The Qatari energy corporation Qatargas recently signed a deal with Argentina to provide 16 percent of the Latin American country's natural gas needs for 20 years. In an email interview, Giacomo Luciani, Princeton global scholar and scientific director of the international energy program at the Paris School of International Affairs, discussed Qatar's natural gas industry.
WPR: What is the extent of the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market, and what is Qatar's share, including its major LNG trade partners?
Giacomo Luciani: The global LNG trade has been rapidly expanding and can be expected to continue to do so. According to BP's Statistical Review of World Energy, in 2010, 297.63 billion cubic meters (BCMs) of gas were transported internationally as LNG. Of this amount, Qatar accounted for 75.75 BCMs, or roughly one-quarter of the total. This year, Qatar's rated LNG capacity reached 77 million tons, which is equivalent to 105 BCMs; hence, Qatar's role is likely to increase. In 2010, Qatar's main customers were the U.K., India, Japan and South Korea.