Qatar exports 4.3tcf LNG in 2014: EIA

Most of Qatar's LNG exports go to Asian markets; UAE, Oman also customers

The Barzan gas project has a natural gas production capacity of 1.4bn cubic feet (bcf) per day.
The Barzan gas project has a natural gas production capacity of 1.4bn cubic feet (bcf) per day.

Qatar, the world's second-largest exporter of natural gas, exported nearly 4.3tn cubic feet (tcf) in 2014, a report says.

The country was again the world's largest LNG exporter in 2014, accounting for 32% of global natural gas exports, the Qatar country report released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) noted citing Opec estimates.

Most of Qatar's exports go to markets in Asia in the form of LNG, while the country sends a small amount of natural gas via the Dolphin Pipeline to the UAE and Oman.

EIA's Qatar country report said Qatar has more than 90% of its LNG production volumes committed as part of supply purchase arrangements (SPAs) between 2014 and 2021.

As of January 2015, Qatar had the third-largest proven reserves of natural gas in the world at 872 tcf, EIA said quoting industry journals.

Due to self-imposed moratorium on new projects, Qatar's natural gas production has plateaued and could begin to decline soon. The potential for a near-term increase in natural gas production lies in the 1.4bn cubic feet (bcf) per day Barzan gas project, which was the last project approved before the North Field moratorium.

Scheduled to come online in 2016 and reach maximum production capacity in 2017, Barzan is only expected to offset some of the foreseen production decline.

Qatar's natural gas production has increased its output of condensates and natural gas plant liquids, which are valuable byproducts of natural gas production.

Qatar's condensate production is approximately 700,000 bpd with exports of about 500,000 bpd, making the largest condensate exporter in the world.

Qatar also exported a total of 595,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and 522,000 bpd of refined petroleum products last year.

In 2014, Qatar shipped all of its crude oil refined product exports to Asian countries. According to the EIA, most of Qatar's refined products, an estimated 60%, went to Japan.

Petroleum consumption in Qatar also rose from 82,800 bpd in 2004 to 230,000 bpd in 2013. Qatar has two operating refineries with a combined crude oil refining capacity of 338,700 bpd.

The combined output is more than enough to meet Qatar's domestic demand. That surplus output enables Qatar to export refined products, and both refineries are near major oil export terminals, one at Umm Said and the other at Ras Laffan.

There are plans to expand refining capacity at Ras Laffan with a 146,000 bpd condensate splitter by Q3 2016.

On Qatar's growing electricity demand, the report said rising electricity demand stems mainly from LNG expansion and economic growth. With one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the past few years, energy demand in Qatar has risen significantly, particularly electricity demand.

All of Qatar's current generating capacity is natural gas-fired, although there have been some discussion on potential solar power projects over the past several years. Between 2000 and 2012, Qatar's electricity consumption grew from approximately 8bn kilowathours (kwh) to 32.7bn kwh.

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