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Energy in Qatar describes energy production, consumption, and policies of the State of Qatar. The International Monetary Fund ranked Qatar as having the fifth highest GDP per capita in 2016 with a 60,787 USD per capita nominal GDP[1] over a population of 2.421 million inhabitants.[2] In 2014, oil and natural gas production made up 51.1% of Qatar's nominal GDP.[3] Thus, Qatar has a worldwide high ranking of per capita GDP due to its significance production and exports in both crude oil and natural gas in proportion to its relatively small population.

Qatar was a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) until their departure on January 1, 2019 due to a desire to increase autonomy from neighbors in the Persian Gulf following poor relations.[2] Since 2007, natural gas production in Qatar has significantly increased and is the primary fuel chosen for energy consumption within Qatar. In 2014, Qatar ranked as the fourth highest natural gas producer worldwide.[4] Qatar's energy consumption in 2016 was 34.00 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is an average of 15,056 kWh per capita.[5]


Crude oilEdit

Qatar's exploration of the oil market began around 1923, when its own pearl diving market took a hit with the entry of Japan's cultivated pearls into the market. Qatar's first oil discovery was made in late 1930s with oil deposits found in Dukhan field. Since then, Qatar claims to have 1.5% of global oil reserves, while producing 2% of the global oil economy.[6]

In 2015, Qatar was ranked as the 17th top producer of crude oil worldwide at an approximate 1.532 million bbl/day.[7] In 2013, Qatar also ranked as the 11th top exporter of crude oil at an approximate 1.303 million bbl/day.[8] With high production of crude oil, Qatar is one of the few countries that has little crude oil dependence on other countries for domestic energy consumption. While Qatar does not import any crude oil, it does, however, import approximately 2,555 bbl/day of refined petroleum products.[9] The following table depicts how much oil each sector of Qatar's economy consumes in 1000 tonnes in the year 2014, notice how all of the oil products used within in Qatar are from refined petroleum sources.[9]

Qatar Oil Consumption by Economic Sector in 2014 (in 1000 tons)[10]
Liquefied Petroleum Gases Motor Gasoline Gas/Diesel
Residential 113 0 0
Transport 0 1676 2792
Non- Energy Use 749 0 0

The sectors of the economy which consume the most of oil - based fuels for energy usage are transport and residential. This is due to Qatar's limited resources related to agriculture, forestry, and fishing since it has primarily desert terrain. And while oil consumption for energy usage has quadrupled since 2000, the proportions for which each sector consumes oil has been consistent.

Development strategyEdit

Petrochemical plant in Mesaieed Industrial Area.

Qatar has a high economic dependency on the global oil and natural gas market with 51% of its nominal GDP coming from oil and gas exports in 2014. An indirect result of the instability of oil prices within the most recent decades has led the Qatari government to develop the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011–2016 (Development Strategy) as an efficient strategy to achieve the Qatar National Vision 2030.

In the Development Strategy, there are four pillars, one of which, the economy pillar, discusses policies, regulations, and political motives related to Qatar’s dependence on oil. For sustaining economic prosperity, Qatar aims to:

  1. enlarge the value of its productive base,
  2. guard against economic instability and promote increased efficiency, and
  3. diversify the economy and encourage a culture of innovation and discovery.[11]

These objectives were created under the notion that Qatar's hydrocarbon income will continue to decrease in response to the increase in renewable energy technologies and depletion of oil resources.

An enlargement of its productive base (hydrocarbon and mineral assets) by investing in physical and social infrastructure effectively attracts tourists and expatriates to the area, and provides better roads and housing for citizens as well.[11] However, constant construction in Qatar for improving and creating physical infrastructure has caused frustration within the population throughout the process.

The government's gradual transition to a more stable economy while maintaining the wealth of the nation primarily comes at a cost to Qatar’s government since hydrocarbon assets are property of the State. However, should the government not cautiously or properly invest for the new economy, the population would lose their current standard of living and the cost would be primarily directed at them.

The government plans to attack inefficiency in technology, physical infrastructure, institutions and processes in order to make a lasting contribution to improve the use of resources over time. Since Qatar is primarily desert terrain, there exists restrictions on how Qatar can expand its productive base and thus, most of the Development Strategy is focused on increasing efficiency of all current physical and social structures put into place. In particular, there is a plan to tackle technical and economic inefficiencies in the production, distribution and use of water.[11]

As of 2017, a more diversified economy is inherently more stable, more capable of creating jobs and opportunities for the next generation and less vulnerable to the boom and bust cycles of oil and natural gas prices in Qatar.[11] However, Qatar has still not published a plan for which they state how they will achieve this diversified economy. Thus, the effectiveness of such a plan cannot be commented on until such a plan is produced for public consumption.

Ease of political acceptability on the Development Strategy is dependent on the residents' acceptance of the current government as proven with other laws in the past.[12] Qatar aims to set itself apart on the international stage with its plans to diversify its oil - based economy and improve inefficiencies within social and physical structures of the State.

Natural gasEdit

In 2009 Qatar was the 7th top producer of natural gas (2.9%) in the world, exceeding Algeria (2.6%), the Netherlands (2.5%) and Indonesia (2.5%). 75% of the natural gas production was exported in 2009 (67/89 bm3). The energy content is high.[13]

Solar powerEdit

Harnessing solar power has become an important objective for Qatar in recent years. By 2030, Qatar has set the goal of attaining 20% of its energy from solar power.[14] The country is well-positioned to capitalize on photovoltaic systems, as it has a global horizontal irradiance value of approximately 2,140 kWh per square meter annually. Furthermore, the direct irradiance parameter is roughly 2,008 kWh per square meter annually, implying that it would be able to benefit from concentrated solar power as well.[15]

Qatar Foundation has been active in helping Qatar achieve its solar power goals. It established Qatar Solar, which, together with Qatar Development Bank and German company SolarWorld, embarked on a joint venture resulting in the creation of Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec). In 2017, QSTec commissioned its polysillicon plant in Ras Laffan. This plant has a total capacity of 1.1 MW of solar power.[14]


Qatar's electricity supply is regulated by Kahramaa.[16]

Overhead power lines in Qatar. A gas flare of a refinery can be seen in the distance.
Energy in Qatar[17]
Capita Prim. energy Production Export Electricity CO2-emission
million TWh TWh TWh TWh Mt
2004 0.78 210 883 667 12.3 38.6
2007 0.84 258 1,198 930 14.7 48.5
2008 1.28 281 1,452 1,161 20.1 53.9
2009 1.41 277 1,628 1,338 23.0 56.5
2010 1.76 262 2,025 1,748 26.4 66.1
2012 1.87 387 2,457 2,043 30.1 71.4
2012R 2.05 441 2,563 2,103 32.6 75.8
2013 2.17 467 2,605 2,109 32.5 72.4
Change 2004-10 126% 25% 129% 162% 114% 71%
Mtoe = 11.63 TWh.

2012R = CO2 calculation criteria changed, numbers updated

From 2007 to 2010 energy export of Qatar have increased from 930 TWh to 1,748 TWh. In three years population growth was from 0.84 million to 1.76 million persons.

Global warmingEdit

Qatar was the third top carbon dioxide emitter per capita in the world in 2009: 79.82 tonnes per capita.[18] All emissions from building and cement production are local but some people may argue that some Qatar produced fuels and goods are consumed abroad.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Report for Selected Countries and Subjects". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  2. ^ a b "OPEC : Qatar". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  3. ^ "Qatar at a Glance" (PDF). The Oil & Gas Year. 2015.
  4. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2017-05-02.
  5. ^ "Energy consumption in Qatar". Retrieved 2017-05-03.
  6. ^ Bahgat, Gawdat (Summer 2016). "Energy as a Main Driver of Foreign Policy" (PDF). Comillas Journal of International Relations.
  7. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  8. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  9. ^ a b "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency". Retrieved 2017-05-10.
  10. ^ "IEA - Report". Retrieved 2017-04-25.
  11. ^ a b c d "Qatar National Development Strategy 2011~2016 Towards Qatar National Vision 2030" (PDF). Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning.
  12. ^ "New Qatar sponsorship law met with frustration, praise". Doha News. 2015-10-28. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
  13. ^ IEA Key energy statistics 2010 pages 13, 60
  14. ^ a b "Qatar gets serious about solar". Oxford Business Group. 21 April 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  15. ^ "Qatar's Solar Energy Ambitions". Marhaba. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  16. ^ "Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation". Industry ME. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
  17. ^ IEA Key World Energy Statistics Statistics 2015, 2014 (2012R as in November 2015 + 2012 as in March 2014 is comparable to previous years statistical calculation criteria, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2006 IEA October, crude oil p.11, coal p. 13 gas p. 15
  18. ^ World carbon dioxide emissions data by country: China speeds ahead of the rest Guardian 31 January 2011
  19. ^ Which nations are most responsible for climate change? Guardian 21 April 2011