Qatar’s LNG expansion projects are moving ahead on track and the country expects to sign more long-term natural gas supply deals this year to meet growing international demand, HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said yesterday.

His remarks came during a panel discussion on ‘The next stage of the global energy transition” at Qatar Economic Forum with the participation of Patrick Pouyanné, chairman & CEO of TotalEnergies, and Darren Woods, executive chair & CEO of ExxonMobil.

Al-Kaabi noted that Qatar’s LNG expansion projects are moving ahead on track towards an increased production capacity of 142mn tons per year.

The country’s LNG expansion projects are designed to help meet growing demand for cleaner energy driven by economic growth and rising populations and living standards.

“There will be further expansions to Qatar’s LNG production capacity. The technical capability of doing more in Qatar is going to be assessed in the future and, if there is more, we probably will do more," he said.

The Minister noted, “With 18mn tons per year coming from our LNG project in Texas, Qatar will be doubling its LNG production capacity in the next few years.”

He said, “North Field East and South are on track...we are in the construction phase as we speak. All the construction (activities) are going very well.”

The minister said, “When Qatar announced that we are going to expand further (from 77mn tonnes per year to 126mn tpy), we said that we are appraising the fields further. And based on the technical results and capability of the field (long-term to sustain production for other projects that we have) we said we will assess the fields to see whether we can do more. After further appraisal, we found that we can do an additional 16mn tons per year, and by that going to 142mn tpy.”

Al-Kaabi criticised last year’s media skepticism of Qatar’s ambitious expansion projects and reports saying it will have difficulty selling its LNG.

“Today, I can report that since then, we have secured 25mn tons of long-term LNG sales; and I can tell you also on this podium that we are signing more this year. Our marketing team is doing a great job.

“I don’t think there is a problem of selling LNG. Everybody is buying LNG, it is just agreeing on terms and conditions and pricing... but I think there's a huge demand out there, whether it's from Asia or Europe," al-Kaabi told the Qatar Economic Forum.

"I think even Europe is realising now they have to do something different to secure long term. They have been lucky with two warm winters,” he said.

Al-Kaabi said, “We think there is a big demand in future, and we are going to expand to meet that demand. Technical capability of doing more in Qatar is going to be assessed in future. And if more needs to be done, probably we will do more.

“But also, we are also big explorers around the world, one of the largest holders of exploration blocks in the world, some with my colleagues here. We are very bullish about demand going forward. If we have a reasonable economic growth going forward, I think the demand and supply will catch up and you need another phase of development of gas in the 2030s.”