Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG) which sits over massive natural gas reserves, has discovered as much as 2.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas in an offshore field (Block 4 North).
This is Qatar’s first new discovery of gas in 42 years — the last find (of its biggest gas field) was in 1971.
This discovery was made after four years of intensive exploration activities, at the block in the Khuff formation and in the immediate vicinity of the North Field, the world’s largest natural gas field.
The new discovery can, though, in no way be compared to the huge reserves of the North Field which are estimated at a whopping 900 trillion cubic feet. The new field that has been discovered covers 544 square kilometers and has water depths of around 70 meters.
“Gas discovery in Block-4N has been made after four years of intensive exploration activities, including the drilling of two exploration wells. This discovery is the result of QP’s implementation of the guidance of the Emir H H Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, to intensify the exploration and development of our natural resources and increase Qatar’s hydrocarbon reserves,” H E Dr Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, the Minister of Energy and Industry, said yesterday after announcing the major discovery.
Block-4N exploration agreement is one of a series of exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) that Qatar Petroleum has signed with international oil companies to explore Qatar’s Oil & Gas resources over the last few years. The Block-4N exploration agreement, which now achieved its goal, is dedicated for Khuff gas exploration, the minister said.
Qatar Petroleum (QP) and German company Wintershall entered into an exploration and production sharing agreement (EPSA) for Block 4 North in November 2008. Mitsui Gas Development Qatar joined in 2010 by acquiring 20 percent of the contractor’s interest under the EPSA with Wintershall retaining 80 percent interest and operatorship.
The uncovering of the gas field after an interval of 42 years triggered eager reactions from Qatar’s industry leaders. H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, Chairman, Qatar Administrative Control and Transparency Authority, who is also the former energy minister, said the new discovery will enhance Qatar’s supply capacity. “Wintershall began its operations years ago to develop the well,” Al Attiyah said in a phone-in interview with Al Sharq from Germany.
Fahad Hamad Al Mohannadi, General Manager, Qatar Electricity and Water Company, who is also a board member of QP, said the discovery will help boost Qatar’s electricity production capacity in a substantial way.
Rainer Seele, CEO of Wintershall, said: “Wintershall has been actively exploring in Qatar for more than 30 years and we are pleased with the results of the wells in Block 4 North. We are looking forward to proving our capabilities as a reliable and technically competent operator and partner, and to extend the excellent working relationship with QP in this potential future development.”