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Qatar ‘Bullish’ About Global Demand for LNG, Says Al-Kaabi

Qatar ‘Bullish’ About Global Demand for LNG, Says Al-Kaabi

HE the Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida al-Kaabi said Qatar is very bullish about global LNG demand in view of the rising population and expected growth in economies around the world.

Al-Kaabi said Qatar’s LNG expansion projects are designed to help meet growing demand for cleaner energy driven by economic growth and rising populations and living standards.

The minister was participating in a panel discussion on ‘The next stage of the global energy transition” at Qatar Economic Forum with the participation of Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, and Darren Woods, executive chair and CEO of ExxonMobil.

Al-Kaabi noted, “If you look at the expectation of having 1.5 to 2bn more people in the next 30 years or so, that means we will need more energy, more power, and even more petrochemicals for materials we use every day. We also need to be fair to that population and make sure they have access to reasonably priced power.”

Al-Kaabi, who is also the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, stressed that LNG will remain in demand for a very long time, adding “LNG is not going away any anytime soon, as was recently made clear by the G7 as well as by many countries around the world, who have changed their position of moving away from fossil fuels.”

Discussing the energy transition, al-Kaabi said: “Many promises were made by politicians, who do not really understand the details of how to achieve this transition. And it was driven to a point where it became in vogue, if you will, for everybody to say ‘net zero, environmental, and green’, which got them elected. 

But now, as reality sets in five or six years later, they say we cannot achieve what we have promised. The problem is that targets were overstretched and could not have been reached anyway.”

According to Bloomberg, Asian countries led by China, Japan and South Korea have been the main market for Qatari gas, but demand from European countries has grown since Russia's war on Ukraine threw supplies into doubt.

In February, Qatar announced plans to expand output from its North Field, saying they would boost capacity to 142mn tonnes per year before 2030.

Al-Kaabi said there could be further expansions to Qatar’s LNG production capacity.

"The technical capability of doing more in Qatar is going to be assessed in the future and, if there is more, we probably will do more," he said.

In recent months, Qatar has inked LNG deals with France's Total, Britain's Shell, India's Petronet, China's Sinopec and Italy's Eni among others.

Pouyanne and Woods both rejected concerns about overcapacity in the market as consumer countries move away from fossil fuels in a bid to limit global warming.

"I am not afraid. I think there is a place, a clear place for the gas in the transition," Pouyanne said.

"Things will not happen in a night like some people are dreaming," he said, adding: "Population is growing, energy demand is growing."

Woods echoed the comments of the TotalEnergies’ Pouyanne.

"The demand for energy is being driven by economic growth and people's living standards rising," he said.

"There are billions of people around the planet who deserve better lives and are going to require affordable, available and reliable energy sources. And I think that's the challenge going forward,” Woods added.