Nicosia, Apr 9 : Qatar has aimed to raise production of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from 31 million tons a year to 77 million tons a year by 2010, the country's Minister of State for Energy and Industry Affairs, Dr. Mohammed bin Saleh Al Sada, told the 16th Annual Middle East Petroleum and Gas Conference in Doha.
Qatar is already the biggest LNG exporter in the world and with a number of huge projects that will cost billions of dollars, mainly the two LNG processing trains - where gas is liquefied - it will add by the end of the year another 8 million tons to its LNG output.
Recently, a four billion dollars deal to build natural gas processing facilities in Qatar was reached between Qatar Liquefied Gas Co. and Japan's Chiyoda.
The two companies agreed to build two LNG processing trains to the Qatargas-3 and Qatargas-4 projects in the Ras Laffan Industrial city.
The United States will be a primary market for the gas produced by the new units.
America will cover 30 per cent of its total LNG needs from Qatar. As from next year, it will buy more than 15 million tons of LNG a year from Qatar.
The country's first markets were Japan and Korea. India followed soon.
The country's Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah told journalists that Qatar's investment in the hydrocarbon sector would exceed 60 billion dollars.