qatar’s output by about 400,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, he said.
Kaabi told journalists in Doha that the project would strengthen Qatar’s position as a major player in the global gas industry.
The moratorium on new projects in the North Field had been in place since 2005 as experts assessed the long-term impacts of developing the field.
Kaabi said Qatar Petroleum had spent hundreds of billions of dollars on developing the field, adding that now was a “good time” to allow for new ventures there.
It is likely to be several years before the development, in the southern sector of the North Field, starts producing gas for sale.
While Qatar shares the North Field with Iran, Kaabi said the new project would not impact Tehran’s production.
“It’s the furthest project from the Iranian border, the closest to (Qatar’s port) Ras Laffan,” he said.
LNG is produced through an industrial process whereby natural gas is cooled to -162 degrees Celsius (-260 Fahrenheit) and stored as a liquid, making it easier to transport.
Qatar produces up to 77 million tonnes of gas each year and is set to remain a top LNG producer.
A recent study by Royal Dutch Shell said worldwide LNG demand hit 265 million tonnes in 2016, with Qatar responsible for around 30 percent of global production.