The Minister of Energy and Industry H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada visiting an exhibition stall at the Offshore Middle East 2013 conference and exhibition at the Qatar National Convention Centre, yesterday. Kammutty VP
BY MOHAMMED SHOEB
DOHA: Qatar, continuing to hold the pride of being the world’s largest LNG producer (77 million tonnes), is set to add one more feather to its cap. With the operation of Barzan off-shore gas project from next year, the facility will produce 1.4 billion cubic feet per day (bcuft/d) of gas for domestic industrial consumption, Minister of Energy and Industry, H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada told reporters yesterday.
Anticipating an increased demand for energy to fuel mega-projects over the next decade, the upcoming gas project will be of great importance for the sustainable growth of the economy. Barzan gas processing trains will make RasGas as one of the largest single gas processors in the world.
“For the development of offshore gas we are constructing Barzan off-shore gas project. It will have three of the largest well-head platforms ever built in our North Field and is scheduled to be completed by 2014,” said the minister on the sidelines of the ‘Offshore Middle East 2013’ conference and exhibition at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Barzan is a joint venture of Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil Qatar for which RasGas is the operating company. It consists of two trains with the first planned to come on stream in 2014.
Dr Al Sada, highlighting Qatar’s achievements in offshore operations during his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the three-day conference and exhibition, said: “We have successfully completed 50 years of offshore oil production with excellent safety records; we have developed excellent infrastructure and facilities at Halul Island and have carried out several environmental initiatives for the enhancement of coral reefs, preservation of marine life and ecological balance.”
He said the country has undertaken several large initiatives in the development of its offshore projects such as doubling the rate of production from 45,000 bpd to 90,000 bpd at BulHunain oilfield. The project is in its engineering phase.
In addition, Qatar has also undertaken a cable project to lay two subsea cables from Ras Laffan to Halul Island of 100MW each covering a distance of about 100km. The project is due for completion by mid-2016.
With reference to the rising global demand for energy, Al Sada said the oil and gas resources in the ground today are capable of meeting the current and increasing demand for the foreseeable future. But the challenge is that most of these resources are difficult to tap with the conventional methods in use.
So the industry needs “new ideas, new paradigms, and new innovative technologies, particularly in the offshore areas”, the minister added.
“With global upstream capital and operating expenditures rising rapidly, the Middle East is expected to be one of the main growth regions in terms of total spending going forward, with capital expenditure (CAPEX) rising by nearly 80 percent from 2011 to 2016, compared to a global CAPEX increase of 45 percent over the same time period.
The minister’s keynote address was followed by speeches by Mubarak A Al Hajri, Operations Manager, Offshore Fields, QP and David Paganie, Chief Editor of the Offshore magazine, Director, Offshore Conferences, PennWell Corporation.
Also present were Brat Cahir, President and General Manager of ExxonMobil Qatar Inc, Wael Sawan, Managing Director and Chairman of Qatar Shell and other dignitaries.
“Today we face many challenges in maintaining our capabilities of sustainable development of our resources. Some of these challenges include asset integrity of ageing facilities, re-development of mature fields, optimisation of costs and managing HSE risks. These challenges are expected to be addressed in the conference,” Al Hajri said.