QatarEnergy will contribute 40% of all new LNG to the market by 2029, the country’s energy minister and CEO of QatarEnergy, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, said during the 20th International Conference & Exhibition on Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) in Vancouver on Tuesday.
Speaking during a “Leadership Dialogue” at the conference, Al-Kaabi said that as part of global growth, “gas will always be needed as the cleanest fossil fuel for the baseload required for electricity production and for powering industrial and manufacturing factories”.
Qatar has approved expansion projects that would boost its LNG output by 64%, up to 126 million tonnes per year by 2027. Its North Field South Project involves the construction of six LNG mega trains, creating opportunities for US energy companies to introduce clean, green and smart technologies to these new facilities.
Al-Kaabi spoke about QatarEnergy’s efforts to address energy security and transition towards renewables. “In Qatar, we are increasing production to 126 million tons per annum (mtpa), and we have another 16–18 mtpa out of the US next year. We are doing it in the most responsible way as far as emissions are concerned with [carbon dioxide] CO₂ sequestration,” he added.
However, the International Trade Administration reported that in the past four decades, CO₂ emissions “increased dramatically” due to growth in the LNG sector. In August 2021, QatarEnergy announced its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2030 and allocated funding of $170m (QR618.8m). In October, Qatar Petroleum was renamed as QatarEnergy to focus on sustainability and climate change issues.
“Qatar has the largest sequestration site in the MENA region today,” Al-Kaabi added. “We are injecting more than 2mtpa of sequestered CO₂ today, and we are going to go to 11mtpa in a few years. We are using solar power to power some of our new LNG production. Qatar’s LNG carbon intensity is probably the lowest in the world. So we are doing it in a very responsible fashion, and we are reducing emissions.”
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What about oil?
A US government agency, the Energy Information Administration (EIA), published a report in March 2023 that said Qatar’s total petroleum and other liquids production declined from two million barrels per day in 2012 to less than 1.9 million in 2022.
Al-Kaabi urges a more transparent discussion on demonising oil and gas, which has resulted in a significant loss in investments in the sector. He said: “On average, there was a 25% reduction of investment over the past ten years from a normal investment cycle that we would expect.
“Today, the only reason we are not seeing this affecting the market tremendously is a globally warm winter in 2022–23 and the filled storage in Europe. But that storage [will not] be replenished easily, and investments are still not coming in as we think [they] should.”
Al-Kaabi, regardless of being a loud supporter of sustainability and pushing for energy transition, urged people not to be “selfish” by calling an end to oil and gas supplies “when you have a billion people that are deprived of the basic electricity that we all enjoy every day”.
“When we took our investments decision a few years back, people [doubted] our move, saying we don’t need that kind of an investment and that kind of volume. And I think people realise now the need for oil and gas in general,” the minister said during the conference.
Qatar will host the next LNG Conference & Exhibition in 2026, featuring the “largest number” of key speakers and LNG industry leaders.