By TBY | Qatar | May 29, 2014
Qatar is thirsty for gas, with output from the Barzan Gas Project earmarked to satisfy growing domestic demand.
The development of the Barzan Gas Project will go a long way to ensuring a solid domestic supply of natural gas while allowing exports to continue in full swing.
The Barzan Gas Project, at a cost of QAR37.8 billion ($10.4 billion), was one of the last projects to be approved before the country’s moratorium on new natural gas projects took effect in the North Field, the center of Qatar’s gas extraction complex. Despite having the world’s third largest reserves, however, the majority is destined for export—the country is the world’s largest exporter of LNG—meaning that rising domestic demand, especially in the power and water sectors, requires new sources to feed Qatar’s economic growth. Enter the Barzan Gas Project, featuring a drilling platform and plant. The first part of the project is taking shape as a joint venture between Qatar Petroleum (QP) and ExxonMobil Qatar, while RasGas is managing the construction of the new plant and will also be its operator once online. The platform that will supply the plant is located 80 kilometers northeast of Ras Laffan Industrial City, with related onshore and offshore facilities being developed by Japan’s JGC and South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries. Taking shape in the context of Qatar National Vision 2030, demand is also expected to rise as the country prepares for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, works to develop its transport, health, and education sectors, and as new airport and seaport projects take shape. In that context, the Barzan Gas Project will provide “an incremental 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) of dry gas, as well as associated products,” Hamad Rashid Al Mohannadi, Managing Director of RasGas, told TBY. For RasGas, the coming online of the Barzan Gas Project, due to happen in two trains, will bring RasGas’ total production to “around 11 billion standard cubic feet (bscf) per day, making us one of the largest gas producers in the world,” Al Mohannadi concluded. Train I is expected to be on stream in 2014, while Train II is due to begin rolling in 2015. The project is being financed by international banks and export promotion agencies, while owners QP and ExxonMobil are footing the rest. “The Barzan Gas Project is a great example of the strength of our partnership with QP as the only international company active in Qatar’s domestic gas business,” said Bart Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar, adding that, “[we] are progressing toward the first train start up in 2014 and a subsequent train in 2015,” while also weighing in on the sources of natural gas demand in Qatar and ExxonMobil’s role; “Qatar’s economic and population growth will put increasing demands on electricity and energy to fuel its rapid development. Developments in infrastructure, public service, and transportation projects, like Sidra hospital, the metro systems, and World Cup stadiums, all depend on energy, and we are pleased to be a part of that.” As the gas begins pumping in 2014, the Barzan Gas Project will already be on the map as a critical part of the continuing development of the economy.