With the moratorium on new development projects at the 900 tcf North Field likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, Qatar is looking deeper, to the pre-Khuff formation, for additional sources of gas. But Shell’s unsuccessful well at its Block D exploration license highlights the possibility that Qatar may be close to maximum gas output with no major increments in sight beyond Barzan’s 1.4bn cfd, which is expected to come online by end-2015.

Shell came up empty in Block D (Shell 75%, PetroChina 25%), where it had drilled its first well nearly a year ago. “The QSD-1 exploration well reached total depth as planned; however, it did not encounter commercial volumes of hydrocarbons,” a Shell spokesman told MEES this week. (CONTINUED - 742 WORDS)