The Energy Behind Qatar's Rising Power - Gulf Business
Now Reading
The Energy Behind Qatar’s Rising Power

The Energy Behind Qatar’s Rising Power

The oil and gas sector generated over half of Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012.

Most of Qatar’s wealth is generated from selling liquefied natural gas (LNG) produced from the world’s biggest gas field, which it shares with Iran.

Western companies supplied Qatar the technology to chill its gas into LNG for export, while western governments have prevented Iran from doing the same with its share.

Oil and gas sector generated over half of Qatar’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012, according to the Qatar Statistics Authority (QSA).

Gas exports earned about $7.6 billion in April alone, equal to about 65 per cent of total export revenues, while crude oil sales were $2 billion.

Here are some facts about Qatar’s energy industry:


Qatar has the world’s third largest gas reserves of 885 trillion cubic feet (33.6 trillion cubic metres), according to the latest BP statistics, most of it in the North Field.

Gas production of 157 billion cubic metres (bcm) made Qatar the world’s fourth largest gas producer in 2012.

About 80 per cent of Qatar’s gas exports are in the form of LNG, about half of which is shipped to Asia. It also exports gas by the Dolphin pipeline to the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Qatar is by far the world’s largest exporter of LNG, with 105.4 bcm of exports in 2012 representing nearly a third of global LNG trade, according to BP data.

LNG production is divided between two companies, Qatargas and Rasgas. State oil company Qatar Petroleum (QP) owns a majority stake in both, with international companies holding smaller stakes in individual production trains.

RasGas is 70 per cent owned by QP and 30 per cent owned by ExxonMobil, while Qatargas is owned by a consortium including QP, Total, ExxonMobil, Mitsui, Marubeni, ConocoPhillips and Royal Dutch Shell.

RasGas and Qatargas have a total of 14 LNG production plants which have collectively been able to produce 77 million tonnes of LNG a year since the end of 2010.

In 2005, Qatar declared a moratorium on further developments of the North Field, expected to last until at least 2015, to study the long-term health of the reservoir.

Barzan, the last North Field gas project to be approved before the moratorium was imposed, is expected to come online in 2014 and will supply gas to the domestic market.

The world’s largest gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant, a $19-billion joint venture with Shell called Pearl, opened in 2011 and reached full capacity of 140,000 barrels per day in October 2012.

A 30,000 bpd complex called Oryx GTL came online in 2007 but did not reach capacity until 2009.


Crude oil production averaged 733,667 bpd in 2012, while exports were 588,250 bpd, making Qatar the 16th biggest crude exporter, according to official figures published through the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI).

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that Qatar produces an additional 1 million bpd of condensate, a light oil, and natural gas liquids.

State-owned QP owns and operates the onshore Dukhan field, a mature field where output is in decline, and the Maydan Mahzam and Bul Hanine fields in the Gulf.

Other offshore oilfields are operated by international energy companies under production sharing agreements.

About half of the country’s crude oil production comes from the Dukhan and Al-Shaheen fields.

Sources: BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2013, EIA, company websites, JODI, Reuters News, Qatar Statistics Authority.


Scroll To Top