Qatar has announced an ambitious plan to increase production from a massive underwater gas field it shares with Iran in the Persian Gulf.
State-run Qatar Petroleum said on Monday that the plan envisaged increasing production from North Field – called South Pars by Iran – by 10 percent. That would be equal to above 2 billion cubic feet per day.
Qatar Petroleum CEO and President Saad Sherida al-Kaabi told The Associated Press that work on the project was expected to begin in the coming few months, and could take five to seven years to complete.
Al-Kaabi added that the plan was expected to provide Qatar – which would host the 2022 World Cup - with new revenues to press ahead with its infrastructure development plans.
The bulk of the gas resources that would be produced through the new plan would be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG), The Associated Press added in its report.
"Our aspiration is to remain the leader in LNG export, whether it's from Qatar or elsewhere," al-Kaabi added. "We will remain the dominant force in LNG for a very long time."
Qatar is in the midst of a massive building boom as it prepares to host soccer's biggest tournament in five years' time. Its finance minister told reporters in February that the country is spending nearly half a billion dollars each week preparing for the games, added the report.
Al-Kaabi downplayed the potential for any dispute with Iran over its plans to increase output from the field.
"Iran and Qatar have an excellent political relationship, for us as technicians we have an excellent technical relationship. We have a committee that meets regularly to discuss what both sides are doing," he said.
"So there's a mutual understanding of what is happening," he continued. "They're free to do what they want on their side of the field and we're free to do what we want on our side of the field."