Qatar and Saudi Arabia have spoken up for the LNG and oil export prospects of the Arab Gulf region and with both countries also embracing technologies for carbon-capture and renewable energies.
Their comments came at the annual CERAWeek conference, normally held live in Houston, Texas, but cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and held as a virtual event from March 2-5 in 2021.
Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, President and Chief Executive of Qatar Petroleum, stated in a panel discussion that the Qataris were pressing ahead with the North Field South (NFS) LNG expansion project with a completion date scheduled for 2026.
Al-Kaabi stated that global natural gas demand was going to be higher than people first forecast several years ago.
“Events that happened recently where you saw some spikes in prices have demonstrated gas is needed for much longer, especially on the Asian side of the world,” said Al-Kaabi.
The NFS expansion will add new LNG processing Trains to take the output at Ras Laffan from 77 million tonnes per annum to 110 MTPA.
The second phase of the Qatari LNG expansion would increase liquefaction capacity to 126 MTPA by 2027. International oil and gas partners are expected to participate in about 30 percent of Qatar's LNG expansion.
“We look for ExxonMobil definitely to be one of our partners going forward,” said Al-Kaabi, who was part of a panel of oil and gas leadership figures, including the ExxonMobil CEO, Darren Woods.
ExxonMobil is already a stakeholder in most of the LNG Trains at the liquefaction plant, including four of the six largest in the world, each producing 7.8 MTPA.
Qatar’s LNG expansion will include its own carbon-dioxide capture and sequestration (CCS) system that would be integrated with a wider CCS project in Ras Laffan.
A significant portion of the expansion’s electrical power needs would be provided from the national power grid, including the 800-megawatt solar power plant currently under construction in Al-Kharsaah.
This is in addition to a further 800 MW of solar power which Qatar Petroleum will construct in the near future as part of its plans to have a solar power portfolio of more than 4,000 MW by 2030.
Al-Kaabi also gave his views on other general aspects of the current LNG market.