Future promising for Qatar’s liquefied natural gas industry
February 28 2021 12:09 AM

Natural gas is expected to be the fastest growing fossil fuel in the global energy mix for several decades. 
This abundant, flexible and affordable fuel will increase its share from its current 23% to 28% by 2050, according to Doha-based international governmental organisation, GECF.
Natural gas is an indispensable fuel, complementing the energy transition. Contributing 48% to the global growth in energy demand, natural gas will overtake coal by 2025 to become the largest energy source by the mid-2040s, GECF secretary-general Yury P. Sentyurin said in Doha recently.
This plentiful, adaptable and, crucially, clean source of energy will expand predominately across the Asia Pacific, North America and Middle Eastern markets, which together will be responsible for more than 75% of total gas demand growth by 2050, while the Asia-Pacific region will become the largest gas consumer. 
As the great energy transition grows in intensity, it will be natural gas, together with renewables, which will provide almost 60% of the world’s electricity supply by 2050. Energy demand will grow along with the global economy and the increase in population. 
The world will likely see conventional and renewable energy sources walking hand in hand, solving climate issues and meeting consumer needs for affordable energy. Production from unconventional resources will become increasingly important. 
In addition, yet-to-find production will also be vital, highlighting the need for increased exploration and investment in new gas reserves. 
When it comes to climate change goals, natural gas has won the ‘battle’ and embedded itself into all the important discussions, from the G20 to the UNFCCC, and from Brics to the World Economic Forum. 
Alternative scenario analysis, presented in the GECF latest outlook, highlights a considerable carbon mitigation potential for natural gas, with reinforced policy actions and technological progress. 
Further innovation and development of decarbonisation technologies, such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen, can substantially improve this mitigation potential. 
The Doha-based forum is pursuing its efforts to assess and support the role of natural gas in reducing energy systems emissions, while simultaneously underpinning economic and social progress. It is also important to highlight the increasing interest in hydrogen as a lever to support the deep de-carbonisation of the world’s economies. 
According to the GECF projections, natural gas will maintain its prominent role in hydrogen production in a climate-friendly way by contributing to more than half of the hydrogen needed by 2050. 
It is against this background, Qatar’s recent investment decision on the $28.75bn North Field East Project (NFE) should be seen. 
Undoubtedly, it could not have come at a better time. 
The project will raise Qatar’s LNG production capacity from 77mn tons per year (mmtpy) to 110 mmtpy by 2025.
In addition to LNG, the project will produce condensate, LPG, ethane, sulphur and helium.
NFE is one of the global energy industry’s largest investments in the past few years, in addition, to being the largest LNG capacity addition ever, and the most competitive LNG project in the world.
It is expected to start production in the fourth quarter of 2025 and its total production will reach about 1.4mn barrels oil equivalent per day.

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