The United State of America increases its LNG imports from Qatar

Source: 8/13/2003, Location: Middle East

The United States of America faces the increasing demand of natural gas as a source of power generation by importing Liquefied Natural gas. The US is the largest natural gas consumer. Natural gas is representing 24% of the total energy needs while oil is representing 39% and coke is representing 23%.

According to the American Energy information department, the US confirmed reserves of natural gas are 183 tcf representing 3.3% from the international reserves. The US production of natural gas in the last year was 19 tcf while the consumption was 23.2 tcf, the LNG imports was 3.5 tcf representing 15% from the total demand. 94% of the imported amount of LNG comes from Canada, the remaining amount comes from Trinidad, Algeria and Qatar. Qatar’s abundant gas resources can provide a secure and much-needed long-term supply for the growing U.S. gas market before the end of the decade.

Qatar Petroleum and ConocoPhillips (NSYE:COP) announced on 11 July, 2003 the signing of a Heads of Agreement for the development of Qatargas 3, a large-scale Liquefied natural Gas (LNG) project located in Qatar servicing the U.S. natural gas market.

Qatargas 3 is to be an integrated project, jointly owned by Qatar Petroleum and ConocoPhillips. It is to consist of the facilities to produce gas from Qatar's North Field, yielding about 7.5 million tons of LNG per year, in a new, first-of-class LNG train to be constructed at Ras Laffan Industrial City. The LNG will be shipped from Qatar in a fleet of state-of-the art LNG carriers. ConocoPhillips will purchase the LNG and be responsible for regasification and marketing within the United States. Average daily sales volumes are expected to be approximately 1 billion cubic feet per day. Startup is presently anticipated to be in the 2008-2009 timeframe. Optimization of all aspects of the project will be achieved under the feasibility studies required by the Heads of Agreement. The agreement provides the framework for the necessary project agreements and the completion of key feasibility studies.

On the other hand another large-scale Liquefied natural Gas (LNG) project is being discussed between Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum to provide the US natural gas markets with Qatar’s LNG through Ras Laffan Gas Company. The expected production of this project is to be 15 million ton per year. Startup is to be between 2008 and 2009.

Qatar Petroleum, through its majority-owned affiliate companies is a leading world-class supplier of LNG in terms of production and sales, including existing sales contracts to Japan, Korea, India, Spain and other European destinations. Total current installed capacity in Qatar is 14 million tons per year rising to 26 million tons per year by the end of 2005, with expansion plans to reach over 40 million tons per year by 2010.

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