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Gulf Times: Qatargas celebrates 10 years

Published: Monday, 12 February, 2007, 09:17 AM Doha Time
Business Reporter

QATARGAS is celebrating 10 years of its existence by bringing to Doha all its customers worldwide which helped the state’s first LNG producer to clock 10mn tonnes a year production figure, exceeding the target.

The formal celebrations will be kicked off this evening with a gala dinner at the Ritz Carlton which will be attended among others by Second Deputy Premier HE Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah.

Interestingly, Qatargas’s history is the same as that of the country’s LNG industry. The first LNG cargo was dispatched to Japan (Nagoya LNG receiving terminal) in 1997.

However, the North Field was discovered by Shell way back in 1971. But it took another 10 years before the then Qatar General Petroleum Corporation could formally announce the country’s first LNG project.

Qatargas signed the sale and purchase agreement (SPA) with Japan’s Chubu Electric in 1992.
By 2006-end, it successfully delivered about 1,100 LNG cargoes to customers around the world, including spot cargoes to customers in Spain, Japan, the US, France, Turkey and the UK.

Now it has set its eyes on boosting LNG production from the current 10mn tonnes per year (tpy) to 42mn tpy by 2010. It will also play a key role in ramping up the country’s LNG production to 77mn tonnes by 2010.

Qatargas’s production comes from the existing three LNG trains. They have already attained the optimum production level of 3.3mn tonnes each.

According to Qatargas chairman and CEO Faisal M al-Suwaidi, four more LNG trains would be set up by the LNG firm in the next three years.

“The start-up of the four trains will be on schedule,” he told Gulf Times in an interview.
Trains 4 & 5 will start next year under Qatargas-II. Train 6 (Qatargas-III) will come online in 2009 and train 7 (Qatargas-IV) a year later in 2010.

All these trains, al-Suwaidi said, would be the world’s largest at an annual production capacity of 7.8mn tonnes each.

Qatargas-I supplies LNG under long-term sale and purchase contracts to customers in Japan and Spain. On the other hand Qatargas-II, Qatargas-III and Qatargas-IV will be supplying markets in Europe, the US and the UK.

On entering the second decade he said, “We have gone past a very eventful and significant 10 years. We broke records at every stage of expansion. When we had set up our first trains with 2mn tonnes capacity each, we were the largest in the world.”
 

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