The photo is sourced from nrdc.org
A total of 14 large-capacity LNG production trains operate in Qatar today, using gas from the South Pars field as feedstock. The production trains were put into operation in the period from 1996 to 2011. They are operated by QatarGas, which implements projects with the participation of major international companies, including ExxonMobil, TotalEnergies, Shell and ConocoPhillips. Thanks to these capacities coming on stream, Qatar has become one of the largest LNG producers in the world. According to the Energy Institute, the country accounted for 21% of global LNG exports in 2022, with Australia and the United States at 20.7% and 19.2%, respectively.
Countries of the Asia-Pacific region remain the largest importers of LNG from Qatar. The year 2022 saw actual LNG production in Qatar exceed the design capacity, reaching 114.1 billion cubic metres, of which 81.1 billion cubic metres was exported to China, Japan, South Korea and other Asia-Pacific countries, whereas only 28 billion cubic metres went to European countries (with another 5 billion cubic metres supplied to other regions). Nevertheless, LNG demand is on the rise in Europe, as evidenced by the share of liquefied natural gas in the overall structure of the EU’s gas imports going up in the past year and a half (from 22% in Q4 2021 to 42% in Q2 2023, according to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas).
The launch of new production capacities will make it possible to expand the geography of supplies. By 2025, Qatar plans to put into operation four production trains with a total capacity of 43 billion cubic metres per year, using gas from the eastern part of the South Pars field as feedstock. The southern sections of this field will provide feedstock for another two production lines with a capacity of 21.5 billion cubic metres per year, which are to be put into operation by 2027.
At the same time, pipeline gas exports will continue to play an important role for Qatar, with deliveries to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman carried out via the Dolphin gas pipeline, which has the annual capacity of 33.6 billion cubic metres. Supplies via this pipeline carried on interrupted even in 2017–2021, when Qatar was under a trade blockade imposed by Egypt and the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. According to the Energy Institute, deliveries via Dolphin accounted for 15% of total gas exports from Qatar (20.1 billion out of 114.1 billion cubic meters) in 2022.