OPEC-member Qatar has recently hastened development of its natural gas resources, specifically targeting the LNG market, of which the small Middle Eastern country is now the leading exporter. Although the lowest reserve holder among its peers in OPEC, Qatar is estimated to contain more than 15 billion barrels of proven oil reserves as of 2007. The country boasts close to 911 Tcf of proven natural gas reserves, and leading the way in securing and exploiting these resources are Qatargas and Rasgas. Of particular value to the country's natural gas production is the giant offshore North field, or the Qatari extension of the South Pars megaproject, which is the largest gas field in the world.
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is made from natural gas that undergoes the process of liquefaction where it is converted to liquid, making it feasible to store and transport. It is exported globally via specialized tankers and regasified at receiving terminals for distribution. LNG is used as fuel for power generation, vehicles, and offshore vessels, and can also be used to produce heat for residential use.