Qatar’s strategy to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons was commended during a recently-held forum where the country’s energy minister said non-hydrocarbon contribution to GDP has climbed to 60%.
“I would like to congratulate Qatar for its achievement in the reversing the share of hydrocarbon in its economy,” said Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) secretary-general Seyed Mohamed Hossein Adeli, during the ‘Diplomatic Salon’ forum where HE the Minister of Energy and Industry Dr Mohamed bin Saleh al-Sada was the guest speaker.
“It’s a very important direction for all oil and gas countries and I know how difficult it is, but it really deserves commendation and praise,” said Adeli, who was among the dignitaries who participated in the event organised by the Diplomatic institute of Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During his speech, al-Sada said hydrocarbon contribution to Qatar’s GDP stood at 60% in 2010.
“But this was reversed in 2016 with non-hydrocarbon contribution to GDP climbing to 60%, especially in the sectors of services and construction, among others,” the energy minister said.
Adeli also lauded Qatar’s decision to boost liquefied natural gas (LNG) production by 30% from 70mn tonnes per year (tpy) to 100mn tpy. Al-Sada explained that the decision to expand Qatar’s LNG production was geared to “catch up with the peak demand by 2022 to 2024.”
“These are projects that need time, effort, and huge investments. That is why we need to start now to contribute to the security of supply of clean energy when the peak demand starts and indeed, Qatar has embarked towards that direction,” al-Sada said.
Adeli said: “I think that is a very smart decision because you are now thinking beyond 2022 or 2023… this has always been the mistake of the global market; when the market is a buyer’s market, everybody thinks that it will last forever, and when it is a seller’s market, everybody also think that it is going to be forever, but nobody thinks about the future.”
According to al-Sada, the LNG international gas trade “is expected to grow to around 1/3rd from the current 1/3rd to over half by 2030.”
“In that case, gas will surpass coal and it will become number-two and it is heading towards that direction. In Qatar, our strategy is that gas should be affordable, sustainable, and secure.
“We fully understand this strategic commodity, hence we need to continue safe and reliable export of any type of energy without any hindrance. That’s why the security in our region is of paramount importance and we call upon the international community to keep it that way without any interruption,” al-Sada emphasised.