Qatar is all slated to regain its position as the preeminent and largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by 2026 with the North Field (NFE) output coming on stream, according to the latest Qatar Economic Outlook (QEO)
Qatar’s LNG exports competed with Australia’s for the first place in 2020, although it ranked second, QEO said. According to the annual World LNG Report 2021 issued by the International Gas Union (IGU), Qatar ranked second in LNG exports in 2020, with 105bn cubic metres LNG or 77.1mn metric tonnes LNG equivalent, or 21.65% of the total global exports of about 356.1mn metric tonnes LNG.
"It is expected that Qatar will gain a position as the pre-eminent and largest exporter by 2026, when the production of the North Gas Field project begins to gradually raise annual exports of LNG from the current 77mn metric tonnes to 110mn metric tonnes, then attaining 126mn metric tonnes by the end of 2027," the QEO said.
It is estimated that the cost of constructing production trains in the NFE is about $28.75bn.
Aiming to cover part of the project's costs by self-financing, QatarEnergy issued multi-tranche bonds amounting to $12.5bn, as per the US RegS/144A bond offering for sales to investors outside the US in offshore transactions, comprising 5, 10 and 20-year conventional tranches, and a dual-listed 30-year Formosa tranche.
Moreover, QatarEnergy held a virtual roadshow at the end of June 2021 and met with over 130 global investors, including insurers, asset managers, pension funds, and bank treasuries, which resulted in a high quality order book above $40bn.
"This is considered as the largest US dollar fixed rate oil and gas offering, the largest corporate issuance in the Middle East and North Africa region, and the largest corporate Formosa tranche raised globally," the QEO said.
Last year, QatarEnergy awarded an EPC or engineering, procurement, and construction contract, pertaining to the North Field Expansion project, to the Spanish company, Tecnicas Reunidas.
Under the terms of the contract, Tecnicas Reunidas will be responsible for the expansion of existing storage and loading facilities for liquid products, including propane, condensate and butane.
It will also expand its mono-ethylene glycol processing unit within Ras Laffan Industrial City (North).
The purpose of these facilities is to handle liquid products from the six new production trains, four in North Field East (NFE) with a capacity of 32mn tonnes, and two in North Field South (NFS) with a capacity of 16mn tonnes.
The production is scheduled to start up before the end of 2025 from NFE, while the production from NFS will start at the end of 2027.
QatarEnergy recently awarded McDermott Middle East with a major engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contract, whose scope includes 13 normally unmanned wellhead platforms topsides (eight for NFE and five for NFS), in addition to various connecting pipelines and the shore approaches for the NFE pipelines, beach valve stations and buildings.
QatarEnergy has signed agreements with several major Korean and Chinese shipyards to reserve LNG ship construction capacity for building as many as 100 new LNG carriers at an estimated cost of about QR70bn, equivalent to about $19bn.