Qatar official: U.S. shale gas production no 'game changer'

Jan. 13, 2014 at 7:18 AM

LONDON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- Qatar's energy minister said the increase in gas production from U.S. shale deposits posed no long-term threat to his country's stake in the global market.

"We do not consider the U.S. shale gas revolution to be a game changer," Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada said in a Monday interview in London with the Daily Telegraph.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration said the average rate of annual natural gas production should go up 2.1 percent this year, partly because of shale, though the rate of increase begins to slow by 2015.

Qatar, the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas, supplies Britain with 20 percent of its gas needs.

Sada said Qatar values its partnership with the United Kingdom in the natural gas market.

"The U.K. is an important customer of Qatar's LNG and we expect it to remain as such," he said. "[Over] the long term, our strategy remains essentially unchanged, thanks to our flexibility and our ability to respond to change in the global gas market."

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