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Qatar to Increase Gas Production by 30% Amid Arab Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Saad Al Kaabi, chief executive of Qatar Petroleum REUTERS/Naseem Zeitoon

London– Qatar is planning to increase its liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity by 30 percent to 100 million tons from 77 million tons per year, Qatar Petroleum’s CEO Saad al-Kaabi announced.

During a press conference, Kaabi said that the new additional volumes will be secured by doubling the size of the new gas project in the southern sector of the North Field, which Qatar Petroleum had announced last April, adding that the project will be complete within five to seven years. This will increase Qatar’s production to six million barrels per day.

“We have decided that the best option would be to double the size of the project to 4 billion cubic feet of gas per day… This project will strengthen our position as the world’s largest LNG producer and exporter,” Kaabi told the press.

Kaabi hoped the development expansion would happen through a joint venture with an international company but that Doha could go it alone if necessary.

“Qatar Petroleum will continue working…If some companies decide they don’t want to work with QP that’s their choice. We will find other foreign companies to work with,” he said.

Kaabi reiterated that the company does not plan to cut the pipeline that delivers gas to the UAE despite the crisis.

“Qatar Petroleum will not be affected by the siege,” he told reporters in Doha, adding: “The siege we have today is a force majeure and we could close the gas pipeline to the UAE.”

“But if we cut the gas, it does great harm to the UAE and the people of the UAE, who are considered like brothers … we decided not to cut the gas now,” he stated.

In April, Qatar lifted a self-imposed ban on development of the North Field which it shares with Iran, the world’s biggest natural gas field, and announced a new project to develop its southern section.

On Monday Iran signed a deal with Total to develop its South Pars Phase 11 project, the first major Western energy investment in the country since the lifting of sanctions.