Qatar plans liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to five more countries and has plans for energy projects worth more than $15 billion, the Gulf state's energy minister said in an interview published Saturday.
Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiya told the London-based Arab newspaper Al-Hayat that Qatar was negotiating with 15 international companies on upstream and downstream ventures, notably to build petrochemical plants.
The new clients lined up for LNG exports are China, France, Italy, Spain and Taiwan, in contracts totaling up to 12 million tones per year (t/y), Attiya said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
He said exports to Spain of between 2.5 and three million t/y could start in 2002 or 2003, while Italy was in the market for supplies of between 3.5 and four million t/y.
In a joint project with ExxonMobil, China was seeking three million t/y starting in 2004 for a trading zone near Hong Kong, he said, while exports to Taiwan of 1.8 million t/y are set to start in 2003.
Attiya said in October that Rasgas, one of two LNG ventures in Qatar, was studying quadrupling production capacity to 20 million t/y between 2004 and 2007 to meet demand in Europe and Asia.Japan and South Korea were its first long-term clients.
The tiny emirate is home to around 600,000 people, four-fifths of whom are expatriate workers, and sits on top of the world's third largest gas reserves after Russia and Iran.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )