Qatar Petroleum took this week the final investment decision to build what it says would be the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in terms of capacity, as the tiny Gulf nation and top global LNG exporter aims to raise its annual production by 40 percent by the end of 2025.
Qatar Petroleum sanctioned the North Field East Project (NFE), which is set to raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77 million tons per annum (mmtpa) to 110 mmtpa. The project, expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025, will cost US$28.75 billion, which would make it one of the industry’s largest investments in recent years.
Qatar Petroleum also boasted plans for a CO2 capture and sequestration (CCS) system as part of the project and said that “a significant portion of the project’s electrical power needs will be provided from Qatar’s national power grid,” as well as solar power procured under corporate deals. The project will also recover 75 percent of the plant’s tertiary water, conserving 10.7 million cubic meters of water per year, the Qatari state company said.
Qatar also plans another expansion phase at the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field which it shares with Iran. The second expansion phase will be the North Field South Project (NFS), set to further increase Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 110 mmtpa to 126 mmtpa, with an expected production start date in 2027.
“At a long-term breakeven price of just over $4 per million British thermal units, it’s right at the bottom of the global LNG cost curve, alongside Arctic Russian projects,” Wood Mackenzie research director Giles Farrer said, commenting on Qatar’s LNG expansion project.
With warmer weather in Asia, LNG prices have recently subsided from the record-highs reached in January, when cold snaps and supply issues at major exporters sent prices soaring to above $30 per million British thermal units (mmBtu).
“Qatar is pursuing market share. This FID is likely to put pressure on other pre-FID LNG suppliers, who may find Qatar has secured a foothold in new markets,” WoodMac’s Farrer said.