Figures by National Bank of Kuwait ( NBK ) showed that Qatar's economy has grown by an average 15.5 per cent over the past five years, maintaining its position as one of the fastest growing economies in the world as a result of a rapid expansion in LNG exports.
However, despite high oil prices, Qatar’s hydrocarbon sector sharply slowed down from about 15.8 per cent in 2011 to only 1.7 per cent in 2012 after the country completed mega gas projects and maintained a moratorium on new LNG ventures. In contrast, non-oil GDP surged by around 10 per cent in 2012.
"Given the moratorium on new gas projects in the North Field until next year at the earliest and declining yields from the country's maturing oil fields, future expansion in the hydrocarbon sector will largely be determined by increases in output resulting from the completion of the Barzan gas production facility and from the enhancements to existing oil fields," NBK said in a study.
"The official estimates of the performance of the Qatari economy in 2012 support our projection of real GDP growth moderating to five per cent in 2013 and 2014. The non-hydrocarbon sector will be the main driver of growth, expanding by around eight per cent and 7.6 per cent during 2013 and 2014 respectively."
Qatar's economy has recorded one of the highest growth rates over the past 10 years because of strong oil prices and a rapid increase in its LNG sales.
The Gulf country, an OPEC member which was ranked as the world's richest nation in 2011, became the top LNG exporter after the completion of massive projects in 2010 to tap its mammoth offshore North Field, the world's largest reservoir of unassociated gas, estimated at 25 trillion cubic meters.
Sitting atop the world's third largest gas resources, Qatar now pumps around 77 million tons of liquefied natural gas per year, fetching it as much as its oil income