In 2017, Qatar produced 18.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcfd). Almost all natural gas comes from various developments on the North Field, which is considered the largest non-associated gas structure in the world. The field has a combined processing and export capacity of 77.4 million tons per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to data and analytics company, GlobalData.
The Qatargas and Rasgas projects are the largest contributors to production on the field and are joint ventures between Qatargas and various major international oil and gas companies, such as ExxonMobil and Total. With no new natural gas focused upstream developments planned to come online over the next couple of years, gas production is expected to remain steady out to 2020.
In 2020, the Barzan field is expected to come online and continue country-level natural gas production growth as the field ramps up to its targeted production of 1.4 bcfd. Following the ramp up of natural gas production at the Barzan field country-level, production is expected to remain steady until the North Field Expansion project comes online in 2023. This project aims to increase production from the North Field by 4.6 bcfd in the five to seven year timeframe and is expected to contribute to increased LNG exports to cement Qatar’s stronghold over the global LNG market.
Without the planned Barzan and announced North Field Expansion projects coming online, Qatar’s production would likely fall into decline. With each project targeting different markets, both the LNG export capacity and domestic gas supply are expected to grow and Qatar’s natural gas production is expected to peak in 2025 at around 21.5 bcfd of marketed natural gas.
The availability of resources, capital and determination to maintain its energy independence and global LNG stronghold despite the political regional dispute seems to be spurring Qatar’s natural gas investment and places the country in a strong position to achieve its mid to long-term ambition to achieve an LNG export capacity of 100 mtpa.