Qatar’s GDP growth ‘to hit five per cent’

DOHA: Qatar’s overall real GDP growth this year is likely to hit five per cent, owing to a slight downwards revision in oil price forecasts, according to the country’s top lender Qatar National Bank (QNB).

The bank had earlier revised up its estimate for overall real GDP growth in 2012 to 6.1pc from 5.6pc. But the 2013 revision was done after taking into account the third quarter GDP data of last year, released last week by Qatar Statistics Authority, said the QNB report.

The third quarter GDP data was broadly in line with QNB Group’s overall expectations, albeit slightly weaker in the oil and gas sector and stronger in the non-oil sector.

The volume of activity in the oil and gas sector, as represented by real GDP, grew by 0.6pc during the period, it said.

The increase came despite a slight easing in crude oil production, by about 11,000 barrels per day, and scheduled maintenance work on some of Qatargas’s LNG trains in September, which would have reduced LNG production.

The real increase is, therefore, most probably due to higher gas-to-liquids (GTL) production as the second Pearl train ramped up and required greater gas feedstock from the North Field, the QNB said in its report.

This would also help to partly explain the 4.7pc quarterly increase in manufacturing sector real GDP, where the value-added by the GTL process is categorised, it added.

According to QNB Group, there has been a pickup in oil and gas GDP in the final quarter of 2012.

“This is because of an expected increase in crude production and the ending of most of the LNG maintenance downtime (although one train was offline in October).”

“In addition, Pearl GTL is expected to have approached close to its full capacity of 140,000 bpd during the fourth quarter, therefore further increasing its gas draw and also the amount of condensates extracted from the wet gas,” it said.

gulf-daily-news,January 07, 2013