Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

US shale export ambitions will not weigh on gas prices yet, says Qatargas chief

US energy firms’ efforts to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) to world markets have been “much slower than expected”, and Canadian LNG producers face “significant challenges”, say Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, the chief executive of QatarGas.

North America’s dreams of exporting its wealth of shale oil will not lower global gas prices in the near future, says the head of the world’s biggest natural gas company.

Khalid bin Khalifa Al Thani, the chief executive of Qatargas, says US energy firms’ efforts to provide liquefied natural gas (LNG) to world markets have been “much slower than expected”, and Canadian LNG producers face “significant challenges”.

Gas prices in the United States are about a quarter of LNG prices in Asia, and the availability of low-cost, relatively clean fuel has helped to drive an industrial renaissance in Asia. However, Arabian Gulf nations, with the exception of Qatar, are struggling with gas shortages.

“I believe that gas prices will remain regionalised for the foreseeable future,” said Mr Al Thani at the Singapore International Energy Week, an annual conference. “The North American pricing structure will not maintain the pace to significantly alter the pricing structure in Europe and Asia.”

He joins other Qatari officials who have cast doubt on the influence of shale gas, which threatens to disrupt the company’s network of lucrative long-term gas supply contracts with countries such as Argentina and Japan.

Some point to the need to drill thousands of wells to stave off early production declines. Others, including Mr Al Thani, point to the difficulties US firms have faced in securing energy export licenses from Washington.

Qatar has a moratorium through 2015 on new gas production from its North Field, the world’s biggest gas deposit, as it evaluates domestic energy requirements.

Another uncertainty is the future of the global market as Australia and countries from East Africa and East Mediterranean bring fresh supplies online.

China, the world’s top energy consumer, is also exploring for shale oil.

“That’s why you see a lot of consumers adopting the policy of wait-and-see … they want to see how this volume coming to the market will affect prices,” said Mr Al Thani.

“The uncertainties that we see in the market today are not helping capital-intensive gas resources to be developed in a timely fashion.”


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National