State-owned Qatar Petroleum remains committed to expand its natural gas exports worldwide by 2024 to maintain its leadership position, Energy Minister Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said Tuesday.

Speaking at the 40th annual Oil & Money Conference in London, Al-Kaabi said plans continue to increase liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity to 110 million metric tons/year (mmty) from 77 mmty.

Four additional trains, each with 8 mmty of capacity, are scheduled to start up over over a staggered one- to two-year period. Three consortiums are vying for the primary construction contract.

Qatar also is expanding capacity outside of the country, including adding 16 mmty from the Golden Pass LNG export project with long-term strategic partner ExxonMobil Corp Golden Pass. To be built in Sabine Pass, TX, the project was sanctioned in February and like Qatar’s new mega-trains, it is also is set to begin operations in 2024. The partners have established Ocean LNG to all production marketing.

LNG is key to helping fulfill the energy transition from fossil fuels, Al-Kaabi told the audience.

“We believe that natural gas is the destination fuel in that energy transition. It is versatile. It is flexible. It is economic. It is clean.

“We are working with more countries across the globe to ensure the security of their energy supplies and the sustainability of their economic growth. At the same time, we are also dedicating greater efforts to produce the industry’s most environmentally sustainable LNG.”

The Middle Eastern country remains committed to world energy security and sustainable economic growth, he said, as it tackles global environmental challenges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from carbon dioxide (CO2) from the North field, the world’s largest gas field that is shared with Iran.

“With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in our North Field LNG Expansion Project to apply technologies that will result in a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to similar facilities through substantial reduction of fuel gas consumption and capturing and re-injecting CO2 extracted from the feed gas.”

Recently Qatar also commissioned a facility at Ras Laffan to become the largest CO2 recovery and sequestration facility in MENA, i.e.the Middle and North Africa region. The facility has 2.1 mmty of CO2 capacity.

“With such new carbon capture and storage projects, Qatar’s LNG industry will be capturing and sequestering more than 5 mmty of CO2 by 2025,” Al-Kaabi said.

The environmental challenges facing the world, he said, include mean temperatures, seasonal cycles and extreme events.

“We need to reach the right balance of reliable and secure sources of energy, which maintains our growth needs while at the same time alleviates our environmental concerns.”

In its efforts to address climate change, Siraj Energy has been established by Qatar to build the first solar independent power producer with about 700-800 MW by 2021.