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The rapid growth of Qatar’s LNG market

Recent forecasts suggest that Qatar’s economy could be set to double by the end of  in 2019, largely due to its LNG growth.

Foreign investment law

The recovery from low oil prices, multiple new LNG projects and a host of economic reforms have all contributed to the country’s strong LNG market expansion. Earlier this year, Qatar’s foreign investment law was implemented which allows foreign investors to directly invest in any sector in Qatar. Previously, companies or individuals willing to invest in Qatar were required to have a local partner or sponsor.

‘This has been a major development for international companies looking to share the rewards of Qatar’s huge LNG operation. It’s for this reason that World Energy Qatar will include a 3-day international exhibiton for every type of product and service company interested in LNG.’

North Field LNG expansion

Projects such as the North Field LNG expansion have also had a significant impact on Qatar’s forecasted growth. The North Gas Field holds a total recoverable resource of more than 900 trillion standard cubic feet of gas, and its expansion is expected to generate $40 billion in new export revenue for Qatar. Part of the North Field expansion also includes the development of four 7.8 mtpa LNG mega trains.

Asian export growth

Qatar is also actively accelerating its growth by looking for new export markets, particularly in Asia-Pacific. Qatar’s position in Asia is still dominant, especially as it focuses on less traditional but faster growing markets such as Pakistan and Bangladesh. According to recent research from Fitch Solutions, Qatar’s natural gas exports could reach a peak of $146.9 bcn by 2026.

Shift in purchasing models

The shift in purchasing model has also assisted  Qatar’s LNG growth. The emphasis has moved from tolling agreements and long-term contracts to more flexible, often shorter-term contracts based on gas prices. This is transforming the LNG market into a global commodity business with greater liquidity, a larger role for financial players and faster profit gains for all involved.

While other countries such as the US and Australia are also predicting good growth in the LNG market over the next few years, Qatar is still forecast to have one of the greatest expansion rates, so there has never been a better time to explore the investment and trade opportunities available.