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Qatar announces major expansion plans for world's largest gas field

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The Qatar government has revealed ambitious new projects aimed at increasing production from the world's largest natural gas field, with plans to ramp up capacity to 142 million tons per year by 2030.

Saad al-Kaabi

The Qatar government has revealed ambitious new projects aimed at increasing production from the world's largest natural gas field, with plans to ramp up capacity to 142 million tons per year by 2030.

The latest expansion of the North Field offshore gas field, dubbed "North Field West," will add an additional 16 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year to current development plans, announced Qatari Energy Minister Saad al-Kaabi during a press conference. 

"North Field holds vast additional gas quantities estimated at 240 trillion cubic feet, increasing Qatar's gas reserves from 1.76 trillion to over 2 trillion cubic feet," emphasized Mr. Kaabi, who also serves as CEO of QatarEnergy, the state-owned Qatari hydrocarbon giant. "These findings will enable us to begin developing a new LNG project from the western sector of the North Field with a production capacity of approximately 16 million tons per year," he added.

This will bring Qatar's production capacity to 142 million tons once "the new expansion is completed before the end of this decade," he continued, representing an almost 85% increase from current production levels. QatarEnergy's CEO affirmed that the company will "immediately commence" engineering work to ensure the expansion is completed on time.

Qatar is one of the world's leading LNG producers, alongside the United States, Australia, and Russia. China, Japan, and South Korea have traditionally been the primary markets for Qatari gas, but following Russia's invasion of Ukraine two years ago, demand has also surged from European countries. The latest development plans follow recent announcements of long-term supply contracts.

In recent weeks, Qatar announced it would supply 7.5 million tons of LNG per year for 20 years to Petronet in India, with initial deliveries scheduled to begin in May 2028. Additionally, in late January, QatarEnergy revealed an agreement with U.S.-based Excelerate Energy to supply Bangladesh with 1.5 million tons of LNG per year for 15 years.

Last year, Qatar signed LNG agreements with Chinese company Sinopec, French firm Total, British giant Shell, and Italian company Eni.

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