President and Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Petroleum, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, speaks during a press conference in Doha, on July 4, 2017. AFP / STR
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Qatar announced Tuesday it planned to raise liquefied natural gas capacity by 30 percent in an apparent show of strength in its dispute with Gulf neighbors who have imposed political and economic sanctions on Doha. The unexpected move came as Qatar appears to be preparing itself for greater economic independence should the dispute with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain become protracted. Qatar denies the accusation.Qatar Petroleum's chief executive said the firm would increase gas production from its giant North Field, which it shares with Iran, by 20 percent after new gas development. In April, Qatar lifted a self-imposed ban on development of the North Field, the world's biggest natural gas field, and announced a new project to develop its southern section, increasing output in five to seven years. That new project will raise Qatar's total LNG production capacity by 30 percent to 100 million tons from 77 million tons per year, CEO Saad al-Kaabi told a news conference. Some experts say that, while the Gulf states accuse Qatar of cooperating too closely with Iran, their sanctions could push it to cooperate with Tehran more on the gas production and exports from the shared field.
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