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The Qatari moratorium on development of the North Field has been lifted, ending a frustrating 12-year wait for gas companies and customers.The southern part of the field, largely untouched, and which runs just to the country's onshore, will be developed to produce 2 billion cubic feet per day gas, about 10 percent of the field's current output. With 135 years of gas reserves at current production rates, Qatar can certainly afford to step up output.In Iran, though, the perceived loss of gas to Qatar has been a sensitive political issue.Four countries are vying to be the world's biggest exporter: Qatar, the current leader, with 78 million tons per year capacity (10.3 billion cubic feet of gas per day), is likely to be overtaken by Australia this year.Al Kaabi has also pursued a policy of strategic ambiguity. He said QP had not decided whether the gas would be exported as LNG, or "other products". Now with additional gas available, Qatar could even look to its big southern neighbor as a customer.To import gas from upstart Doha may be too sensitive.
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