North Field off Qatar; Source: QatarEnergy LNG

QatarEnergy’s CEO on doubling production capacity: LNG is here to stay for years on end

While the decarbonization game is in full swing, there are no indications that the world is ready to bid farewell to fossil fuels in the foreseeable future. With energy security concerns in focus, many countries have been upping the oil, gas, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) output ante. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of QatarEnergy is adamant that LNG will keep its spot at the top of the energy demand pyramid for a long time, thus, Qatar’s state-owned energy giant is determined to raise the production bar further over the coming years.

North Field off Qatar; Source: QatarEnergy LNG

QatarEnergy is pushing the envelope of LNG development by continuing to tap into its gas reserves. To this end, the firm added another expansion project to its arsenal at the North Field. As a result, the North Field East (NFE) and the North Field South (NFS) undertakings are being joined by the North Field West (NFW) project, which is expected to scale up the country’s LNG production capacity by almost 85% from current production levels by 2030.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, President and CEO of QatarEnergy, has confirmed that Qatar’s LNG expansion projects are moving ahead on track towards an increased production capacity of 142 million tons per annum, adding that “with 18 million tons per annum coming from our LNG project in Texas, Qatar will be doubling its LNG production capacity in the next few years.”

While pointing out that Qatar’s LNG expansion projects are designed to help meet the growing demand for cleaner energy driven by economic growth and rising populations and living standards, Al-Kaabi highlighted: “If you look at the expectation of having 1.5 to 2 billion more people in the next 30 years or so, that means we will need more energy, more power, and even more petrochemicals for materials we use every day. We also need to be fair to that population and make sure they have access to reasonably priced power.”

Contrary to last year’s media skepticism of the Persian Gulf state’s ambitious expansion projects and reports predicting difficult times for the country in selling its LNG, QatarEnergy’s CEO has reported that 25 million tons of long-term LNG sales have been secured since then with more expected to be signed this year. He believes that employing a balancing act between energy security, affordability, and sustainability will allow countries around the globe to propel the energy transition agenda forward.

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Al-Kaabi also offered his take on the energy transition journey by explaining: “Many promises were made by politicians, who do not really understand the details of how to achieve this transition. And it was driven to a point where it became in vogue, if you will, for everybody to say ‘net zero, environmental, and green’, which got them elected. But now, as reality sets in five or six years later, they say we cannot achieve what we have promised. The problem is that targets were overstretched and could not have been reached anyway.”

The Persian Gulf state’s energy giant is leaving no stone unturned in pursuing its LNG fleet expansion program with vigor through the execution of shipbuilding contracts and time charter agreements for 104 conventional LNG vessels and 18 QC-Max class LNG ships, amounting to a total of 122 ultra-modern vessels, with the first new ship expected to be delivered by the end of the third quarter of 2024.

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Furthermore, QatarEnergy’s CEO is convinced that LNG will remain in demand for a very long time, thus, he emphasized: “LNG is not going away any anytime soon, as was recently made clear by the G7 as well as by many countries around the world, who have changed their position of moving away from fossil fuels.”