State-run Qatar Petroleum has called for bids for offshore exploration to be submitted early in 2011, Bloomberg has reported, citing people familiar with the auction. Bids for rights to explore for gas off the coast of the Gulf state in an area called block A are due on January 9, two of the people said. Qatar expects by early next year to increase its annual capacity for exporting liquefied natural gas to 77m tonnes, equivalent to about 3.75 trillion cubic feet of pipeline gas, with the completion of its final planned liquefaction plant.