Gas-rich Qatar plans to move forward, with modest delays, in massive investments in its gas sector despite the sour economic climate, officials said.

Faisal al-Suwaidi, chief executive of the state-owned Qatargas, said billions in investments were slated for major gas projects across the globe. Many, however, could see a two- or three-year lag in order to create higher demand, the Financial Times reports.

Suwaidi said if all projects moved forward in 2009, the supply-demand ratio in the energy sector would reach parity.

“But now, by 2014 you will see a big gap between supply and demand … because of the number of projects that have been either shelved, canceled or postponed,” he said.

Qatar, which sits on the largest gas field in the world, has billions in investments planned, particularly for liquefied natural gas. With visions to more than double the LNG capacity in Qatar by 2012, Suwaidi said the national focus looked beyond the immediate recessionary period.

“Shorter term, yes, we have concerns (about prices), but in the longer term the fundamentals are the same,” he said.

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