Worldwide demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will increase at a rate of 2 percent every year in the next fifteen years, the chief executive of one of the world’s top LNG providers, Qatar Petroleum, said on Tuesday.

“China, along with India, will continue to lead Asia as the main drivers behind the growth of global LNG demand,” Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of Qatar Petroleum, said at the LNG2019 conference in Shanghai.

Over the past decade, Qatar Petroleum has delivered more than 50 million tons of LNG to China, which is equal to more than 22 percent of China’s LNG imports in the last ten years, Al-Kaabi said at the conference, as carried in a Qatar Petroleum statement.

Qatar, the world’s top LNG producer, aims to further boost its export capacity to meet growing demand, especially on the Asian market, and to retain its top exporter status which has been challenged lately by Australia and the United States.

Qatar Petroleum has already awarded a number of contracts related to Qatar’s LNG expansion project aimed to boost LNG production capacity from 77 million tons now to 110 million tons per year by 2024, the Qatari state firm said today.

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“As the largest LNG producer we are also expanding our capacity in many parts of the world. This includes adding 16 MTA from our Golden Pass LNG export project in the United States with our long-term strategic partner ExxonMobil. This project is under construction and should be in operation by 2024,” Al-Kaabi said.

Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil have also set up an international joint venture marketing company, Ocean LNG, which will be responsible for marketing all LNG production from Golden Pass, the Qatari minister added.

“Qatar is among the frontrunners developing new low-cost export capacity, based on its huge potential to tap into liquids-rich gas and leverage its vast existing infrastructure complex at Ras Laffan,” the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO) Energy Analysts Peter Zeniewski and Tae-Yoon Kim said in a commentary on the global gas market earlier this year.

In the past, gas supply globally was dominated by one major pipeline exporter, Russia, and a single LNG giant provider, Qatar. However, supply in the future looks increasingly diverse and competitive, the analysts wrote.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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