Report reveals Qatar’s appetite for international expansion

EnergyBoardroom published the new Inside Oil & Gas Qatar report that investigates the challenges that Qatar is currently facing as it implements its National Vision 2030.

National Vision 2030, is an ambitious development plan that aims to diversify the economy away from upstream oil and gas, make the hydrocarbon development of the country more sustainable, and help prepare Qatar for a long future ahead. The main challenge to this strategy is the increasing demand for LNG worldwide, putting strain on a plan that has placed a moratorium on new gas exploration projects in Qatar.

“According to some reports, the share of Qatar’s LNG exports to Asia reached 73.5 percent in January 2013, a sharp jump of over 30 percent compared with 56.4 percent in 2012,” reveals Seyed Mohammad Hossein Adeli, secretary general of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). “This major shift is driven by two important factors, one of which is the surprising increase in oil and gas production in a few countries such as the US, Canada and Iraq. This has served to lower the demand for LNG deliveries in Europe and the US. The second has been the retreat from nuclear power following the Fukushima incident in Japan.”

Qatargas’s CEO, Sheikh Khalid Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, forecasts that LNG demand in Asian markets will rise from 237 million tons in 2013 to well over 450 million tons by 2025.

“This growing appetite for LNG will need to be matched by production capacity additions over and above the LNG supply, which will come from projects currently under construction in the US and Australia. Based on our projections, another 150 Mmtpa of additional non-FIDed LNG supply capacity is needed to meet global demand by 2025,” adds Al-Thani.

Al-Thani further believes that, even if an optimistic view is taken on the number of LNG projects that will go to completion, the LNG market will continue to be tight in the short and medium term as demand growth outpaces supply.

This sentiment is echoed by Hamad Rashid Al-Mohannadi, CEO of RasGas, who said, “The greatest risks to ensuring timely supply of new LNG to meet growing global demand are the delay in development of new supply and the associated LNG value chain; escalating development costs and indecision or inability of customers and suppliers to agree mutually on acceptable contract terms.”

It seems as if the biggest issue for Qatar to remain the world’s largest of exporter of LNG will be tight supply, rather than a challenge from North America.

The report also looks at the way that leading Qatari companies are internationalizing as part of this diversification and sustainability drive. Qatar Petroleum International, the international investment arm of leading integrated energy company Qatar Petroleum, is just one example of a company that is looking to shift its portfolio into new territory, by striving to eventually become an operator on upstream projects abroad.

“International growth is the only possible future for the Qatari oil and gas industry, having almost reached the potential of the activity that has taken place over the last two decades,” says Nasser Khalil Al-Jaidah, CEO of Qatar Petroleum International (QPI). “In this time, Qatar has worked hard to consolidate domestically, but now expansion is inevitable, as QP has grown to become one of the world’s largest LNG suppliers. In order to reach its potential, QP must seek new markets, make new partnerships, review the full value chain and plug the gaps wherever they appear.”

The report also investigates the ongoing changes in Qatar’s downstream sector, with the creation of a new state-run company, Muntajat, which is responsible for the marketing and sales activities for its diverse group of downstream and petrochemical companies.

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Press Release; Image: Qatargas

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