North Field gas has steered Qatar’s economy, enabling it to become the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporter and giving it the finances to modernise the country’s infrastructure and bid for international events such as the 2006 Asian Games and the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

The offshore North Field is part of the North Dome gas and condensate asset and is shared with Iran. Qatar’s portion of the 9,700-square-kilometre field covers 6,000 sq km. It is the world’s largest non-associated gas field with estimated recoverable reserves of 900 trillion cubic feet.

It was not the first hydrocarbons discovery in the country, but it was the North Field – and the adoption of a fully integrated model for LNG – that transformed Qatar from a poor country into the world’s richest per-capita economy.

The field was largely left untapped until the 1980s as Qatar focused on its oil reserves. Today, Qatar has 14 LNG trains with a combined production capacity of 77 million tonnes a year. The field also supports the Dolphin Gas export pipeline and the world’s largest gas-to-liquids plant.

In April 2017, Qatar lifted a self-imposed moratorium on the North Field’s development, which had been in place since 2005, introducing the prospect of a new wave of projects being launched.