DOHA: Qatar's energy sector has over the past year witnessed many high-profile achievements, allowing hydrocarbon industries' contribution to the country's nominal GDP to continue to be in the range of 50 percent. Several projects in the fields of oil and gas, petrochemicals, fertilizers, refined products, electric power, and support services have completed in the past twelve months.
In the area of industrial zones management and industrial development, the Ministry of Energy and Industry allocated industrial land for 97 projects.
While a civil defense center in the small and medium industries area has been established and run in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior's Department of Civil Defense.
Preparations are underway to build factories for investors with work expected to kick off in 2014.
In the small enterprises sector, 16 investment dossiers for small and medium enterprises were prepared in cooperation with the Gulf Organization for Industrial Consulting (GOIC).
Work is ongoing to prepare three further investment dossiers in petrochemicals, while 30 investment dossiers for small and medium projects were planned in collaboration with India's National Small Industries Corporation Limited (NSIC).
A promotional event for these projects is expected by the end of the year.
Additionally, 186 industrial licenses and 358 preliminary approvals were issued.
A total capital of approximately QR 20 billion was invested in the projects of accommodation, expansion, and adjustment of status.
Twenty-one industrial projects were registered, in which invested capital amounted to QR 325 million.
In the electricity sector, 40 major stations were constructed at a cost of almost QR 4 billion, and contracts have been awarded for the execution of 32 major stations that will be linked to the network in 2015.
More than QR 11 billion was allocated for projects planned for the transmission and distribution networks over the next five years.
Meanwhile, the water sector has seen a contract signed to build a QR 1.64-billion water desalination plant at Ras Abu Fontas (1) to produce 36 million gallons per day.
Also, water tanks as well as main and secondary lines, pumping stations and reservoir emergency were constructed at a total cost of QR 5.282 billion.
As for oil, Qatar Petroleum is moving in five parallel tracks: explorations, crude oil, natural gas, refining and petrochemicals.
Drilling and exploration continue with the aim of increasing the state's reserves of oil and gas.
Exploration processes in the northern region successfully culminated in the discovery of Al Radeef gas field, to the north west of the North field.
Qatar Petroleum is also carrying out a number of projects to develop operating oil fields so as to increase their production capacity.
Moreover, engineering studies to develop Bul Hanine offshore field and feasibility studies to develop Maydan Mahzam field have concluded and a plan to develop Al Shaheen field was approved.
The average crude oil production in 2012 amounted up to 710,000 barrels per day.
The liquefied natural gas industry has continued to perform well, with exports over the past year amounting up to 76 million tons, bringing natural gas production to 19 billion cubic feet per day as condensate production averaged 720 thousand barrels per day.
The Barzan gas project contracts were awarded and production of the first phase is expected to start in 2014.
A helium refining facility is being expanded in order to accommodate crude helium from the liquefied natural gas new production lines at RasGas and Qatargas.
As part of continued expansion in refining projects, contracts for engineering studies, procurement, and construction were awarded for the second Ras Laffan condensate refinery, which has a production capacity of 146,000 barrels per day.
In addition, a gasoline production project will operate in line with the latest European standards so as to meet the future needs of the domestic market and export to foreign markets.
In the petrochemicals sector, QAPCO has opened its QAPCO 3 facility for low-density polyethylene, which will increase the company's production to 700 tons per year. With the commission of QAFCO 6, QAFCO's production capacity of urea will rise to 5.6 million tons per year.
The industrial cities have gone through an extensive process of development during the past year, such as the expansion of Ras Laffan port, which includes the construction of facilities to export products of petrochemical companies, the expansion of facilities of sea water common cooling system in order to meet the new requirements of petrochemical industries, as well as the expansion of the processing center of hazardous waste.
Meanwhile, a number of supporting facilities and administrative buildings are being constructed to accommodate the different government agencies in the industrial cities such as an integrated security complex for the Ministry of Interior in Mesaieed Industrial City.
Other facilities include the Ras Laffan Emergency and Safety College in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, Ras Laffan Multi-Purpose Administration Complex, and the establishment of a business and recreation complex in Mesaieed Industrial City.
Internationally, Qatar Petroleum's foreign investment arm Qatar Petroleum International has continued to put forward its energy-related investment strategies.
The company's exploration work remains underway in Mauritania, and the construction of Mostorod refinery project in Egypt is ongoing along with Long Son project in Vietnam.
QPI agreed the acquisitions and joint purchase of a set of oil- and natural gas-producing fields in western Canada.
The company also wrapped up the acquisition of a 25 percent stake in Greece's Heron II power plant, and is currently pondering the acquisition of gas-and energy-related assets in Canada, Turkey, India, and East Asia.
In 2013, an agreement was signed to establish Nebras Power, which will be 20 percent owned by QPI.
While Qatar Electricity and Water Company will control 60 percent and Qatar Holding will own the remaining 20 percent. (QNA)