Liquefied natural gas major Qatargas sees more opportunities for Qatari LNG in the Middle East, South East Asia, South America, the Caribbean Islands and Northern Europe. “These are emerging LNG markets that Qatargas is seriously monitoring and that we believe will help shape the future of the global industry landscape,” said Qatargas CEO Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani in an interview in the latest issue of Afaq, the magazine of Total in the Middle East. Qatargas, he said, is adding to the energy diversity of countries in Asia, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. “We are helping these countries diversify and secure their long-term energy supplies. The wonderful thing about LNG is that, it can and will be, delivered where it is needed the most. One prime example of this is the reaction by the LNG market to the tragic incident at Fukushima, Japan, which led to a huge demand for gas for power generation after nuclear power plants were taken out of service,” Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani said. He said all seven Qatargas’ LNG trains are operating efficiently. “We are delighted that the new mega trains reached their designed capacity within the first year of operation. At the same time, our foundation venture project – Qatargas 1 continues to set the benchmark in the industry for reliability and utilisation,” he said. For Qatargas, the long-term international oil company (IOC) partnerships have been of great strength. “The relationship we have with each of our IOC partners has allowed us to assemble the largest LNG asset portfolio in the world. Now that the facilities and shipping fleet are in place, we continue to reach out to our IOC partners for their business and technical capabilities. Our unique position, having relationships for example with partners such as Total, provides us access to world class capabilities in the energy sector,” he explained.On operational challenges, the company prioritised to tackle in 2012, he said, “Safety is always our top priority, both occupational safety and also process safety and asset integrity. We continue to roll out initiatives that improve the way we operate our plants and manage our risks. These initiatives have two clear benefits – the risk of major incidents is reduced to a minimum and the reliability is improved even further.” Qatargas had a planned shutdown, which was safely and successfully completed recently. “The execution of any planned maintenance of our facilities safely and within our schedule will be key factors for our continued reliable operations.” On Qatargas’ engagement with the country’s private sector, he said, “It has always been a source of strength and is a key partner of our success story. We follow an open tender policy for most of our services and materials, where local companies can participate and our services and materials are mostly outsourced, giving ample opportunity for the private sector to contribute to the LNG industry. We always welcome new players to the market with new technologies, innovations and environmentally friendly products and services.” Khalid bin Khalifa al-Thani said one of Qatargas’ core aims is to have a high-calibre and diverse workforce. So capability development, for both Qataris and expatriate staff members, has always been a strong focus of the leadership team. Qatargas, he said, was recognised for its efforts in quality Qatarisation with the prestigious energy and industry sector award in 2010 and again in 2011. From gulf times.