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Page added on March 30, 2008

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In gas-rich Gulf, supplies fall short

DUBAI: According to BP’s latest “Statistical Review of World Energy,” Iran and Qatar sit on 30 percent of the world’s total natural gas reserves.

Yet within the Gulf, the ability to meet the growing local demand for natural gas is being frustrated by underdeveloped supply mechanisms and limited regional cooperation

The state-dominated Qatari gas provider, QatarGas, aims to be the world’s largest producer of liquefied natural gas, LNG, by 2010. But concentrating on securing the most favorable terms for its gas exports internationally, it has given top priority to supplying Europe, the United States and Asia, rather than its Gulf neighbors.

In 2006 a joint venture between Qatar and Exxon Mobil awarded a $4 billion contract to Japanese and French companies to build a liquefaction plant to supply the U.S. market.

Meanwhile, although there are plans for Qatar to supply a proposed inter-Gulf natural gas network, this is limited to just one undersea pipeline, connecting to the United Arab Emirates.


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