Qatar will generate $40 billion in additional export revenue once it completes its natural gas expansion project in 2024.
Rising income from sales of liquefied natural gas will leave the government with a budget surplus of about $44 billion in 2024, with the bulk of the extra cash going to the $320 billion Qatar Investment Authority.
The world’s biggest LNG producer wants to bulk up as competing supplies from Australia and the U.S. are also set to come to the market over the next decade. State-owned Qatar Petroleum will build four new liquefaction plants, known as trains, by 2025, up from a previously announced three, said Chief Executive Officer Saad Sherida Al Kaabi.
Qatar’s LNG capacity will rise to 110 million tons of LNG a year from 77 million currently. The country last year announced plans to boost output to 100 million tons within seven years.
The decision to increase output even more was driven by rising demand for gas and the “good results obtained through recent additional appraisal and testing in the North Field,” Al Kaabi said, referring to Qatar’s portion of the giant offshore reservoir shared with Iran. Qatar’s total production of oil and gas will reach an equivalent of 6.2 million barrels a day when the expansion is complete, up from 4.8 million currently, he said.
Global LNG consumption is expected to rise by more than a third over the next decade to 416 million tons a year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Chinese imports of the fuel surged 35 percent in the first eight months of this year, and gas producers from Australia, Africa and the U.S. are boosting output to capture a bigger share of this growing market.