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Qatar Sets Its Sights On Becoming The World’s Largest LNG Trader

QatarEnergy will be the world’s largest trader of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the next five to ten years, the company’s CEO Saad Al-Kaabi, who is also Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs, said on Wednesday.

Currently, the biggest LNG trader in the world is supermajor Shell, followed by TotalEnergies.  

“We are trading about 5-10 million (tons of LNG) now. We will be, in the next 5-10 years, the largest LNG trader in the world by far. This is ours and third-party (volumes),” Al-Kaabi said at the Energy Intelligence Forum in London today, as carried by Reuters.

QatarEnergy began LNG trading around two years ago and has seen huge profitability, according to its chief executive.

“I would say that the profitability of that venture is probably 20 times what I thought it could be,” Al-Kaabi said.  

Qatar announced last year the world’s largest LNG project, which is set to raise its LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mmtpa) to 110 mmtpa. The Gulf gas and oil producer also plans another expansion phase at the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field, which it shares with Iran. The second expansion phase will be the North Field South Project (NFS), set to further increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 110 mmtpa to 126 mmtpa, with an expected production start date in 2027.

Speaking at the Energy Intelligence Forum today, QatarEnergy’s Al-Kaabi also said that natural gas “is not a transition fuel, it's a destination fuel.” In electricity, baseload is nuclear and gas, he noted.

It is unlikely that natural gas demand would peak in the next 20 to 30 years, the CEO of one of the world’s top LNG exporters said.

Last week, Al-Kaabi said at the virtual Asia Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting, “Hydrocarbons are not going to disappear any time in the near future,” adding “In this respect, natural gas is certainly the cleanest fossil fuel, and a much-needed reliable and economic solution to manage intermittency issues - when the sun is not shining, or when the wind is not blowing.”  

By Tom Kool for Oilprice.com

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