Qatar may boost LNG production beyond 126 mtpa

Qatar’s plans to raise LNG capacity to 126 mtpa could even see an additional boost, according to Qatar Petroleum’s chief executive Saad al-Kaabi.

State-owned QP is currently working on the first phase of the North Field expansion project.

The aim is to boost the country’s LNG production capacity from 77 to 110 million tonnes per year by 2025.

The second phase of the project would add an additional 16 million tonnes of capacity by 2027.

“We are going full steam ahead with the North Field expansion projects,” Kaabi, who is also Qatar’s energy minister, said.

Speaking on Thursday during a webcast organised by the U.S-Qatar Business Council, he said that the company will receive final onshore commercial bids for the expansion project by September.

After that, QP plans to award the expansion contracts by the end of the year.

Worldwide demand has been crippled due to the coronavirus pandemic forcing the world’s largest producers to slash spending and output.

Howevher, QP will not reduce its LNG exports due to the weaker demand but will slash spending, according to Kaabi.

“In such a scenario of forced production curtailment because of price, many other producers will be forced to shut down before Qatar due to their high production cost, therefore there is absolutely no way that we would curtail production,” he said.

Kaabi said that QP will be reducing its capital and operating expenses by 30 percent in June.

According to Kaabi, being a “low-cost producer” will help Qatar withstand lower gas prices.

He noted that QP was not considering cutting production at the time being.

“In fact, we are going to expand and even produce more than the planned 126 mtpa if and when that becomes possible,” Kaabi said.

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