Qatar Economy Expands 14.7% as Gas Output and Oil Prices Rise

Qatar’s economy grew an annual 14.7 percent in the fourth quarter as natural gas output rose and oil prices increased.

Real gross domestic product rose to 95.5 billion riyals ($26.2 billion) compared with 83.3 billion riyals a year earlier, the statistics authority said in an e-mailed statement today. The economy expanded 14 percent for the year.

Qatar, the world’s biggest producer of liquefied natural gas, increased its capacity to make the fuel to an annual 77 million tons last year with the start of its 14th liquefaction plant. It also opened the world’s largest plant that converts gas into liquid fuels such as diesel and jet fuel. Oil prices averaged $111 a barrel in London last year, up from $80 a year earlier.

Economic growth may ease to 5 percent this year as expansion of the emirate’s energy industry slows, the economic planning board said in October. Qatar doesn’t plan any more gas liquefaction plants amid a moratorium on new development of the North Field, the world’s biggest gas reservoir.

The gross domestic product grew 35.9 percent in nominal terms to 171.8 billion riyals and increased 36 percent to 631.6 billion riyals for the year, the statistics authority said. Oil and gas accounted for 58.3 percent of the country’s nominal GDP in 2011, the authority said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Tuttle in Doha at rtuttle@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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