New York — Qatar Petroleum will become the sole owner of Qatargas 1 (QG1) at the start 2022, after deciding not to renew its joint-venture agreements with Total, ExxonMobil, Marubeni and Mitsui, the company said on March 30.
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QG1 has three processing trains, each with a production capacity of 3.3 million mtpa of LNG and related products. The decision to move forward as the 100% owner of QG1 comes as the gas-rich state plans to to increase its LNG production by 64% by 2024 via the two-phase North Field expansion project. LNG production capacity is expected to reach126 million mt/year by 2027.
"With a production capacity of approximately 10 million tons per annum of LNG, QG1 facilities will continue to be operated by Qatargas on behalf of Qatar Petroleum and will play an important role in supplying LNG to the world's markets in a safe and reliable manner," QP said.
Global LNG trade is set to grow by around 10 million mt in 2021, representing growth of around 2.8% compared with 2020 and bringing total annual trade to around 370 million mt, according to the latest estimates from Shell, which is a major investor in Qatar's gas industry.
Although Qatar sells most of its gas through term contracts, spot LNG prices have been hit by extreme price volatility over the past year, with the JKM benchmark spot Asian LNG price hitting an all-time low $1.825/MMBtu at the end of last April, before rising to a record high $32.50/MMBtu in mid-January.
Meanwhile, Qatar plans to announce investment partners for its North Field expansion in six months.