Qatar Petroleum has begun a development drilling campaign for the North Field East (NFE) project to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity there.

The first of 80 development wells was spudded last month using jack-up rig GulfDrill Lovanda. GulfDrill, a joint venture between Gulf Drilling International and Seadrill, manages and operates the rig.

This phase of the NFE project, earlier known as the North Field Expansion project, will increase the state of Qatar’s LNG production capacity from the existing 77 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) to 110 mtpa.

The North Field South Project (NFS), the second phase of the North Field LNG expansion project, will further increase its production capacity to 126mtpa.

Qatar Petroleum president and CEO Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “The start of the development drilling campaign for NFE represents an important milestone to deliver on our strategy to grow our LNG production capacity.

“The continued achievement of milestones, dedication of significant resources and making of substantial investments is proof that the NFE remains on top of our priorities and demonstrates our commitment to executing this mega-project.

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By GlobalData

Earlier, Qatar Petroleum awarded several contracts for jack-up drilling rigs to be used to drill 80 development wells for the NFE.

The first four offshore jackets are currently being installed in Qatari waters, with completion expected by the end of this month.

Al-Kaabi added: “I would like to thank Qatar Petroleum and Qatargas management and teams for this important achievement and for making sure that every component of the project is delivered safely.”