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Qatar orders four LNG carriers from China, its first shipyard deal with Beijing


Qatar Petroleum to buy vessels from China's Hudong

QP, Hudong signed a $3 bil agreement in April 2020

Qatar plans to boost LNG capacity to 126 mil mt/year from 77 mil mt/year

State-owned Qatar Petroleum has ordered four new LNG carriers from Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group Co. (Hudong), a unit of China State Shipbuilding Corp., its first LNG vessel deal with a shipyard from the Asian country.

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"These four carriers are the first batch of orders in Qatar Petroleum's massive LNG shipbuilding program, which will cater for future LNG fleet requirements for the North Field expansion projects as well as for existing vessel replacement requirements," Qatar Petroleum said in an Oct. 3 statement.

The cost of the order exceeds Qatari Riyals 2.8 billion ($770 million), Saad al-Kaabi, minister of state for energy affairs and QP CEO, said in the statement.

QP signed an agreement in April 2022 to reserve LNG ship construction capacity in China to support its North Field gas expansion projects and replace older vessels

The deal, worth Riyals 11 billion ($3.02 billion), with Hudong will see a significant portion of the company's LNG ship construction capacity reserved for QP through 2027.

Increasing LNG capacity

"Qatar Petroleum's LNG carrier fleet program is the largest of its kind in the history of the LNG industry and will play a pivotal role in meeting the shipping requirements of Qatar Petroleum's local and international LNG projects, as well as replacing some of Qatar's existing LNG fleet," it added in the statement.

Qatar currently has an LNG production capacity of some 77 million mt/year, and has plans to boost it to 110 million mt/year with the addition of four more trains, and to 126 million mt/year with the addition of another two trains.

As well as the four new trains of LNG that Qatar has already announced, Kaabi said Sept. 21 a further two trains would be announced, likely in the first quarter of 2022,

In total, Qatar is planning to bring 64 million mt/year of LNG to market by including its project in the US, Golden Pass, he said at the time.

Qatar's North Field is the world's largest offshore gas field, which is located in the Persian Gulf. The field is shared with Iran, where it is known as South Pars.