Qatar gas to fuel UK

Liquefied gas from the largest field in the world is set to provide the UK with up to 20 per cent of its gas demand by 2009, according to Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks.

The first delivery of gas from Qatar is due at Milford Haven in 2007 in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG), which will be stored in tankers, then turned back into gas and injected into the national network when needed.

Speaking in advance of the International Energy Forum in Doha, Wicks said, “Qatar is a symbolic base for The International Energy Forum. Its gas fields will help increase the diversity of the UK’s energy mix and increase our reliability of supply. This is a key issue for global energy markets amid increasing oil price volatility.

“The Forum is about forging long-term relationships, promoting greater understanding and exchanging views about the future direction of our energy policies. And with oil prices over $70, energy markets are at the top of the domestic and international agenda.

“I will be pressing for greater transparency in world markets and open and predictable investment environments. This will help to reduce market uncertainty and provide the right conditions for investment. Timely investment is critical if the world’s energy resources are to reach consumers. Securing access to energy for all at affordable prices is what drives every country represented at the IEF.

“For the UK this meeting of the IEF is particularly timely. North Sea energy production is declining and we are becoming more reliant on imported energy. We are in the middle of an Energy Review, considering what measures will be needed by 2020 and beyond to tackle climate change and ensure secure and affordable energy supplies in the UK.”

The cost of the project is currently estimated to be $12 billion. Phase one of the terminal construction is due to finish in the last quarter of 2007 and will have the capacity to deliver 33mcm (million cubic metres) per day into the national network. Phase two of the terminal construction is due to finish in 2009 and increase the terminal’s capacity by 26 mcm a day to a total of 59 mcm a day.