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Despite shale, Qatar says it's LNG business as usual

Feb. 3, 2014 at 7:02 AM

LONDON, Feb. 3 (UPI) -- The increase in gas production from U.S. shale deposits does little to influence how Qatar conducts its energy business, the country's energy minister said.

Qatari Energy and Industry Minister Mohammed bin Saleh al-Sada told the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph newspaper it was business as usual in the Qatari natural gas sector despite the increase in gas production from the United States.

"[Over] the long term, our strategy remains essentially unchanged, thanks to our flexibility and our ability to respond to changes in the global gas market," he said in an interview published Sunday.

Qatar is the world's largest supplier of liquefied natural gas. The minister said flexibility was part the foundation established when the country started expanding its LNG business 20 years ago.

"Global gas demand has been growing consistently and we have had the flexibility to replan our LNG marketing to meet growing demand in Asia and elsewhere," he said.

The rise in gas production from the United States, he said, is no "game changer."

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

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