Qatar has two liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations, developed in partnership with international oil companies. The first to be established was Qatargas in 1984. LNG shipments began 12 years later. Qatargas accounts for 40 million tonnes a year (t/y) of Qatar’s LNG capacity, with the rest (33 million t/y) owned by Ras Laffan Liquefied Natural Gas Company (RasGas).

Qatargas has seven LNG trains at its Ras Laffan complex, operated by four separate ventures, which have ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Shell and Total among their shareholders. They began phased production from December 1996. Qatargas 1 comprises three trains (numbers 1-3) with a combined capacity of 9.6 million t/y. They cost approximately $1.58bn to build and were the first to enter production.

Trains 4 and 5 at Qatargas 2 cost $4bn to develop and each can produce 7.8 million t/y of LNG. Qatargas 2 was commissioned in 2009 and meets 20 per cent of the UK’s LNG needs.

Qatargas 3 and 4 have one train each, both with a capacity of 7.8 million t/y. They cost a combined $4.3bn to develop, and their products go to the US, Asia and Europe. Train 6 began production in November 2010 and train 7 in February 2011.

In December, it was announced that Qatargas and RasGas would merge their operations during 2017.