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Qatar plans to use money from its sovereign wealth fund to diversify its energy mix, its Finance Minister, Ali Shareef Emadi, said at the Petersburg International Economic Forum as quoted by Sputnik.
"In the coming years, we will experience a huge energy transformation and energy will play a leading role around the world in medium and long terms. Energy will remain an important part of our economy,” Emadi said, adding “That is why the role of the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar is important. The future of our country depends on it. At the same time, this fund will also invest in other types of energy."
The official, however, did not elaborate on the types of energy Qatar plans to invest in. The tiny Gulf state, which has been under an economic blockade by its neighbors led by Saudi Arabia for two years now, is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producer and exporter. It is also a minor oil producer.
Qatar used to be a member of OPEC but last December quit the organization, saying the decision was part of a long-term strategy for growing its international presence on energy markets with a focus on gas.
Its Energy Minister said the decision had been hard to make since Qatar had been a member of the cartel for almost six decades, but it had very little influence on OPEC decisions. Qatar produces about 600,000 bpd, which ranks it among the smaller OPEC producers.
In gas, however, things are different. The country’s proven gas reserves are estimated at 880 trillion cu ft and it last year announced plans to boost its liquefied natural gas production to as much as 100 million tons annually, from a current rate of 77 million tons. It exports gas at a daily rate of about 11 billion cu ft and accounts for almost a third of the global LNG market.
Qatar is also expanding internationally. Also in December 2018, Qatar Petroleum’s chief executive said the company planned to invest up to US$20 billion in U.S. LNG and oil projects.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.