QatarEnergy joined a group of oil and gas companies late June in an effort to diminish nearly all methane footprint produced during operations by the year 2030.
QatarEnergy is in negotiations with Asian and European buyers for its liquified natural gas (LNG), the CEO and the country’s energy minister, Saad Sherida Al Kaabi confirmed on Wednesday.
“We’re talking to everybody that wants to buy gas and stops in Qatar to have a discussion. When we’re done (negotiating), we sign,” Al Kaabi said.
In an interview Singapore-based outlet filmed during his Asia tour last month, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said “energy will remain a very relevant, cleaner, and more reliable source for a longer period, because we see that it is the best alternative and the more realistic alternative towards transition”.
“Now is it going to be a total substitute of fuel? It will take over gradually and we have seen this happening in different countries in the world, but we don’t know when is the time where it will be the substitute,” he said.
Speaking on the “energy poverty” colossal that has unravelled in the last few years, the foreign minister said “this was due to a lot of things,” adding that “the policies that have been adopted to transform to green in an aggressive way which sometimes is not realistic.”
In an interview with Sky News late May, Al Kaabi noted that western powers must take responsibility. Years of pushing for an urgent end to fossil fuel production and calling gas producers the “bad guys” had contributed to the current crisis, he argued.
“There was a build up of countries pushing for the [energy] transition in a hard way. [They pushed for] net-zero, moving to renewables, doing away with fossil fuels and demonising the oil and gas companies, [calling them] the bad guys. And [as a result] you don’t have enough investment in the oil and gas sector,” Al Kaabi said, according to Sky News.
The foreign minister also said “natural gas is the best way to transition to a cleaner energy”.
Raising another point as to why the “energy poverty” is deepening, Sheikh Mohammed noted: “We have seen also the suspension of new investments in the energy field.”
“Qatar decided that we are going to pursue our investment in the natural gas which we believe will remain relevant, as we mentioned, it is a cleaner, safer and more reliable source of energy.”
Ensuring the safeness of the Qatar-produced energy and its abstention from harming the environment, the foreign minister highlighted Qatar’s major role as regional leader in carbon capturing as well as flame reduction.
Speaking about the multi-billion plan North Field Expansion Project, the top Qatari diplomat said: “We think this expansion will help in sterilising the energy market in the near future and even long term.”
The Gulf country is likely to witness an expansion in its hydrocarbon dependence as its North Field projects begin production. The multi-billion plan is the largest of its kind, and seeks to boost Qatar’s annual LNG production capacity from 77 million metric tonnes to 126 million tonnes by the year 2027.
Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to increase to 4.9% this year due to its boosted hydrocarbon exports of 10% as well as its multi-billion plan North Field expansion project.
The nearly $30 billion North Field Expansion includes six LNG trains that will drastically increase Qatar’s liquefaction capacity by 64% by 2027.
The units have the capacity to produce eight million tonnes of LNG per year.
The current standing of 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) will jump to 110 by the year 2025. During the first phase, four mega-trains will lead the productions.
The second phase, known as the North Field South Project, will boost the capacity from 110 mtpa to 126 mtpa by 2027. This would make Qatar the world’s single largest producer of LNG.
Contracts with Asian and European buyers
Qatar depends mainly on long-term contracts with countries, “in fact we have a great partnership with Asia and Europe,” adding that “we have seen that pricing stability is important to continue this partnership and solidify it.”
“Price stability and supply stability is very important and key because we are a long-term energy supplier,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“We have been a very reliable partner to all our buyers […] and we have have seen that the energy crisis is growing in the entire world [and still] we supplied to Asia and Europe and we didn’t give priority to one over the other,” he added.
“We just stick to our contracts.”
China’s national oil firms in June were in “advanced talks” with Qatar to invest in the North Field East expansion project and potentially purchase its fuel, under long-term contracts.
The partnership would be the first such act between the two countries which are considered the world’s top LNG consumers and producers. This came as there have been reports that Doha is looking to expand its Asian client base for its global energy export.
Qatar’s possible LNG supply contract will help China “create a buffer” against the constant price fluctuations as well as aid in diversifying its imports, Reuters reported.
In April, it was reported that QatarEnergy is exploring whether to add an extra unit to the project and interest amongst its customers. Those customers include some in China.