Qatar’s Oil Minister Abdullah bin Hamed Al Attiyah said Tuesday that the Gulf state is diverting liquid natural gas (LNG) shipments from softening North American markets to China, Dow Jones reported. Al Attiyah said that Qatar is presently in talks with Beijing about long-term supply contracts for the fuel. "I’m a big believer in the China market and in the coming years it may be the biggest, or one of the biggest LNG consumers in the world," said Al Attiyah. Qatar is also targeting India as an export target to offset decline in the US, where gas prices have fallen more than 60% from highs hit last summer. After years of rising LNG consumption, world demand is projected to decline for the first time in 50 years. However, Qatar’s economy remains solid and is projected to grow by 11.5% this year.