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In 1971, when exploration engineers discovered natural gas off Qatar's northeast coast, no one knew quite how important the find was. Only after 15 appraisal wells had been drilled over a period of 14 years was it established that Qatar's North Field was the largest non-associated natural gas field in the world, with recoverable reserves of more than 900 trillion standard cubic feet (tscf), or approximately 10% of the world's known reserves.
This makes Qatar the world's largest holder of proven gas reserves after Russia and Iran. The North Field will supply gas to fulfil multiple large-scale renewable gas sales contracts for many decades to come.
The North Field lies off the north-east shore of the Qatar peninsula and covers an area of more than 6,000 square kilometres, equivalent to about half the land area of the State of Qatar.
The development of this major natural resource has been a significant factor in Qatar's economic growth. The gas produced from this giant field is processed to produce LNG, GTL, NGL, and other gas-related industries, in addition to pipeline gas for export.