Qatar finds gas, first in 42 years
Qatar found a natural gas deposit with 2.5 trillion cubic feet of the fuel, its first discovery since uncovering the world's biggest gas field 42 years ago.
Qatar Petroleum, Wintershall and Mitsui & Co plan to develop the reservoir in a 544sqkm (338sqm) area called block 4N off the Arabian Gulf state's northern coast, the companies said on Sunday at a news conference in the Qatari capital, Doha. Qatar's North Field was discovered in 1971 and provides the emirate with 900 trillion cubic feet in gas reserves.
"We will start production, God willing, in the next few years" from Block 4N, Mohammed Saleh Al Sada, Qatar's energy minister, told reporters.
"We have already started planning and looking at different engineering options." The discovery is larger than Germany's total proven gas reserves, which the BP Statistical Review of World Energy published in June 2012 lists at 2.2 trillion cubic feet. Russia holds the biggest gas reserves, followed by Iran, according to data compiled by BP.
Qatar produces as much as 77 million tonnes a year of liquefied natural gas, or LNG, making it the world's biggest exporter of the fuel chilled for shipment by sea.
Wintershall, based in Kassel, Germany, signed a contract with Qatar to explore block 4N in 2008, according to a statement distributed on Sunday. Mitsui bought a 20 per cent stake in the project two years later.
Meanwhile, Qatar's cen- tral bank on Sunday issued QR1 billion ($300 million) of local currency sukuk and QR3 billion of local currency conventional bonds, as part of an adjustment of monetary policy and in order to help commercial banks meet Basel III liquidity requirements.
Local currency debt will be issued every quarter, half with three-year maturities and half with five-year, the central bank said in a statement. It did not give specific dates or sizes for future issues, saying they would be announced later.