In just over two decades, the state of Qatar has transformed from a small oil producer to a reliable global supplier of energy. One high-profile energy company played a significant role in this transformation…
Qatargas was established in 1984. It made its name in the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) industry and quickly become the largest LNG producing company in the world. Now, Qatargas boasts a production capacity of 42 million tonnes per annum. With the dedication of the entire spectrum of its employees, the company is expanding its reach across the world.
The principles of Qatargas are simple: to produce and supply good clean energy. At its core, the company relies on the processing and marketing of LNG. It is the largest producer of LNG in the world and it has seven huge production trains operating at full capacity. This is greatly needed, since the firm exports gas to more than 20 countries on four continents worldwide.
Transferring energy on this scale requires considerable operation and high levels of human attention. Fortunately, the workforce at Qatargas is excellent: employees have been sourced from over 70 different countries across the world. Each team member is chosen for their skill, knowledge and drive, and staff of all backgrounds fuse into a cohesive unit. Additionally, the company uses the expertise of world class shareholder secondees.
Much of the work takes place at company headquarters in Doha. The rest takes place at the LNG production facilities in Ras Laffan. The Liaison Offices are in various locations across the globe, namely Japan, China, Thailand and the USA. The Officers communicate with clients to gain a deep understanding of the various markets, and they build long term relationships with stakeholders across the globe. Qatargas take on many employees and associates, and they are pioneers in human resource management as well as in energy. The company has strong Employer Branding, and Vision Mission and Covenants lie at the heart of their firm. The Employer Branding has a clear goal: to attract, develop, motivate and retain the workforce. Qatargas embrace ‘Employee Engagement’ initiatives which run on clear communications, structures and incentives. The company also implement various retention strategies to keep their key talent. Their efforts are hugely successful, demonstrated by the fact the staff turnover is below the industry average. According to the company website, training is key to retention, alongside daily variety, development and career progression opportunities for all employees. Qatargas’s ‘Learning and Development Strategy’ ensures that training opportunities are aligned to the Qatargas Competency Framework which supports development across all levels in the organisation.
Aside from staff retention, the main ethos of the company is the safe deliverance of clean, reliable energy. This is achieved through a range of initiatives involving regular communications, like face-to-face meetings with existing and prospective customers. Qatargas values long-term relationships with customers, and are wholly committed to supplying LNG reliably through long-term contracts. However, the company can arrange shorter-term contracts to meet demand fluctuations if necessary. In terms of supply chain, Qatargas suppliers are chosen based on their abilities to supply on time and effectively meet demands. Suppliers develop into partnerships as work and time increases. Communication is frequent to maintain good working relationships between suppliers and the company. Work is tendered out, and many companies are willing to assist or step in should a supplier let them down. Suppliers work on a company-whole basis but certain areas within Qatargas will make their own contacts with individual suppliers.
A key part of the overall business is the gas itself. Qatargas’s new projects and expansions have focused on one thing: maximising the potential of LNG. In 2014, the company finished their greatly anticipated ‘Jetty Boil Off Gas (JBOG) Recovery Project’. This project aimed to recover gas currently being flared during LNG ship loading at the port of Ras Laffan. It cost $1billion dollars and has become the largest of its kind in the world. The new JBOG system enables any boil-off gas to be collected from LNG ships, where it is then compressed at a central facility and sent back to the LNG producers. The reformed energy, which would otherwise have gone to waste, can be consumed as a fuel or converted back to LNG. Researches expect savings of 29 billion standard cubic feet per year of reduction, which is enough gas to power more than 300,000 homes. The consequent reduction of 1.6 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide per year is equivalent to annual greenhouse gas emissions from 175,000 cars. This is excellent news, well-explained by the CEO of Qatargas, Sheikh Khalid. He said:
“The JBOG Recovery Project will reduce the carbon footprint of the 77m tonnes per annum (tpa) of LNG production facilities to the minimum practically possible level, contributing to one of the main pillars of QNV 2030.”
“The JBOG recovery system can recover up to 163 tonnes of gas per hour. With full LNG production of 77m tpa, flaring at Ras Laffan Industrial City LNG Terminal is estimated to be an average of 700,000 tpa, or around 100m cu feet per day. The JBOG recovery project will result in a 90% reduction in flaring at the six LNG loading berths. At full operational capacity, the facility will recover the equivalent of 600,000 tpa of LNG, which is enough natural gas to power more than 300,000 homes.”
Now the system is underway, the CEO said:
“A landmark environmental project for the state, the JBOG facility started operations in October 2014, and after just one year in operation, it safely recovered approximately 535,000 tonnes of LNG. Eventually, it is estimated that JBOG recovery will result in a saving of approximately 1trn cu feet of gas over a period of 30 years.”
It is clear that the JBOG system can reduce gas flaring and emission levels in Qatar’s LNG industry, but this is not the only beneficial addition to the company. The company’s other major project is the Helium II expansion: a plant for Qatargas and RasGas. The joint Qatargas-RasGas helium plant will become the largest Helium asset in the world. This is a great contribution to the diversification of the nation’s natural resources. The company chairman, Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, spoke about the company’s priorities and the environment. He said:
“We are as committed to every single safety and environmental aspect of our operations, [as we are] to enhancing the reliability and efficiency of our production facilities”
Qatargas have a great reputation, having reliably supplied 22 countries, across four continents, with clean energy since 1997l. Their good image is cemented by their great service, as each day, employees across the globe work together to uphold it. The company has been praised for its proactive attitude; Qatargas attends, sponsors and speaks at LNG-related annual conferences to effectively communicate the Qatargas business model. They share insights in the world of clean energy, but also share their views on the overall LNG industry to the existing and potential customers. It is no surprise, then, that Qatargas have kept their place as an industry leader.