Qatar on Tuesday laid the foundation stone for a production expansion project in one of the largest natural gas fields in the world, northeastern coast of the country.
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani attended the ceremony in Ras Laffan, at the onshore gas processing plant of the Qatar Energy Group, which is located 80 kilometers north of Doha.
The NFE project comprises the North Field East (NFE) and the North Field South (NFS) expansion projects and constitutes the industry’s largest ever LNG project.
On this occasion, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad announced on X that the country has laid the foundation stone for the North Field expansion project, which falls within a strategy to strength Qatar’s position as a global producer of liquefied natural gas.
He added that the project reinforces the country’s pioneering role in meeting the need for energy in the global market.
Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi described the project as “a leap to fortify our country’s leadership in the field of energy… and a reflection of our goal of optimal investment of our natural resources.”
By increasing production at the field, Qatar is set to raise its output of LNG by 60 percent or more to 126 million tons a year by 2027. Gas production is expected to begin after the expansion in 2026.
Al-Kaabi said: “This addition comes at a very important stage, because it plays a very important role (…) at a time when we are witnessing a lot of geopolitical fluctuations.”
Asian countries, led by China, Japan and South Korea, are the main market for Qatari gas, which European countries have increasingly sought to obtain since the eruption of the Russian-Ukrainian war last year.
The head of TotalEnergies, Patrick Pouyanné, told reporters that the expansion of the North Field was a “huge project” and comes amid an increasing demand for liquefied natural gas from Europe.
TotalEnergies signed a $1.5 billion agreement with Qatar Energy in September last year, under which it acquired a 9.3 percent stake in the South North Field project, which is the second phase of the gas field expansion.