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Qatar Studies Boosting LNG Capacity To Keep Top Exporter Spot

Qatar Petroleum, the state-run company of the world’s biggest LNG exporter, said on Wednesday that it would be studying ways to boost its LNG capacity in order to process more gas that would come from a new project at North Field—the world’s biggest natural gas deposit—on which Qatar lifted two months ago a 12-year-long self-imposed moratorium.

In early April, Qatar removed a drilling ban for its part of the North Field, which it shares with Iran. Since 2005, Qatar had chosen to continue a self-imposed moratorium on the development of its North Field, including constructing new LNG export facilities; as such, no new projects were expected in Qatar until 2020 at the earliest.

Following the lifting of the moratorium, Qatar Petroleum said on April 3rd that it was planning to develop a new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, with a capacity of about 2 billion cubic feet per day, targeted for exports. The new project is expected to boost total production at the North Field by around 10 percent, adding some 400,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent to Qatar’s production.

Two months later, Qatar Petroleum now announces the signing of an agreement with Japan’s Chiyoda Corporation for carrying out a detailed study to identify the modifications necessary for debottlenecking the capacity of Qatar’s LNG trains in Ras Laffan Industrial City.

Qatar Petroleum expects the study to be completed by the end of this year, which would allow it to begin front-end engineering design (FEED) work in early 2018.

Qatar Petroleum is determined to continue its lead position in the gas industry with its expansion plans, both inside and outside the State of Qatar,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar Petroleum’s president and chief executive, said in today’s press release.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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