QatarEnergy Greenlights North Field West Project

With its North Field development project in full swing to the south and east, Qatar is now turning west to supercharge its plan to raise LNG production by almost 85% before 2030.

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Credit: QatarEnergy LNG

QatarEnergy has green-lit its new North Field West expansion project as it pursues its quest to nearly double the country’s LNG production capacity by decade’s end to 142 mpta, an almost 85% increase over current capacity.

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs and president and CEO of QatarEnergy, announced the decision at a 25 February press conference at QatarEnergy’s headquarters in Doha and said basic engineering works will proceed to ensure that the project’s approved schedule is met.

Extensive appraisal drilling and testing has confirmed that the productive layers of Qatar’s giant North Field extend towards the west, opening the door to a new LNG production project in Ras Laffan, Al-Kaabi said.

Additional gas volumes in the western part of North Field are estimated at 240 Tcf, thus raising Qatar’s overall estimated gas reserves to more than 2,000 Tcf from the current 1,760 Tcf.

He added that the area has enough condensate to boost those reserves to 80 billion bbl from the current 70 billion bbl; the area also possesses large quantities of liquefied petroleum gas, ethane, and helium.

“These are very important results … that will take Qatar’s gas industry to new horizons, as they will enable us to begin to develop a new LNG project from the North Field’s western sector with a production capacity of about 16 mpta,” the minister said in a news release.

As such, Qatar's total LNG production is projected to reach nearly 142 mpta by the end of the decade when this newest expansion is completed. “This represents an increase of almost 85% compared to current production levels,” Al-Kaabi continued. “With the completion of this project, the State of Qatar’s total hydrocarbon production will exceed 7.25 million BOE/D.”

QatarEnergy’s North Field Expansion project includes not only mega expansion of production but also construction of four new LNG trains.

Its partners in the project read like a “Who’s Who” of global LNG players with China’s Sinopec and CNPC brought into the deal in 2023 with LNG sales and purchase agreements a year after QatarEnergy finalized agreements to develop North Field East with Shell, TotalEnergies, Eni, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips.

Since the start of 2024, Qatar announced long-term LNG supply deals: in January with US-based Excelerate Energy to supply Bangladesh with 1.5 mpta for 15 years, and in February with India’s Petronet for 7.5 mpta for 20 years starting in May 2028.

The North Field is part of the world’s largest gas field, which Qatar shares with Iran where its part is called South Pars.