Qatar makes first new gas find in over 40 years

DOHA (REUTERS) - Qatar has discovered a small offshore field containing about 2.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas, the country's first gas find since 1971, its energy minister said on Sunday.

The discovery was made at the 4-North offshore block near Qatar's massive North Field by a consortium which includes Germany's Wintershall and Japan's Mitsui, Qatari energy minister Mohammed al-Sada told a news conference in Doha.

Qatar's North Field is the world's largest non-associated gas field, containing nearly 900 tcf, and the new find represents just 0.28 percent of the country's proven reserves.

"Though this amount is relatively small in comparison to the North Field, it signifies our commitment to continuing our exploration activities. We currently have six active exploration blocks, and we are intensifying our exploration efforts," Sada said.

"We will look at options including the possibility of using the gas at one of our existing facilities, which would make the project highly profitable," Mr Sada said.

According to the latest BP Statistical review, Qatar's proved gas reserves stood at 884.5 tcf, or around 12 percent of global gas reserves, at the end of 2011.