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Qatar LNG expansion hurting U.S. LNG growth

A plan of the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Qatar to increase production will stop the expected growth of LNG exports in the United States.

20.Jul.17 6:31 AM
By Daria Zaytseva


Qatar LNG expansion hurting U.S. LNG growth

Qatar surprised the competitors this month when it lifted the ban on the development of the North field, the world's largest natural gas deposits, saying it would increase LNG production by 30% to 100 million tons a year for five to seven years.

Woodside, operator of the North West Shelf project, said Qatar's plan showed the emirate shares its outlook for solid demand growth for LNG and gives importers like China, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the supply certainty they need to lock in gas expansion plans.

The expansion plan of Qatar competes directly with Woodside, which strives to develop field "Browse" and "Scarborough" in Western Australia within the next decade - the so-called "Horizon 2" - by processing gas through the North West Shelf plant or other existing objects.

The International Energy Agency last week forecast the U. S. would become the world's second largest LNG exporter by the end of 2022, but Woodside Chief Executive Peter Coleman said the Qatari expansion would be the cause of that growth.

Western LNG goes to the Atlantic market, where it competes with the gas pipeline from Russia and Norway.

Coleman sees limited opportunities for U.S. LNG into Asia due to transportation barriers, including tight access through the Panama Canal or long distances and higher costs around South America.

Woodside co-owns the North West Shelf with BHP, BP, Chevron, Shell, Japan's Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsui & Co.

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