Qatar is on track to become the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas (LNG), the country’s former energy minister stressed on Saturday during a discussion at the Doha Forum, which concludes on December 15.

HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah, the chairman of the Al-Attiyah International Foundation for Energy and Sustainable Development, made the statement during the forum’s special session titled ‘Spotlight Conversation with HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah.”

Al-Attiyah recalled Qatar’s journey in the oil and gas industry and how it emerged as a leading producer of LNG through its partnerships with major oil and gas companies in the US and Europe.

“Since discovering liquid gas, Qatar emerged as among the biggest producers of LNG worldwide,” al-Attiyah noted, adding that the country’s success in the hydrocarbon sector enabled it to create a wide range of downstream industries in the succeeding years.

Aside from local production, al-Attiyah said Qatar also managed to create offshore projects with its international partners, citing one of its largest LNG projects outside the country with ExxonMobil – the Golden Pass LNG Export Project located in Sabine Pass, Texas, US.

He said Qatar is also a major partner in different gas exploration projects of other countries. An example is Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil’s significant natural gas discovery in Cyprus, as well as negotiations between QP and South Africa for gas exploration in Mossel Bay.

To cement its position as the top LNG producer worldwide, al-Attiyah stressed that Qatar is scaling up its LNG production capacity to 126mn tonnes per year (tpy) by 2027, which is a 64% increase on the current 77mn tpy.

The former energy minister also noted that the country’s LNG production will exceed 142mn tpy from the output of the Golden Pass LNG Export Project, which has a capacity of about 16mn tonnes of LNG per year. The project, which is owned by Golden Pass Products, is a joint venture of QP (70%) and ExxonMobil (30%).

Asked about Qatar’s LNG obligations with other countries, including the blockading countries, al-Attiyah emphasised that the country has continued to honour its responsibilities notwithstanding geopolitical issues.

“We never mix politics with business; this is how Qatar respects its obligations…you have the right to enter into a political dispute but don’t let it affect the economy,” said al-Attiyah, citing Qatar’s uninterrupted delivery of LNG to the UAE under existing agreement despite the economic blockade imposed on Qatar since June 2017.