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Defiant Qatar hikes gas output by 30 percent

04 July 2017

Natural gas exports are the main source of foreign currency for the rich and small Gulf emirate, which has been subjected to an economic blockade by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt since June 5.

"We did not reach these decisions easily, it was after years of work and trying to convince Qatar", Abdullah said, before starting a plea for Qatar to "stop supporting terrorism" and "stop harming stability in the region".

The state-run producer is doubling to 4 billion cubic feet a day its target for output capacity at a new project in the North Field, Qatar's section of the world's biggest natural gas deposit, chief executive officer Saad Sherida Al Kaabi told reporters in Doha.

They later issued a deadline for Qatar to comply with a list of 13 demands that included downgrading ties with Iran, a regional rival of Saudi Arabia; stopping support for Islamist groups; and shutting down the Doha-based Al Jazeera network.

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Qatar, which denies any support for extremists, has been defiant, saying it will not bow to pressure and that the demands seem created to be rejected.

Kaabi said there is no cooperation with Iran on any project in the North Field, but the countries have a joint committee that meets every year to discuss development of the field.

"This new project will strengthen Qatar's leading position and we will remain the leader of LNG for a very long time".

However, Saudi Arabia and its allies have threatened to sanction global firms working with Qatar if the tiny-Gulf nation fails to meet their demands.

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"Qatar Petroleum will continue working.If some companies decide they don't want to work with QP that's their choice".

"We have absolutely no fear of having the embargo in place", he said.

"If there are no companies willing to work with us, we will do the 100 million tons", Al-Kaabi insisted. Al Kaabi said the force majeure declaration was imposed "illegally" on the condensate shipments.

Any measures that are taken will be "within the framework of worldwide law", Sheikh Abdullah said at a press conference in Abu Dhabi with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who was due to travel to Doha later Tuesday.

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On Monday, British lawyers for Qatar denounced the demands as "an affront to worldwide law".

Defiant Qatar hikes gas output by 30 percent