Qatar’s North Field produces 8 bn cf of gas a day

Oct 30, 2007 01:00 AM

Qatar's North Field Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) daily production has reached 8 bn cf and 300,000 barrels of condensate, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Industry HE Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah said.
In his address at the opening session of the 6th Doha Conference on Natural Gas, Al Attiyah said that the current production which is eight times the 1991 level is anticipated to increase three times by 2012. He also said referring to the local gas market that progress is being made in the second phase of the Khaleej Gas and Barzan projects which are to meet the demands of the Qatari gas market for power generation, water desalination, aluminum and petrochemical industries.

With the growing world demand for gas, he said, Qatar maintained its role as one of major gas producers, meeting its commitments thanks to the volume of its gas reserves.
"Qatar has, through QatarGas and RasGas and in cooperation with major world oil and gas corporations, been able to occupy the number one position among LNG producers in the world," Al Attiyah said. "Such an achievement would not have been possible without facing efficiently the challenges related to this industry and implementing the advanced technological solutions."

Later Al Attiyah told that Qatar was committed to produce 77 mm tpy of LNG, almost 20 % of the world's requirement for gas.
"We will be supplying a huge quantity of gas to the world's market and our philosophy is that we should not damage our gas reserves. We should treat our reserve carefully," he said when asked about Qatar's moratorium on gas projects.

Meanwhile, the Minister said that OPEC would be happy to raise crude oil output if needed but there was no sign yet of a supply shortage in world oil markets, despite record high prices. Abdullah bin Hamad told that international tensions were behind high oil prices.
“I haven’t any signal that there is any shortage of crude... I believe a big portion of the oil price today is related to geopolitics and fear factors, and we cannot solve it,” he said. “Sometimes there is a shortage of oil products but not of crude. This is because of limitations of refinery (capacity). Consumers and producers should invest more in refining. We don’t have a magic stick to solve this.”

Despite the surge in oil prices, OPEC has shrugged off calls from importer nations to raise output, saying the problem is not one of crude supply. Attiyah said OPEC would not be able to compensate for any halt in Iran’s oil exports should there be an escalation in the Islamic Republic’s standoff with the West.
“We would be very happy, if there was demand, to sell all our oil -- if somebody will take it why not? But what we see today is psychological demand not physical demand,” Attiyah said. Attiyah said it would also be very difficult to change oil pricing from the dollar to a new basket of currencies, though its weakness was having a negative effect on Qatar and other Gulf states which sell all of their oil, gas and petrochemical products on a dollar basis.

The issue was not on the agenda of the OPEC heads of state meeting in Riyadh, he added, though it could be raised by any minister.
“It is very difficult to change from the dollar. The oil industry trades in dollars,” he said. “If all OPEC and non-OPEC producers sat together to create a new currency basket it might work, but OPEC can’t do it alone.”

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