Natural resources, energy and environment
Qatar is a prominent oil country where oil and, to an increasing extent, natural gas together account for a large part of the economy. The gas covers the entire country’s energy needs.
The oil is extracted from a large field in western Qatar and from a field outside the Persian Gulf. Offshore there are also the largest reserves. The extraction is carried out by the Qatari government in collaboration with foreign oil companies. In 2018, exports of crude oil amounted to nearly 480,000 barrels per day.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Qatar with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
Large refineries can be found in Umm Said as well as in Ras Laffan.
At the end of 2018, Qatar announced its intention to leave the oil-producing countries’ cooperative organization Opec; it was the first time a member country left. Qatar was one of the smallest oil producers in Opec and justified its exit with gas production taking over as the country’s most important industry.
In 2008, gas passed the oil as the most economically important product. Increasing quantities of natural gas are exported. Qatar has become one of the world’s leading exporters of liquefied natural gas, generally the largest. An stated goal is for annual production to reach 110 million tonnes by 2025.
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The largest customers of Qatar’s energy exports are located in Japan, South Korea, China, the EU, India and Singapore. In recent years, the share of exports going to Asia has grown.
Gas represents the energy for both households and industries such as fertilizer factories, steel mills, petrochemicals and seawater desalination plants. Qatar suffers from a lack of fresh water and has large desalination plants that transform seawater into drinking water. A certain amount of fresh water can also be taken from underground sources. In connection with the desalination of the seawater, Qatar also uses solar energy.
According to the World Bank, Qatar is the country with the largest greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Despite the hot climate, the World Cup will be held in the country by 2022. Before the event, new arenas have been built and both football arenas and outdoor areas adjacent to, for example, shopping malls are cooled with the help of air conditioning. About 60 percent of the electricity Qatar produces goes to refrigeration plants.
A research study done at Qatar University also shows that the Qatari leaves more plastic waste per person than the populations of other Gulf states. Ahead of the Soccer World Cup 2022, a goal has been set: that 15 percent of all garbage should be recycled. Efforts on a modest scale to persuade customers to avoid disposable packaging can be seen in some shopping centers.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
20,292 kilograms of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
16736 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
107 854 thousand tons (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
45.4 tonnes (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
0.0 percent (2015)
Human Rights Center opens in Doha
Qatar opens a human rights center in Doha with support from the United States. The center will work to document and develop the work for human rights in the region.
Qatar breaks with Israel
Qatar cuts trade relations with Israel as a result of the country’s offensive in the Gaza Strip. Qatar was previously the only country on the Persian Gulf to trade with Israel.